Waking Up From The Dream
This intentional community is named Suan San Fan which means roughly to wake up from a dream and find it to be true. Here our group are listening to the community leader tell us how his community works. They are part of The Santi Asoke Buddhist sect which has been key to the economic recovery of farmers and middle class people after the currency collapse. They gave training in self-sufficiency and taught organic farming, natural medicine and other skills. All those who live here are required to follow the five precepts of Buddhism (for the lay person as opposed to 8 required of a novice monk) and be vegetarian. He said that they were fleeing capitalism which makes slaves of the poor. Their philosophy of meritism in business is to sell their products below the market price and if they do sell for a profit, not for too much. They also give away for free to those in need. But first they take care of their own needs, the needs of the family, then the community; only then if there is surplus they sell on the market. I asked how this was different from communism and he answered that the people commit to these rules on a voluntary basis. It is not forced upon them by a government hierarchy. He spoke Thai and Jo was translating. Jo told me that when he speaks to Thai people he is very funny in a truth telling sort of way.
I've blogged this story under the title Last Economy Standing.