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Communities that Abide Paperback – August 4, 2014
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1. we are self-sufficient.
2. we have the ability to self-organize and recover in the face of calamity; and
3. we will not be tied to any one place but will remain mobile.
In other words, the answer is to found or join a community that abides.
Mr. Orlov provides the lead essay in this book in which he examines some communities that abide and comes up with some rules for what to do and what not to do if you want to form a community that abides. Some of the communities that Mr. Orlov has studied are the Roma/Gipsy, Mormons, Amish, and the Hutterites. These communities currently exist embedded in or spread across various nation states. The assumption appears to be that if the larger societies in which these communities are embedded collapse, these communities will abide because they have rejected all the features of industrial societies that make them prone to collapse.
Several other authors have contributed essays on various other communities that have survived and maintained their identities. Albert Bates writes about The Farm, a commune founded in Kentucky by hippies escaping San Francisco. Jason Heppenstall writes about Laos: Resilience in the Face of Genocide. Ray Jason writes about Sea Gypsies. Two doctors, James Truong and Peter Gray each contribute essays on what medicine in a post industrial society might look like.
All in all, this book is a worthwhile examination of an important topic, namely the need for community in a post-collapse environment.
Orlov and the contributors to this book do not tackle the mechanics of how to go about building a community that others would actually want to join. They also do not examine the topic of how one would go about joining already existing communities if one was so inclined.
I suspect that these are topics that Mr. Orlov will address in a future book.
The main contribution that this book makes is to get the people to think about how to survive in a post-industrial society with the help of a supportive community. As such, the book is more of a starting point than the last word on the topic. I personally am not drawn to an agricultural lifestyle. This opens up the question, what sort of community could I be a part of that makes a living by some means other than farming? What other lifestyles are possible, fishermen, itinerant herders, hunter-gatherers, itinerant traders, pirates, bandits? Lots of room here for exploring these options.