Looking for a list of "leftist" places, almost like a bucket list.
September 21, 2017 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I was doing some reading during downtime at work about Rojava/Northern Syria and was thinking about how I always read about these squats or communes and other places where almost experimental societies are cropping up.

I do a lot of reading and it is so interesting that these types of places exist, although it seems like to some people that it isn't very surprising or weird. A friend of mine went and stayed at some big squat in Germany many years ago and witnessed how they went about their day-to-day lives. It's almost like leftist tourism, in a way. Right now I'm reading about the Mondragon Coops in Spain and I was thinking about how cool it'd be to just go visit that area of the country. Does anyone have any ideas of places I can add to a list? I don't ever expect myself to actually go visit these places (for example, Rojava would be on the list, but I don't want to go there), but it's cool to read about and fantasize. Thanks!
posted by gucci mane to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's a community like this in Copenhagen called Christiania. (I've never been there, just heard about it on a travel show.)
posted by heatherlogan at 3:14 PM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you're thinking of visiting Spain, there's also Marinaleda – I don't know too much about it, but a 'communist model village' sounds fairly spot on for what you're searching for!

As @heatherlogan mentioned, Christiania is a good one, too. It's pretty amazing, and has got a very interesting history, especially in terms of land ownership, self-build housing, internal politics/self-government, drug dealing, its relationship with the local police, being a microcosm for Denmark's difficult relationship with Greenland, etc – it's very much worth finding out more about.
posted by considerthelilies at 3:18 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am not totally sure if the Gaviotas, Colombia experiment is still happening or if you can visit, but it's super cool.
posted by Duffington at 3:25 PM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The Farm in Tennessee. It started as a hippie commune in 1971 and is now in its fourth generation. Their midwives are so well respected that people from outside the commune give birth there.
posted by FencingGal at 3:33 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's this intentional communities directory.
posted by aniola at 7:13 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Twin Oaks is apparently based on Walden Two. (via)
posted by aniola at 8:58 PM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I believe there is a big, mostly anarchist, squatting community in Zurich as well - I work for an international NGO and several of my Swiss colleagues have lived in one. It sounded very well-developed.

Similarly, many of my colleagues in London live in house boats instead of flats/houses. Partly this is because of the astronomical cost of living in London, but it apparently is a popular thing for hippie types to do, and people develop really close relationships with the people in the other boats they are berthed with.

As a coastal city-dweller, I have recently become fascinated with pockets of hippie/organic/DIY-type communities in places you wouldn't expect, and a lot of times it seems like the strongest ones are in the US South or other red states. Gainesville, FL is an example (it's a college town, yeah, but the level of development of the local sustainable economy/culture is really amazing).

There was just a post on the blue the other day about the new "socialist experiment" in Jackson, MS modeled after Mondragon. I haven't read the whole (very long) linked piece but it sounds interesting.

I know someone who grew up on The Farm - he loved it. Had no idea it was famous.
posted by lunasol at 2:08 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Poke around on libcom.org
posted by eviemath at 4:04 PM on September 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I grew up in a Catholic Worker house-- there are a number in the US and around the world. You might look for ones that have volunteer opportunities.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:21 PM on September 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everybody, I will definitely look these up!

@lunasol: I actually did read that piece! It made me super fascinated with what is going on over there, and I hope to visit one day.
posted by gucci mane at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2017

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