Talk:Commune

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Is this a primary topic? I vote that it is definitely not. john k (talk) 17:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Additional examples[edit]

The current list of notable examples excludes several high-profile groups that were commonly referred to in the media as communes. The ones that immediately come to mind are Jonestown[1], the Manson family and the Branch Davidian ranch at Mount Carmel. Is the reason they are excluded down to their notoriety, or because it is felt that they do not meet the definition of communes? 84.93.161.89 (talk) 20:06, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

The reason for these exclusions, I would argue, has to do with the sensitivity, on the part of present and past members of communes (like myself), as well as supporters of the commune "movement", to past sensationalization of the term commune in the media. In particular, the term "commune" was associated, thanks to mainstream media, with "cult". All three of the examples you give were arguably cults. That they may have had communal structures does not make them good examples of communes, any more than Al Qaeda would be as an example of an Islamic civic organization.

Bloody Viking (talk) 20:17, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Needs extensive work[edit]

The above is a good point, plus this article is heavily weighted in favor of the FIC, recent Jacobs Times articles, and a rather promotional POV. Noticeably missing is any history of the Utopian, religious and other separatist communes that formed the bulk of the early modern movement, not to mention any criticisms of the movement as a whole. There are numerous un-sourced statements, needs lots of work on references. I would also note that the Characteristics Section refers specifically to Communities, not communes per se, not sure if that even belongs in this article. I am wondering why the list of notable communes mentions only US communes with one exception. Eroberer (talk) 12:29, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I would agree with Eroberer. The term "commune" is very general, and could include non-intentional communities, such as a group of people who rent an apartment or house together, and all chip in on food, cooking and house cleaning. I lived at Twin Oaks, and I think intentional communities rock the world, but they should be described in the article on intentional community. This article, on "communes", needs to broadly describe them, and include non-egalitarian communities, religious communities, failed communities, Utopian communities, both historical and present-day, and, yes, even cults. Also, it would be good to discuss the role of communes in the Soviet Union and Communist China, and to clarify the differences between communitarians and Marxists.

Bloody Viking (talk) 20:36, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree all communes are not intentional communities but I think group of people living together is much too broad. I'd like to do a major re-write of this article, for now using Encyclopedia of American communes by Foster Stockwell, pub. 1998 as a main reference. This would define commune basically as an experimental society that rejects the idea of private property. More on that later, I don't want to rely on just one or two sources, however:
You have it reversed. Not all intentional communities are communes. Look at dictionary definitions. An intentional community is a broader term than commune, as it includes housing cooperatives and cohousings. --Campoftheamericas (talk) 00:17, 15 June 2011 (UTC)
There is a real problem with the source list because there are many citations missing. I would like to retain some of the more scholarly sources but I have not been able to find many of them in libraries or on the web. It would be good if whoever used those sources would provide citations with page numbers, etc. There are many lists in this article and I would like to see it resemble more of an encyclopedic entry, and try to settle the question of what aspects communes share, excluding groups that do not conform to that. Any responses? Eroberer (talk) 11:50, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Change the Lead section[edit]

I propose changing the lead thusly:

A commune is a group living arrangement organized chiefly around the principal of non-private property. A commune can range from an informal group house to the People's communes of Communist societies such as China and Korea. They are most often characterized as an attempt to abolish the Capitalist division of society into classes and competition, and instead establish a new social pattern based on a vision of an ideal society. Modern communes generally share common interests, property, resources, work, and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes.

...with citations to follow if necessary. This would be more or less temporary until more work can be done on the article and then would be changed to reflect the contents of same. But I think it's a good introduction for now - any thoughts? Eroberer (talk) 13:22, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

I will also be cleaning up references to intentional communities, as this article is strictly about communes and should not be confusing the two.Eroberer (talk) 15:03, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Except that a commune IS an intentional community: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/intentional+community --Campoftheamericas (talk) 19:29, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
I also oppose changing the lede in such a fashion. I believe it is false to say that communes are most often characterized as attempts to abolish capitalism. The second sentence is also misleading, giving undue weight to specific sorts of communes (China and Korea, really?). You also removed a sourced quote from the article and numerous links to other pages. I agree that communes are much better described as intentional communities rather than "group living arrangements" as well. Gobonobo T C 04:22, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Gobonobo if you think it is false to say that communes are most often characterized as attempts to abolish capitalism how would you paraphrase that? I am trying to make a unifying statement about communes in general from the simplest to the largest and most highly organized, I think that's appropriate. There has to be some common thread to all such organizations and I think it is best described as (at least) an attempt to change the capitalist division of society into classes and competition, and instead establish a new social pattern based on a vision of an ideal society. Do you find change better than abolish? Could you re-write it so it reads better? Also I think recent contributors have expressed wish to see China/Korean communes represented - that sentence was only meant to express the range from informal to highly organized. I could change it to informal group house to the Utopian societies of the 19th and 20th century, to the People's communes of Communist societies such as China and Korea would that suit you better? I and others don't agree that all communes are intentional communities either. Group living arrangement covers the informal to the formal. Look forward to your response. Eroberer (talk) 14:20, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

I think that either (1) there needs to be a distinction between the term "commune" and the term "intentional community" or (2) the two articles should be merged. First of all, Campoftheamericas, a commune need not be an intentional community. Just because one dictionary defines it that way doesn't make it so. And the dictionary you refer to has a definition of "commune" definition #3 that is NOT identical to its definition of intentional community. Many communal houses of the '60s, '70s and '80s were NOT intentional, but arose out of a simple desire for inexpensive living, usually in an urban environment or near a college, where your average young, just-out-of-college person could afford to live someplace with high rent, and with a built-in support group (or at least, people to hang out with); some of these developed into "communes", but there was nothing intentional about them. Why limit the definition of commune to intentional communities, when the term "intentional community" is available to describe those communes (and some that are more like moshavs, such as Shannon Farm in central Virginia)? Can't we be open-minded, and describe the broad range of lifestyles that "commune" encompasses, and reference the specific types, like People's Communes, intentional communities, moshavim, etc.????

BTW, the FIC wiki defines "intentional community" thusly[1] (and note especially the phrase not limited to):

An "intentional community" is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.
This definition spans a wide variety of groups, including (but not limited to) communes, ecovillages, student cooperatives, land co-ops, cohousing groups, monasteries and ashrams, kibbutzim, and farming collectives. Although quite diverse in philosophy and lifestyle, each of these groups places a high priority on fostering a sense of community--a feeling of belonging and mutual support that is increasingly hard to find in mainstream Western society.
This term was coined in the 1940s by the original Fellowship of Intentional Communities a precursor to the current Fellowship for Intentional Community. It's first appearance may have been in Issue 11 of a newsletter called the Communiteer in May 1945.

Bloody Viking (talk) 18:15, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

I definitely don't think the two articles should be merged! The whole point of having a Commune article is to distinguish commune from all the other types of communities that do NOT hold all property/resources in common, or that is not their main focus. I really think the unifying thread should be some type of opposition to the division of society into classes and competition with a more or less conscious desire to establish a new social pattern based on a vision of an ideal society. I think the Utopian communities really reflected that ethos the best, and to a lesser extent the People's communes. The Utopian societies make up the bulk of what I think people would agree are communes. Eroberer (talk) 20:27, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm trying to say that what you're describing is/are subsets of "intentional community". Not all communes are political. Not all communards would consider themselves or their homes to be in opposition to anything. Rather, they are both retreats from the harsh world (some would consider monasteries to be communes), and examples of experimenting with (we hope) better ways to live (and not necessarily better for everybody, but better for some of us). Bloody Viking (talk) 20:37, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree what I am describing is/are subsets of "intentional community". That's ONE reason the two should be separated. So how should we describe communes as (perhaps) not in opposition to anything (in particular) but examples of experimenting with better ways to live? Isn't what makes it a better way to live the fact that it seeks to eliminate the division of society into classes and competition? Can we not say that that a commune, in general, does not support that division? Eroberer (talk) 01:05, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Doubtful French interwiki[edit]

An interwiki from Commune to fr:Communauté intentionnelle made by Helvetius is doubtful. From fr:Communauté intentionnelle interwiki leads to Intentional community. In English, commune is one of types of intentional communities, what's about French? Cummune and intentional community are not the same. May be better create French page fr:Commune (communauté intentionnelle) and then put interwiki to it? Alexander Roumega (talk) 08:02, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Cost of Venezuelan Communes[edit]

I removed an unsourced stat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nolan135 (talkcontribs) 05:00, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

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