Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
How American - to know so little about the world outside America.
In 3 out of the world's top 4 most populous countries, living with parents is quite common. (If you don't know which are the 4 most populous countries in the world, do look it up). China is one of those 3 countries, but all three countries are culturally different from each other (no common language, very different religions etc).
Therefore to describe the matter as "living in China" is really very ill-informed.
The "moving out" mentality in the US is just a byproduct of its own history. 13 colonies, farmers spreading out across a vast unexplored land to get their own space etc (killing plenty of native Americans and using lots of black slaves from Africa along the way, but that's another story). American Old West, cowboys
expanding into the frontier etc etc.
Culturally, you therefore grow up with the notion that being adult means going somewhere faraway from where you used to grow up. Very Laura Ingalls "Little House on the Prairie" and Huckleberry Finn-ish.
All good and well, but to a large extent, it's just your own idiosyncratic cultural notion, you see. And it already lost its original purposes. There isn't any more land for you to stake, just by moving out and getting there first. You aren't a
cowboy, James, you're a school teacher.
I am starting to feel that "living on your own" is untenable, too, in the long run. The only reason it worked was during a very brief time with an artificially boosted economy. Living alone or with a partner has gotten so expensive that many of the most talented, inventive people are forced to struggle to make ends meet instead of do those activities which will actually contribute to happiness and to contribution toward society (and I don't consider working an ordinary job to be this). We are rapidly approaching a point where advanced education, writing a book, starting a business, or devoting any amount of time to non-work activity is something reserved for the privileged. Normal people do not even have time for their children anymore, and are forced to leave their children to be raised by the state in public schools which are increasingly merely nannies for working parents. And it is so unnecessary. More adults living in a tight knit community, would solve the problem so nicely.
Living with family, however, isn't an option for many of us.
Therefore, there needs to be a third alternative, and that is a revisiting of the
intentional community. We don't need to get over our striving or inventiveness or even desire for privilege, IMo; we need to get over our fanatical need to live alone, and we must become social beings. If we do not do this, the innovative and educated people will disappear - because the conservatives, religious and people from other cultures -already know how to live communally-.
I'm inspired enough by this idea to consider doing a course of study around it;
it may be the topic of a Ph.D. down the road.
Some communities have made this work. The thing is, we hear far, far more about the failures. I don't feel that the solution is a rural self sufficient commune; I'm not thinking of any kind of communism in any sense of the term. What I'm interested in investigating is mainstreaming of the urban cohousing movement and a possible movement toward the urban arcology. There are already a number of cohousing organizations which vary in level of
"commune" similarity and the most successful seem to be those which have greater integration with their urban environments and which contribute to the culture and economy.