Communes and America / by kevin murray

As more and more Americans seem more and more willing to become wards of the State, to want the State to be all and provide all, to sacrifice some of their liberties in order to have more of something else provided to them by the State; it makes one think that this is really a version of a Socialism.  If you were to break down Socialism to its core, or to scale it way, way down, it would be a commune.  A commune is a group of like-minded individuals who have sacrificed their individual identities and possessions in order to reap the benefits of being with a group of people that work together, share together, live together, and prosper together.  It's all for one and one for all.  On the surface, for certain individuals it sounds like nirvana, a truly democratic society in which no one person is above it all, the fruits of the commune's collective efforts are shared together and the joys of true brotherhood are experienced.


Yet with the exception of communes that are faith-based, communal living in America has done quite poorly over the long-term with virtually no real success.  While there may be many reasons for communal failing in America; even reasons of our current State interfering, infiltrating and actively trying to bring down the commune, most communes fail because the people participating in it lose their desire to continue with the lifestyle that they once voluntarily embraced.  Like government programs, communes when they initially start are well-meaning and sound good, but living in them day after day, year after year, takes its toll.  When everything is owned in common and it is the collective work-rate that determines how much food is produce, clothes that are created, housing that is built, medical care that is provided, it is easy to say to oneself, "I'm doing more than the others, I deserve more," or to say, "I'm not here to be anyone's slave, I will work at the rate that I find to be satisfactory, nothing more, nothing less." 


It is human nature that the goals and visions of one's utopia differ than another's.  Because of those differences you will create conflict and because of that conflict the whole edifice is in danger of collapsing upon itself.  Additionally, communes have rules and responsibilities, whereas there is a significant amount of people that believe that life consists of hand-outs that have no strings attached, but in fact, the old proverb "there's no such thing as a free lunch" is not just a proverbial truth, it is truth itself.  Communes without a higher God to answer to, but simply based on people working together for a common purpose will find that that common purpose is hard to lock down and defined.  Additionally, while adults are capable of making decisions and sticking to them and their vision, children are an entirely different prospect.  While some children may be delighted to be living in a communal situation with other children who are like their brothers and sisters in-kind, others will find the need to answer to the siren call of the real world.  As a commune gets older, gets more mature, it must have new blood, new recruits to sustain those that are no longer able to produce or perform at their previous work-rate so that if the children fall away, the commune itself is in danger of following suit.


For those communes that are faith-based, however, while their success and sustainability are not guaranteed, they have required a sacred sacrifice on the part of their adherents and it is that sacrifice and commitment that enables that commune to have a good chance of survival and the tools thereby to thrive.  Communes, who necessitate a "weeding out" process to ascertain your true intentions and to determine your suitability for their mission, for their purpose, are essentially the only communes with sustainability. 


Men with a common purpose that is above their selfish desires, that live for a higher purpose, are the essence of a good commune and Christian thinking as a whole.