Here's an intriguing NPR story about people returning to the idea of communal living here in California, due to the economy.
What's most interesting to me are the comments. One commenter named Andrew Huston wrote:"I lived in an "Intentional Community" in Silicon Valley that eventually broke down due to the power dynamic. The founders of the community were all about harmony and making decisions by consensus, EXCEPT when anyone disagreed with them and then they became despots. Others got into arguments about who could be "Greener than thou". Finally there were always arguments about who was putting in enough time in the communal garden, or making communal meals etc. The whole thing ended in tears."
Which is how I always assumed "Utopian" living would be, because we all have different ideas about what would be Utopia, so the only way to live "as one" would be to force one person's idea of Utopia onto others through enforcement of rules, etc.
Many of the commenters conclude that it might be best if we all just got back to the good old fashion knowing your neighbors, having parents home to keep an eye out for the kids, kids who should be playing out in the sunshine and not alone inside with video games and junk food.
Now that's my idea of Utopia: Live and let live, but keep an out for each other.
Here's a little post about my week in a commune.