A World of Communes
MY VISION OF a new world, the world of communes, means no nations, no big cities, no families, but millions of small communes spread all over the earth in thick forests, lush green forests, in mountains, on islands. The smallest commune manageable can be of five thousand people, and the biggest commune can be of fifty thousand people. From five thousand to fifty thousand – more than that will become unmanageable; then again comes the question of order and law, and the police, and the court, and all the old criminals have to be brought back.
A commune is a declaration of a non-ambitious life, of equal opportunity for all. But remember my differences with Karl Marx: I am not in favor of imposing equality on people, because that is a psychologically impossible task – and whenever you do something against nature, it becomes destructive and poisonous.
No two men are equal.
But I can be misunderstood very easily, so try to understand my standpoint very clearly. I am not in favor of equality, but I am not in favor of inequality either! I'm in favor of creating equal opportunities for everybody to be himself. In other words: In my vision, each individual is equally unique.
The question of equality or inequality does not arise, because two individuals are not the same.
They cannot be compared. A real commune, a real communism, will create equal opportunities for growth, but accept the uniqueness of each individual.
A commune means that we have pooled all our energies, all our money – everything into a single pool which will be taking care of all the people.
There should be absolute freedom of expression in words or in creativity. Each individual should be respected as he is, not according to any ideal. His basic needs should be fulfilled by the commune, and as the commune becomes richer, every individual should be provided with more comfort, with more luxury – because I am not against luxury or comfort. I am not a sadist, and I don't want people to be tortured in any beautiful name. In the name of religion or in the name of socialism nobody should be sacrificed; no kind of self torture should be supported.
Man is here to rejoice, to live a life as beautifully, as peacefully, as comfortably as possible.
I am absolutely for those progressive inventions which can make man happier, live longer, be younger, healthier, and which make his life more of a play, fun, and less of a torturous journey from the cradle to the grave.
I am all for richness – but the richness will be of the commune. As the commune becomes richer, every individual will become richer. I am against poverty, I am not a worshiper of poverty. I don't see anything spiritual in being poor; it is sheer stupidity. Neither poverty is spiritual, nor sickness is spiritual, nor hunger is spiritual. A commune should live in such a way that it becomes richer and richer, in such a way that it does not produce too many children, that it does not overproduce people, because overproduction of people is bound to create beggars, is bound to create orphans. And once there are orphans there are Mother Teresas to convert them into Catholicism.
All the communes should be interdependent, but they will not exchange money.
Money should be dissolved. It has done tremendous harm to humanity – now it is time to say good-bye to it, because money can be accumulated. And if one commune becomes richer than the other communes, then comes from the back door the poverty and the richness and the whole nightmare of capitalism, and the classes of the poor and the rich, and the desire to dominate. Because you are rich, you can enslave other communes. Money is one of the enemies of man.
Communes will be exchanging. They will be broadcasting on their radio stations that such and such a product is available from them. Anybody who has certain other products that they need can contact them, and things can be exchanged in a friendly way; there is no haggling, there is no exploitation. But the commune should not become too big, because bigness is also dangerous.
A commune's criterion of bigness should be that everybody knows everybody else; that should be the limit. Once that limit is crossed, the commune should divide itself into two. Just as two brothers separate, when a commune becomes big enough it divides itself into two communes, two sister communes. And there will be a deep interdependence, sharing ideas and skills, without any of the attitudes that grow out of possessiveness – like nationalism and fanaticism. There will be nothing to be fanatic about. There will be no reason for a nation.
A small group of people can enjoy life more easily, because to have so many friends, so many acquaintances, is a joy unto itself.
My idea of a commune is, living in small groups, which gives you enough space, and yet living in a close, loving, relationship. Your children are taken care of by the commune, your needs are taken care of by the commune, your medical care is taken care of by the commune. The commune becomes an authentic family without any diseases that families have created in the past. It is a loose family and a constant movement.
There is no question of any marriage and no question of any divorce.
If two persons want to be together, they can be together, and if one day they don't want to be together, that is perfectly good. It was their decision to be together; now they can choose other friends. In fact, in one life why not live many lives? Why not make it richer? Why should a man cling to a woman, or a woman cling to a man unless they enjoy each other so much that they want to be together for their whole life.
But looking at the world, the situation is clear: people would like to be independent from their families; children want to be independent from their families. But in a commune, there is no need to make any fuss. You can say good-bye any moment, and you can still remain friends. It will be a richer life; you will have known many men and many women. Each man has his own uniqueness, and each woman has her own uniqueness.
In a commune the older people will be loved and respected for their experiences.
The older people will become the teachers, the guides. Old age will not be thought of as something ugly, but as something immensely graceful. One has gone beyond all childish and all youthful foolishness; one has come to be very centered and silent after a life-long meditation. They will teach you how to die – because when they die, they will die with such grace and joy. That will be their last gift to the commune.
The whole world should be one humanity, only divided by small communes on a practical basis. No fanaticism, no racism, no nationalism – then, for the first time, we can drop the idea of wars. We can make life with honesty, worth living, worth enjoying – playful, meditative, creative – and give every man and every woman equal opportunity to grow and bring their potential to flowering.