(image by Tracey Gayton)
The foundations of the political and economic systems of our dominant culture encourage socio-pathology. If we are to live in a healthy physical, psychological and spiritual manner, there needs to be radical change both inwardly (individually) and externally (the culture). We cannot continue to engage in situations in which change equals an allowing of the same boss dressed in different clothes and persona.
Let's take an example. The colonists of the United States went to war with England in order to claim their sovereignty from the crown. Yet, those colonists were pretty much of the same mindset as the English. Nothing really changed. Thus we in the United States have had wars on end, government and corporate grabs for worldwide domination, and a cultural ethos of domination and suppression.
Our cognitive mindset has led to pollution, poverty and an overall alienation from Nature, both external and internal. Indeed, the poverty we envelop in our Psyches is a mirror of the poverty of the raped and pillaged Earth that we now inhabit. Yes, through standardized education and top-down structures in all our institutional settings, our Psyches are raped in the same brutal fashion as the Earth Herself is raped.
We are stuck in a pattern. How do we break the pattern? One way is to just allow the consequences of our actions take their place, which then could lead to extinction of the human race alongside many other creatures. This may be a viable alternative. Yet, there are some people who wish to change the pattern we are in. Some of us want just a little change. Others think the change needs to be more radical. Ultimately, on both ends, the quest boils down to empowerment within ourselves as individuals, within our families, and in our immediate community.
Tracy Gayton envisions such a self-reliant and empowering community and living environment through his work on The Piscataquis Village Project. In his words, this project is "evolving organically and growing incrementally." "Is there any other way to grow?" I ask within myself.
At the time of our conversation, Tracy stated that he had raised over 1/5 of the $2 million required funds to get it started.
What is the primary goal of this project? According to Tracey:
The Piscataquis Village Project "was founded to establish the first compact, car free village in the United States...Though our project will not construct buildings, we will draft the street plan and simple design code, based on the best of traditional practices, that will guide the build-out of the site. Attached, durable and fire resistant buildings, no taller than a walkable height, will front on narrow streets, with continuous arcaded sidewalks offering shelter for the elderly and mobility challenged.
Buildings will be arranged to create plazas, serving as markets and democratic meeting places for all classes of people, and will surround interior courtyards for more private space. All destinations will be within convenient walking distance, with vehicles garaged at the village perimeter. 375 acres of garden space, sufficiently sized for each household to raise a significant amount of food, will encompass the developed zone"The green belt, other than the area designated for vehicle parking, would also be a zone for allotment gardens, small scale agriculture, playing fields, outdoor recreation and park-like green space."
Oh, I wonder what Monsanto would say to this?
The village would look somewhat like this
Planning Piscataquis Village
(image by Tracey Gayton)
Ideas for Piscataquis Village
Take a moment and imagine yourself in such a place. What would you be doing as you walked about? What would your diet look like if you were in a place that strived for independence from corporations? How would your economy unfold? Would you use time dollars? Would you develop your own currency? Or, would you use regular currency? Perhaps you would use a combination of the three?
And, what would you do if civilization falls apart, as indeed it must? (Nothing lives forever; change is the one unchangeable factor). Would you be in a good place where you can have a supportive community?
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