For years I am in search of better models for society. Here is another one. It has the special benefit that it can coexist with an area’s current political situation.
A monastery (at least the way it is thought to be) is founded by people who are critical of the social and political situation of their society. A monastery is located in a remote area, at a place where nobody else is interested in (e.g. in unfruitful lands etc.). This yields absence of political and military conflicts. The reason to found a monastery is to have more time for devotion (the relationship to God). In extension (to serve as a society model), the reason can be also to have more resources for all the stuff where resources are lacking for in the surrounding society. A monastery can exist in these remote locations because it is a center of learning and education that will be well-known in the surrounding region (so that trade can emerge: getting raw goods in exchange for processed goods and education). A study of monasteries around the world should be carried out to learn the pinciples of monastic living.
Outline of a modern (secular, but optionally faith-based) version of a monastery:
- it would (or could) be essentially mobile (people living in AWD trucks), but may have a base in a remote location
- because it is mobile, it can undertake operations in the surrounding region, like medical and construction operations, in the style of “labour army operations”
- membership would be voluntarily, leaving would be possible at any time
- there would be constant organized self-education within the monastery
- there would be some integrated high-tech facilities for processing raw goods and taking part in operations (like well drilling equipment)
- there would be special agreements with government about the special rights and protection of the monastery, and as soon as governments fails to meet these agreements the mobile monastery would move on (see the post on the “population market” model for society, but this is in smaller scale)
- modern high-tech communication equipment would be used for agile collaboration (in the style of XC, that is, “extreme collaboration”)
- all such monasteries would be self-governed (to prohibit abuse of centralized power over monasteries by not centralizing it)
- a monastery would split in two wen it reaches a certain size.
The idea of a monastery is also, especially, to not interfere at all (or as little as possible) with the officials, official organizations and other stuff in power of a society. This is the only meaningful option of avoiding loss of life, freedom and other important goods in the contact with these ever-changing and unpredictable powers. If there is a lesson to be learned from history, then that political powers are never stable and never predictable in the longer term, so contact with them must be avoided by any means. This also says that members have to research and develop techniques to live in very remote and harsh natural environments, like deserts etc., to avoid any contact with officials. Of course, monasteries have the bad fame of being secluded; but there is no reason for that to happen, as service to the outside world can happen in these construction operations and the like.