Administration & Law Editor

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We are creating a unique experience, bethshean is a unique community. Some would consider us prosperous. But, we that prosperity is a relative thing. Some of my best times have been when I had very little money but lots of freedom and time to follow my intrests. The individual must find for themselves the balence of having and needing in their life. Some needing is a good thing, it keeps one moving forward.

one needs to be their own leader and not a blind follower. If you follow blindly, you will spend your time and money fulfilling a strangers dreams and needs

Why aren't we happy?

For over thirty years I have been asking that question.

I could see that most people were not too happy with their living conditions. We have more material wealth than our great grand parents could have imagined. Our technology has advanced to the point that we can control most of our living conditions and we can foresee getting more control in the future. The statistics showing the prevalence of depression seem impossible.

Most people have some opinions on how things could be made better. very few attempt to do something about it. It seems that most people just float thru life. There are some that want to pursue a better way of living. We try to bring these people together. Trying to work out some solutions. Both in both our day to day lives, and on a larger scale. Honestly, at one time we only had 5 people commit to working on these issues, the others just gave their support and wisdom. Over the years individuals have come and gone, and all have added to the basic concepts.

The process we use is simple, Someone identifies a problem, or concept that they want to consider. They present it to others, we start digesting and brainstorming. It does not really matter how it starts, just that it indeed starts. When we started this in 1982. It was just a group of friends that got together over cheap port, and Dr. Who, discussing real issues. Next thing you know, you are participating in a cooperative daycare, and helping maintaining a micro food bank with 4 other families

One of the first concepts we tackled was the natural/social environment that we live in. How much open space does a person need? Do individuals really need a community? How large can a community become before a person feels disenfranchised ? How small can a community get before it is no longer self-sustaining? How can it be administered, personal rights vs. public obligations, religious freedoms, property rights and open gene pools. There is a lot that we take for granted. Civilization has a long history of building on others work.

To give us a model we created a theoretical community located in an isolated valley. We named it Bethshean after a ancient city in the middle east, which loosely translated means "house of ease/rest". The first thing I realized was that it had to make use of the latest advances in technology while fulfilling the needs of the natural human. Using the advancing technology one can preserve the environment, work more efficiently, and make ones free time more rewarding. You see, we don't believe that you have to hew logs for your home, or carry water 1/4 mile from the stream to wash the dishes, to live the good life. Unless you enjoy that kind of thing.

I am an egalitarian so I decided that the community must be egalitarian too. I know that this is a little egocentric of me but at that time I alone was writing the basic concepts of the community, While others were debating the practicality and application I felt and still feel that truly equal opportunity could be had If the community administration left the individual to decide their own direction and helped the individual only when it made sense for the community as a whole. One of the best ways is to provide common services similar to a small business incubator. Another is like a flying club where everyone owns equal equity in the equipment. That is where the artists co-op originated from.

However we could never be considered a "commune" or even a member of The Federation of Egalitarian Communities

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