When the San Francisco Diggers (an anarchist group for who free meant free as in beer and free as in freedom) left Haight-Ashbury to found the Free Family in the summer of 1967 they started on a path that would establish a network of communes intending to share skills and resources on the basis of hospitality, total freedom and self-expression in such a way that all necessities of life were available for free. They were on their way to 'create the institutions of a new society in the shell of the old' (as David Graber wrote about OWS) on what appears to be a grand scale across the US.
Next to the architectural fancies of Situationism and the shy, half-understood communal implications of Occupy perhaps 'The Post-Competitive, Comparative Game of a Free City' (source images) should be read as a leading text outlining a full set of problems that need to be solved before a community can step outside the confines of modern society. It is a fascinating text; both in living memory and strangely antiquated: for starters, its a vision of the future fully depended on cheap petrol.
Of course, as Peter Coyote shows in his biography 'Sleeping Where I Fall': reality was more stubborn than the Free City vision anticipated. The 'four pearls of wisdom from the leader' he cites convey a picture of the daily realities at a rural, overcrowded hippie commune:
- If you let the baby shit on the floor and then eat it, you'll have a sick baby and a shitty floor.
- Free food doesn't mean that I cook and you eat all the time, ass-hole.
- It's fine if you want to take speed, just don't talk to me! I don't actually care that the insects are communicating with you.
- I know the Indians used moss for tampons, but you're picking poison oak.