Communal Living

One of the most powerful, inspiring, and frankly, difficult, aspects of Tribal life is its highly communal nature. America, where we are getting our start, is a highly individualistic culture. Unfortunately, it is that very individualism which is leading the World into the toilet. Individualism leads to materialism, consumerism, and over-consumption of Earth’s resources. It leads to envy, jealousy, hierarchy, and abuse. While competition has its strengths, it can also become quite nasty as individuals try to “Keep up with the Jones’s”. It leads to unsustainable personal debt, and lifestyles that are truly harmful to Mother Earth.

The Nuclear Family Meltdown

One of the main strengths of the Tribe’s plan is the communal lifestyle. It used to be– before the promotion of the “Nuclear Family” in the 1950s and 60s– that most people lived with– or at least very near– extended family. We still see this in many minority communities today. The Nuclear Family concept was developed and marketed to Americans in order to sell real-estate. After World War II, veteran GIs were encouraged to use the GI Bill to purchase property out in the suburbs, where they could live with their dutiful stay-at-home wife, with their 2.5 kids, cat and dog, and white picket fence. Instead, it served to isolate women from their support network of child-care givers, and as women started to enter the workplace increasingly in the 70s and 80s, we had latch-key kids, and expensive child-care raising the children.

Conservative pundits like to blame the decay of the American Family, with its astronomical divorce rates, on “sinful living”, but it has more to do with the previous breakup of the Extended Family support network with the effort to sell more houses.

Isolation Makes us Vulnerable

Rising energy prices will continue to affect all sectors of the economy, particularly those that depend on goods being shipped from afar. Cheap Chinese labor will be going the way of the dinosaur as they demand a higher standard of living for themselves, and fuel prices continue to rise. A sudden illness and/or the loss of a job in a single-parent home or even a two-income/two parent home can have a devastating effect on that family’s finances. Medical costs are up, bankruptcies are up, foreclosures are way up. How can families survive?

“So Happy Together”

When most of us think of living with other people, we think of “roommates” in college dorms, or “housemates” like the TV Show “Friends”. The economics of big city life such as portrayed by “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother” or many other shows– demand that people share housing. You could live alone in a crumbling hovel, or live together in a more middle-class way. They have adapted to this accommodation, and are fine with it.

Still, if one of them gets sick and loses their job, and can’t pay their portion of the rent, the others have limited capacity to pick up the slack. And lacking close, intimate connections, they might not care so much– and decide to kick out the “freeloader”. Still, if they become close friends, they are more willing to let their down-on-his-luck buddy float for a few months as he finds a new job, or gets well.

This is a part of what we have in mind.

Families are Communistic

Think about a two-parent, traditional family in the 1950s cisgender roles: Man earns a living. Woman keeps the house and raises the children. He “brings home the bacon” and she “cooks it up”. He has high income earning potential, and is the natural choice for the breadwinner. She has limited job potential, and glass ceilings out there in the workplace, so her efforts are better spent on “home economics”, saving money by being the child-care giver, cook, tailor, maid, etc… Now, Ward and June Cleaver are the ideal couple in the minds of conservative pundits. They represent everything that’s great about America– you can’t get any more American than that. Right?

Except that the Cleaver household runs like a commune. WAIT, WHAT?

Yes, a pinko, commie, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” commune. Think about it. Do Ward and June quibble over who’s earning what, and gets to keep what for their personal fund? Their “contract” with one another is “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health”. They share their fates together, whatever may come. One does NOT get richer while the other gets poorer. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, anyway.

They might arrange to each have an allowance to buy some things for themselves or as gifts for others. They give each child a small allowance to teach them financial responsibility and to help fend of whining about wanting this or that– “just save up your allowance and buy it yourself!”. But they have one bank account. If June picks up a side job, because Ward’s hours at work are being cut, they put it all into a single pot. From that pot, they pay the mortgage, the utilities, the car loan, etc… and only after all the bills get paid, do they budget a night out at the movies.

That’s how a family works– and it works like a commune.

So what’s wrong with Communism?

Everyone knows that Communism is evil right? The problem is– when most people say “Communism”, what they mean is “Marxism”. Marxism is state-compelled communism. It forces people into non-voluntary situations where they have to share with people they don’t particularly care for. It is “forced sharing”. The problem with Marxism isn’t the “sharing” part, but the “forced”. And Communism is really just the “sharing” part. Only Marxism prescribes communism for everybody, and threatens them with a trip to a Siberian prison if they don’t agree or comply. Marxism = Communism + Police Power.

Gaeans are not Marxist. We are actually rather Libertarian. Voluntary Communism is a GREAT way to live, if it’s done right.