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I found this memoir of an older gentlemen living in Jerusalem quite interesting. He describes a time when he was young and idealistic, and joined a socialistic commune. The comments are enlightening as well. Despite the idealistic cooperative life, the youth tended to want to drift away to pursue self-interests. The place is still there, but with more characteristics of nuclear family and economy. It’s the way things tend to gravitate. In this context, I found the link to an article about socialism in Milwauke (left in the comments by John Gurda) thought provoking as well.
“They called their fellow citizens to a higher conception of the common good, one that placed cooperation above competition and mutualism above bare self-interest. They believed that a government based on those ideals was humanity’s best hope for the future.” John Gurda, Milwaukee historian in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
At a time when people are talking about the system collapsing and being on the brink of change, I believe a calm and dispassionate discussion should be going on about what the improvements are going to be. Is there a way to blend these motivations that make us tick, characterized by the “higher concept of the common good,” through cooperation with the self interest and free enterprise that inspires people to stick around and make it work?
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