Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
If you want to start a community it is easy – just put out a call and say there is free land. You will have all the people you want. More than you want. And it won’t work. I wasn’t interested in starting a community that was going to fail. Most successful communities are based on a charismatic leader, which doesn’t interest me, or an authoritarian system, or a religious creed, which also doesn’t interest me. I thought that maybe you could have a community that had a common thread, a common purpose revolving around the search for better ways to live. As a community we would search the libraries, search the world for information and then experiment with it and publish it. But it didn’t happen. I didn’t find the right people. And so I keep gathering my collection of information and publishing it.
... If we are going to live within our income on this planet, we have to live more simply. Learning to live simply and go lightly is such a beautiful thing. It has an aesthetic aspect to it. It is a delight. It is fun. For example, I have no desire anymore to make chairs that I can make and you can’t. That is not going to solve our problems. This chair I am sitting on here has three pieces to it — a democratic chair. I can teach you how to make this chair in a few hours. That is simplicity. That Windsor chair is no longer exciting to me at all. At one time it was. At one time I loved making those. I am glad I learned the skill, because I can use the skill in other ways. But instead of designing a chair that puts you down because you can’t make it, I can look at this chair and say ‘I can design this’ and maybe you can’t. But you can make it. And I will help you make it. That, to me, is exciting.