Twin Oaks is an "intentional community" in Virginia. It is one of the oldest successful communes in America because it's not really a commune. They manufacture hammocks that sell for up to $100 each, and make tofu for Whole Foods.
They have a sales and marketing manager who oversees each business. And they provide extra incentives to do the work no one else wants to do.
One member actually expressed concern that Amazon plans to drop Whole Foods' prices.
"Well, then we can't sell our tofu for as much," he said.
Maybe the Whole Foods workers should seize their means of production to stop the exploitation.
I was all set to tear apart Vice's piece on this little commune. But I ended up just giggling. Vice correctly pointed out that it isn't really a commune if it is funded by capitalism. The people who live there have stepped out of a typical "capitalist structure" for their lives. But they were only able to live their alternative lifestyle because they do so in a capitalist world.
And the same member admits that capitalist ideas have won. He acknowledges that capitalism is required for their commune to exist. So it seems a little funny that they know a market system is required for their livelihood, yet they employ a communist style of internal governance.
That means 100% taxation and no individual control over how the products of your labor are spent.
But as much as they don't want to admit it, there is still a hierarchy of sorts. They give extra to those who work extra. They have managers to oversee the businesses. And they have two types of members: provisional, and full.