How do autonomous, self-regulating individuals live in community with each other? How does our longing for health and happiness translate into political action? Even when people agree on what a vibrant community looks like, they can have radically diverging opinions about how best to bring it into existence.
Wilhelm Reich was a physician noted for his political engagement. Early on in his career as a psychotherapist he recognized the limitations of the therapeutic context and felt the need to introduce change through lobbying, policy change, and education. He later came to feel embarrassed about his political involvement and despaired that no political parties could could possibly bring about the change necessary for a vibrant, life-giving community. He felt that it was best for change to happen organically, through the bonds that developed amoung those engaged with their own work, which he called a “Worker’s Democracy.”
Reich envisioned a community, where love, work, and knowledge governed. In tandem with his view that these three primary drives should govern our individual lives, he thought that they should also govern society. He was clear that we couldn’t possibly prescribe how future generations should organize themselves to form healthy communities but that we could aspire to remove any and all obstacles in their way.
For a brief summary of Reich’s views on community relations, listen online: