Everyday Utopia presents an uplifting tour of better ways to live together, own property, have families and raise children, as pioneered by experimental communities throughout the world and across history.
The traditional ‘nuclear’ family home can be a challenging place, but the problem is bigger than that: as a way of organising daily life, it places unfair and unnecessary burdens on women (and men too); it entrenches inequalities, entraps us financially, hinders certain kinds of child development and is in some ways the most fundamental obstacle we face to a fairer society. Also, it doesn’t seem to make us very happy.
And yet throughout history, and in numerous forward-thinking communities around the world today, great minds and pioneering spirits have sought and often succeeded at alternative ways of living – from the all-female ‘beguinages’ of medieval Belgium to the matriarchal ecovillages of contemporary Colombia; from the ancient Greek commune founded by Pythagoras, where men and women lived as equals and shared property, to present-day Connecticut, where new laws make it easier for extra ‘alloparents’ to help raise children not their own. Some of these experiments burned brightly and briefly; others are living proof of what is possible.
One of those startlingly rare books that upends our assumptions and raises our sights, Everyday Utopia gathers these and many more inspiring examples into a radically hopeful vision of how to build more contented and connected societies, as well as a practical guide to what we all can do to live the good life every day.