Follow by Email

StatCounter

Saturday, April 27, 2013

From the ground up



We can rebuild the world, but it has to be from the ground up.

Local laws is where to start. Let's take something as small as zoning and home owner associations. Rules and laws tie people to the old paradigm. Cities like MacMansions. They can tax the heck out of them while providing minimal services. It's all about property values. Property values are image driven. That's why “unsightly” clothes lines, solar panels, and windmills are often banned.

Now imagine, instead of a half dozen MacMansions, we take the same piece of land and put in 30 microhouses. Each microhouse has it's own solar or wind power. They may share a common well or all share city water. They all have their own composting toilets so don't need city sewer. The gray water is used in a communal garden area. There is a mini common space for art and music.

Someone living in such a community would have a pretty good life. Their lack of a big mortgage means they could get by on a low paying part time job. They could spend time with family and friends. The microhouse community would be able to share things like child care, gardening, and transportation. They'd be ideally set up for barter.

Businesses zoning would have to change. Picture a number of people working out of their homes, woodworking, pottery, sewing, repair work, computer services -whatever. Jobs and hobbies that would not normally be economical suddenly are due to very low overhead.

While it would have many of the advantages of a commune, everyone would still have their own living space. The house might be small, but it would be their castle. If for some reason you didn't like your neighbors, it would be fairly simple to hitch up the microhouse and take it someplace else. In fact, it might be normal to do so now and then. Spend the summer near the beach and tow the house back in the fall.

The greater community as a whole would benefit. The microhouse village would be an attraction. A person could drop some mending off to be fixed, pick up some veggies and eggs from the local microfarmers, and then catch some live music in the park. Doesn't this all sound friendly and fun?

It could all start from something as simple as changes in local zoning ordnances. There's nothing special here beyond a slightly different way of thinking. Do this in enough places and the word will get out. There's no need to force anyone to live this way. It would attractive enough for plenty of people.

What's not to like? Freedom from debt? Freedom from job slavery? Freedom from communter maddness? A chance to know your neighbors and have a sense of community? How about a chance to have fun with life again?

There's big things that could come from small local changes.

-Sixbears

21 comments:

  1. And maybe you could even keep a McMansion (or two) and turn it into a boarding house or inn...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, why not? If we could find one that was built half way decent.

      Delete
  2. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND !!!! Lets start with whats not to like.no debt what about the fat usless bankers.then you want to take people out of cubicals.No commute that affects 1 out of 10 jobs.KNOW your nieghbors and cmmunity next you will want us to be a free and lawfull country.You also said fresh wholsome eggs and veggies, mending cloths instead of new. Child care with out state oversite.This one blog post is contrary to everything that is acepted in our society.I will end my comment with WHO IS JOHN GALT

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok had my fun.What you described has been tried but goverment quickly moved in an made it impossible.The job of goverment and corperations is to see to it that people contribute as much to them as possible.the model you layed out would give the bulk of its income to the people involved at low overhead with minimum need for corperations and goverment.admirable but will not be tolerated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You start by getting elected to local government and change the local rules. Might have to start out in the sticks. Set up enough communities that make sense and the idea could catch on.

      Delete
  4. I'm afraid Gary is right. The powers that be would fight it tooth and toe-nail. Still, it could be successful in part if kept "underground."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make the loopholes in the system work for you. Grass can grow in the sidewalk cracks.

      Delete
  5. Whew, that's pretty radical thinking, don't know if the bureaucrats could get their heads about those concepts.
    Why not keep them a secret.
    Just do them and don't tell a soul...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are place, even the US, where people could get away with it right now.

      Delete
    2. Fellows, it all sounds real good to me and mine.

      Delete
  6. Damned if that scenario doesn't sound an awful lot like a trailer park, without the druggies and crazy people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's wrong with that? Call it a trailer park if you have to, but with some green space and common areas.

      I've friends who've lived in trailer parks and I must confess to having a good time there.

      Trailers tend to be pretty badly constructed. Good microhouseing would be a few steps up.

      Delete
    2. Not bad mouthing the idea by any means. I lived in a trailer park for four years before I married The Wife.
      I lived in some serious pieces of shit, too.
      The last one was pretty nice though, 35 ft. fifth wheel.
      I even had a washer/dryer combo put in!

      Delete
  7. Seems to me that part of your vision is currently realized in this country...quite a few folks I know are already getting by on low paying part time jobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People are trying to get by on the new low paying jobs, but with living arrangements that were established during rich times. Our arrangements of the past don't fit the current reality.

      Delete
    2. Sixbears, you're starting to sound an awful lot like Jim Kunstler.

      Delete
  8. It would take a whopping change in mind set. Don't know if a lot of people that live in the country with a few acres would like having people so close. It might be a good way for city folks to learn how to get away from having everything done for them. But then the powers that be would have less control over them. And they wouldn't like that.

    Phyllis (N/W Jersey)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a lot of ways to live that work better with the world we are now stuck with. We've just got to accept that things are different and will never got back the way they were before.

      Delete
  9. Your thinking.. *taps fingers thoughtfully*.

    Can you drop me an email? I've some info you will greatly enjoy.

    Will

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feel free to send me an e-mail: sixbears@hotmail.com

      Delete
  10. It all makes perfect sense to me! I would love it!

    ReplyDelete