So, here's the rules:
- You start with a small college town in the western US
- Small populations of Native Americans, Mexicans, Blacks, etc.
- You have to start in the late 70s
- In the 70s, the college town has equal numbers of Liberals and Conservatives
- The same historical forces apply (left/right wing radicalization, etc.)
- You must not be perceived as a threat to any institution powerful enough to thwart you
Here's my best attempt so far:
Home-grown Mary Sue oversees the entire operation
To start things off a highly talented local musician/singer/song writer becomes the next Justin Bieber (or Michael Jackson, to be historically relevant) and returns home to great acclaim and wealth. (So I've entered the "cube" and the "Borg" don't see me as a threat.)
Mary Sue immediately sets up a foundation and promises that if you will meet with one of his financial counselors once a month and take their advice, he will double your net worth when you retire.
The foundation also, over the decades, takes on more and more social work, private security, etc., until all city functions have been duplicated. The foundation also buys up all real estate.
In the late 10s, the foundation converts its governance model into a decentralized ledger-based system and moves its asset titles on to the ledger, effectively making them property common to all who are part of that system.
- Limited Money: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.” ― Margaret Thatcher. Mary Sue has to go from being Justin Bieber to being Warren Buffett to keep the coffers full. Maybe a college town is too big a bite to take?
- Limited Time: Bringing home the bacon takes time away from keeping the locals happy, etc., but music careers don't run themselves. And there are so many people who want to monopolize Mary Sue's time.
- Limited bandwidth: The amount of detail is exhausting. There are so many rules to write to handle contingency cases. And the number of ways to game the system just increases with time. Double that when writing the code for the decentralized ledger.
- Limited housing: There comes a point where if Mary Sue gets successful, the wealthy from nearby cities will bid up the price of land in this benefit-heavy town to the point where there is an affordable housing crisis. (That probably wouldn't be perceived as a threat, though.)
What's a plausible way to convert a small western college town into a commune?