More easily done together
Population control is a good example of an issue where ecologically-oriented social change is more easily done within a communitarian context.
“The simple idea of spreading the message that smaller families are a good thing for our planet, for our people is very powerful. We must build this message up to counter the endless ‘growth’ propaganda . . . ”
Yes, but cajoling individual nuclear families to comply is often resented and ineffective.
The best solution is shared child-rearing. Envision an ecovillage community of a hundred households with thirty young couples. If those couples averaged one child per household there would be a cohort of thirty children of various ages. With a communitarian sense of extended family there would be lots of kids, lots of “aunts” and “uncles” and “grandparents,” a minimal sense of deprivation or “only-one-condoned” sacrifice among the couples. The idea is that they would be more willing to voluntarily consider a smaller family size.
Our norm of atomized nuclear families is isolating and claustrophobic. It feels competitive. Each family wants to “get its full share.” There can be a tendency toward a “don’t tread on me” mentality. Meanwhile, within that context relationships are often hyper-intensive and breed neurosis.
A certain caveat in regard to the communal alternative is that people are prone toward an inclination to possess one’s mate and one’s children. We should make the case that trading the discomfort of looser bonding and less concentrated attention for the benefits of communitarian sharing and support is more than compensatory. (But we should understand that it can be a significant challenge to do so.)