I was reading an article on the BBC News website about the Danish commune Christiania that was set up around 40 years ago as a squat and recently won the legal right to run itself. (See the article in question here: Denmark Christiania: New challenges for Copenhagen's hippy zone).
What seemed to have started off as a peaceful commune, where people looked to live in an alternative community, growing their own food, diverse, a place where artistic freedom is allowed to be let loose - basically your idea of a perfect, harmonious and happy way of life. Well for me, anyway. I lived on a kibbutz in Israel for months and loved it do much that I dream about going back and doing it again - forever.
But reading through this article, and through my own experiences on the kibbutz, and talking to others who have tried communal living on a grander scale than just sharing an apartment, there are always cracks in the veneer. I just think that human nature just doesn't always allow for things to run smoothly, especially when sharing with others is involved. Some humans are natural leaders and some a natural followers, and sometimes the natural leaders want more than everyone else. And however much of an idealist I may be, I am aware that a lot of humans are not "good" people ("good" meaning people who want to live their lives by helping and loving others), and that many are more than happy to stomp over others to feel better about themselves.
So, in the end, can these types of communes really work in our societies? In the case of Christiania, for example, it appears that organised crime and hardcore drug trafficking is taking over what used to be a hippiesque pot-selling area. So are these types of idealistic living situations just that? A nice utopic idea of peaceful living that just can't work out, however hard we try?
I think am going to still continue to dream about the community that I want to live in on an island by the warm sea some day.
Food for thought.