Beyond the Basin: Community

Community – The Piece that Enables All the Rest

“When an old woman dies, a library burns to the ground.”
— a proverb from Mali

“When an old man dies, everyone says, ‘Whew!’ At last that’s over!”
— anon.

“The storyteller reached into her boot and took out a pack of cards. Without looking, as though she knew the cards by feel, she took one out: a primitive woodcut of a man, laughing gleefully in the midst of a wrecked house. The storyteller’s fingertip touched the red symbol stamped on one corner. ‘This glyph means fate, or chance. The Laughing Man’s actions are so unexpected, and their effect so profound, that his victims think it is a bitter joke. He destroys everything — even trust and hope. But there is one power that can counteract his.’ She took out another card: a circle of people, arm in arm. ‘Fellowship,’ she said.”
— Laurie Marks, in Earth Logic, p. 255

How to Build Community


Thoughts on ‘Community’

From Clay Shirky:

“Social capital is that store of behaviors and norms in any large group that lets its members support one another…When your neighbor walks your dog while you are ill, or the guy behind the counter trusts you to pay him next time, social capital is at work. It’s the shadow of the future on a societal scale…It seems to me that this is the ‘glue’ that binds communities together.”

“No effort at creating group value can be successful without some form of governance.” (Here Comes Everybody, at the Klamath Co. Library)

From Wendell Berry:

“A proper community, we should remember also, is a commonwealth: a place, a resource, an economy. It answers the needs, practical as well as social and spiritual, of its members; among them the need to need one another. The answer to the present alignment of political power with wealth is the restoration of the identity of community and economy. (“Racism and the Economy”)

“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.” (“The Loss of the Future”)

From Stanley Crawford:

“Invitations to seek private satisfaction or consolation or wealth or power come relentlessly to us in these times, at the expense, almost always, of the public and the communal, whose invitations are weak and uncertain and filled with doubt, and lacking the high-budget promotional certainties of the age. Were Ford or General Motors selling community, not fantasies of power and mobility, we might be living in quite a different world.” (A Garlic Testament, at the KSC library)


Institute for Local Self- Reliance

People’s Hub

Community Wealth

Democracy Collaborative

Klamath IDEA Project

Sustainable Communities Network