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Technically TogetherReconstructing Community in a Networked World$
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Taylor Dotson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036382

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036382.001.0001

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Imagining More Communitarian Infrastructures and Organizations

Imagining More Communitarian Infrastructures and Organizations

(p.159) 8 Imagining More Communitarian Infrastructures and Organizations
Technically Together

Taylor Dotson

The MIT Press

This chapter investigates the possibilities for better supporting more communitarian infrastructure and organizations. Community energy progresses too slowly because of an uncertain policy environment. More communal retail is lacking in part due to the various subsidies provided to large chains and online stores. Public transit is slowed by both inappropriate expectations that they have little effect on automobile traffic and the wrongheaded insistence that they support themselves primarily through fares. Other barriers are cultural. For example, transit authorities tend go for grand projects rather than incremental changes; potential synergies between different cooperative retail arrangements remain unrealized; the insistence that information be “free” stands in the way of communally governed Internets. Budgeting practices that privilege dollars saved over community benefit, moreover, leads to inappropriately scaled organizations: community buildings and schools too large to center community life. Anxieties over performance stifle the development of democratic schools. Finally, tax laws do too little to distinguish non-profits that provide broad community benefits from those that serve the needs of small, isolated, and relatively privileged populations.

Keywords:   Infrastructure, Organizations, Democratic schooling, Community energy, Cooperative retail, Transportation economics, Perverse subsidies, Barriers, Obduracy

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