Originally Posted by pyrogen
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.
Very valid point. There is this growing trend in Europe where college graduates don't move out from their parents' until their late 20s - early 30s, simply because they can't afford rent early in their career. And it is problematic in a society that has radically shifted the shames and expectations attached to living with your parents.
Originally Posted by pyrogen
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.
I love this. Actually, creative communal living solutions are sprouting out all over the place out of economical necessity. My recently-separated mom has been looking into it, turns out there's this big movement of divorced mothers rooming together.
I have this fantasy of communal child rearing, living with one or 2 other friend couples as a way to simplify chores and childcare, and develop new, more meaningful ways to relate to my close friends.