|Limits to CoHousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: biow (biowcs.UMD.EDU)|
|Date: Fri, 22 Apr 94 16:06 CDT|
> As far as the Grass valley group breakup, one of the first things a [argument over gun policy] > group should do is to figure out a conflict resolution strategy. It is > sad and totally unecessary that a simple conflict should escalate to > the point where it derails a community. Conflicts are a healthy and > normal part of group process. The trick is to deal with them before > they get to the fight or flight stage. I think there's another point to be made, which is that this particular problem should never have fallen within the scope of cohousing at all, any more than a hundred other possibly contentious issues that are otherwise covered by international, national, state, and local laws. What follows will be recognized by some as a much-trimmed version of a rant that I posted to alt.housing.alternative before that group completely died. [begin rant] My primary concern about US Co-Housing is its association with the political Left. The book refers to the importance of having one or more shared ideals in a Co-Housing community. The ideals I would like to see are shared cooking, child rearing, and a strong, friendly community. The Co-Housing book, despite its Berkeley publication address, studiously avoided any political cant. >From what I've read in this group, it seems that US approaches to Co-Housing often involve a large dose of the politics of the Left. While my wife and I are certainly left of the American political Center (neither of us ever considered voting for Reagan), I have neither desire to join nor confidence in any community that is dominated by political exotics. And if I had to choose exotics for neighbors, it would be the Libertarian Right, rather than the Crunchy Left. (What did he say? Did he say he only wants neighbors of certian political views? No, he said he doubts the chances of success for a co-housing group dominated by certain types of political exotics.) The sort of naivete against which I argue is just the thing that I could see destroying the good ideas of co- housing. To begin with, co-housing is an experiment in alternative living. Experiments are risky, though it seems good successes have been had with co-housing. But to tie the success of a co-housing community to needless additional experiments is foolish, whether those experiments be in gun control or alternative footwear. Gun control in particular strikes me as being the wrong thing to bring into the scope of coho at all. It is an issue that divides our public along both Left/Right and Statist/Libertarian lines. It has become so emotional that 99% of what one finds published on the issue is demonstrably false (read Gary Flake's book Point_Blank if you think you understand the issue). If we tie our success to the solution of this issue, we absolutely guarantee at least the fragmentation, if not the destruction of our movement. I don't want to have to choose among gun/no-gun, smoking/no-smoking, Green/non-Green, nuclear-free/pro-nuke, recycling/bicycling, Left/Middle/Right/Green/Red/Brown/Black/Statist/Libertarian groups. I want to live in a cohousing group! [end of rant]
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