My [not so secret] life ambition
What do I mean by 'village'?
A group of families - extensions of my own family, I hope - living together on their own land, each in its own private unit. It has some communal outdoor space, with food growing in and around it and places for children to play together, etc.
Why do I want to build one?
Because it's the key thing that's been missing from my life, and it seems to me like the most sensible way to live. Labour doesn't have to be bought in - it's exchanged and shared freely, especially amongst people who love and trust each other. Childcare in particular is pooled, but I don't think it can rightly be called childcare unless there is that deep, familial bond of love involved - ditto the care of old people. And each other!
Isolated, nuclear family living can be a lonely and stressful business, as can living, traveling and working amongst strangers all the time. I think it does take a village to raise a child, and to educate one, and grow food, and build houses and throw parties and work out ways of becoming collectively safer and stronger. We all probably want to leave the world a better place than we found it, don't we? This is one of my ways of doing so. If I know my loved ones are well provided for physically and psychologically - by means of them having the option of living in this village of mine - I'll die happy.
How on earth does one go about building a village?
Well, I'm not calling it a life ambition for nothing - it seems to be taking my whole life to achieve it. First, I think you probably need to have as many children as possible - which doesn't leave a lot of time in the early years for village-building. So the shared childcare element is a gift for the 2nd generation, not the first one!
Next, home educate all the way: it's great for village building on the principle that wherever you spend your days is the place where you put your energy, which is the place you choose to strengthen. When everyone's out elsewhere all day the family's energy is dissipated - therefore weakened.
Thirdly, a village needs land for building on. This doesn't necessarily need to be *with planning permission*, though we're finding that it's useful to start with at least one pre-established residence which in turn enables the others.
But we've lost our birthright in this country [birthright = enough free land to build a house and support oneself in one's country of birth IMO] so houses, land, living are all expensive things to pay for. The solution to that problem? I can think of a few, though none are perfect:
- Squatting, though it's probably not very stable/permanent. Ethically justifiable in most cases though, IMO, due to the theft of birthright.
- Buying, though in most cases this means a mortgage for the first generation which are increasingly difficult to come by and pay for. Also, you usually pay back (over 25 years) at least twice as much as you borrow, though this is mitigated by times of high inflation and low interest. (Like now!) Borrowing so much money (or having to pay so much just for somewhere to live) is never a good thing, but if only one more generation does it (the first one of the village) it can be seen as the lesser of all evils. Plus, village-dwelling adult children will work to help to pay it off so the load is shared between more people.
- Renting, though again it's not stable. But I guess the village could be a mobile one. Actually yes, traveling together could be another way of building a village. Not my choice, due to the prejudice and uncertainty from which such people suffer, but another way.
Central and local government doesn't really want people to be building villages, I don't think. Strong families make weak governments and vice versa, so it's in the interests of anyone who wants to control and exploit a population to be constantly separating and weakening the family unit, not enabling it to use its own strength and be united. Also strong families do things for each other for free (childcare, plumbing, electrics, computer repair, decorating, building, entertaining, cooking, cleaning, taxiing, admin work) instead of paying other people to do it. So The Man can't get in there and either extract taxes or insert regulation, both of which pay for and justify his own existence.
Governments need to break natural social bonds (the kind that naturally arise between friends and family members - village dwellers!) and build artificial social bridges (what happens in contracts between strangers) to strengthen their own position. But they do this at the expense of their own people, who thrive better (I think) with natural bonds. In villages.