We transform the very meaning of public and private by daring to proclaim the communal sphere as existing, real, and growing, evolving, and necessary.
Why has the Commune inspired so many different movements and tendencies? How could this idea be transferred between so many different social, political, cultural and economic contexts?
Communality, defined by P. Kropotkin (1907) as mutual aid institutions, was present throughout tribal organization, the village commune, the guilds, the city of the Middle Ages, and today it remains a focus of resistance in communities of indigenous cultures and cooperatives (rural, urban and industrial).
The beginning of Kommune Niederkaufungen illustrates that a group of engaged people can bring a new way of living once they meet and share their dreams. Over thirty years ago, a group of idealists created a different life for themselves, an alternative economic system and lifestyle within a commune.
In this country there is a common sentiment that a person should go forth and set the trend, then others join it. In a culture where Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson are elevated as role models, we are trained to think big or not at all. No one in fourth grade says they want to be a social worker or a farmer or a good cooperator—that’s not sexy enough. I become a bold leader and they join me.
As a solution to the present situation, a growing number of people in the world are proposing “communalism”: the usurpation of capitalism, the state, and social hierarchy by the way of town, village, and neighborhood assemblies and federations. Communalism is a living idea, one that builds upon a rich legacy of political history and social movements.