With the current downturn in capitalist economies our attention once more turns to other possibilities, and the topics of “communities” and “co-operatives” are popular again.
“Intentional Community” is a category and a banner word. It is not a legal structure. A “Co-operative” is a legal structure. We are guided by Heart Songs, and we make the assumption that registering as a co-operative will mean that involvement will be “mutually beneficial”.
For each blissfully unaware searcher who responds to romantic stories about successful co-operatives there needs to be two people who are more experienced to caution about emotionally appealing spin.
We are limited by our inexperience. There are people who have dreams of power and position, who hide this within “love-speak”. The social ideals of “being in a co-operative” can lead to the construction of a perfect place for borderline sociopaths. The spin attracts cult-making people as well as cult-prone people – and the latter are not likely to recognise the sub-texts. At the point of recognition and exposure – revealing that the “intentionality” has been subverted by a cluster of Mock Mutuals – expect to be embattled. [*Lillian Hellman “They will hate you for disturbing them”, Noam Chomskey “The threat of a good example”].
For legal structures to operate for the benefit of the members rather than for the benefit of the operatives, there needs to be regulating mechanisms to prevent “the scum” from rising to the top, rather than “the cream”.
We are robbed by our gullibility. Individual membership needs to be protected so that separations are equitable, to prevent unjust expulsion. The right to fair reward for fair contribution needs to be clearly spelt out in the documents.