How to organize community in post-industrial world?

Andrii Zvorygin

1 Disclaimer

If anything you experience does not resonate with you, let it go, and do not let it be a stumbling block for you on your journey. Herein are merely some ideas that seemed good as of 2023/05/12.

2 General Organization

A global hectare which has 6 month growing season is enough to provide for the food, firewood and clothing of an individual in perpetuity, with roughly half of the land being designated for growing firewood, at least a quarter being used to produce food for one person, and the other quarter being used to produce a surplus. In Grey County we have a 5 month growing season so a global hectare equivalent would be closer to 1.2 hectares per person. A family of 4 or 5 would thus need a 5 or 6 hectare lot, assuming no livestock beyond small animals.

3 Numerical Groupings

One of the issues in politics on Earth today is that representatives often ”represent” far more people than they could possibly know in person. As a solution to this can have a more refined system with more levels.

Historically Aristotle was a fan of the superior highly composite number (SHCN) of 5040. Mao was an avid reader and also used this number of his collective villages. However the collective villages were an utter failure, as that number is simply too large for a human brain to grasp. However as one increment in a hierarchy of organization it is viable.

The optimal community size for social cohesion is considered to be between 50-60 people. The majority of Amish/Mennonite congregations average around 60 people. The upper bound on community cohesion is around 150-200 people. Beyond that it is generally necessary to have a hierarchy to avoid inter-community rivalry by providing arbitration and peace keeping services.

Superior Highly Composite Numbers are: 2, 6, 12, 60, 120, 360, 2,520, 5040, 55440, 720720, 1441440, 4324320, 21621600, 367567200, 6983776800. which should be enough for most Counties to internally organize.

Instead of having electoral areas divided by number of people, it makes more sense to have it divided by number of hectares. Since the land will stay constant, which the population will fluctuate, even though the rough goal is to be at or below carrying capacity for each particular region.

Since we know optimal community size for cohesion is 50-60, we can use 60 as the base level organizer. Though it would have to be very rough, as below 200 humans can form a variety of community sizes, from a single individual or hydrogen atom, up to gold or isotope 197, wheras larger isotopes, such as lead (Pb) are generally toxic. Really we can call these base level organization a commune, because the most basic form of a couple who share their incomes to pay for their goods, and a group of 6 comprise a nuclear family, wheras 12 could include an extended family. Each commune would have it’s own say at the village organization level, and from amongst the commune leaders, a village leader can be elected to represent them at the sururb level.

Historically villages on average have a few hundred inhabitants, and can contain within them several distinct communities. The best SHCN in that range is 360, which would allow 6 communities averaging 60. Though in Grey County since each person needs 1.2 hectares for carrying capacity, a 360 hectare village would be enough to support about 300 people at peak.

Now if we have 14 villages of 360 hectares, we come up with a neighbourhood of 5040 hectares (4,200 people), and 11 neighbourhoods make a city of 55440 hectares (up to 46,200 people). Then 26 cities can add together to make a region of 1,441,440 hectares ( 1.2 million people). 15 regions then make a province of 21,621,600 hectares (up to  18 million people). Then 17 provinces make a Country of 367,567,200 hectares, and 19 Countries make a Union of up to 6,983,776,800 hectares. Though realistically a Union would be smaller since it would likely only span a single continent, and even Eurasia, the largest continent is only 5.5 billion hectares. A number of unions would then form a planetary organization.

3.1 Voting

In terms of voting, it is always best to avoid a situation known as the ”tyranny of the majority” where the majority attempts to impose rules on a minority. So voting would not be done for things like imposing legislation, but only on making a recommendation, which others can apply at their leisure.

Since there is a significant difference between the carrying capacity of different pieces of land, while the organization is best based on the land, the voting is best based on the people. In areas like the arctic, the historical carrying capacity is 100 hectares per person. So a village of 360 hectares, may only have 3 people. Wheras in Tropical areas a village of 360 hectares could have as much as 720 person carrying capacity.

On a more local level such as a village, the community may vote to for instance upgrade the ham radio or energy infrastructure. If the project gets a majority of the vote, then it can go forward, on the land either held in common by the village, or on the land of one of the people who voted in favour of it, and the project can be fulfilled by those people who voted in favour of it, and-or those who decide to help afterwards regardless of how they voted.

Since children are persons also, and are included as part of the carrying capacity calculations, they should be included in the vote count. Until they are of age to vote independently they will simply be split amongst the parents, so if a couple parents have four children, then the fathers vote will be worth 3 persons, and the mothers vote would be worth 3 persons. Similarly if the household only wishes to send a single representative to vote, then they can represent the whole family. This reduces the risk that single adults would make a village unlivable for the families which are the lifeblood of the community.

A village leader voting in the neighbourhood’s vote is worth as many people as are in their village. A neighbourhood leader as much as in their neighbourhood etc.

If elected representatives are known as the ”state” then typically the staff are considered the ”deep state” as they persist between elections and train newly elected leaders. So often in higher realms of politics such as the federal level the staff or cabinet changes with each new elected leader. If we are going by the village model then the staff of a newly elected leader can be from their community or village. Likely trained by the staff of a preceding administration of their choice, either in person or over the radio.

With people living in villages and with expensive transportation such as human or animal powered ones, it makes sense to rely more on electronic communications such as via a village radio station that communicates with the radio stations of other villages.

4 Community Composition

Ethnic, religious and cultural homogeneity is conducive to peaceful and predictable relations. Yet adaptive capacity dictates a requirement for there to be a diversity of ethnicities, religions and cultures.

The easiest approach is of course simply to let people figure out for themselves which village they wish to join. Though such a decision is easier to make when one knows the ethnic, religious and cultural composition of a certain village. Inter-ethnic couples may decide to be in villages of other inter-ethnic couples for example, wheras an old order mennonite family, may wish to move to a village or neighbourhood of other old order mennonites.

In pre-industrial times there was no private real estate market, and instead any kind of land purchase would have to go through the local leader. A similar solution is viable in the future, for example a village leader could bring land purchase offers before the council of the communes to see if the new indiviudal or family would be a good fit for the village. At a higher level for larger groups of migrants, it could be organized at the neighbourhood, city or regional level.

Embassies of civilizations from the Confederation of Planets would fit in a village size area, and would need unfettered vertical atmospheric access to come and go from the planet.

Neighbourhood or city level markets may decide to have some kind of basic rules in place to make it easy to transact at the market. So for example if there is a village full of nudists, but in the neighbourhood there is another village where they are completely covered, the rule may be decided by the neighbourhood to make a compromise of some minimal amount of covering to be worn in order to conduct business at the neighbourhood market.

5 Justice and Allowances

Something that is fairly universal culturally is known as the Golden Rule, or “do unto others as to yourself” (Matt 7:12, Matt 22:39), it is sometimes sumarized as the word ”karma”.

Now the most basic allowance is that a person have enough land to grow their own food, firewood and clothing. In general most crime is the result of a person not having enough land, and then resorting to crime in order to meet their basic needs.

One of the biggest causes of crime in modern day and historically has been the hoarding of land by a minority, and forcing the majority to live without enough land, which results in them resorting to crime, which caused the erection of penal justice systems, which aim to ”make things better” by destroying life and creating suffering in the world through punishments. A very sad system.

An alternative to penal justice is ”restorative justice”, where the aim instead of punishing the perpetrator, is to appease the victim. For example if the victim has suffered the loss of a loved one, the Haudenosaunee would raid the tribe that killed their loved one, and take someone hostage to then fill in the role of the missing person. It was not the person that made the crime that was held responsible, but rather the community from which they were a part, since it is those communities responsibility to provide for their people enough that they do not need to resort to crime.

Now there can arise a situation, where a person, such as a teenager does not have enough land in a village since the village has reached its carrying capacity. In that case an appeal would need to be made to the neighbourhood, city or higher level to apportion some nearby land if they wish to stay nearby.

Alternatively a youth on their coming of age journey may attend various events in the neighbourhood, city or region to find a suitable mate, and apply to get enough land by joining the village or neighbourhood of the mate.

Another possibility is that someone find that for whatever reason they are no longer compatible with the village they are in, due to ethnic, religious or cultural differences, and they may then search for a place to live elsewhere.

If one feels wronged by another, then one should take it to their friend, their commune leader, their village leader, or higher, up to whoever is far enough from the altercation to be able to give an unbiased ruling. This may result in some restorative justice, such as the assailant paying some kind of repairations, or if it is no longer safe for the victim or assailant in that village, they can be alloted land in a village that is more suitable to them. For example, there could even be some remote villages full of murderers and-or thieves, and they can experience the effect of the golden rule or karma in person, if that is their wish.

Though as a general rule it is better instead to focus on having good quality communities, and various means of reintegration for people who have either perpetuated or been victims of a crime. For example for those who have committed murder/assault typically the issue has to do with ineffective means of emotional regulation or lack of heart opening. So some kind of program involving breathing exercises, meditation, loving kindness practice, or otherwise may help them manage their emotions more effectively, and reduce the risk of repeating the problem. With thieves the typical issue is not having enough to meet ones own basic needs, so if the land issue is resolved, some kind of education to help meet whatever need it is they are missing would help reduce the risk of repeating the crime. Of course the community also has a say of whether they are able to forgive and take another chance with the person, and so they made decide either to keep the individual or help them find accomodation in another community.

The most important thing is to have an open heart for every person and situation, to see the one infinite creator in both the victim and perpertrator, and do ones best to help them grow spiritually so they may be stronger, more resilient, and capable of living a joyful life in whatever area they live or will live.

6 Common Areas

At various levels of planning there are a variety of common areas which include road allowances, waterways and common infrastructure. Built up common areas generally should not exceed 2.5% of the land, and in most cases can be substantially less. For example in 360ha village, 2.50% is 9 hectares, which is enough for over 20km of roads, and 2 hectares for utilities, meeting place, maker space (co-creation centre), local market and administrative buildings.

This should in no way prevent agreements between village members to hold various lands in common, for such purposes as agriculture or forestry. The reason for the 2.5% upper limit is that historically many civilizations collapsed through urban infrastructure overburden. For example the initial colonists in Greenland, instead of importing steel and valuable commodities for maintaining their lives, they imported expensive ornaments for their churches, eventually they were left without steel, and ended up dieing of a combination of starvation and attacks from indigenous groups they were mean towards. The same thing could have been said to have happened in Rome, Angkor, Babylon, Jerusalem, Constantinople and many other civilizations in Earth’s history, where the urban centre was elevated above the rural areas, and once the rural areas became sufficiently depleted the entire thing just collapsed.

In pre-industrial times the urban areas were generally between 2.5% to 15% of the inhabitants, averaging 10%. Though from a planning perspective 2.5% of the land areas is more than enough for the actual infrastructure.

There can certainly be forested productive common areas, which are held in common. Ideally each individual in the village, including newborns would have a hectare of land within the village allocated for them. Then the unallocated hectares can be under common stewardship. The border areas which are full of thorny plants may be considered a common area similar to a city or village wall.

7 Boundaries

There is a common Christian prayer that asks that the speaker not be led into temptation, and so we must do our best to not lead people into temptation through shows of wealth.

If one is traveling on a neighbourhood road from a far away place not knowing where they are going with an empty stomach and nothing left to lose, and one sees a village is comprised of vast fields and houses, one could easily be tempted to take something from the field or the houses.

To reduce the risk of traveling raiders and thieves it is best to have a hedgerow running along any and all roads. If it is a neighbourhood, city or larger road, then it may be best to have the hedgerow consist of thorny plants, such as raspberries, roses, hawthorn, seabuckthorn, osage orange, thorny honey locust, etc. Also there is no reason the hedgerow need be very short, indeed it could be 30 or 50m wide, with escalating thorns. For example having raspberries at the edge, followed by roses a few meters in, then seabuckthorn and hawthorn thicket, then an osage orange thicket, and then a thorny honey locust thicket, where the thorns are 20cm-30cm long and can indeed be lethal to the unwary.

The hedge is also not empty of use, as raspberries, rose hips, sea berries, hawthorn berries, osage orange seeds, and honey locust beans are all edible. And many make for good firewood or other tools when it comes time for coppicing or replacing. If a passerbyer does take some thicket berries, that’s a form of charity so is entirely acceptable. Though hopefully the thorns will prevent them from exploring further inland.

There need only be two to four roads going in and out of the village, so they could be easily guarded if need be.

Living boundary fences also reduce the risk of livestock leaving or being stolen. One of the leading causes of human conflict historically has been the stealing of livestock, and pastoral nomads have also historically been the most violent groups of people to inhabit the planet. Scotland’s culture of honour killings which made its way to America’s south started due to vengeance based blood feuds for livestock theft. Generally speaking it is best not to get so attached to livestock that one feels the need to start a blood feud, so it is much better to have a plant based diet, where semi-domesicated wild animals such as crayfish suffice to provide for the animal based vitamins such as B12 and DHA/EPA, the bulk of the protein coming from plant based sources. It is much more difficult to steal trees, so plant based food cultures have historically been the most peaceful, as their livelihoods were not under threat.

It is important to have a diversity in one’s diet, since being overly reliant on a single staple can lead to things like a tyrannical taxation regime confiscating all one’s harvest, leaving one with nothing to get to the next harvest. However if one has a polyculture food forest, where different fruits and nuts are ripening at different times of year, then any calorie gaps can remain minimal, and most storage would be for the purposes of getting over relatively short periods without fresh produce and for trade.

It is also advisable to have a variety of caches around each homestead property, where at least some of the caches have foods that can be easily kept long term, such as nuts and seeds, in case of a raid or famine. In a boom year the caches can be filled, and surplus traded to others.

8 Conclusion

Ultimately there are many varied ways of organizing community, here was described just one possible way that could be sustainable for thousands of years. Could even do fun things like have terms based on solar cycles, which are typically around 11 years. That could help have longer term outlook, and spend less time in training, and be more in tune with the natural cycles of the solar system. There are several currently largely unihabited islands in the Georgian Bay that could sustain a village population such as White Cloud Island, Griffith Island, Hay Island and Lonely Island among others. So having sustainable communities there could enrich the environment. Islands are considered a good place for archival purposes. Waterfall areas are considered good for manufacturing as they are a source of hydro-electric power. Some areas may be good for various minerals. All in all it is possible to have a diverse economy with many different villages in different areas, doing things which they feel works with their geography in a sustainable way.

May you be blessed.