Sep 28

"How Intentional Communities May Save the World"

Philosophy guest speaker Laird Schaub '71 will give public talk. Pizza served.

Thursday, September 28th, 2017
12:00 – 1:00 pm / Leighton 304

Laird Schaub speaks about intentional communities:  "I’d like to lay out how my four decades of community living have helped me understand that we have been conditioned by the wider society to be competitive and adversarial, but we are not born that way. We have a choice. The relevance of intentional communities to the wider culture is the experimenting they are doing to figure out the nuts and bolts of how to live cooperatively—which is fundamentally different. 

Where competitive culture is based on the model that a fair fight will produce the best result, in the cooperative model the best result comes from making sure that everyone has had a reasonable chance to give their input and proposals that try hard to balance the input are generated.

The power of these differences can hardly be more compelling when one contemplates the current incivility and polarization in politics, where polemics and vilification have replaced dialog and mutual respect. Greater competition is not the answer.

Intentional communities are important to contemporary society—not because they will become a dominant lifestyle, but because they are the R&D centers where we are unlearning competitive conditioning, and figuring out how to cooperate instead. Today there are about 100,000 people in the US living in some form of self-identified intentional community. While that number is steadily growing it’s statistically insignificant, but the lessons of intentional community can be exported into schools, churches, neighborhoods, and workplaces—wherever people want more community—and that’s why it matters."

Sponsored by Philosophy. Contact: Sandy Saari, +1 507 412 9076