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150 . comunidad los horcones tasks they want to work on, as long as these tasks are on the coordinator’s list of things to be done (Los Horcones, “Pilot” 26–27). Men and women have equal access to all areas of work. The communards at Los Horcones advocate a sustainable economic system , which makes them very selective about the work habits they reinforce. “Never take anything away without replacing it” reads one of the many signs put up on the community’s grounds to remind people of proper behavior. This applies not only to tools but also to the sensible use of natural resources . Thus, another sign says: “Everything can be used and reused. Little needs to be thrown out.” This attitude is reflected in the work done at Los Horcones.Water is recycled, little plastic is used, work tools and other dailylife utensils are handled carefully to make them last longer, and so on. The throwaway attitude and overconsumption that prevail in capitalist societies are not acceptable at Los Horcones. Hardly any problems with the labor-time system, past or present, are reported in the numerous articles the community has published. In fact, the community’s economic basis and system of work distribution are always mentioned in general descriptions of the community, but they are never discussed in depth.However,it seems unlikely that there were no labor problems worth mentioning in over twenty years of community life. It is unfortunate that Los Horcones refuses to give a detailed picture of its economic system.4 In the absence of more information, deciding whether the laborcredit system based on time but not efficiency works for Los Horcones remains pure speculation. This is all the more regrettable since Los Horcones is the only Walden Two community in which Skinner’s proposals appear to function quite smoothly. 17 Leadership and Decision Making skinner favored a government run by professionals or, as Kinkade put it, “by those who are good at it” (interview with the author, April 10, 1995). The ordinary citizens of Walden Two, Skinner argued, would not be interested in governmental affairs and would put their utter trust in the abilities and goodwill of the planners and managers.Safeguards against mis04 .133-162_Kuhl.indd 150 3/29/05 4:02:36 PM use of power would not be necessary because nothing could be gained by misusing power, and no member of Walden Two could be bullied into obedience anyway. The Skinnerian planner-manager system did not survive at Twin Oaks or any of the other Walden Two experiments because the “ordinary ” citizens were simply not willing to give up being part of the decisionmaking process, no matter how much ability and goodwill the professionals displayed. Los Horcones took a different approach to the problem of governmental organization but—surprisingly—came up with very similar results . The communards at Los Horcones did not take Skinner’s governmental suggestions literally. To them, the “defining features” of a Walden Two–type government were the use of “the principles of behavior and an experimental approach to cultural analysis, design, and change” (Los Horcones, “Personalized ” 42), whereas Twin Oaks took Skinner’s specific planner-manager system itself for a defining feature of a Walden Two society. The way Los Horcones read and understood Walden Two led them to ask themselves a number of questions regarding the form of government they wished to implement: “As we started the Los Horcones community,we found ourselves confronting a number of questions concerning the system of government most suitable to a behaviorally designed community. What type of government is needed to promote cooperative and egalitarian behavior? How do we encourage pacifism and sharing? What type of government would allow our citizens to participate in all governmental functions? What type of government is needed to emphasize prevention rather than mere remediation? How do we insure that our government remains committed to our experimental approach to cultural design?” (42–43). It is clear that Skinner’s planner-manager system does not fulfill the Los Horcones requirements. Skinner does not aim at allowing citizens “to participate in all governmental functions”; quite the contrary. A later passage in the same article is even more obviously in disagreement with Skinner’s benign but anti-democratic planner-manager system: “By empirically assessing the effects of different forms of government on the governors, the governed,and on the community as a whole,we should be able to determine the type...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780252091650
Related ISBN
9780252029622
MARC Record
OCLC
811409117
Pages
264
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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