February 3rd, 2013

I was trying to think of the ingredients needed to make pleasant and sustainable community organizations.  I got hung up on wording when I tried to name the group whole, rather than the individual participant.  The mainstream anti-communist bias has left a taint on words like ‘communal’ or ‘collective’.  What are your suggestions for words to describe the ‘multi-individual’ whole?  And what key ingredients would you list for smoothing the wheels of community interaction, if other than mine below?

I Pledge commitment to the common baseline for membership: Working Well With Others.  Assuming Personal Responsibility. Contributing my personal efforts harmoniously to the collaborative whole.

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  1. Howard Knickerbocker
    February 14th, 2013 at 15:34 | #1

    I believe that you have to first identify the foundations of the community and then the rationale for the local organization(s). In days past the foundation was family and clan. The world was agricultural and localized. Children were not packed off to big box enclosures but made part of the community. There was continuity.

    Today the agricultural fair struggles to find animals (and meaning) and the church likewise practicing Christians. The Grange is gone. Both parents travel 50 or 100 miles a day to find employment as local opportunities disappeared.

    Look in the crystal ball. The price of oil has quadrupled in a few short years and yet the total world supply has stagnated. We turn corn into ethanol at no energetic gain. Petroleum is the life blood of the economy and certainly rural areas are first affected by cost limited supplies. Many people will move closer to employment and those remaining must invent ways to minimize energy usage.

    I think this quandary might be the foundation for the new community organization you yearn for. Middle class incomes are in decline and food escalates in price in lock step with oil. I believe a non-profit town food co-operative – perhaps in conjunction with other towns – would have food delivered thus saving travel to Pittsfield or Westfield. Local jobs would be created and other local efforts such as energy or horticulture could be under the organization’s umbrella. A town center and purpose would emerge.

    We are in the trough of local relevance and it is unlikely private parties would chance starting a general store in the present economic climate. I can think of no other local theme that might bring most of Middlefield together with a common purpose. – Howard

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