Funeral Oration of Pericles

Creating Urban Villages seems necessary to develop authentic urban democracy, one neighborhood at a time.

I have always considered Milwaukee the “Athens of the Great Lakes” in opposition to the “Spartan” cities and suburbs of the USA.

Murray Bookchin, an “eco anarchist” writer who recently passed away, in a book called “The Ecology of Freedom: the emergence and dissolution of hierarchy” drew my attention to the “Funeral Oration of Pericles.”

To quote:

We have very few statements, including the declaration of human rights…that bear comparison with Pericles’. The great oration exhibits a sensitive balance b/t community and individual, and an association of social administration with competence…The practice of direct democracy was an affirmation of citizenship as a process of direct action. Athens was institutionally organized to convert its potentially monadic citizenry from free floating atoms into a cohesive body politic. Its regular citizen assemblies(Eccclesia), its rotating Council of Five Hundred (Boule), and its court juries that replicated in the hundreds the polis in miniature, were the conscious creations of a public realm…The entire Athenian system was organized to obstruct political professionalism, to prevent the emergence of bureaucracy, and to perpetuate an active citizenry as a matter of design…

Milwaukee Hamlets in Urban Villages

Creating urban villages is the goal of many movement people in Milwaukee and other Great Lakes Cities. Riverwest, Milwaukee has been blazing trails in the drama of creating polyglot communities, where “diversity is strength,” and all of God’s children are learning mutual aid. Riverwest had been expected to “go ghetto” back in the 1950s through the 1980s, but many factors combined to find Riverwest now a highly praised integrating neighborhood. One element that contributed to Riverwest’s renewal was the political and social practice of a group of young people from the nearby University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who founded an organization called ESHAC, i.e. Eastside Housing Action Committee. This is a story worth developing and exploring. Many lessons here.

Grace Lee Boggs on Walnut Way

Riverwest, Harambe, Brewers Hill, “Little Brooklyn,” Demonstration Projects Proposed

My daughter Rachel is thrilled to have
1,100 sq. ft. of living space
For her family of four
In Cobble Hill Brooklyn.

I know many fine citizens of Milwauke
Who think it is our birthright to
Find 2 people “cramped” in units 2,000 sq. ft.
(Twenty eight hundred if we include basements)
That could be turned into rooms.

I am seeking partners for a radical downsizing experiment.
Maybe investors, if the right people show up.
I only want to buy a few rooms or small unit
In a building that has a few other owners.

I hope to win “a room for myself,”
In a duplex turned into a “mixed use” 4 unit,
With the size of each unit varying with the
Needs of the co-owners of the property.

I hope to find myself in an attic room.
I hope to find parts of the basement as work stations.
I hope to find parts of the backyard as Growing Power garden.
Perhaps parts of the garage as Growing Power fish farm.

I hope to see a couple of skylights or windows as art with photovoltaic panels.
If the building turns out to be on a main street with a stor front,
I can see facade grants and retail space in the front ground floor.

At the moment I am looking for abused and ugly duplexes,
Not owner occupied,
In the area between 6th & 16th, National and Licoln Ave.

In the process, I am thinking of selling 325 E. Euclid
To someone who would only wish to buy l/2 of this property
Assessed last summer at about $150,000,
And turn it into a 2 family in the deal.

So, anyone interested in a downsizing experiment
In Bay View or “Little Brooklyn,”
Let me know.

“Small is beautiful habitat designs,
And a small room to call my own.”

I’m told the rich once had something “in town” called
“pied à terre,” to supplement their country homes.

I want partners so I can have my own “pied à terre,”
Instead of a house, which I no longer have the money, energy,
Or need.

Clear sailing,

Godsil

Key Features

PabstVillage/ProposalForMilwaukeeEcoVillageAtPabstPlace

Riverwest Co-Ops and Collectives

Guild House Projects in Little Brooklyn

Promotional Efforts

Academic Outreach

Empty Nesting Boomers?

Accessibility Community

Southern Americans Escaping Summer Heat?

Great Lakes Time Share Partners?


Reconciliation Projects

Elder Communes and Intentional Communities

Neighbors Become Partners

Letters Promoting the Concept

Co Op Housing in Milwaukee

Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by TeganDowling, Olde Godsile, od and g.  Page last modified on October 14, 2006

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