5.a.11 – What are the functions of the village?

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June 22, 2010 — Riccardo Sabellotti - Giacinto Sabellotti

What are the functions of the village?

As it was presented, the village can be seen as a source of easily available resources, which are given by people who know each other directly and are linked by bonds of friendship. It is also a reference point for the coordination of individual sub-groups in the activities held in common and therefore allows a greater specialization of the activities themselves, relying on the contribution of various internal groups.
In case of need, in a small group it is possible that none is currently available or has the necessary knowledge or other, but in a village made up of over 50 people that eventuality becomes highly unlikely. In this case the individual has therefore rightly the feeling of not ever being alone: there is always someone we can rely on and to contact. The psychological benefits in terms of peace and security are immediately obvious. Especially in the management of culture and information, it is possible to get much higher performance, in fact in a population of several dozen individuals can be collected a huge cultural heritage and the same applies to the information useful or potentially useful. Here is then defined another concept having fundamental importance: the growth of the group is important to increase the skills and synergies, and then the growth makes sense only if it allows an improvement of the effectiveness of the group or a reduction in effort of individuals, otherwise it is a useless growth, if not harmful. When the size of a group may weaken the bonds on which the group is based, it is better not to increase it or may even be advisable a decrease, but this must not make renounce definitively to growth: it must instead be seen as the necessary step to develop a different structure that enables an advantageous growth.
Today, the associations formed by a few tens of people are innumerable, carry out several thousand activities and could all take the form of a village, taking a greater role of aggregation and social organization. In fact, the activities that would be added (information, cultural, psychological and material) would make the new organization similar to a real community with a certain autonomy from the social point of view; this would be just that community which has been lost for some time in large cities, leaving the citizen increasingly alone.
Some time back, the young mothers who had the need to work, not having nursery facilities nearby, organized themselves taking the weekly day off on different days so that each one, in turn, would have taken care of children of all others. Facing the problem of road accidents continually occurring on Saturday nights making massacre of youth returning from night clubs, a father who had thus lost his son  managed to organize some families to hire a coach that, like a school bus, did the rounds of the nightclubs nearby, greatly reducing the risk of accidents. These systems seem to work well, while from years the Government does not know what to do, or worse still spends money on useless initiatives.
If those who have had these two brilliant ideas had been part of a village, how much less effort would have done to achieve them? How much less effort would be needed to make us imitate them? Although these initiatives have worked, they have been isolated cases, as building an organization from scratch is not easy; however, with a village of any kind that there would be no problem, whatever the activity carried out is , its structure could be reused to test new solutions.
We previously said that a single individual, to address a problem, should be limited to individual solutions or for small groups, having the possibility of involving three or four friends. The problems that have not solutions of this kind are outside his reach but by joining in a village he can implement solutions much more challenging, to be achieved by twenty or forty people and maybe more. In this case, the number of problems that can be solved will be much more extended. The village is therefore also a tool to broaden our ability to solve problems.

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