• Short Summary

    When it comes to operating industrial communes, it seems that the United States has little to learn from the People's Republic of China.

  • Description

    When it comes to operating industrial communes, it seems that the United States has little to learn from the People's Republic of China.

    This 'capitalist commune', filmed by the National Broadcasting Company in the forests of Indiana, is such a business success that it operates a 75 thousand dollar (GBP31,222) sawmill, and owns several giant log-hauling trucks, and assorted jeeps and tractors. It is the most successful business in the area, grossing 200,000 dollars (GBP83,333) last year.

    The founding idea was however to get away from city life, and live simply int he country. It changed because the commune's business of cutting the redwood trees and selling them required a complex technology to be efficient, and efficiency was necessary to earn money to maintain the commune.

    So these seekers after simplicity seem to be plunging headlong back into the 20th. century, pursued by modern technology.

    SYNOPSIS: This log hauler costs 28 thousand dollars (GBP11,666 Sterling). It belongs, not to some corporate giant, but to a commune, which has suddenly found itself with a business success. When the first 20 settlers came to Padanaram, in the hardwood forests of Southern Indiana, they had 86 acres of land, a mule, a plough, and a desire to get away from the big city. They wanted only to live simply... but even living simply costs money.

    So they began cutting the hardwood trees and selling them. They ploughed the money back into the commune. Soon, they had a 75 thousand dollar (GBP31,222) sawmill, four 18 thousand dollar (GBP7,500) log trucks, and assorted jeeps and tractors. Last year the commune grossed two hundred thousand dollars (GBP83,333). It is the most successful business in that part of Southern Indiana.

    Life on the commune is far from easy. Much of the work is still done by hand. The women take turns cooking for the group, which has now grown to about 80. Many of the people involved are highly educated, and they're seeing that their children are educated too, sending them to a school 28 miles away.

    Most of the people are married couples. The commune was not started round the idea of drugs and sex, but of simplicity.

    But even this sort of minimal existence is costly. - 3,200 dollars a month, (GBP1,333) just to feed the group. There is therefore a real question in the minds of some members of the group how long they can balance between their isolated life and the technology needed to maintain it. For the paradox is that simplicity is expensive, and to pay for it, the group seems to be plunging headlong back into the 20th. century.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEYKAFZG9EIMF1JEEY574IR97I
    Media URN:
    VLVAEYKAFZG9EIMF1JEEY574IR97I
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/05/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:02:04:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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