Disclaimer: This paper contains much speculation and guessing as to the eventual nature of Dancing Rabbit. The structures described may turn out much different after they are put into practice and have time to evolve. These ideas will neither be enforced nor binding. Hopefully they will spark interest and lay the groundwork for DR's future.
Society of Communities
Everyone seems to want something different out of their interactions with other people. Some enjoy large groups and intense interpersonal interactions, others enjoy solitude or primary relationships with only a handful. Most people want different things at different times or stages of their lives. At Dancing Rabbit it will be essential that people can find happiness and fulfillment within the sustainable structure, thus making social sustainability an essential part of environmental sustainability. So to allow everyone to shape their interpersonal environment to fulfill their various social needs, Dancing Rabbit hopes to incorporate a variety of community structures within its small-town society. We call this the Society of Communities model.
Dancing Rabbit hopes to be attractive to a large spectrum of the general U.S. populace. U.S. society is made up almost entirely of single family homes, which have almost complete autonomy for financial and social needs. Most likely, DR’s society will also have many people living in individual households and managing their own finances and providing for their own welfare and social needs. But we hope that the members of these households will interact with each other significantly more than in our current social structures. We hope to regain the feeling of a small town where people know and help each other, and work and play together.
Dancing Rabbit also hopes to contain many groups of people living together in non-traditional situations. We hope to have a variety of intentional communities form within the town of Dancing Rabbit, similar to the many communities already in existence throughout the world. Some may be spiritually focused, some may be secular. Some may be egalitarian and income sharing, some will have more financial autonomy. But all these communities, as with all DR residents, will be dedicated to sustainable living. By forming these communities near each other we can reap the social, environmental, and financial benefits of large groups without requiring conformity of social structure.
We expect that many people will move from living situation to living situation within Dancing Rabbit. We hope this flexibility will allow people to experience diverse social structures without having to leave DR. Thus members may leave an intentional community to move into their own home, or vice versa, or may move between communities at will, while remaining part of the sustainable society of Dancing Rabbit.
Each community or household will be treated as a single entity by Dancing Rabbit. Each entity will have a lease agreement with the DR land trust and will make lease payments in cash and/or labor based on the number of people within the entity and the lease acreage. But each individual will need to sign and agree to adhere to the Dancing Rabbit bylaws which will outline sustainability guidelines as well as economic relations.
So there will be two ways in which a new person or group of persons can join Dancing Rabbit. The simplest way is to join an existing entity at Dancing Rabbit. Hopefully, there will be one or more larger income- sharing communities at DR which will allow new people to join easily and will have housing and resources to absorb new people into their structures. This will allow people of limited resources and experience to join DR within a supportive social structure. A person or group could also join DR by forming a new entity. This will require them to sign a new lease agreement and choose a site on DR for their home. They will then be responsible for providing their own sustainable shelter (with the help of your friendly neighborhood rabbit construction crews) and will be responsible for their own livelihoods and payment of their lease fee.
DR hopes to allow a great amount of flexibility and ease in joining so that it may attract a diverse group of residents. Individual entities within DR may have extensive selection criteria and membership processes just as any community or household might. But, the Dancing Rabbit community as a whole hopes to be like a small town, where people will make a conscious choice to live there, but can move in without being specifically approved of by existing members. There will not be a severe screening process, but new residents will be required to sign and agree to live by the tenets of the lease agreement and bylaws of Dancing Rabbit. DR will exclude no one on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, political views, class background, etc. We believe that this type of social structure will make DR attractive to a wide variety of people and allow those people to live both happily and sustainably.