We at Piaggia call ourselves an Intentional Egalitarian Community. Our group is being held together by common values, community vision, and a mutual idea of what comprises a good life.
At the beginning our thirty founding members developed together our vision and goals, which continue being discussed and modified as the group develops. This distinguishes Intentional Egalitarian Communities from families whose bond is blood, from monasteries (faith) and spiritual communities (guru and path of enlightenment). Historically Intentional Egalitarian communities, have often had rather short lifespans. New Harmony, for example, a utopian socialist community in Indiana in the 1820s, only lasted 18 months, but over 100 books have been written on this experiment since then.
Among the contemporary communities Twin Oaks was and is an important point of orientation. We have followed the evolution of this community for many decades having visited it for the first time in 1974. The Twin Oaks communitarian structure and firmly established rules of living together allow little space for private life and the turnover rate is relatively high as those who after some time find life too restrictive, move on and new members join. Twin Oaks was our model when we started out, but then we took a different path. Adjusting the structure and rules of living together to the changing biographical needs of the members the result today is a community tailor-made for our current members. This in turn makes it difficult to find new members and for them to find their way into these historically grown and little transparent structures. A challenge we have started to deal with in recent years.