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dele_ted wrote (edited )

If i had to describe a concrete blueprint for utopia (i don't think that'll actually accomplish much, but it's a fun idea), it'd be bolo'bolo by P. M. It works roughly like this (there's much more to it, and it's not easy to explain in a short reply, but I'll give it a try):

Civilisation is split into groups of 500 called bolo's. In each bolo, people are further grouped in small groups called kana. bolo's are united around bigger issues requiring more manpower, such as hospitals, and work together to accomplish these.

There is no money. There is no government, no laws (except for the basic ideas of bolo'bolo and the universal language associated with it, asa'pili), no nations, no private property and no borders. There is only the rules that each bolo decide on, and there's enough bolo's for all types of people. In these bolo's, all are welcome, although they must sustain an amount of just about 500 ibu's (individuals) in each bolo.

Any ibu is welcome in any bolo at any time, as a guest. bolo's work together with their neighbor bolo's, and all other bolo's, because they know that if they help their neighbor, then they will help them too. This concept is called sila, most of us call it mutual aid.

As i said, there's more to it, but i can't squeeze much more into this reply. You can read bolo'bolo by P. M. on The Anarchist Library, here.

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[deleted] wrote

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dele_ted wrote

Who is the big boss who decides who gets put in which bolo and which kana?

The ibu is free to choose which bolo they want to live in. Thisis part of a concept called sila, and is described in-depth in bolo'bolo.

If I carve a really useful tool out of some driftwood, can I really not keep it as my own property?

There's a difference between personal property and private property. Personal property is things such as your toothbrush, computer or your fancy driftwood tool. Private property is things that cannot and should not be owned, such as a piece of land, or something that enables exploitation of others, such as a factory or a business. In bolo'bolo, every ibu is given a taku, which is a medium-sized box with a lock on. The ibu can store whatever they want in this, be it drugs, weapons, or their driftwood tool. The taku is the most personal of all property.

How can anything be not allowed (like private property) if there are no laws?

Just like with anarchism, there can be rules without laws. The rules that the community agrees on. In this case, the vast majority of the community has chosen to respect the taku, the rules of hospitality that is sila (mutual aid, basically), and so on.

What if some bolo decides collectively to create a border around its territory and keep other people out?

bolo's are to some degree dependent upon each other (the driving force behind sila, because every ibu is in its core egoistic). An abusive bolo wouldn't last long, and even if it did, the ibu's of that bolo would not live a very enjoyable life.

I tried reading that essay and found it really really hard to get through

The first few pages are tough, but it gets easier once you get about 1/5'th into it. Reading on a screen sucks, too. You can buy a copy at AK Press if you want, or just print it and tie it together with some string.

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[deleted] wrote

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dele_ted wrote (edited )

What if more than 500 people choose to live in the same one? Who stops the 501st person?

The community does, because they know that a bolo bigger than ~500 is unsustainable. It wouldn't stop at exactly 500, but as the member count started rising, the bolo would become less attractive to newcomers, and existing members would be tempted to leave. It's a self-balancing system.

What about the best farming tools? What about the only farming tools? What if you built those tools yourself? Are they personal or public?

That's a good question, but generally not related to bolo'bolo. Private and personal property is a core concept in anarchism, too. There's plenty of reading materials on this topic on AK Press and The Anarchist Library.

There can't be rules in anarchism unless you mean personal rules than an individual keeps for the individual's own sake. Anything else is force/hierarchy.

That's exactly what i mean. This is a whole new discussion, though.

There can't be rules in anarchism unless you mean personal rules than an individual keeps for the individual's own sake. Anything else is force/hierarchy.

The bolo is dependent on mutual aid, and cooperation with other bolos. P. M. has a little section about exploitative and abusive bolos, where he explains how the bolo'bolo system protects itself against abuse.

Of course, bolo'bolo has its flaws, and it is not an anarchist system at its core (it would of course allow anarcho-bolo's though) - but i think there's a lot we can learn from P. M.'s ideas.

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ziq wrote (edited )

Private and personal property is a core concept in anarchism

Private property - no. Personal - yes.

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dele_ted wrote

I meant the idea of distinguishing between these two types of property.

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[deleted] wrote (edited )

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dele_ted wrote

Why or how would this magically be the case? Are you assuming that individuals are going to make intelligent, healthy and well thought out choices? If the system is based on people being rational then it is doomed.

The living standards would start to fall drastically when the bolo reached a member count of around 600, and the community members would want to either leave and join another bolo, or start a new bolo together with the unsatisfied community members. Most arriving ibus most certainly would not want to stay.

I was a little tired when i replied yesterday, should have cleared things up better. P. M. has a page or two dedicated to explaining how a bolo would keep its member count stable, as well as how exploitative and abusive bolos would wither away due to their own dysfunction and their relations to sorrounding communities.