Contemplating Intentional Community?


As more people become familiar with the several experiments in intentional community sponsored by Magic, we are asked with increasing frequency how we have arrived at our present situation, and how we envision developing our communities in the future. We have prepared the following set of questions to serve as a framework for discourse about intentional community as we practice and aspire to it.


  1. How do you define community?
  2. 2. What do you value in community?
  3. Purpose

    1. With what purpose will you become part of another community? (Please consider the magnitude, duration, and quality of results you intend.)
    2. What do you feel is missing from your present situation?
    3. How do you want people outside the community you contemplate to think of those within it?


    1. What money or in-kind income do you imagine necessary to meet your community objectives? (e.g. - You want to form a cooperative nursery school for 20 children and imagine 20,000 hours of labor or $300,000 necessary each year.) What assets? (e.g. - You want to live in quiet and imagine a community owning 500 acres of remote rural land.)
    2. To what extent will these flow through or be held by the community, to what extent by individual community members, and to what extent by others?
    In questions 3 and 4 (below) please consider at least food, shelter, clothing, medical care, communication, education, recreation, transportation, and family relations.
    3. What goods and services for community benefit will you provide: a) within, and b) without the community? (e.g. - A nurse living in a rural community which operates an organic farm might provide primary care within the community one day per week free of charge, and outside the community one day per week for fees which she gives to the community, and two days per week to increase her savings.)
    4. What goods and services will you draw from: a) within, and b) without the community? (e.g. - A member might want 80% of the her/his food to be grown within the community, and might want to vacation in India each year.)


    1. What domain of your life do you intend to place within the purview of community advice and consent (e.g. occupational choice, living place, child-rearing)?
    2. How do you imagine decisions being made with respect to those parts of life subjected to community advice and consent?
    3. To what standards shall community members be held?
    4. How do you propose members will enter and leave the community (e.g. - trial membership, asset transfers, etc.)?
    5. How do you imagine the other participants (e.g. - number, training, age, world view)?
    6. Describe a typical day in your life once your community is formed, noting both the activities which are within and those which are without the purview of the community.