The Earth Party
Blueprint for a Mature Civilization
Step 1: Restore Natural Social Units
The very first step in healing our society is restoring the social units that are natural to our species.
Only after organizing ourselves in the proper structures can we begin to address our challenges. In fact, many of our problems are unsolvable without this.
To some people, this might sound like a euphemism for "social engineering", but rest assured, it's not. We aren't talking about some kind of weird, futuristic, government-imposed experiment.
We're talking about returning to the original, ancient social units that humanity "grew up" with.
Our model involves 5 levels of societal organization:
1. The Village
2. The Township
3. The City
4. The Region
5. The Planet
Level 1: The Village
The Village is the most ancient of all societal units. We humans spent 99.9% of our evolution living in villages, and it's what our minds and bodies are designed for, and adapted to.
The Village is the original unit of human society, and the smallest and most efficient unit at which all genuine human needs can be met.
Many of the psychological disorders of modern culture come simply from the absence of this most basic and important social unit. We need to bring it back.
"And how should we go about beginning this process?"
1. Identify the boundaries of your village.
Identify the area of land (and all the houses/buildings) around your home that would most logically constitute your Village.
A Village has somewhere between 30 and 300 people. The average is usually about 100.
"I know that in some parts of the world, people still live in villages, so no re-organizing needs to be done at this level. But for those of us in 'modern, developed' countries, the Village has been erased. We live in cities and suburbs now. What do we do about these modern landscapes? How do we reorganize them?"
It's not as hard as you'd think. In modern McMansion suburbs, a subdivision can organize itself as a Village. In denser suburbs with smaller houses that are closer together, one block can be a Village, orienting itself around the backyards as a shared common space (the Village Green), with the streets as borders between villages. And in cities proper, one apartment building can be a Village.
Examples of Villages:
This one's simple enough. These folks never stopped being a Village!
City blocks in Barcelona, Spain. Each block can be a Village. If you notice, they each have an open area in the center. That area can be the Village Green - the central meeting and socializing area.
One village. This city block was not designed with as much prescience as the ones in Barcelona, so they'll have to find creative ways of making space for the Village Green, and the food gardens. Perhaps the alley - perhaps that one backyard at the center/top... In any case, some re-purposing will need to be done, including pulling up some of the concrete. Many of those little "tool sheds" can be torn down, as they won't be needed, since they each probably contain the same tools as all the others - like a dozen duplications of the same exact tools! Just another example of how wasteful our current system is. All this place needs is ONE tool shed, with ONE set of tools, which they can all share, since they all KNOW each other. More on this sharing concept in Step 1B: Economic Democracy. Once the wasteful sheds are removed, there will be much more space for growing food, and other vital social functions.
Each apartment building is one village. This scenario is the toughest of all, as it's the most unnatural. Humans were never meant to live stacked on top of one another. These folks will need to be very creative to find ways to grow their food, but it can be done, with vertical hydroponics.
This one wasn't designed as a Village, but it will be easier to re-purpose than the others. There's plenty of space in the center for meetings, recreation, and food gardens.
In suburbs, it should be the center of the backyards, where the yards meet (and fences will obviously have to be taken down for this, and that's a good thing, as fences contribute to the alienation for which we need Prozac and metal-detectors in schools).
If the Village is an apartment building with no grass or soil, then the Green can be inside the building, perhaps in the Rec Room, or the lobby, or even on the roof.
2. Identify the Heart Tree and the Village Green - the center of the village.
Preferably the largest healthiest most mature tree in the vicinity.
If you're in an urban wasteland where it's just all concrete and there aren't any trees, then find a spot and plant one. Even just a little sapling. And make that your village's Heart Tree, and cherish it, and nurture it, and take care of it as it grows.
Either plant a tree to center around, or pick an existing tree.
Land immediately around the tree is the village green where people can sit, relax, play, etc. And village council takes place here.
It's OK to have "lawn" here. Not too much, just enough for everyone to congregate in a council meeting.
Here are some examples of possible Village Heart Trees:
Yup! A sapling is fine. Just make sure you take good care of it! Eventually, you'll have a grand old tree... or your descendants will... and they'll thank you for having the foresight to plant and it care for it through all those years!
If you live in an apartment building, then you might have to use an indoor potted tree, perhaps in the rec-room (or on the roof, under the stars!)
But don't use an indoor space if you have an outdoor one available.
This would make a good Village Green. It already is one. All it needs now is a Heart Tree. They could plant one somewhere on the Green here.
3. Make a Land Plan.
It should be a diagram or illustration, showing the:
-the boundaries of the village
-each of the houses
-the Village Green and Heart Tree
-areas for growing food, the types of crops, energy harnessing devices (solar panels, wind trees, etc.)
Don't worry if it's not perfect, or even detailed. It can be very rudimentary. It's going to be altered and added to anyway, once the rest of the village gets to input!
Draw something up, even if it's simple. Print out some copies of it (one copy for each household in your intended Village).
4. Choose a date and time for the first meeting of the Village Assembly.
It should be a date that gives you enough time to talk to each household in your Village, and inform them of the date.
5. Talk to your neighbors.
Tell them what you're doing. Explain why it's necessary. Show them the Land Plan you just made.
6. Convene your first Village Assembly
(on the date you chose).
7. Open your Assembly with a group meditation.
8. Review this Blueprint for Mature Civilization.
9. Elect your Village Council
(a few individuals who are smart, wise, and knowledgeable)
10. Once elected, the Council begins the process of planning self sufficiency in food, water, medicine, and energy.
Areas of unused land (like lawns, vacant lots, the spaces between sidewalks and streets, dilapidated buildings) will be repurposed for growing food. Vertical gardening and aquaculture will be built. Rainwater collection systems will be installed on rooftops. A plan will be made for solar panels, wind trees, desalination, greenhouses, and whatever else is necessary to achieve Village self-sufficiency in the basic necessities of life. This process will be detailed further on our page Planning and Building a Benign Economy (two pages after this one in the tour. Just keep reading and you'll get there.)
11. Other functions will be created to facilitate dialogue, reconciliation, and healing among the Village community.
Beyond the Village: