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> What if, per one of Plato’s suggestions, we essentially outlawed families and forced everyone to raise children communally?

This seems a swell thought experiment, but I contend that people do not scale, and the power of socialism tapers off along something like an inverse square of the population.

Dunbar's Number[1] and the Iron Law of Oligarchy[2] pack substantial truth.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar's_number

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

I can argue a multi-generational family is essentially its own community.

Historically most people didn't move all that much. So you can still see this in many non-western countries. Your cousins live in your community, your parents see their brothers and sisters very often, and this forms a support structure.

My theory is this accounts for why mental illness is so rampant in Western countries, but comes nowhere close in more community oriented cultures. Tribe, is an outstanding book on this topic. We aren't meant to be a bunch of autonomous units competing against each other.

Sure. The size of a healthy clan is around that of Dunbar's Number, for cognitive reasons.

birth families are a terrible way to form communities. I despise my birth family and have nothing in common with them other than genetics. My real family is my friends.

I hope that healing, forgiveness, and joy become possible at some point in your situation.

That's just not always attainable, I know.

Thank you. I've been trying to be open to that possibility but so far it has eluded me. I really appreciate your compassionate encouragement.

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