Archive for the ecovillages Category

Philosophical Anarchism

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, ecovillages, Legal / Laws, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by Drogo

Anarchy is absence of supreme government leaders, company authorities, or laws. Anarchism is rejection of central state or group hierarchy for collaborative democracy and independent freedom. Anarchy does not mean ‘let chaos rule’, but can be messy as individuals express themselves voluntarily. Lack of direction from a boss can be scary for many who prefer to be told what to do. Another problem is the political vacuum of anarchy allows despots to use charisma and power to shatter the ideal potential of anarchy and democracy, and create populist structures of obedience to corrupt state systems.

Anarchy is a natural feeling for many people who have an intuitive reaction to any perceived authority over them; which maybe related to our pre-history. Civilization is considered new and brief compared to thousands and thousands of years when humans must have lived more or less like other wild animals with no writing, and no language rules, in primitive anarchy. This anti-authoritarian type of human nature can manifest in complex egalitarian cultures, and thus can create advanced anarchy systems based on cultural capacities. Proudhon considered anarchism to be a political philosophy for “stateless societies based on voluntary associations”. Having no desire for authoritarian companies or governments, anarchists often try to organize and maintain voluntary institutions (like SCOD).

Labor unions (aka trade unions) are groups or collectives of workers, organized to represent their job interests within capitalism. Unions are similar to trade guilds, except they are often employees of companies that need to negotiate with bosses using social pressure and collective protest bargaining, with threat of striking vs lay-offs to enforce contracts. Safety standards, living wages, and benefits are labor themes.

Philosophical anarchism often relates to democracy, communism, socialism, and labor unions because they all are systems to empower workers to control leaders, companies, and governments by the people being responsible for their power. The term ‘worker’ (proletariat) represents the bulk of citizens or their families, and therefore the masses of society. When the workers have to power to vote directly and frequently on their bosses, companies and governments become decentralized and depend on social networks and sub-cultures.

anarchy

[see also Mondragon, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman]

Advertisements

Garden City Chapters

Posted in Economics, ecovillages, Futurist, Organic Architecture, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 25, 2018 by Drogo

Chapter Summaries of ‘Garden Cities of Tomorrow‘ by Ebenezer Howard

  1. Town-Country Magnet
  2. Revenue – Agriculture
  3. Revenue – Town Estates
  4. Revenue – General Expenditures
  5. Revenue – Expenditure Details
  6. Administration
  7. Semi-Municipal Enterprise
  8. Pro-Municipal Work
  9. Some Difficulties Considered
  10. Combination of Proposals
  11. Path Followed Up
  12. Social Cities
  13. Future of London

 

1. Town-Country Magnet

6000 acres, 30,000 people in the city and 2000 in agriculture estates

Central council for creation and maintenance of necessary public works

(Four gentlemen of responsible positions)

Garden City planning: division of acres into 6 radiating sections and rings

Garden City built at center of 6000 acres, but only covers 1000 acres

6 large radiant boulevards (120 ft wide) divide the 6000 acres into 6 pie parts

6 circular avenues: circus and rings of beltways (not including bypass)

Central Park is 5 acres apx. of circle garden and street circus

First Ring is 1 acre public buildings around the city center

Second Ring is 6 garden parks radiating from Central Park

Third Ring is a Crystal Palace for industrial stores and market avenue

Fourth Ring is masonry town-houses and avenue

Fifth Ring is Grand Avenue (inner beltway) with restaurant gardens

Sixth Ring is outer perimeter of industrial factories, near a bypass

Agricultural estates on 5000 acres outside of city

 

2. Revenue of a Garden City – Agricultural and Industrial estates

Entire revenue is from rent and fees, not taxes

Urban rent is higher than rural land

Rent goes from residents and businesses to city government who owns all property

 

3. Revenue of Urban Estates (Town-houses, Restaurants, and Crystal Palace)

How to manage rates with cost of living and inflation

Urban Lot sizes are 20′ x 130′

4. Revenue Expenditures 1 – general observations

Accounting for how revenue supports municipal needs

Enterprises with extreme capital are not needed or desired

Small businesses are promoted in the interest of a functioning population

5. Revenue Expenditures 2 – details

Building construction and city planning: zoning, methods, details

Discussion of how 6 radiant sections and 6 rings function and support each-other

Major component size, cost, and usage.

Importance of cooperation: how to balance against selfish demands due to inter-dependence

Rent Budget goes to public pay, pensions, property maintenance, constructions

 

6. Administration: who governs what?

Most of us are both Individualists and Communists: we believe in freedom and community

Public and Private issues; temperance

Democratic politics and representation vs Bureaucratic appointments without elections

7. Local Business

Public markets are owned by the City

Retail Business is limited to the Crystal Palace with local options

Introduce tenants, prevent waste and pollution, fair competition to avoid monopolies

8. Municipal Work – pro-public service

Philanthropic charitable institutions, religious societies, and educational agencies.

Work placement office.

 

9. Difficulties of Nature and Humans

Challenges of nature, human nature, and artificial constructs will always exist.

Nothing is perfect in reality, we just do the best we can.

Better society is worth our efforts, although perfection is impossible.

  •  Chapter summaries to be continued later

 

32,000 people in medium Garden City population (58,000 larger Central City)

Rail lines and other public transportation need to connect workers to work places, and products to warehouses and shops. Distribution and traffic flow is critical for city function.

Link to original article on Garden Cities:  Garden Cities by E. Howard

*

Garden City of Letchworth, England

Report by Drogo 1999 @ SCAD, Georgia USA. Ebenezer Howard’s first version of his book was published in 1898 , under the title ‘Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform’, and was revised in 1902. The version studied was ‘Garden Cities of To-morrow‘, published by M.I.T. press in 1965 (67 years after it was first written). The preface by J.H. Osburn and a commentary by Lewis Mumford called ‘The Garden Idea and Modern Planning’, were both written in 1945.

(to be continued)

*

WEME Village

Posted in Cartoon Comics, ecovillages, Fictional Characters, Homesteading, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 17, 2017 by Drogo

SCOD Ecovillage Short Story

The woman and man planned and ran their own dream village of fwends.

Twin spirit kindred flames, like mirror twinsies; except one was more fire and one was more water, and both were rooted in earth and speaking signs in aether air.

He would say “isnt it so sister?”, and she would say “yes brother, it is so.” and then she would say “isnt it so brother?” and he would say “yes sister, it is so, and you are also correct about that.” and they would wind the gears, and dust the chairs, and sweep the floors and patch the roofs, and mend the windows, polish the wood, and explore the woods. They sing French songs together that she taught him. They kiss and hugs like good brothers and sisters do, in honor of Hermes and Hathor; and they invite all to do the same, if they do choose.

to be continued….

elf-village-color-5

SUNSHIRE – SCOD Ecovillage Game

Posted in ecovillages, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2015 by Drogo

Cooperative Communal Winning!!!

Goal: Win by working together to build and maintain a thriving eco-village. Make the village within 12 years (turns), and keep it for another 12. Survive 24 years of life-changing events and start a legacy of stewardship for the Earth!

Sunshire Game Board

Start: Pick a color building to start with. Blue Long-house; Red Brick-house, Black Herb-House. Blue has 1 savings & 3 income, Red has 3 savings & 2 income, Black has 3 savings & 1 income to start with.

Play: The game is played by keeping a ‘character record sheet’, rolling 2 (6-sided) die each turn, reading the results on the ‘result table’ aloud, and following what it says. Mark each turn on the ‘character record sheet’ to keep track of how many turns have been taken. The result roll will determine your actions each turn. IMPORTANT: At any time any player can give any other player savings from their account, or make any transaction that is mutually agreed upon; this allows cooperation by those with excess savings to alleviate the suffering of others. Trade, Gifts, or Building Dwellings can take place once per turn.

Character Record Sheet: Must be maintained each turn.

Player name & Start color:

Turns taken (game ends in 24):

Savings (start color #):

Income-bill Ratio (start color #):

Dwellings (as you place them):

Income-bill Ratio = Net Profit added each turn to your savings (gross-bills)

Savings = monetary or resource amount you have in storage reserves

*

Result Table (this takes the place of using cards)

mark a turn after each roll, and add your income/bill ratio rate to your savings each turn.

2 = Share a Harvest [+1 savings, and +1 savings also given to a friend]

3 = Harvest natural resources [+2 income, +1 savings]

4 = Discount Dwelling using all free materials [-3 savings, place any dwelling]

5 = Commute to Volunteer Job [-1 savings, -1 income]

6 = Lucky Harvest [+3  savings, and +1 income]

7 = Renovate property for maintenance [-3 savings]

8 = Commute to Job [-2 savings, +3 income]

9 = Pay medical Bills [-5 savings]

10 = Guests!!! Pay extra special Bills [-3 savings]

11 = DAMAGE on your property!!! [lose all income for this turn, & -5 savings]

12 = Long-house has an event that raises +5 in total savings (share).

*

Place a Dwelling: when the result table tells you to ‘place a dwelling’, pick from the dwelling icons and place it on a yellow circle on the map. Also mark on your character sheet that you have a dwelling and how much resources or bills it adds to your sheet.

7 Dwellings to Build & Rent: A-Frame, Tree-Pole, Dome-Shingle, Glass-Metal, Yurt-Teepee, Adobe-Cob, Under-Earth

Yurt-Teepee House = canvas tents and hides on frames [-4 savings, +1 rent income]

Adobe-Cob House = clay brick & stucco straw-bale [-5 savings, +2 rent income]

Under-Earth House = hill-side walls & sod roof [-6 savings, +2 rent income]

A-Frame House = cedar gable log-cabin [-7 savings, +3 income]

Tree-Pole House = up in trees on stilts and wedge beams [-8 savings, +3 rent income]

Dome-Shingle House = below the trees with decks [-9 savings, +4 rent income]

Glass-Metal House = geodesic, clear and colored glass [-10 savings, +5 rent income]

7 dwellings

  • That’s it!

Return to Sunshire

Posted in ecovillages, Fictional Stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 1, 2015 by Drogo

0924151232a

Sunshire, a SCOD sister community, owned and run mostly by women; survived the apocalypse as well our own East-Coast SCOD shire. Sunshire was in the Mid-West, amid farmland as our area once was, before the devil-lopers came and destroyed most of our farms and wilderness. The tale I will tell now, is how we were able to make contact with the inhabitants of Sunshire again, after the collapse of our high-tech communication systems.

Mamma Karebear and her daughter Ranger Tess contacted me before Armageddon, about building a SCOD style eco-village in Misery, Kansas. My first thought was that is a terrible name for a county, and reminded me of Stephen King’s horror novels. However sometimes people make all the difference in why we do things. Karebear and Tess were good-hearted, kind, and creative people. They had already been developing their homestead as a working animal farm, but wanted to attract more people to build more of a community that lives there, which would help preserve the acres of natural land also. It was because of their dedication to sustaining cooperative communication, that we were able to draw up some plans and work together.

Karebear and her husband Brock, were first generation hippies. They were artists and farmers, and when they purchased their land in the 1960s, they began restoring the old german farm-house on the land. What little money they had came from their contract work with graphic art companies, and they made friends with everyone in the area that was the least bit friendly, as well as artists and naturalists. Some of their friends were famous environmentalists, and they hosted parties to encourage involvement in the Green Party, and other alternative ways. Their land became a sanctuary for hundreds of animals, and they raised their children to share their food and beds with dogs, cats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and mice. The animals were like human family to Karebear’s family, except that some of them they killed and ate.

Tess was raised in this creative zoo, as a wildling steward. Tess made her own clothes, and her preferred garb was medieval style (SCA). Tess wrote stories and made videos which she published. She suffered from intense stomach pains, until she became deathly ill, and had to have medical doctors at a hospital operate to fix it; and so her life was saved. Her doctor bill afterwards was 10 billion dollars, so it is lucky that the Apocalypse ended bill collecting, as both phone lines and the national economy had been made obsolete by global mass conflicts, plagues, and famines.

In the early 21st Century, we designed and built a number of alternative architectural structures on their land using SCOD theories that fit their family and land. We began with repairing old sheds, building a green-house solarium addition to the old house, and smaller new out-buildings and follies that were affordable. Then we kept collecting materials and raising public funds, and constructed a small hobbit house, a-frame barn, and tree house. We were gearing up for more constructions like the medieval longhouse, and glass pavilion; when we heard on the news that WW3 had started, with terrorists and rebels over-throwing governments from the inside out, in mass attacks. The Mid-West did not see as much conflict as in larger urban areas of population, but it did not escape plagues, and did not need to be a metropolis to feel the effects of being cut off from public utilities.

I was not living there full time, and had only helped part-time over the years, a few months at a time. Since Armageddon started in late summer and fall, I had already returned to the East-Coast shire. That was the last time I would hear anything from Sunshire for many years.

As I learned later, Karebear and Tess had gathered all their nearby friends and family to Sunshire; and began survival plans to deal with the new reality that was emerging. Trade soon became more economically important than cash or credit, regarding outside transactions. It became quite clear that distance would be as problematic as it was before the industrial age. Ranger Tess had a plan, which involved horses and magic.

schoenshire pooh map

to be continued….

SCOD Report 2015 Fall – Quest for New Cahokia

Posted in ecovillages, Organic Development, SCOD Status Update Reports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2015 by Drogo

Aeyla and Drogo conducted a long-distance road-trip vacation-sabbatical from Maryland to Missouri, for the purpose of scouting various sites for case studies and potential projects. First Cahokia was visited and studied for historic perspective on environmental architecture.

Cahokia=mound

Then the Boe family farm at Schoen Ridge was visited to investigate potential for a medieval long-house and eco-village. Finally on the way back home, Mark Twain’s boyhood home was toured for literary, economic, and social wisdom. In Indiana, we visited Pat Long; who took us to  Traders Point Creamery: Organic Gardens and Green Architecture (see Barns & Restaurant in photo above). Many other adventures were had along the way, but those stories are for another time when a more detailed account can be recorded.

0924151232a

Sometimes you need to get lost to find yourself; because you can find things while being lost, or lose things when found. Found objects can be lost, and lost objects can be found. A full spectrum of lost and found. Animals have agendas like food and dominance , but are easier to handle. People are like dogs, sometimes they keep trying to bite me, regardless of how i am. Nature is not fair, but compassion is priceless.

All the most important SCOD factors are present with the Boe property. The Boe family homestead is a working farm run by the family with NO full-time paid workers; so it truly is a small family farm of apx. 80 acres and 50-70 animals (fluctuates). The largest city nearby is St. Joseph. The Boe farm is north of Savannah, south of Ravenwood (Ravensborg?), and adjacent to the village of Rosendale (whose buildings are selling for ultra low prices of $500-$1000).

Modest Proposal for Fee of Services as Architect:

We can list all our concerns over the months, and work out issues during scheduled and paid meetings, so we dont waste tons of time in endless debates. we could schedule Longhouse meetings for just before Equinoxes and Solstices, so 4x a year or when funds or needs are low only once a year. perhaps i can only charge for changes and additions, and trade the main drawings for future ability to live there for free for several months or something. Pay shows respect of commitment to a project, beyond the practical need to pay bills. paying me for each meeting, will allow client control on their budget. At $20 an hour, meetings should be reasonable to do things gradually. we can do meetings on skype, or phone, or chatting with text on facebook or email. friends that are like family, loved ones, are special clients with whom there is a trust of sharing, and options should be patiently felt out and pressure alleviated, even for final decisions when they are organically arrived at by all. my role is still the same as before the trip, i dont want to micromanage a scod project without pay or owning it, BUT i can say visiting did clarify the viability of the site and the family’s sincerity towards concept and kindness for sure. In addition, Karen’s volunteering posting in SCOD group certainly proves she believes in the concepts intellectually; but there is no funding for those of us running that social media aspect.

In the mean time; I recommend the Boe family to save money; and collect, cut, and store wood to dry on site: 2″ large flat slabs for tables and beams; 4x4s, 6x6s, 12×12″ etc at various lengths as long as possible. i think we will work things out as we have thus far, continuing to organically define our collaborative art to make everyone happy. There will always be more to do, in a world of ‘way too much’, but we can take breaks and remember to play.

Garden Cities by Ebenezer Howard

Posted in Arts (Design & Performance), Book Reports, Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, ecovillages, Sustainability with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Drogo

From the book Garden Cities of To-morrow by Ebenezer Howard 1898, 1902

Ebenezer Howard was a shop keeper’s assistant, farmer, writer, sociologist, and statesman. Howard valued good living conditions, democracy, nature, human rights, and personalities. Howard lived in England and America (London, Nebraska, and Chicago). Osburn and Mumford added notes that introduce, critique, review, and praise Howard. JH Osburn claims Howard may have been influenced by Bellamy’s book Looking Backward. According to Lewis Mumford, Howard was also inspired by Spense, Buckingham, Wakefield, George, Kropotkin, and Howard’s wife Elizabeth Ann Bills of Nuneaton (who loved intellect and country-side). Howard’s narrow building lots were handed down from medieval English dimensions (20 x 130 ft).

Garden Cities of To-morrow begins by describing the “Three Magnets”: Town, Country, and Town-Country. Howard explains why we are attracted to the best of both Town and Country aspects. Town-Country benefits have cooperation, beauty, nature, green fields, green parks, good utilities, good commerce, social opportunity, high wages, low rents, low price rates, and low pollution!

In most chapters, Howard proposes how Garden Cities would function with diagrams. He describes inter-connected urban nodes. Central City is shown with a constellation of satellite micro-cities (garden cities, towns, villages, developments). Garden Cities at their heart have a central garden, with rings of dwellings, shops, roads, industry, fields, and farms. The ordered layout is meant to improve biological, social, economic, and personal life for everyone.

Howard considered some difficulties with analytic self-criticism. He saw the weak points in his plans, and how they might fail. This foresight can allow us to prepare for the worst problems, to better shape designs for the future. He maintained that human ideals are worth trying; quoting Darwin “Selfish and contentious men will not cohere, and without coherence nothing can be accomplished,”. Howard believed that Socialism and Individualism must come together in the future to realize a true, vital organic society and state.

Ebenezer Howard felt that Garden Cities would work, because the plans were based on understanding human nature. He indicated that Urban or Communal failures are a result of the ‘Duality Principle’ (Janus). Ignorance of the Duality Principle allows kindred mistakes, by regarding one principle action to the exclusion of others. Howard believed we are all communists to some degree, even those that shudder at being told this, because we believe in roads, parks, and libraries. Individualism is no less excellent, in his mind, as he compares good society to an orchestra that plays together, but practice separately. Expense, however, always tends to get in the way of progress.

Sir Raymond Unwin worked with Howard. In 1903 they designed and established the first Garden City in England, named ‘Letchworth’. Letchworth proved a success, and in 1919 the second Garden City ‘Welwyn’ was founded. By 1950 the cities had a combined population of over 40,000. The account of their success is given in Purdom’s Building of Satellite Towns. Some key points regarding the study of Garden Cities are: how urban and rural districts connect, health and sanitation, zoning limitations of density and sprawl allowing light, gardens, and leisure, harmony rather than standardization, communications, ownership and cooperative leasing, public freedom and choice of enterprise.

Contemporary critics dismissed “Garden Cities” as more akin to the fantasy of H.G. Wells, than to the realities of urban planning. Despite the critics, Garden Cities of To-morrow is cited in countless planning bibliographies, and provides an organic alternative to bleak industrial future city-scapes. So what happened? Our suburbs in America do not follow his models, although some are better than others. Howard wanted to keep the city, town, and country distinct from each other, unlike amorphous suburban sprawl. He wanted more green around and in cities, by confining and condensing urban development, to keep the country rural, pastoral, and agrarian; yet integrating their foundations for healthy and function living.

“The pathway of any experiment worth achieving, is strewn with failures. Success is, for the most part, built on failure.”  – Ebenezer Howard

“Creative work always arises by the synthesis in one’s mind of material from otherwise unrelated sources…”  – J.H. Osburn

Related Article:  Garden City Chapters

*