The difference between living in mass society and living in real community

There will be a monthly cost-of-living raise for Social Security recipients in January. Imagine getting an email that urged sending half of the raise to a general national fund subsidizing living expenses for less-affluent people and families.

It’s one thing to support legislation to address the issues of poverty and inequality. Or to give money to a charity that benefits a cause that you believe in. But most of us probably wouldn’t feel particularly motivated to give into a vague fund where the money ostensibly will get funneled somehow to random people around the country.

At the Ithaca Ecovillage they have a social justice fund. When paying the bill for their monthly homeowners association charge many of the more-affluent residents give an extra percentage (I forget if it’s 3% or 5%). The extra $ goes into the fund. The fund helps subsidize housing expenses for others, enabling some less-affluent individuals and families to become neighbors in the community. Given that context, most of the readers of this blog probably would feel motivated to contribute.

A co-editor of Green Horizon Magazine, Steve has been a Green movement activist for almost thirty years.