What is a Nature Order Zociety like if it exists here and now? Today, we talked about the comparison between a Nature Order Zociety and other similar kinds of communities. We wrote down a list that included: commune, co-operative, collective, colony, co-housing, club, cult, kibbutz, Amish settlement, Agrihood, utopia and nirvana. Surprisingly, it contained a lot of ‘c’ words but on second thought, it could be expected since the Latin root ‘co-’ means together. We all gave our own interpretations, learned new definitions and debated on some finer points of distinction and nuances.
Most of us had no idea what an ‘Agrihood’ is. Apparently, it is a term combining agriculture and neighborhood, with a residential community built around a farm which may or may not be jointly owned and operated by those residents. But the residents share or have access to the farm produce through perhaps a CSA (Community-supported Agriculture). It had probably sprung from the popularity of the farm-to-table movement.
Instead of comparing the Nature Order Zociety with each term head-to-head, we decided to focus on all the positive and negative connotations that we could pick and choose to include or exclude. We all liked the idea of the communal living arrangement, resembling the caring support network and camaraderie of a close-knit village. By pooling and sharing resources and responsibilities, the inherent economies of scale, specialization and efficiency would hopefully eliminate waste and lead to savings for others or for the future and a foundation of self-sufficiency. We wanted to be inclusive and open to anyone. By being farm-based, living off the land and within our means, we could become self-reliant and less susceptible to external disruptions, and foster a peaceful coexistence with nature. However, we concluded that the Nature Order Zociety’s three overriding prerequisites: sustainability, self-sufficiency and resilience, took precedence over everything else.
On the other hand, we all agreed that commune, cult and colony had a negative connotation and we wanted to keep out the controversial elements in politics, religions, ideologies, etc., especially dogmatism and extremism. But we recognized that people tend to relate better to certain values and principles that are organized around certain disciplines that they find easy to understand, familiar, attractive and uniting. So there was a fine line between being moderate and extreme and frequently it was up for interpretation. The sweet spot was finding the common ground that made sense.
It is way over our heads to find the perfect solution if it even exists. We think there are ways to mitigate those conflicting situations in our NATORZ, like built-in checks and balance, power sharing, transparency, open communication, collective and participative decision making, mediation over litigation, crowd-sourced solutions, etc. We can only hope that common sense which humans are uniquely endowed with will prevail when the day comes.
Let us imagine what if…