Over time, the term ‘commune’ has proved useful in proving coherence within community-based organisational structures in a wide variety of ways—such as in uniting socialists, revolutionaries and radicals in forming a government body known as the ‘Paris Commune’ at the time of the French Revolution, and in giving form to countercultural communities such as Drop City in the 1960s and 70s. It is also the jurisdictional designation that allows The City of London to operate it’s own unique structure of local government from within the Greater London Authority where citizens from wards are represented by ‘Aldermen’ and meet to discuss issues via ‘Wardmotes’. ¶ Often, communes are initiated in opposition to a previously established jurisdiction allowing the community formed within the ‘commune’ to operate with it’s own distinct regulations, systems of infrastructure and ideological boundaries. Diagrammatically, this commune manifests as a bubble situated within a broader community or territory. It is not on the fringes, but situated closer to a ‘heart’ or a core. Communes are also associated with non-traditional thinking and can be seen as incubators for radical ideas that eventually filter out to a wider community. ¶ In recent times, digital means has allowed for ‘communes’ to further detach from physical locations. Where previously communes formed organically around sites where communities gathered, now similar groups can organise themselves online and meet whenever necessary at any agreed juncture. This has helped small scale and independent publishers, in particular, to take root and even flourish, although often operating within imagined ‘walled villages’.
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