|DMG makes several cogent assumptions. |
First, he is looking for a city project. Those of us here who know the works of Jane Jacobs understand why the city is truly the wellspring of civilization. Cities, not "states," are the fountainheads. Even the smallest American states are geographically large. You cannot fill one up with libertarians or whoever your favorites are. Cities are corporations; and you can incorporate a village. That also creates certain favorable situations.
Second, unlike retreatists who seek impossible "self-sufficiency" his goal leaves the routes of trade open, wide open. He is not thinking of a Galt's Gulch - which even in the fiction of the novel was not self-sufficient.
And I agree with the babies. No cult without babies has survived. No Shakers have been seen in Shaker Heights for many years. If you want your community to grow, to prosper, you need babies. Old immigrants are fine and all, but babies bring the unknown and previously unknowable to the world. Kids bring new ideas. You need that if you are going to have something other than a Kremlin for a community.
In some ancient Greek cities, citizens were fined for not attending the gymnasium. If your community depends on citizen-soldiers, then time at defense would be a requirement. In fact, America's Second Amendment has its roots in the German cities of the Middle Ages. Not trained in knighthood and having no time or interest in it, the burghers, the master craftsmen, the journeymen, and apprentices, took up firearms: easy to use in defense of the city.
But, myself, I have to question how that relates to the division of labor. After all, DMG did predicate his community on "specialization in market valued abilities." Defense is only that. Why not require that all citizens have superior computer hacking and electronic countermeasure skills? I mean, if your town is surrounded by the enemy, hacking their command and control structure is more effective than any gunplay. I see defense as a service to be sold.
Also, while your community of hand-to-hand experts might consist entirely of people like Master Po and Mr. Miyagi, my experience is that in any fight club, you get people who like to fight and some of them become problems.
All in all, I tend to agree with Ed's point of view: you are best off caring for yourself in whatever community you live. Some are better than others. Ed moved to Houston from Minneapolis. I moved to Austin from Ann Arbor. Ultimately, none of them is utopia, nor intended to be.
I recommend often California Utopian Colonies by Robert V. Hine. No place on Earth was more conducive to the many efforts. You can claim that they all failed (which they did) because they were communist, collectivist, religionist, etc. They failed because they were isolated. California also had thousands of communities that succeeded: Anaheim, Hollywood, Cupertino, Modesto, Crescent City,..., Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacremento,...
On Ice Cream
A long time ago, at a local Libertarian Party monthly dinner, the guy next to me and I both took out our little bottles of mixed pills. (Food is just a convenient uptake for vitamins.) He said that he got his first job as a kid to be able to buy his own vitamins. After dinner, he ordered two scoops of ice cream. I asked him about that. He said that he bicycled around South America - literally, around the entire coast line - and no matter where he was at night, the one thing he could count on was ice cream.
Longer ago than that, visiting family friends on a farm, we made it by hand. Much later, as a performer at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum, I learned to make it with liquid nitrogen... but it is easier with just ice and salt, especially with children. Don't put in sugar if you don't want sugar.
(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 10/16, 10:34am)