Culture Magic
Intentional community as both a lifestyle of choice
and a strategy to anticipate, reflect and quicken social change.
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Glossary and Site References

As with any subject, the more that intentional community is studied the more detailed the field will become, and the more our language must be extended to express the acquired understanding.

Humanity has much experience with authoritarian forms of government and with competition in monetary economies, as evidenced by the number of related terms and volumes of writings on these subjects. If participatory governance along with gifting and sharing economies were to enjoy a similar degree of favor in human society, we might expect that our vocabulary for describing these cultural preferences would be similarly extensive. The fact that this is not the case presents the opportunity and need for developing new theories and coining new terms for understanding and explaining a world view or lifestyle paradigm that is continually developing.

This website started with the help of an online guide is a contribution to the understanding of intentional community. All of the words, terms, acronyms, theories, models and matrices presented here have been, as far as is known, coined or invented by the author. Dates refer to PDF documents on this website, listed in the references, below. This glossary and reference list also appears in the PDF file, Gifting and Sharing.

  • Anti-Altruism—egoism; selfishness; supporting possessiveness and competition to the exclusion of gifting and sharing (2007)
  • Anti-Quota—formerly used to refer to voluntary labor-gifting (1999), then changed to refer to required fair-share labor systems without labor quotas (2007)
  • Balance Trend—a tendency toward a stable balance of common and private ownership structures in economic systems (1991)
  • Circumstantial Community—a group of people living in proximity by chance, such as in a city, neighborhood or village, the residents of which may or may not individually choose to be an active participant in the association; contrasts with intentional community (1991)
  • Communal Privacy Theory—increasing levels of privacy, afforded by additional resources or powers being entrusted to individuals, does not reduce the community's level of communalism, as long as the equity or ultimate responsibility remains under communal ownership and control (1991)
  • Communal Sharing Theory—the greater the experience people have of sharing among themselves, the greater will be their commitment to the community thus formed; sharing in this context relates to thoughts, beliefs, ideals, feelings, and emotions, as well as to material objects, leadership, power (1991)
  • Communitarian Continuum—relative measure in a linear representation of different types of intentional communities according to their form of ownership of wealth, from common to private (1991)
  • Communitarian Luxuries—benefits or desirable amenities which cannot be purchased yet which may be secured by living in community, such as: "trust luxury," "social luxury," "spiritually-correct luxury," etc (1996)
  • Communitarian Matrix—see Ownership/Control Matrix
  • Communitarian Mystique—mystery and reverence accompanying the ideal of living in community; contrasted with "domestic mystique" (1999)
  • Communitarian Relationships Model—a three-dimensional representation of the various forms of intentional community, incorporating the political-economic, political-spiritual and spiritual-economic matrices (1991)
  • Consideration of Function—the accommodation of situations in which an intentional community may appear to be structured in a particular way due to regular activities, while upon dissolution or the resignation of membership the community operates in a different manner; for example, some communities may operate as though all assets are commonly owned, while upon dissolution assets are divided among the members to become private property, which contrasts with true communalism in which no residual assets are distributed to members (1991)
  • Creed of Sharing—the belief that sharing is among the highest values and moral imperatives
  • Culture Magic—the art of changing culture at will (1994, Hole in the Stone:A Journal of Wiccan Life)
  • Debt-Based Economics—monetary economy in which money is created by debt (1997)
  • Economically-Diverse Community—economic system incorporating both commonly-owned and privately-owned property (1991)
  • Egalitarian Collectivism—a political-economic structure involving participatory governance with an economic system involving only privately-owned property (1991)
  • Egalitarian Commonwealth—a political-economic structure involving participatory governance with an economic system incorporating both commonly-owned and privately-owned property (1991)
  • Egalitarian Communalism—a political-economic structure involving participatory governance with an economic system involving only commonly-owned property (1991)
  • Equity-Linked Affinity Network (ÉLAN)—a network of people sharing an investment in one or more pieces of real estate as a form of intentional community (2005, May)
  • Exchange Economies—any economic system involving the transfer or exchange of commodities or any unit of value from one person to another (1997)
  • Fair-Share Labor Systems—labor requirement in an intentional community with no accounting, often but not necessarily with full-time positions and gender-specific work roles (2003)
  • Happiness Ethic—a moral value affirming that the well being of others is important to the securing of one's own happiness; similar to the reciprocity ethic (2005, Culture Magic website)
  • Integration Trend—see Balance Trend
  • Intentional Hand—deliberate effort to create community with gifting or sharing systems; contrasts with Adam Smith's concept of the invisible hand using exchanging and taking systems (2007)
  • Intentioneering—the effort to build intentional community; coined from elements of "intentional community" and "behavioral engineering" (1999)
  • Labor-Gifting—no minimum labor requirement; from-one-to-others or one-way; pure altruism (2006)
  • Labor-Sharing—requires a labor contribution either as a fair-share or a labor-quota system (2003)
  • Landed Rainbow—1. unity of Heaven/spirituality/transcendance and Earth/materialism/immanence;
    2. application of values of the Rainbow Family of Living Light experienced in Rainbow Gatherings to use in creating intentional community with legal control of land (2006)
  • Lifestyles of Gifting and Sharing—intentional communities using labor-gifting or labor-sharing (2007)
  • Lifestyles of the Just and Joyous!—any form of intentional community other than authoritarian; contrasted with "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."
  • Material Spirituality—living in the material world consistent with spiritual ideals (1993)
  • Multi-Faith Reciprocity Ethic and the Spirit of Communalism—recognition that most religions agree on the concept of the Golden Rule and that this maxim is expressed in communal sharing; contrasted with "Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" (2006)
  • Ownership/Control Matrix—a two-dimensional model of political-economic structures, with common to private ownership on the horizontal axis and participatory to authoritarian political structures on the vertical axis, and a mid-range for each, resulting in nine different political/economic systems; also called "Intentional Community Matrix," "Communitarian Matrix," "Political/Economic Matrix" (1991)
  • Parallel Culture—a network of cultural alternatives involving gifting, sharing and/or exchanging on any cultural level, from a given locality such as a metropolitan area to world-wide (1999)
  • Plenty Paradigm—the optimistic view of a natural abundance in economic systems, based upon gifting & sharing in contrast to exchanging & taking (1997)
  • Political/Spiritual Matrix—a two-dimensional model combining forms of spiritual beliefs (see the spiritual/economic matrix) on the horizontal axes with forms of governance from participatory to authoritarian on the vertical axis; one of three matrices in the communitarian relationships model (1991)
  • Pluralist-Belief Structure—acceptance of a range of different beliefs, whether political, spiritual or other; typically found in secular, open societies; inclusive; integrationist; participatory; expressed individuality (1999)
  • Pod Communities—intentional communities in which different sub-groups maintain different economic and social agreements
  • Process Trend—the tendency toward increasing degrees of participation in governmental systems (1991)
  • Pure Altruism—contrasted with rational altruism, see Labor-Gifting (2006)
  • Rational Altruism—contrasted with Adam Smith's concept of "rational self-interest," and used in the definition of Labor-Quota (1997)
  • Scarcity Paradigm—the pessimistic view in economic systems based upon artificial scarcity in the creation of markets; involves exchanging and taking in contrast with gifting and sharing (1997)
  • Sharing Economies—see Labor-Sharing (2003)
  • Sharing-to-Privacy Continuum—a table presenting aspects of communitarian culture, constructed with the communitarian continuum and examples of intentional communities along the horizontal axis, and a range of cultural factors on the vertical axis, including interpersonal relationships, childcare programs, architectural and land use design, labor and managerial systems, and property codes (1991)
  • Spiritual/Economic Matrix—a two-dimensional model combining forms of spirituality with forms of the ownership of wealth; common to private ownership on the horizontal axis and belief structures from "minimal spiritual emphasis and no spiritual leader, secular community" to "strong spiritual emphasis, spiritual leaders and spiritual uniformity" on the vertical axis, and a mid-range for each, resulting in nine different spiritual/economic systems; corresponds closely with the political/economic matrix; one of three matrices comprising the communitarian relationships model (1991)
  • Time-Based Economics—any economic system in which time is used exclusively as a unit of measure, including labor exchanges, time-based currencies, labor-gifting and labor-exchanging (1997)
  • Timeline of Communitarianism—graphical presentation of intentional communities and utopian studies literature (1981)
  • Unified-Belief Structure—required belief in a particular political, spiritual or other concept or creed; dogmatism; closed society; classism; exclusive; isolationist; suppressed individuality (1999)
  • Waves of Communitarianism—successive high-points in numbers of intentional communities and movements organized in American history (1981)

References—Documents by A. Allen Butcher free for download as PDF files from this site:

  • 1982. Community and Cooperation. Self-published. (not available here)
  • 1983, revised 1992. Community, Inc.: Legal Incorporation for Intentional Community. Self-published.
  • 1991. Classifications of Communitarianism: Sharing, Privacy and the Ownership and Control of Wealth. Self-published.
  • 1992, January. Introduction to Intentional Community: The Concept, Value and History of Intentional Cultural Design. Self-published.
  • 1992, April, revised 1996. Democracy and Capitalism: Are They Critical Elements of a Climax Human Culture? Self-published.
  • 1993. Spiritual Evolution: Articles of Faith. Self-published.
  • 1996, Summer. "CoHousing as an American Luxury." CoHousing. (not available here)
  • 1997. Time-Based Economics: A Community Building Dynamic. Self-published.
  • 1999. Intentioneering the Parallel Culture. Self-published.
  • 2001. Geonomics and Community Power: The Enironmental and Public Benefits of Taxing Unearned Income. Self-published.
  • 2001, revised 2004. Light and Shadows: Interpersonal and Group Process in the Sharing Lifestyle. Self-published.
  • 2003. “Communal Economics.” Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World. Christensen, Karen and David Levinson (editors). Sage Publications.
  • 2005, May. ÉLAN: Equity-Linked Affinity Network. Self-published.
  • 2005, August. Mass Movement Manual: Shared Leadership in our Time of Change. Self-published.
  • 2006. Landed Rainbow: An Allegory Presenting Lifestyles of Gifting and Sharing. Self-published.
  • 2007. Gifting and Sharing: Living the Plenty Paradigm in Cohousing and Communal Society. Self-published.