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Introduction Utopian Literature Dystopian Literature Utopian Communities

Is It Utopia Yet?

Kat Kinkade. Is It Utopia Yet: An Insider’s View of Twin Oaks Community in Its 26th Year. Louisa, VA: Twin Oaks Publishing, 1994.

The only surviving pioneer, Kat Kinkade tells a down-to-earth Twin Oaks story, describing the community’s problems with governance, finances, and growth. She left for another commune for some years but returned because she wanted to “improve—perhaps even perfect—Twin Oaks. How can anybody explain the purpose of Utopia? It’s like explaining the purpose of Heaven. It’s just the place you want to be, that’s all.”

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Twin Oaks, an intentional community near Louisa, Virginia, was founded in 1967 with 8 people, 123 acres, and $2,000 pooled dollars and a vision. By the late 1990s, it had 100 people and a sustainable farm and small business. The core of the commune is described on its home page:http://www.twinoaks.org/

Since Twin Oaks began in 1967, our lifestyle has reflected our values of equality and nonviolence. Our goals have been to sustain and expand a community which values cooperation; which is not sexist or racist; which treats people in a caring and fair manner; and which provides for the basic needs of our members. Although our original inspiration came from B.F. Skinner’s novel, Walden Two, it is now just one of the many influences which have helped shape Twin Oaks’ character. Our desire to be a model social system has broadened to include human-scale solutions to problems of land use, food production, energy conservation, and appropriate use of technology.

Twin Oaks supports itself primarily through the manufacture of handcrafted hammocks and other casual furniture items. We also have a book-indexing service, and a growing tofu and soy foods business.