Aug 092011

Years ago (early eighties) I was part of a discussion about building God’s Kingdom today.  There were lots of undergraduates enthusing about how we could all live in communes and share everything equally.

I interrupted their warm and pious fantasies to ask  “Who will shovel the shit?”

After a shocked silence – We’re in a church hall and he said ‘shit’! – someone said, very earnestly “Everyone will shovel their share.”

In practice, in most communes, this principle doesn’t work well.  Some become free-loaders while others are grafters.  Eventually the grafters get fed up with lonely shoveling and they leave.  I’ve never tried living in a commune,  but I have had many friends who set up communes, or joined them.  Communes never seem to last more than a few years.  Five years was about as good as it got.

As I said at the time “Everyone shoveling their share is not going to work if there are more than a dozen people.  Look at Maggie Thatcher: you would have a hard time getting her to admit she ever had a shit, let alone persuade her to shovel her share.”

This Chondritics thing is meant to be a more constructive response to this key question about how societies work.

Robin W. Ahlgren

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