The strengths and pitfalls of micronations (Was: Re: Auroville, Arcosanti, Extopian Community)

den Otter (
Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:31:52 +0100

> From: Paul Hughes <>
> >> Has anyone heard of the city Auroville?
> Yes. I used to live at one of Aurovilles sister communities Arcosanti,
> in Arizona. Many of the people I knew at "Arco" spent several years at
> Auroville. They all came back with positive experiences. My only
> doubts about its appropriatness for extropians though is Auroville is in
> India, which by our living standards is till relatively underdeveloped.
Personally, I don't think a truly liberal community should be too close to,
let alone within, the main territory of an existing nation, especially a big one.
Sooner or later there's bound to be trouble, like with the Goa hippy community
in India. In an emergency situation, you *might* be able to smash an offensive
banana republic, but *not* the USA, India, France etc. Btw, aren't there any
islands left with no claims on them?

> That, and the fact that there is already an established 'culture' their
> consisting of 6,000 people which by its very nature may have some
> unforseen constraints which the more indivudalistic of us may find too
> constrainig.
Absolutely, it's better to start from scratch on your own terms. Otherwise,
you'll just switch one suppressive bureaucracy for another (and possibly a
worse one).

> My experiences at Arcosanti were invaluable! So I encourage anyone who
> is thinking along the lines of forming an extropain intentional
> community, to experience the strengths and pitfalls of another one first
> before setting out on your own. Better to learn from others successes
> and failures first rather than to start out completely from scratch.
What *are* in your opinion the major strengths and pitfalls of a "private
community"? Is money the biggest problem, or personal rivalry, governments
etc? Maybe some others with personal experience in this field could join in,
that would be very interesting...