Acorn Community is a continual work in progress. Our shared values are used to guide us.
As a member of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities we hold the Seven Core Principles of the FEC as our own principles.
Each of the FEC communities:
- Holds its land, labor, income and other resources in common.
- Assumes responsibility for the needs of its members, receiving the products of their labor and distributing these and all other goods equally, or according to need.
- Practices non-violence.
- Uses a form of decision making in which members have an equal opportunity to participate, either through consensus, direct vote, or right of appeal or overrule.
- Actively works to establish the equality of all people and does not permit discrimination on the basis of race, class, creed, ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
- Acts to conserve natural resources for present and future generations while striving to continually improve ecological awareness and practice.
- Creates processes for group communication and participation and provides an environment which supports people’s development.
Specifically, we consider our values at Acorn Community to be:
We practice egalitarian systems based on believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
We equally share access to material resources, political power, and opportunity.
Consensus decision making seeks the agreement of all participants through the resolution or mitigation of concerns. The wisdom of the room is drawn upon to find the best solutions and to involve as many stakeholders as possible. We use this system to arrive at decisions that the entire community will support beyond the meeting, and to seek political equality among members. Things we like about consensus are that it is agreement seeking, collaborative, cooperative, egalitarian, inclusive, and participatory.
We embrace a modern school of feminism that aims to be a movement not just of women but of people of all genders and sexualities, and that aspires to include the abolition of racism, classism, and all other forms of oppression.
We strive to identify and dismantle gender-related assumptions exhibited through patterns of communication and interaction, and non-traditional gender roles are encouraged by mutually providing information, resources, and opportunity. It is our hope that these combined efforts contribute in the manifestation of an environment that is empowering, and ultimately, compassionate.
We strive for sustainability in our lifestyle, by which we mean a way of life that does not degrade our resource basis and thus can be continued indefinitely. We do this for ourselves and our own quality of life. We do this for future generations who will inherit the world that we create. We do this not just for our own intentional community but for all the people of the world who make up the greater communities of which we are a part.
We strive to foster an ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just agricultural system both on our own farm and in the greater world. Stewardship, soil conservation, and integrated pest management are essential for sustainability.
Specifically, we strive to foster methods of farming that allow the production of crops or livestock without damage to the farm as an ecosystem, including effects on soil, water supplies, biodiversity, or other surrounding natural resources. The concept of sustainable agriculture is an “intergenerational” one in which we pass on a conserved or improved natural resource base instead of one which has been depleted or polluted.
Mutual empowerment means matching our personal interests with the needs of the community to co-create an environment that both benefits the community and is rich in personal educational opportunities. This includes helping each other gain new skills, take on responsibility, navigate community process, engage with the community around our needs and desires, and actively help each other achieve personal goals.
Cooperation makes things possible that are not possible for individuals. We believe that sharing information and resources and joining together cooperatively enriches everyone involved. We believe cooperation is vital to the human project. We seek to develop and promote the systems and skills necessary to make cooperation work.
Personal Responsibility makes it possible for Acorn to express these values. This means committing to bottom line entire categories of work, following through on your commitments, hearing and considering the criticisms of others, accepting the consequences of your actions, and making amends for whatever harm your actions might cause.
Resource and Income Sharing
We all work together to care for and provide for each other collectively. The products of our collective labors, immaterial and material, including income are held collectively and used to provide for the needs and desires of the community. This levels the socio-economic playing field somewhat by providing every community member equal access to the resource base from which to pursue their needs and desires. It is fundamental to egalitarian living.
Equitably Sharing the Load
There is no one but us to make the things we want to happen happen. Manifesting the reality that we wish to inhabit requires people to do the work and people to take on the responsibility (by which we mean, the planning, coordinating, scheming, negotiating, managing, and arranging). We wish to equitably share the burden of this work and this responsibility.
Anarchism for us is a political, social, and economic philosophy of non-hierarchical, non-coercive egalitarian agreements.
We don’t equate anarchy with total freedom. We strive not to restrict the actions of anyone, but we recognize that the expression of one freedom can impede the existence of another freedom. When freedoms conflict we negotiate them in the spirit of helping each other get what we want.
We strive to build a world founded on love.
Commitment to Interpersonal Processing
Acorn is all its residents and their relationships with each other; the quality of those relationships is an essential determinant of how effective and resilient Acorn will be. As such we strive to clarify and resolve issues that stand between us, to be open and honest with one another, and to see the opportunities for individual and communal growth held in every conflict . We expect all members to work on their relationships and work to resolve conflicts as they arise, and we will commit community resources to this end.
We put time and resources into activities that make being at Acorn more enjoyable for Acorn members. We will support a wide variety of recreational activities for individuals, small groups, and large groups, in hopes that everyone will find truly fun activities. This may include buying board games, buying exercise equipment, throwing parties, planning trips, buying tools for hobbies, and letting people experiment in the garden. We like to have fun at acorn!
Healthy Living means making choices that reflect one’s needs and desires, and as a community respecting these needs and desires. This includes but is not limited to physical, emotional, spiritual, and environmental health. We strive to support each other in our respective definitions of health by being conscientious, respectful, and flexible.
We do not condone violent behavior.
We continually try to be aware of our behavior, communication, and actions in regard to privilege and systems of oppression.
We want to extend our cultural project to include people from all varying classes, races, gender identities, age, ability, educational, social, and political backgrounds.