138 – legal status of the community

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How would the community be viewed by a government?

Which, to clarify means as a charity, foundation, enterprise, a Higher Education Corporation etc. etc.

Due to the intricate issues of law dependent on the country that the community resides this is not easy to answer. For example how would Islamic laws on finance affect savings for the community, how would a co-operative status in France adjust the way money is stored or given to individuals. What about healthcare, company obligations to pensions?

This is all further compounded by the community working for charities, taking money and “paying” members, generating “paid-for” services, ultimately then each community must chose the most appropriate available status based on what is available in the host country.

Ideally, the community shouldn’t be treated in a special way and should grow on its own merits, it should be an example of a functional independent society that provides a valuable service to the local community, nation, world and humanity without some hidden agenda and without proselytizing.

it should ask for favoritism either but rise or fall on its own merits.

137 – relationships and family

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How should relationships and families be integrated into the community?

The community, while sharing similarities with monastic orders has far more in common with a campus university or kibbutz. A working collaborative commune in which people will invariably fall in love, have families and of course disputes. Evidently, there should be no restrictions on what kind of relationships are formed nor should there be any discrimination against any kind of sexual preference of any consenting community members. Children and co-habitation should also be permitted and there should be at no point the feeling that community enforces an ideal state of on the family or relationship model (unless of course there are signs of abuse).

If someone wants to join the community who already has a family and potentially with a wife or spouse who is outside the community there should be some deliberation of the entrance committe.

136 – Rule creation

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How should rules be decided on?

This has been discussed in part in e76 and normally after a founding document (constitution) being created by a random community of full time community members (advocates). Rules in such a document should be considered rules of conduct for the community itelf and should not clash or supersede with existing civil laws of the host country has established.

Rule changes should only occur when decided by a 2/3 majority and should be validated to ensure that they don’t violate civil law or the fundamental ethics of the community (nor work at odds with its purpose).

** Problems could arise where the host country has rules that in fact impinge on the moral core of rules and roles within the community. If homosexuality for example banned by the host country but is acceptable within the community, this could cause intense conflict.

135 – Crime & Punishment

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How should members be ‘punished’ if there is an infraction of the community rules?

The rules in question here are the rules of conduct, within the walls of the community and are not to be confused with civil law, transgressions of civil law such as rape, assault or theft will be dealt with by the legal institutions of the host country. Rules such as not getting so drunk as to cause disruption, failure to complete tasks, take part in mandatory activities such as exercise or chores etc. should all be in some way punishable offences as they are in a school, university or company.

As with most systems there should be a series of progressive punishments (not including corporeal punishment) starting with official warnings and then progressing to a reduced pay of savings, subsequent bad behavior will result in a period of isolation and meditation, such and isolation needn’t be solitary confinement but a literal boycott, such as Charles Boycott endured, along with arduous tasks such as memorizing various social and philosophical stoic texts on social cohesion. This would continue until either the member decides to leave, or change their behavior.

3 strike systems of repeated bad behavior and a disregard for others, or a particularly awful transgression (faked research, plagiarism of others work) could ultimately be punishable by expulsion from the community. When such a decision is reached the effects should be immediate. Savings should be paid into a personal account exterior to the community or given as a check. Temporary guest accommodation will be provided for up to a month while the individual finds an alternative.

If a member is ejected from the community it can be for a set period of time. The very system of our criminal punishment and legal systems, not to mention the belief in the capacity for individuals to change does allow for the possibility that time outside the community to reflect might create significant change.

Permanent expulsion from the community (someone for example falsifying research, a direct contradiction to the entire foundation of what the community stands for), or one committing a crime shall never be allowed to enter any community again.

134 – Size of a community

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How many people should be the maximum for a community?

This question requires a large amount of speculation. There are so many contributing factors such as space constraints, economic constraints, a sufficient number of of educators, trainers, advocates or mentors, in history there are records of monastic communities in the thousands, with fields of grain, farmlands and orchards there to provide the necessary food, cloth, and materials for the order. While such a community is lamentably difficult to reproduce in the modern world it does offer us the hope that such an endeavor is indeed possible. Initially anything up to 150 people seems excessively large population of members.

If a community ever reaches a prescribed number for at least 6 months it should then divide half, moving into separate buildings (communities? Gore assoc.) . Then when both communities again reach the prescribed limit they split again. This mitosis allows for a growth rate based upon available space and would allow a natural growth rate with each community in turn responsible for setting up the following.

** It might even be reasonable for such communities to try new methods or specializations to other communities thus creating families of descendant groups that specialize on particular skill sets.