April 9, 2014

Community Is Destroyed By Luxury

A community is made up of all sorts of people.
While communities exist everywhere in one form or another, it is a general, overall sense of community that is lacking in modern industrialized societies. Consumerism is based on individual need and greed rather than community health, and conspicuous consumption actively destroys community.

Community is defined as a group of people in a location with diverse characteristics who are linked by social ties, share common perspectives, and engage in action together.

The core elements of community, then, are:
  1. A sense of place - a community is something that can be located and described, denoting a sense of place, locale, or boundaries.
  2. Sharing - common interests and perspectives cause members to be "in tune" with each other.
  3. Joint action - is a source of cohesion and identity, and leads to the natural formation of communities with common goals. Trust develops.
  4. Social ties - interpersonal relationships form the foundation of the community.
  5. Diversity - a community reflects differences in interpersonal skills and  interactions among its members.
How important is community?

Arabic scholar Ibn Khaldun regarded "group solidarity" (community) as the primary requisite for civilization. 600 years ago, he was warning that:

"Civilization needs the tribal values to survive, but these very same values are destroyed by civilization. 
Specifically, urban civilization destroys tribal values with the luxuries that weaken kinship and community ties and with the artificial wants for new types of cuisine, new fashions in clothing, larger homes, and other novelties of urban life."

I wonder what Khaldun would think of the state of community life in 2014?

He might like the NBA community. I know I do, and I give thanks every day for the wonderful folks that visit and participate here.

The NBA community gives me a sense of belonging to something larger than myself, as well as providing a good dose of hope that even if civilization doesn't survive, small groups of hardy simple living people will.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for maintaining NBA. It's so easy to feel out of sync with society if consumerism isn't part of your lifestyle and we are very lucky to be able to connect with other like-minded individuals online.

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  2. Yes, Thank You!! NBA also gives me hope and feeling of belonging to a group of like minded people. I can be so isolating out here in the big bad world.

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  3. At first I thought NBA = National Basketball Association :-)

    I agree it is sad that consumerism replaces community. It becomes a point of pride to *not* use community services, which are seen as being for poor people. Take for instance the library, public transit, the postal system, public health clinics, even public schools. People opt out as soon as they can afford alternatives. And once an institution is seen as being for poor people, it becomes more likely to be dismantled.

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  4. I know I appreciate this community immensely. I'm like-minded community starved. I look forward to your posts. Thanks for your work, thought and effort. I enjoy the commenters here too. Terri

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  5. Thank you for making me think in new ways. Amber

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  6. Thanks to all of you visiting and commenting. I am continually encouraged and inspired by the sharing that goes on here.

    I believe that when people pool their knowledge and experiences it's possible to figure everything out together. The answers and solutions are not going to come from governments or the rich and powerful.

    It is up to us. When we work together, we have the power.

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