Comparing 1960s and 1980s Communities
(SOURCE: Builders of the Dawn by Corrine McLaughlin, p. 100-101.)

1960s VALUES

Freedom and "doing your own thing" most important value; "laying a trip" on someone is a cardinal sin.

Few rules, restrictions, or expectations; largely unstructured; "work only if you feel like it"; spontaneity highly valued.

Mainly alternative lifestyle and values -- drugs, rock and roll, "free sex".

Primarily negative orientation -- reaction to a society seen as bad or harmful.

Retreat or withdrawal orientation.

More transient membership; communes dissolve easily; "crash pads" very prevalent.

Non-exclusive; usually anyone with same lifestyle can join.

"Bad Karma" to turn any visitors away.

Emphasis on "dropping the ego" -- transcending ego needs.

Anti-political (except for intentionally political communes organized around a specific ideology).

"Tribal" orientation -- strong emphasis on the group; togetherness emphasized; often overcrowding; privacy was "bourgeois".

Order and cleanliness regarded as "uptight" and "bourgeois".

Little true self-sufficiency; often food stamps and contributions from parents for survival.

Visitors not always requested to contribute money or labor; no formal guest programs.

"Free sex;" emphasis on learning to lose one's inhibitions; sometimes group sex practiced.

"Male chauvinist" attitudes; clear male/female roles.

Mostly single members and non- exclusive couples.

Little emphasis on personal growth techniques and therapeutic tools.

Return to a romanticized rural past; rejection of technology; few communication links with society.

Return to innocence of childhood; rejection of responsibility.

No formal ideology, except belief in "going with the flow" -- whatever happens is meant to happen.

Personal liberation most important.

"Hanging out" very valued and "living in the now".

Usually anti-intellectual; body and feelings more emphasized than mind.

1980s VALUES

Cooperation with others and "the good of the whole" important; everyone needs to contribute his/her share; erratic behavior less acceptable.

Agreed-upon rules and expectations; fairly structured work and financial requirements.

Variation in lifestyle in different communities -- ranging from alternative to middle class professional.

Primarily positive orientation -- building a new society, new institutions and/or bridging with best in society.

Service-to-others orientation.

More committed membership and long-lasting communities.

More restrictive about membership -- must be harmonious with group and committed to group's purpose.

Open to visitors by prior arrangement only.

More acceptable of the role of ego in personal development; necessity for ego first to be strong before truly going beyond it.

Some political involvement in most groups; "planetary consciousness" important -- awareness of Earth itself as a being.

More of a balance between individual and group needs; private space more respected.

Order and cleanliness valued in most groups.

Self-sufficiency in food and energy increasing, but emphasis on interdependence with local area (with some outside donations if non-profit).

Visitors usually requested to contribute money and/or labor; more structured guest programs.

Sexually somewhat more restrained but looser than conventional standards; celibacy in some groups.

"Women's liberation" prevalent; breakdown of traditional roles.

Often a majority of monogamous couples and families.

More psychologically sophisticated; personal growth techniques in most communities.

Closeness to nature highly valued, but appropriate technology also welcomed; more communication links with society (telephone, TV, radio, some computers).

Generally more mature and responsible adult attitudes; valuing some balance of playfulness, although sometimes too serious.

Well-developed belief system -- usually spiritual and/or political.

Creating a new social and/or economic order is as important as personal liberation.

More of a work orientation, with accomplishment more highly valued and some retreat time available. Sometimes too "workaholic".

Wholeness most important in most groups -- integration of mind/feelings/body/spirit.