In Search of Utopia

by on Sunday, 01 December 2013 Comments

As observed in the mass media and our own personal experience, the Earth's habitat is facing an unprecedented crisis. We clearly realize that the problems and disasters caused by global warming cannot be avoided by any country: one infectious disease after another quickly spreads across national borders, acid rain floats over the seas, even China's sandstorms affect Taiwan. When humankind causes an imbalance in the natural order created by other species, the retribution always ends up coming back and affecting humankind. Never in human history has humankind realised, the way we do today, just how inextricably connected all life on this planet is, forming one big symbiotic entity.

The high amounts of pressure in modern society coupled with the trend for the steadily deteriorating environment cause a universal feeling of worry and crisis in all aspects of the people's lives. This is why a lot of people turn to constant intense stimulation of the senses as an anesthetic (smoking and drinking, drugs, excessive eating and drinking, pornography, violent movies, gossip magazines, computer games, etc.), and others resort to religious beliefs to seek comfort. However, the aforementioned passive methods of escaping cannot improve or completely eliminate these issues. When faced with unpleasant situations, as always it is difficult to attain peace of mind. Because of this, there are some people who take a proactive stance to facing one's problems and those of the environment, and seek healthy and good methods to change themselves and improve their surroundings. The "Global Eco-village Movement" revolution aims to do just that by guiding the people and helping them escape the consumerist patterns imposed by the capitalist system and the industrial era as well as the various social disasters and ecological catastrophes caused by it. What is praiseworthy is that this vigorous revolution is tranquil and non-violent.

Looking back over the last 100 or maybe it could be longer than that, not entirely sure. I occasionally have no idea what I am writing about. We can build him, we have the technology years of human history, the political struggle between right and left, capitalism and communism, economic development and environmental protection, which of these is wrong? Which is correct? The conflict and quarrel amongst both sides seems to be irresolvable, simply because of a different point of view and unending disputes. They argue over good and evil, yet these moral concepts seem to wander or even be imaginary. Because of this, the "Global Eco-village" approach is to no longer get drawn into this endless confrontation, to avoid wasting collective energy, and to surpass the conflict through a proactive approach in order to humbly and peacefully create an alternative system, a reality that is clearly achieved on a specific piece of land; to no longer change the ideological debate for the worse, and to use action to achieve this for everyone to see. At the same time, we would like to experiment: Will a classless organization work smoothly or become clogged up? After removing a competitive environment, is society more harmonious or more in turmoil? Does accepting outsiders and each other's differences bring us closer together or alienate us? If these experiments are successful and positive, then the things, lifestyle and human energy created by this piece of land might be able to inspire the soul of the spectating masses; inspiration will become admiration which in turn will lead to study. Thus, the positive influence from this piece of land will expand from will spread from its surroundings to encompass the whole world.

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In Tiger mountain, one of the "Four Beast" mountains located on the fringes of Taipei City, "The Cooperative" proposed "Searching for Utopia", an idea inspired by the Global Eco-village movement and fully supported by the MiCulture Foundation. "Searching for Utopia" is a step by step, extremely idealistic attempt to conduct experiments in every aspect of life, such as:

-Minimize dependence on money and consumerist behavior, to the point of completely eliminating them.

-Maximize self-sufficiency in goods, energy and food within the facilities, to the point of full autarchy.

-Satisfy spiritual and material needs of the people living in the facilities to the maximum extent.

-When constructing buildings, maximize the usage of local natural resources and waste discarded by the masses.

-Conduct research into the developments in natural therapy, in order to minimize the current dependence on the medical establishment, to the point of eliminating it completely.

-Research and establish a reciprocal, interdependent and peaceful mutual relationship with animals and plants, until there is nothing but happiness.

-Reduce the rules and organization of these symbiotic facilities, until there is nothing but self-rule.

-To value the peace and warmth of the body and soul, and to provide assistance to those in need, until there is nothing but calm.

-To value arts and culture and carry them out in every aspect of our lives, until there is beauty everywhere.

-To observe and investigate one's own internal ecological correspondence and relationship with external nature, until one is often serene.

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The aim of the aforementioned information is not only to reduce our reliance on motor vehicle transport with the purpose of saving energy and reducing carbon dioxide emission. By means of a piece of land and creating a "cycle of substitution" using natural resources, we will replace the current consumerist culture. However "The Cooperative" is not aiming to live a life of isolation from others, but is rather trying to actively interact with the outside world, and, once the creases have been ironed out and it is properly set up, it intends to engage in activities of education and promotion. All the activities carried out, including academic research, life experiences, art tutoring, etc. are all provided for the common good, since the main aim of "The Cooperative" in establishing the project in Tiger Mountain was to remove currency transactions (excluding individual works published by members of the community). However, we accept donations of money and goods from the outside world, the full sum of which will be managed by the foundation. If funds are required to cover expenses of the project, then they shall be allocated by the foundation, in a transparent way.

The total number of members of "The Cooperative" in Tiger Mountain is limited to 15. If, down the line, more people strongly request becoming members then a new piece of land shall be developed or the current one will expand towards the margins. Amongst these 15, 7 members who have a strong mutual understanding shall be asked to play the role of "leaders" and to propagate the vigorous spirit of the project. However, they are not leaders or managers. Indeed, if any one person, including a member of this 7, attempts to take power or dictate as a leader, these 7 nuclear members have the responsibility to step up and intervene to prevent this. The aim of the project is to achieve self-adjusting governance, its values are to respect the individual nature of each member. If one day, the eco-project finally does achieve self-adjusting governance, then the nuclear members will no longer be needed and will fade away into nothingness.


For more information about the Eco-village please visit their website, or find them at the Mi-culture Foundation, Tiger Mountain, Fu De Road Lane 228. 

Translated from the Chinese by Daniel Pagan Murphy

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