Tuesday, April 21, 2009
For anyone with an interest in Utopian communities, the New York Times Magazine ran a long article on the Transition Initiative:
The Transition movement ... shares
certain principles with environmentalism, but its vision is deeper —
and more radical — than mere greenness or sustainability.
“Sustainability,” Hopkins recently told me, “is about reducing the
impacts of what comes out of the tailpipe of industrial society.” But
that assumes our industrial society will keep running. By contrast,
Hopkins said, Transition is about “building resiliency” — putting new
systems in place to make a given community as self-sufficient as
possible, bracing it to withstand the shocks that will come as oil
grows astronomically expensive, climate change intensifies and, maybe
sooner than we think, industrial society frays or collapses entirely.
For a generation, the environmental movement has told us to change our
lifestyles to avoid catastrophic consequences. Transition tells us
those consequences are now irreversibly switching on; we need to
revolutionize our lives if we want to survive.
Although it's somewhat difficult to mine specifics from the group's website, the Initiative seems to have mixed views on the benefits of communal property. As one of the group's websites states "land and natural resources will no longer be regarded as private property that can be owned by individuals, corporations and companies. However all improvement on the land such as houses, factories, gardens, farm infrastructure, being wealth will all be subject to private ownership."