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I compiled the thread of postings concerning communities.

I have been passively viewing this newsgroup's postings for about 1.5 years. I have one pressing question for those who are actively building survival sites around the world. How many are planning and/or building self sufficient shelters for more than one or two families? In other words, how many people (# of adults, # of children) will it take to successfully build a community in the after times?
My personal belief is between 40 and 60 people depending on skills and abilities. I foresee a commune type situation that will be successful with a group of Service-to-Others.
I'll answer honestly with what is my feeling, rather than logic. I guess I'm in a special circumstance as I have a lot of contacts in the world, and expect the next 5 years to get very lively. I think the target community will live in a conglomerate of domes, some of which will have multiple living quarters, and will be about 300 folks or so, multiple families. This is not what I'm preparing, it is what I feel I am preparing for, if you get my gist. It's an emotional and intellectual plan, not an actual today what-I'm-doing plan.
As a minimum one must cover all the vital jobs: food prep, hydroponics, building, primitive survival skills, medical skills, etc. as detailed in Troubled Times topics as listed. My thoughts is this could be as few as 2 people or as many as into the thousands. I believe the optimum size to be between 20 and 25. The mix being about half adults and half children.
I have a feeling that any communities that form after the pole shift are going to be more medieval then utopian. I think the hardest of things to reconstruct after the shift will be community living. Look at the current state of affairs in present day community. I went to a city meeting about recreational needs for my ward, apparently we have a great gob of money budgeted for our ward and the city wants some direction on how to spend it. Eight people showed up.
Community happens naturally based on the mindset of the folks. Look at the Troubled Times list serve, for instance. We're a community. We set policy based on individual freedom to chose tasks (volunteer) and democratic methods (votecall). We openly discuss issues, no back room agreements. We accomplish things. Mostly, we’re highly Service-to-Other in our mind set. We didn't plan this, it happened due to our mindset.
My definition of a community (preparing for the after time) is any Service-to-Other group of people who are working cooperatively to survive the pole shift and carry on the human race. This is a daunting task, but the key here is cooperation. John wrote that it will take between 40 - 60 people, half adults with various skills to carry on. Mike wrote that optimum might be 20 - 25 (adults?). I tend to agree with both. If the initial community is made-up of 25 - 50 adults, each with 3 - 4 job skills, then most of the necessary jobs would be covered. But not all of the necessary industries would survive.
Think about something as simple as a piece of metal cookware, or anything metal for that matter. To simplify, one person must know metal casting, manufacturing, and finishing. Another, how to make molds to cast in. Who knows how to make steel, stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, or copper ready to cast. Someone must know mining to get the raw materials, and a good geologist would know where to mine. This is important to me to know how large a community to plan for. If a bunch of people are preparing for single family survival, how will these communities come together in the after times. I believe one must start with 50 - 100 people in a well prepared shelter. Even for procreation, the gene pool should be 12 - 25 families to avoid inbreeding in the future (25 - 50 years).
Realistically, the groups of survivors will be smaller, close to family size plus tag-alongs. Your concerns about inbreeding and skill sets to cover everything presume total isolation of survivors. This didn't happen in the old west nor after prior pole shifts. The blacksmith will sell his product for the food he doesn't know how to grow, and word of his skills will get around, etc.
I don't think any community as a whole, should prepare for the shift together. The small groups and families is what it's going to take to survive. The reason being, A small group will prepare and help each other because they all helped in the planning and preparation. If you get a group of 40-200 people together calling themselves a community before the shift, what you will have is a few people doing the work, a few living on the welfare of the others, and a few already figuring out ways to rule the rest after the pole shift. These small groups of folks will find one another later. Then the communities will begin, with those who don't work, not eating. And they will be too busy living then to put up with a dictator in a true Service-to-Other community.

Offered by Pat.