Re: Political Views in Cohousing
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 16:53:00 -0700 (PDT)
The author of the message below chose not to be identified.
It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
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The current "Left" and "Right" are quite close to each other in
values.  The right tries to impose their values on foreigners (you
will be an American colony or we will make war on you).  The left
tries to impose their values on Americans (you will obey the zoning
we've picked for you or you will go to jail).  Both believe in
colonialism, and whether the people colonized first are near or far is
more of a strategy decision than a difference in values.

What I find amazing is that cohousing values consensus, which is close
to not imposing values on anybody.  Not using force to dictate others'
peaceful behavior is the libertarian axis, which is orthogonal to the
left/right axis.  Most cohousings sound like libertarian sanctuaries
("gulches" in the jargon), and while the formerly-left-ish inhabitants
don't recognize them as such, that's not important.

I bet if you marketed cohousing to the floundering Free State projects
(New Hampshire and Montana), you'd get a lot of bites.  Removing bad
laws in a whole state is really tough.  Constructing a community of
mutually-supportive neighbors who live according to their own values
rather than the ickier ones outside is doable in a few years, and you
don't have to move to another state.

Human instinctual politics evolved to handle a tribe-sized group, and
it does that pretty well.  That's the commonality Rob observed on the
plane.  What our instincts don't handle is when the group size
increases by a factor of ten million.  That size outruns our
instincts, and we must fall back on thinking about national and world
politics on a purely intellectual level.

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