Re: The Future of Cohousing
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 02:59:03 -0800 (PST)
A deep suspicion of hierarchy, of centralized institutional authority, has
been a strong theme in American culture, all the way from the
Democratic-Republican Party of Jefferson (this, in a context where political
parties themselves were seen as the embodiment of dangerous ³factionalism²),
right through the counter-cultural and protest movements of the ?60¹s, and
to the Tea Party of today.  So if you are worried about concentrations of
power, you are a member of a very large and honorable club.  But keep in
mind that the ³welfare state² of the ?30¹s and the invasion of Iraq were
both promoted, not by popular grass roots initiative, but by a strong
federal government having a vision of what needed to be done.  Our federal
government can help people, or it can murder them.  It¹s up to us, the

How this ties to cohousing is interesting.  ³Big² does not work for the
cohousing model.  You can¹t recognize, know and care about all your
neighbors if you live in a 600-unit complex.  So we all share, more or less,
an agreement that cohousing communities of 20 to 40 households are in the
range of right-sized ? especially for consensus-based participatory
democracy.  Yes?

Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

On 2/6/11 12:34 AM, "Wayne Tyson" <landrest [at]> wrote:

> The very labels "Executive Director" and "CEO" scare the hell out of me.
> That's because of past experiences with the concentration of power that I
> believe is fundamentally corrosive of social transformation.

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