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How do you get a commune together?

Dear Old Hippy,
I was just wondering how would you get a commune together? And where would
you make it? What would you need and what really is it all about? Thanx!!
Peace, love and light,
BUTTERFLY…


A commune is a commitment to a specific way of life and a commitment to other people. It’s sorta like a marriage, but with lots of other people involved. It’s an extended family. Within a commune you get to set the goals and rules for a whole community. It’s needed by people who feel society’s goals and rules don’t fit their own. Rather than compromise one’s life for the sake of a lifestyle you can’t abide, you get to try your own ideas in a private utopia.

Starting a commune is no small task. You can’t just say I’m going to start a commune and viola! you have instant commune. The first hurdle is finding like-minded people to join you. You would have to have some friends or people you’ve already spent some time with and shared ideas. You would all have to agree on which principles your commune would be started. Right there you might run into trouble, but that is part of the process. The entire commune experience is an ongoing process. You would all have to commit to the process. The process is usually a very democratic one where consensus is used in decision-making.

However many communes have a very strong leader with a vision, and the members heed this person’s will. I have heard many horror stories of communes where one leader issued the orders and used all sorts of methods to achieve compliance. Let’s see, there’s Guyana (Jim Jones), Waco, Heaven’s Gate (the internet comet cult), that Swiss one, plus many others that haven’t ended in mass suicide, just mind control, sex control, dicipline by fear, etc. It’s a fine line between a commune and a cult, especially with a powerful charismatic leader whose authority is unquestioned. So I hereby warn those who would follow such a person. Much better to find a commune where there is no central authority figure, and power is shared equally among the members (good luck!).

The second hurdle is finding a place for the commune. Actually a commune can be anywhere, even in the middle of a city, depending upon those principles discussed earlier. If you’re a back-to-nature type you’d probably like to be out in the country somewhere. You’d could buy or lease an old farm, one where there hasn’t been too much soil contamination (again good luck). Old farms usually have lots of out buildings that can be usefully adapted to commune living. Old farms have another advantage, they’re old. That means they’re cheaper to rent or buy, and the commune can fix up the buildings.

It’s good to be in an area where the surrounding community won’t immediately be against you. It takes years to build trust in farm communities, and it would be easier if you had a measure of acceptance to begin. This would be the case if there is another good commune in the area. Some places where there are lots of communes are Oregon, and Tennessee. Of course there are many other places, and some communes are so low key, the neighbors might not even know it’s not a family.

I recommend if you are serious about starting a commune you go visit one, and maybe live there for awhile. This way you can really checkout the lifestyle, the commitment it entails and whether you could really dig it. In any case you would learn a lot, and maybe get some good ideas for your own commune. You can also get some ideas by reading up on Utopias and learn more about the philosophy behind the communal concept. Check out the Farm’s website to see how one of the more successful communes did it! You can also visit our Communal Living Forum and discuss this with others who’ve lived on communes. A good resource for finding existing communes is the Intentional Communities Website.

Have fun!

– The Old Hippy

Posted by: skip
Views: 74971
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14 Responses to How do you get a commune together?

  • i used to live in a hippy commune in burnley but only for a few months sadly everyone split up   now the housing pulled down burnleywood commune was such a lovely place the attmafere was good   joan mascord moved to north wales  in a house     i got m e now and could do with some house s being opened again in burnley  theres a mill altham thats working hippys  i live at 46 edgeworth grove burnley bb104py

  • There is plenty of land here in East Tennessee. I myself was wanting to start or join a commune because i share the same earthly values. I was interested in starting a earth home community https://www.inspirationgreen.com/earthbag-construction.html [www.inspirationgreen.com] here is a link to give you an idea on what im talking about. Im not sure how to go about getting funding to start or how to start. There is a beautiful abandonded rock quary in my area that i was interested in, but i do not know of any programs to get this land. Please if anyone can help me or give me some advice please email me. Thank you

  • I love the idea of building my own home and or commune from what is available around me. The earth bag home is a great way to begin. However I must say that many people pass on another material that is plentiful and filling are beautiful land. Our own garbage is in great supply and we need to think of ways to reuse our own waste as well as learn to not make so much. With this said take a look at the Earth Ship. A wonderful way to use old tires cans and bottles in the building of a home. Check out their site https://www.earthship.com. I have my eye on a 75 acre piece of land that is just beautiful here in Ks. I would love to incorporate this idea of the earthship into building a commune here. But it is just a pipe dream. Money is not something I have ever had much of. And as much as I hate to admit it, it takes a rather good bundle to get anything started. 

  • Hello all,  a group of friends and I are interested, determined, and willing to work to start a full self-sufficient commune.  We live in Wisconsin and would like to start this up north and away from modern society.  If anyone has any information or tips on how to do this it would be greatly appreciated.  We are also interested in any information about how to fund this great idea and about how much it would take to get started.  This is our dream and we would love to see it come true.  Any help is appreciated!!!!!

    Peace, love, and Happiness to all.
    Brynn
  • Hey, what is the web site of the commune called "The Farm" that you said is successful?  There are many farm communes or communities on the Intentional Communities Directory. 

  • i used to live in a hippy commune for a while  to they moved on   in burnley   the houses  got knocked down    thernone in burnley    aREA WERES NEAREST

  • Funny… id love to join/start a commune and eastern TN is exactly what comes to mind

  • Hi Brynn,
    Im Richie Thomas, im from Michigan, more specifically, the Upper Penisula (UP)
    We are very much up north and away from modern society, and lately, with how this country seems to be going, ive been thinking about disconnecting from it all and doing for myself.
    It obviously entails a lot, but im pretty stoked on the idea.
    If youre serious about this, and assuming this is somewhat recent, then add me on facebook, Richie Thomas in manistique michigan, the only one 😛
    Maybe we could actually bring something like this to fruition
    Take care

  • Hi Brynn-

    I am also in Wisconsin.  My brother and I are getting people together to start a commune in Belize!  Warm all year round!  Much easier than heading north (which we also contemplated).  Perhaps you should think about heading out of the country into warmer weather 🙂
    Namaste!
  • I have always believed in a community living; however how society
    is today is there any one like minded in my generation (early 80’s babies)?
    There are a huge assortments of benefits with this way of life, to include more
    eyes to watch over children and teach life lessons from other’s experiences that
    makes the new generations much more wiser. If I am this way there has to be
    other?

  • So, i wonder if this actually took off. I really hope so 🙂

  • Brynn, this is many peoples dream! And my dream is to bring us all together, expand communes and create new ones and bring them together. I’m looking into starting one in Southwestern Oregon. Or close to here. If you guys are still looking and want to travel you should head out this way. If your interested or want to talk about ideas email me at Kylieofford@aol.com

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