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"We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week..."

A commune is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, egalitarian social structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes.

Communes originated in medieval Europe, springing up throughout Italy, France, Germany and Flanders. At the time, they denoted a self-governing town whose citizens had entered an "agreement" to protect and collaborate with one another. The name would later become linked with Socialism, most notably with the rise (and bloody fall) of the Paris Commune in 1871. Communal institutions were established as a system of collectivized agriculture in the Soviet Union and China, designed to create developed, self-reliant rural communities with shared farm labor. The inefficiencies and failures of these communal systems would unfortunately lead to mass famines.

In the United States, communal living became a popular experiment throughout the 1960s. Hippie writer/editor/computer innovator Stewart Brand founded The Whole Earth Catalog based on his observation that lots of young people were leaving mainstream society and attempting to re-invent civilization. Other hippie philosophers including Timothy Leary, Alan Watts, Allen Ginsburg and Gary Snyder expressed similar ideas. Tapes of their "Psychedelic Summit" meeting discussing just how to do it and the possibility of humanity returning to an "Adam and Eve" simplicity still circulate online.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, most modern communes (and many of the 60s and 70s variety) are not free-love refuges for flower children,note  but well-ordered, pragmatic cooperatives. And as Kate Daloz says in her book We Are As Gods, "every last leaf and crumb of today's $39 billion organic food industry owes its existence" to the hippie communes of the 60s and 70s. Such communities have helped produce popular products like Stonyfield yogurt, Twin Oaks furniture, Celestial Seasonings tea, Cascadia Farms food, and Burt's Bees cosmetics. There are many contemporary intentional communities all over the world, including Israeli kibbutzes, Indian ashrams and American/European Anabaptistnote  communities.

This is often the habitat (in fiction) of the New-Age Retro Hippie, Hippie Parents, and the Granola Girl, and often city dwellers who felt the Call to Agriculture or thought The Simple Life is Simple. The darker variant involves cults full of Horror Hippies or Crazy Survivalists/Right Wing Militia Fanatics and Dirty Communists, since most communist states had collective farms that were (usually mandatory) communes. Even outside Commie Land, communists and other leftists have lived this way at times, or supported it at least.

Compare The Order, a group that doesn't necessarily live together but exists to perform one specific task.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Moriarty the Patriot: The Moriarty household functions. While William is nominally in charge, as well as Albert in some aspects, they insist on egalitarianism and equality in all things, and share the workload—in fact, it's required that they all contribute something to the household they all live in, in addition to working to William's plans for his great purpose. Once the all reunite properly in The Adventure of the Empty Hearts, Moneypenny even mentions the empty rooms bothered her deeply and she's happy everyone is together and can happily together—and William has given up his role as leader.

    Comic Books 
  • A handful of examples appear in Ultimate X Men as a consequence of mutants navigating a society that hates and fears them more overtly in a Darker and Edgier setting. Instead of seizing a country, Magneto based his Brotherhood on an island that they turned into the Savage Land. There they plan to build a culture of mutant supremacy from the ground up, which seems to involve seizing iconic arts of human culture while destroying their institutions as well as humans for cattle. Later on, surviving X-Men and some other mutants are granted a reservation on a barren piece of American soil. Using their powers, they manage to not only terraform it into something livable, but engineer an adaptive, sentient crop as well that puts them on the map as a solution to world hunger.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Despite being ruled by a Queen the original Paradise Island had many commune style elements, as a group of like-minded women with communal properties and gardens, shared responsibilities and many decisions made by an informal vote of all the Amazons or through competitions rather than by the queen.
    • Wonder Woman: Warbringer: Upon learning that there are no men on the island and that the contents of the armory are communal property and therefore cannot actually be "stolen" Alia comes to the conclusion that she's somehow been rescued to a very odd secretive island commune or communist cult.

    Fan Works 
  • The Victorious/iCarly/Sam & Cat fic series "More Moons than Our Eyes Can Recount and Store" focuses on most of the major characters in both series (including Tori, Carly, Spencer, and Sam) revealing that they are werewolves as they form romantic relationships with various others, such as Sam and Carly dating before Carly left to live with her father and Cat joining them in a poly relationship after she and Cat started dating before Carly returned. After they have all graduated from high school, Beck suggests that they all pitch in to help him purchase an old summer camp so that they can form a commune of sorts, allowing the werewolves to run free on the nights on the full moon with ease while still being close enough for them all to find work in the city.

  • Les Baba Cool is a French comedy film which happens in a hippie commune in Southern France.
  • Earth (1930) is a 1930 Soviet propaganda film about a Ukrainian peasant village moving from individual farms to collectivization of agriculture, with tension between the idealistic young communists who support collectivization, and the rich farmers ("kulaks") who want to keep their stuff.
  • Easy Rider has a scene set in a commune where the hippies are shown sowing their seeds in sand.
  • The movie Flashback, with Dennis Hopper and Kiefer Sutherland, revealed that straightlaced FBI agent John Buckner (Sutherland) spent his childhood on a commune with his Hippie Parents, who named him "Free". He and hippie convict Huey Walker (Hopper) end up fleeing through the West Coast wilderness to that very same commune many years later.
  • The Last Station shows Leo Tolstoy's Yasnaya Polyana farm estate, which he was running as a commune at the time.
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene: The cult which Martha was part of are one, denouncing having possessions with collectively owned property and shared chores. She also lacks any normal sense of privacy about sex later, as they had orgies.
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post: Jane says she was raised on a hippie commune, as shown in flashbacks from her childhood.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In the page quote, Dennis the peasant informs Arthur that he refuses to acknowledge him as king, since Dennis didn't get to vote for him, and getting made king by having received a sword from "some watery tart" (i.e. the Lady of the Lake) is no basis for government. He then goes into a far more detailed explanation of how their governance works, to Arthur's annoyance (eventually culminating in him grabbing Dennis). This is stated on the DVD commentary by John Cleese as a parody of radical leftists living in the UK at the time.
  • Our Daily Bread is about John and Mary Sims, two City Mice who are desperate enough during The Great Depression to accept an offer to work an idle farm owned by Mary's uncle. They are pretty much helpless at farming, until Chris, a dispossessed farmer on his way to California, has a car breakdown right outside their farm. John invites Chris to stay on the farm rent-free in exchange for helping him work it. Inspired, John invites other tradesmen to live on the farm and work it. They wind up establishing a socialist collective farm in which there is no private property and everything goes into one common pot.
  • The Swedish comedy/drama film Together is set in a 1975 leftist commune in Stockholm.
  • The Reveal of The Village (2004) is that Covington, which appeared to be an isolated 19th century town, is this. The founders actually established the community back in The '70s, turning their backs on modern civilization to live in an enclosed community.
  • In the Time Skip between X-Men: Apocalypse and Dark Phoenix Magneto has retired and established a commune for mutants on a small remote island.

  • Tom 'Stoner' Stone, of the 1632 books, is the last remaining member of Lothlorien Commune, as he continues to style his home. The others drifted off over the years, leaving him with the property and three young boys to raise.
  • Nina in Fyra systrar by Solveig Olsson-Hultgren is sent away to her mother's cousin's commune.
  • Herland: Herland is one, with no private property and children raised communally from age two up.
  • jPod: John Doe is the son of a militant lesbian second-wave anarcha-feminist and a turkey baster, and was raised in a commune of like-minded women. He left the commune at age 18 because he dreamed of having a door (his mother considered doors to be symbols of the male desire to confine and isolate women and unironically referred to them as "wooden burqas") and has since been on a quest to become the most average person ever.
  • Philip K. Dick's novel A Maze Of Death opens with several strangers arriving at the "Tekel Upharsin Kibbutz".
  • The novel The Persistence Of Vision by John Varley features a commune of deaf-blind people. They have some friends and their children to interact with the outside world when they need to. They also found themselves at times dealing with a hostile outside world, being attacked by a biker gang, and having to deal with social services trying to take their kids away from them.
  • The Scholomance: El and her mother Gwen, both wizards, live with unknowing Muggles in a rural New Age commune where Gwen can experience nature and offer free healing. The others aren't any paragons of moral purity, since they cold-shouldered a young El to the point of ignoring her in an emergency, but El generally thinks well enough of the place.
  • The almost-forgotten James Leo Herlihy novel The Season of the Witch is about a 17-year-old runaway who goes to New York with a draft-dodging friend and ends up living in a city commune. The residents have outside jobs and pool money and resources. They have friends attempting realistic plans at a "New America". There is another city commune in Toronto later in the story.
  • After Michael Smith, the first human born on Mars, builds his new religion, the "Church of All Worlds", in Stranger in a Strange Land, he and his intimates live together in a nudist free love communal home called "the nest". It's actually strictly disciplined and the residents are studying to become superbeings who will soon run the world via Psychic Powersnote  and Michael's unbelievable wealth. Tim Zell and a few friends tried to re-create this environment if not the goals (since neither the Martian language nor unbelievable wealth were available to them) starting in 1962. Their Church of All Worlds, which went in a neopagan direction in 1974, still exists today.
  • In S. M. Stirling's T2 series (sequels to Terminator 2: Judgment Day), antagonist Ron Labane starts out living at a commune that's held on since the 70s, although he abandons it when he decides that the others have sold out.
  • If you want to try this yourself, books like Alicia Bay Laurel's Living on the Earth, John & Jane Shuttleworth's Mother Earth News and Stewart Brand's The Whole Earth Catalog series are how-to guides for communal/rural living skills. Joan Shortney's How to Live on Nothing and the Foxfire series may help with both rural and city communes.
  • In The October Child, the Mariners move to Sydney and find that an abandoned building in their area is inhabited by a commune. The members are all Christians and offer aid to everyone who needs it. Oldest child Kenneth falls in with them and eventually decides to join the commune and change his name to Brother Benedict. When the commune gets kicked out of their home, Kenneth abandons his original plan to move back to Chapel Rocks, where he grew up, instead moving north into the countryside with the other members.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All Rise: Sherri was raised on one, it turns out, where her parents still live. When she left years ago, it was very difficult to adjust since the outside world is so different.
  • Carnival Row: The New Dawn, a communist insurgency, set this up in the territory they control. Everyone must work, but everything that's produced belongs to them all (at least, so it's said).
  • In Lost, a flashback in season 3 shows that John Locke joined a commune for a time, until he eventually led the cops to their camp's secret marijuana farm, and had to move on.
  • mixed•ish: The Johnson family previously lived on one that was committed to racial equality, with many mixed-race families like themselves before the authorities closed it down. Afterward, moving to the outside world where this is still far less acceptable in the US gives the series much of its drama.
  • My Name Is Earl. Earl recalls that he once robbed a stoner of all his possessions during a Heat Wave a few summers back. He tracks the guy down, and finds that he's living in a hippie commune outside of Camden, and thus doesn't want his air-conditioner or other items back. He teaches Earl about climate change...but also that it's going to be small changes that help prevent an Apocalypse How.
  • The Nanny. Fran's descriptions of her exciting adventures on a kibbutz in Israel as a teen - which she's looking at through a Nostalgia Filter - makes older daughter Maggie to want to go, despite the fact that she isn't Jewish.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Lithia", the future female society all live in these, which they call "enclaves". All resources appear to be shared as needed wherever the World Council rules they should go. From what can be seen, they even live communally in the same buildings (no separate houses are shown), a feature that not all real communes have.
  • The Meyerist community in The Path. Since the mid-1970s, people have lived and worked there, growing food and pooling resources. They sell swag and books and give classes to earn more money. It's still a very '70s place owing to Meyerist attitudes and styles. It was originally the family farm of founder Steve Meyer. When prospective leader Eddie Lane has a vision of "The Garden" of Meyerist prophecy, it looks just like a more complete version of the community.
  • Sense8: Amanita grew up in a commune where her Hippie mother lived for a while. She and Nomi are surprised when they find that the cabin owned by Angelica, who "birthed" Nomi's Sensate Cluster, happens to be near that very commune.
  • Naomi's mum Gina in Skins turns their house into a commune populated by naked people, Jesus lookalikes, free love (one of the hippies notes of just-woken-up-naked-Naomi that "it's nothing he hasn't seen before", and she's "even got the same haircut her mum does"-he's not looking at her head), random transients and dopey women called Dopey who object to the heteronormative patriarchal symbolism of the humble banana.
  • The Society: After finding themselves stuck in another world, Allie and the town's government decide to then collectivize assets (like houses or cars) for survival. This displeases richer residents who lost their property, but seems to work overall. They also assign chores, with rations allocated in return.
  • Tidelands (Netflix): L'Attente is officially just a kind of hippie free love group who live together while sharing resources, but they're really siren-human hybrids and involved with drug trafficking. They still practice the free love part, but now members are paid according to how much Adrielle deems they contributed.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "On Thursday We Leave for Home", in order to keep control over "his" people once they return to Earth, Captain William Benteen intends to obtain a land grant from the US government so they can set up their own community isolated from the outside world. He takes it for granted that the other survivors will follow him unquestionably. However, when Colonel Sloane advises him to discuss the matter with them, Benteen discovers that they all intend to go their separate way and settle in different states. Benteen is devastated.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Quarantine", after being revived from cryo-stasis, Matthew Foreman finds himself in what appears to be a small, primitive farming community in 2347. He later learns that although they have abandoned all forms of machinery, they are far from primitive as they use Bio-Augmentation to improve both themselves and the world around them.
    • In "The Wall", the Gate leads to a small, agrarian community on a Paradise Planet where the people work together for their mutual advantage.

    Newspaper Comics  

  • Verses from the New Testament's Book of Acts indicate that members of the early Christian church lived in communes. Acts 2:44-45 says of the early Christians: "And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need." Acts 4:32-37 goes into further detail, describing how all possessions were held in common. Rich believers who owned houses and land sold the proceeds and gave them to the apostles. The first ten verses of Acts 5 describe Ananias and Sapphira, two believers who sold their land but kept some of the proceeds for themselves. After Peter confronts them, they fall over dead. Numerous later Christians (and non-Christians at times) have taken inspiration from this idea. The famous "To each according to his ability, to each according to his need" for one, is traced back to it. Anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon used this as an inspiration for his works, and the slogan was then taken up by communists, socialists etc. The entire verse has of course also served as inspiration to many Christian groups who lived communally (monasteries, for instance, are essentially communes). Members of other faiths now and in the past have also lived this way.
  • In the Book of Moses in the The Pearl of Great Price, the city Enoch founds for the righteous descendents of Adam became so pure it was directly sent to the Heavens. One of its practices was common property.


    Video Games 
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a community of violent survivalists.
  • The Outer Worlds has the Deserter community in the Botanical Lab, using science and nature to keep themselves alive and growing crops with special fertilizer to prevent themselves from starving, which is happening in the company town of Edgewater, which is where they are deserting from. The leader and founder of their community, Adelaide Dewitt, established a sustainable community where people could live free from company control.

  • Erfworld:
    • Jillian's original Side was one under her father King Banhammer. Or as close as you can get in a world that is a 4X wargame. They had three cities, all in a single mountain valley, and they never attacked their neighbors. They had a Predictamancer to tell when enemy units were getting too close, and a Foolamancer to veil their cities one at a time when necessary. They had farms and mines for basic upkeep, but still had to hire themselves out for mercenary work (to distant Sides that had never heard of them) to make ends meet. The bubble kingdom would likely have eventually collapsed under the economics of the world sooner rather than later, but in the end it fell when Wanda Firebaugh convinced an idiot warlord named Stanley to attack. She assumed he'd just get croaked, but when she realized he actually had a chance to win, she joined him and brought down the capital from within.
    • In the Magic Kingdom, the barbarian Hippiemancers do a smaller scale version. There are three distinct groups under the Hippiemancer umbrella: The Florists, the Signamancers, and the Date-A-Mancers. The services of the Florists are in moderate demand due to their ability to grow food and recreational drugs, but the Signamancers don't get much work, and the Date-A-Mancers get almost none. Therefore, wealth is shared equally between all residents so that no one is in danger of disbanding due to lack of upkeep, and on the rare occasions where they have extra money, they donate it to outsiders who need it.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: In "D'oh-in in the Wind", it is revealed that at some point, Homer's mother Mona started spending time at a commune with two hippies, Seth and Munchie.

    Real Life  
  • The Adamite nudist free-love movement and its communes go back to the 2nd century.
  • Several communal societies were tried in the United States in the 19th century, including the Shakers, the Harmony Society, and the Oneida community. Oneida has an afterlife as (this is true) a silverware company. It's also famous for practicing free-love and generally being rather hippie-ish despite existing 100 years too early. Robert Dale Owen (D-IN), anti-slavery activist, birth control/women's rights advocate and Spiritualist, helped to found the New Harmony commune in Indiana.
  • The United Order, in Mormonism, founded in 1831, was an attempt in this as was a pre-Mormon commune called "The Family", begun as part of the Christian Restoration movement. Later, under Brigham Young, it was restarted on a limited basis, leading to the founding of Orderville, Utah.
    • Some Fundamentalist groups still practice the United Order such as the FLDSnote  and the Kingston clan.
    • The United Order Family of Christ, a liberal group for gay Mormons in the 1970s, practised United Order.
  • The famous Paris Commune of 1871 was another example. It involved the city being declared independent of France and forming an anarcho-socialist government without leaders, with property nationalized, wealth redistributed, women given property rights and secular education for all. It was brutally crushed in the famous Bloody Week in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, with its members shot or sent to the infamous penal colony on Devil's Island.
  • Many anarcho-pacifist vegetarian communes were founded worldwide in the 1890s and 1900s based on the ideas of Leo Tolstoy as set out in his book The Kingdom of God Is Within You. Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by this and had his own Tolstoyan commune for a time. Tolstoy didn't really believe in communes as such, as his ideals could be lived anywhere, but he did start a farm on his family's estate to raise food for famine relief (you can see it in The Last Station). There are still Tolstoyan communes today.
  • In 1897, artist and Tolstoyan anarchist Karl Diefenbach founded the Himmelhof (Heavenly Courtyard) commune near Vienna. They had nudism, polyamory and vegetarianism, rejecting traditional Christianity in favor of living in divine harmony with nature. In Russia around that same time, it was the Doukhobors.
  • Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong imposed agricultural collectivization in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and China in the 1950s. Prior to them, numerous socialists and anarchists had also advocated/set up communes as well.
  • The Maplewood Flats Conservation Area had an informal commune beginning in the 1940s. These were disaffected artists, loggers, poets and scholars who sought a return to and preservation of nature. Paul Spong, founder of the original "Save the Whales" movement and one of the first to communicate with whales and confirm that they were highly intelligent, lived there in the early 1970s.
  • Months before the alleged "Summer of Love" in 1967, so many predators — especially coke and meth dealers — had moved in on the Haight-Ashbury district having heard of the coming influx of kids,note  that real hippies were starting to leave. Many bought land in rural areas, established single-family farms, collective farms or communes. They practiced organic farming, reclaimed rural skills, started the Back to the Land movement and founded Mother Earth News (which actually coined the phrase "back to the land"). This magazine, which still exists, created a sub-Trope Namer for hippies as having "left the cities, moved to Oregon, mellowed out and raised potatoes." You can read about them in Carter Taylor Seaton's book Hippie Homesteaders about the many who made West Virginia their home, Michael Watts' West of Eden about northern California, and Margaret Grundstein's Naked in the Woods, narrating the unvarnished and messy reality of building a successful (or not) community in said environment, on land near Flores Creek, Oregon. Another book about this same Oregon commune is Carol Schlanger's Hippie Woman Wild. Vermont Public Radio remembers the Vermont communes; the independent newspaper Seven Days has a more in-depth article on Vermont here.
  • The Children of God, today's Family International, founded in 1968, used to live in communes, initially called "colonies", under the authority of "Shepherds"; nowadays they are more relaxed about this rule and allow some members to live on their own.
  • Auroville, India, founded in 1968, is a town where the members are expected to fill the community chest either in cash or in kind. Founded by Blanche Alfassa, a French student of Sri Aurobindo, the focus was originally on practicing mental disciplines to aid in 'cellular transformation'. Upon Blanche's death, a core group of followers tried to run the town through strict adherence to her ideas, which resulted in several devotees dying because they wouldn't seek medical aid. Today, Auroville is still a communal village, but very much involved in practical life.
  • The Diggers were a Christian communist group started in the mid 17th century, who founded a commune at St George's Hill in 1649, which lasted a few months before being broken up by violent harassment from the landowners in the area, culminating in an outright assault by the Army.
    • The San Francisco Diggers of the 1960s were named for this group. While they didn't necessarily live together, they were nonviolent anarchists who firmly believed in finding realistic methods to establish a totally free economy without property ownership.note  They collected and gave away still-good food thrown away by restaurants and grocery stores, ran "free stores", published literature and put on plays illustrating their beliefs. A similar group in the UK founded by labor activist Sid Rawle did start several communes, some funded by John Lennon.
  • Drop City, founded by art students in Colorado in 1965, lasted about ten years. Their most recognizable feature was the houses. They were Fullerdomes built from metal salvaged from junk cars (Buckminster Fuller loved it. He sent them a huge donation). The Zomeworks solar energy company and the Zometool construction kit were created by founder Steve Baer.
  • Myrtle Hill in Vermont also had geodesic domes. Kate Daloz' book We Are As Gods emphasizes that the do-nothing layabout hippie is a stereotype. Bernie Sanders, visiting to do a study on natural childbirth, was kicked out for sitting around engaging in political/philosophical discussions, keeping the residents from getting stuff done.
  • Needmore, in Brown County, Indiana, founded in the 1960s by the wealthy Canada family, started as a commune but became a co-op, likewise today's thriving Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary in Lawrence County.
  • Twin Oaks in Louisa, Virginia is still around after 40 years. They make hammocks and soy products.
  • Morningstar, founded in 1966 by music promoter Lou Gottlieb, was originally intended as a peaceful place for a few people to live quietly, raise food and meditate, closer to an Ashram. The influx of "Summer of Love" runaways, encouraged by the Diggers who thought the kids could work on and expand the farm to provide free food for their giveaways, ended that serenity. Morningstar still managed to last into 1973, albeit with police hassles, serious overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and general chaos. Most of the really hard-working, dedicated residents lived on the outskirts of the property. It's likely few people remember anything about Morningstar except that there was a large contingent of perpetually naked women. They used to unnerve police by politely greeting them at the gate.
    My parents couldn't brag that their daughter was in a national magazine because she was stark raving naked. — Pam's Chronicles by Pam Read, shown here working at Morningstar (top left photo) in the Time magazine photospread, July 1967.
  • Holiday, in the Santa Cruz mountains, got started when the owner of a run-down resort offered to rent it to fifteen hippies who'd just lost their place in nearby Ben Lomond, for $500/ month if they would clean and repair the place. They did, and the owner was so impressed he let them stay there for free the first month. 45 or 50 people ended up living there, contributing to the rent through outside work and the usual cottage industry, with charitable donations from the Quakers. While LSD and other drugs were fine, Holiday was extremely strict; you had to pass a panel of coordinators to be accepted.
  • The Hog Farm is still alive and well in 2014.
  • Another commune still running strong is The Farm although it had kind of a rough start. The women, led by Ina Gaskin, pioneered a natural pregnancy/childbirth movement and have trained many thousands of midwives.
  • Sunburst ran a huge organic farm and many natural groceries across the Southwest. The commune still exists having survived through many vicissitudes, often caused by founder Norman Paulsen.
  • And there's always Slab City, down in the California badlands east of San Diego.
  • The Renaissance Commune, originally "Brotherhood of the Spirit", led by Spirit in Flesh frontman Michael Metelica, tried to revive a dying town with profitable industries before collapsing in the early 1980s.
  • Also begun in 1983, Stonyfield Farm started as a school for organic/natural dairy farming.
  • George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia described an anarcho-syndicalist commune in the title city that was finally crushed, not by the Francoist army but by the Stalinists. See Life & Labor Commune also. These were common in the period from 1936-1939 among the anarchists in Catalonia, with many being quite successful during their brief tenure.
  • Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge attempted to turn all of Cambodia into one giant commune in the 1970s. The result was the Cambodian genocide which killed up to 25% of the population.
  • Any monastery where monks or nunsnote  make a vow of poverty (which means they can't own personal property) is effectively a functional commune. This applies not only to Christian varieties, as Hindu, Buddhist and Jain monastics also exist, with their own abbeys (these predate Christianity). Islamic mystics also had a rich history of setting up communes, mostly because some of their beliefs (their liberal attitude towards sexuality and different orientations, their insistence on redistribution of wealth, etc.) usually clashed with the mainstream clergy's. Most of those were destroyed by the invading Mongols, but a handful still remain in places like Turkey that never got hit in those invasions.

  • Older Than Feudalism with the Pythagoreans among others in ancient Greece, who also had communes. Arguably Older Than Dirt too with most foraging peoples (which included all of humankind for the first twelve millennia or so) and those who still exist now as well. Generally, land is not privately owned, but held by the tribe, and resources shared (there's some personal property like clothes, weapons or tools though). This is often strictly enforced, and easier in a small, very close-knit group of course. Many theorists have said that about 150-200 people is the practical limit for communes, and this fits well with the size of many tribes too. Communists such as Marx even cited this "primitive communism" as proof of their theories.
  • Confusingly to some, the word "commune" is also an old term for a municipality in France (the "Commune of Paris") Italy and the Nordic countries. It even shows up in English indirectly; the word "Commons" in "House of Commons" is an anglicisation of the Norman French communes, meaning "towns" (since the English House's constituencies historically corresponded to the boroughs, counties, and cities of England).
  • Kibbutzim are Jewish communes in Israel that originally developed as utopian experiments while the area was occupied by the Ottomans, with many more emerging as people fled the Russian pogroms and later the Holocaust. They've started to decline and become privatized as the modern state of Israel consolidates though.
  • Most Anabaptist groups such as the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonites practice communalism.