How will age affect the process of entering the community?
While in many entries there has been discussion of this there should be a clarity of what it means to ‘enter’ the community. In many communes, monastic groups around the world there are full-time members living in the community perpetually, there are transitionals (laypersons), novices, candidates and even, pilgrims etc. Depending on the type and beliefs of the group in question.
In fact the monastic orders of old were in a constant state of change due to changing ideas of what it meant to be a monk, philosopher or aesthetic.
It seems universal though that a lifetime membership should be just given out to people on a whim, a layperson can help at can be someone of any age giving up their limited leisure time if they believe in the community, or a student could be a transitional merely at the community to obtain experience and an education.
Someone deciding to move into the community on a permanent basis must be firstly old enough to by civil law to leave home or in foster situations, orphaned etc.
While it is not the intention of the community to become another foster system for the plight of abandoned children following the reasons for founding the community, every provision must be made in such circumstances, where possible, in final analysis no child should ever be abandoned.
Similarly someone who wishes to join at an advanced age and brings a huge wealth of experience, or a dedicated effort into the community exceptions can and should be made. Essentially ageism should not blind us to all prescriptive members.
All decisions (as stated in e108) should go through a group selection committee.
**Addendum: Members should go through a lengthy novice and training period to ensure that they will be happy within the community in the long run.
What contracts should exist between the community and the individual?
Contracts between a community and an individual seems initially repellent, as an idea. Although in such a complex environment with a society that pays individuals has ideas of ownership of goods and has mandatory regimes and possible punishments it seems necessary for an exhaustive legal and insurance based contract must exist if not for lifetime members at least then for transitory members who ware there for the university/ higher education learning / experience.
Contracts will likely include:
- Forms of payments.
- Acceptance of punitive measures in cases of inappropriate behaviour.
- Minimum terms, training periods.
- Insurance and healthcare.
- Liability and external payments.
Now I am not a lawyer so there needs to be some legal representation to confirm the legal contract is acceptable. Eventually legally trained and qualified members of the community may well exist.
Also there may be variations of the contract in different host nations to correctly comply with civil law in that country as such there should be a publicly available (and translated) template that anyone can read with an up to date guide through the clauses and the reasons for each part so that the lay person can understand.
What are the minimum and maximum ages one should be allowed to enter?
This will no doubt change over time as the organisation grows and lifespan increases. The upper limit on age will be only guesswork. Certainly the panels created to deliberate entrance should take into account someones age till retirement or equally their youth. Initially, 18+ seems a reasonable standard and up to 60-65 as a maximum age.
However, it depends on how the community grows if eventually it offers an education system from infancy to university, the “starting age” drops dramatically if it starts an orphanage education system in developing countries it could drop to the new born.
Equally, life expectancy grows presently around 3 months a year so predicting a maximum age is very difficult.
These figures should be reviewed and debated regularly especially with relevant community changes or breakthroughs in longevity.
What methods will exist for changing current or future mandates, regulations and amending or rewriting the constitution?
As described earlier (e76) there should be regular committees who rewrite the rules and regulations to reflect the changes of thinking of the time, what was considered moral or scientific fact 40 years ago is very different to now.
The other time it would be necessary is if an individual calls into question a rule or procedure, in this case a new debate committee will be formed and the reasoning behind the old rule will be reviewed and discussions with those involved.
Each debate on changing the regulation needs a 2/3 majority for or against if this doesn’t occur the group is expanded until a consensus is voted on.
Ultimately if the issue is consistently undecided it will involve the entire community at which point if threatening to destabilize the community into camps there will be a think tank on a better third solution and the elected official in charge will make a decision with the larger majority.
Disputes of this nature should be avoided from the outset by not writing or creating regulations that divide opinions so radically.
What are the rules and regulations of the community?
While a full transcript of the rules should be decided by a committee of the initial members, essentially it should cover the ethical oath of your initial entry, the principal routines during the day of the members. The balance of hours between individuals; work, chores and duties, learning, training and teach, relaxing, reflecting leisure and the assignment of tasks.
The document should also cover inappropriate behaviour but should more generally state what is good and assume a certain level of individual responsibility and cognisance of what is inappropriate or morally wrong . All interactions should stem from respect, patience and responsibility.
Finally, the document should clearly state all the positions within the community, the methods of electing such people, those who are permitted to vote and the powers invested in each station and the procedures for making amendments to the original document.
[note: I know essentially this describes a constitution but I obviously wasn’t thinking about it at the time, it borders on a semi-political / ethical document that describes and enforces the ideals of the community.]