Why do we choose to live isolated lives?

This is not how most humans, for most of our existence on this planet lived. This is a capitalist disease! And nowhere has it advanced to the deadly level that we see in the USA.

I’m in a desperate situation. Not sure I will be in a place I will want to choose to remain alive in another 3 weeks.

Tryin to think beyond my personal problems here–why is this happening? Asking this, so it’s about more than me.

Goin through this–desperate to find a place to live, a place where I don’t have to give up what keeps me alive–making art–makes me think, if I had money, I’d buy a big house, low rent or free for a communal core, with extra rooms and lottsa soffa space, so people coming to actions from out of town, or comrades passing through, or people in need of emergency shelter would have a place.

We need those kinda communal shelters. Something I’ve had on my mind for more than more than 50 years. In 1970 we bought a big fixer upper in Powelton, group of us–with one person putting up most of the initial money. Should be places like that all over the city. It is STUPID and WASTEFUL and socially destructive, the way we live in isolated units now. It takes learning new habits, new values, but makes so much more sense.

More than 50 years later, I’m haunted by some needless deaths in an apt house I was living in–old people without family alone in their flats. Most deadly for older people as they lose their health. A person alone in an apt, without family or friends, is in a place as unhealthy for mental health as solitary confinement. We put people–with disabilities, the very elderly–in Capitalist Solitary!

It’s so unnecessary! We don’t have to choose to live like this! We can change how we arrange our common lives–this is something in our power. We don’t have to wait for the revolution! We can BE that part of the revolution!

This is a concern of lifetime for me… a ‘concern’ the way older Quakers used the word. Does anyone care or think about this? How we could actually DO something to change how we live together–with profound consequences that would echo through the whole economic political social universe!

How many hundred thousand houses in Philly? If 5% of them went communal, most, if not all, of our les sans toit, would no longer be living on the street. And for those in need of more intense medical and psychological care, that same kind of housing, with people with training and skills needed to deal with those problems, would be able to take even THEM in. This is like, Street Medic Ethos–raised to the level most street medics actually would aspire to.

We need to think seriously about organizing on THIS level–on how we live–on learning to live together, caring for one another, in the world we want to make happen.

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2 thoughts on “Why do we choose to live isolated lives?

  1. I don’t want political solutions–in the way that’s usually understood: as solutions from the state, in the form of laws and state programs. I want this to happen by people organizing housing together, by buying or renting together, by collectives of separate houses–the politics of collective action without state intervention.

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