utopian communities

If your hippie philosophy isn’t anti-capitalist, anti-racist, and anti-patriarchy, then it is incomplete.
If your hippie philosophy deliberately ignores how social structures interact and keep people locked in oppressive situations, then it is propaganda in service of the powerful.
If your hippie philosophy imagines solarpunk ecotopias and egalitarian communes without any concrete plan of how to make them a social norm, then it is empty idealism keeping people apolitical and complacent. 

Breaking off from society in small groups to form communes is no different from the utopian socialists of the 1800s – it’s an incomplete call to action that offers no substantive blueprint for how to make that egalitarian culture a global norm. Solarpunk activists are the analogous Marxist socialists in this scenario – they understand that creating the ideal society is not just a matter of ideas but also a matter of material power and economic arrangements. Capitalism is an economic class structure built around unlimited growth and profit accumulation for a small set of elites – there is no way to make it “green” or sustainable, and refusing to challenge it makes hippie attitudes naively idealistic at best and complacently reactionary at worst. 

There is something to appreciate about “hippie aesthetics” with regard to environmentalism, art, social imagination, and the egalitarian spirit. These are valuable traits that a post-capitalist world will need to latch onto if it is to survive and thrive. More people are probably going to be drawn to solarpunk sensibilities than to traditionally Marxist or anarchist ones, so there is a case to be made in favor of uplifting this project aesthetic. But we need to combine the social imagination with an unyielding commitment to political ideals.

Technology, oriented entirely toward human needs and freed from all consideration of profit and loss, would eliminate the pain of want and toil—the penalty, inflicted in the form of denial, suffering and inhumanity, exacted by a society based on scarcity and labor.
—  Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism, p.57 (Towards a Liberatory Technology)

Modern Utopian - Alternative Communities of the ‘60s and '70s

Richard Fairfield & Timothy Miller

Process, 2010Softcover


The Modern Utopian takes a look at the back to the land movement of the sixties and seventies. Reviewing the pivotal communes of the era such as Drop City, Hog Farm, and Millbrook. This definitive exploration provides a realistic account of what really went on within the idyllic hippie experiments by the people who actually lived it. Revealing the utopia and dystopia of collective living. The three hundred pages are divided into sections such as Back to the Land, Psychedelic and Art Communities, Life in the City, Politics and Revolution, Scientific Ideology, Christian, Mystical and Yoga communities and Gurus East and West. The book is written by Richard Fairfield who self published dozens of magazines throughout the seventies documenting experimental communities and proves to be authority on the subject.


2

Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol (1819-1885) was a Catalan artist, engineer, and intellectual, best known for inventing the first fully functional combustion driven submarine, called the Ictíneo or fish-ship.

Ictíneo was first driven in September 1859 in the harbour of Barcelona. (The picture below shows its replica in the Maritime Museum of Barcelona)

He is also known for producing a series of journals and pamphlets espousing his radical beliefs in feminism, pacifism, and utopian communism.

Quarrels over access to common rights continue well beyond the early middle ages. Conflict between lord and peasant on this issue was often latent rather than open. When wood and waste were abundant in relation to the demands of the rural population there was little strife, although records of agreements between lords and peasant may have come at the end of an unrecorded period of conflict. Rural communities in northern Italy seem to have been sufficiently well organized by the twelfth century to get concessions of hunting rights from their lords—as in 1179, when the Bishop of Bergamo allowed his peasants of Ardesio and Valle to hunt freely as individuals or in groups, provided they handed over to the lord the bears they might capture.

This contrasts strongly with the stringent laws in England, where kings reserved big game, such as deer, in the forest for themselves, and allowed the lords to monopolize the hunting of smaller game, like hare and rabbit, in their own lordships. In view of the shortage of meat in the peasants’ diet at this period, it might well be thought that the popularity of outlaw ballads (such as those later tales of Robin Hood) reflected not only an interest in the adventures of these rebellious men living outside settled society in the wilds, but also some Utopian vision of free communities of hunters eating their fill of a forbidden food. As we shall see, demands for access to natural resources figure in later revolts, such as that in England in 1381 and in the German peasant war of 1525.
— 

Rodney Hilton, Bond men made free: Medieval peasant movements and the Englsih Rising of 1381

@tuulikki

Communism terribly overestimated how much humanity could be changed from the top down through enforced social engineering while it fatally underestimated the corruptibility  of the self appointed elites who would carry out the utopian task.  Communism was fatally undermined by not taking seriously the reality that evil resides not only in structures  but also in the human heart.
—  Jim Wallis, The Soul Of Politics.

re: separatism and identity politics, I think its a mistake to conceive separatism as an identitarian thing. That is to say it is not a ‘coming together on the basis of a shared identity’ - it is always a separation, never a union - it is not a utopian community building project - it is a material gesture, a refusal to cooperate with patriarchy where possible, a refusal as winter put it “be more useful as a weapon than as a sacrifice”, to go beyond sacrificial politics (which is politics itself), in this way a refusal of work, or more plainly:

A refusal to do for free any physical, sexual, emotional or intellectual labour for men, and devoting those energies instead to other women who are exploited along the same lines. It is a general strike against patriarchy.

anonymous asked:

combeferre!

remember this meme? @oilan @shellcollector @yourcouragetothestickingplace

sexual orientation headcanon

absolutely 100% interested solely in men, with some issues about it and a lingering feeling that he should like women (he does like women, in fact, he has three amazing sisters and a niece whom he loves, but in general he does just not feel about women in the way he suspects others of his sex do), and for a long time most of his company was with other men who were the same sort of way. the subculture in paris at the time was really overwhelming and rather fun when he first got into it, but he ended up more the chill-utopian-commune or two-beds-for-show domestic type after getting boarding school out of his system.

he tries to settle for fraternal male companionship but it doesn’t work out too well. he has a pretty solid history or relationships and lovers and crushes in my head, all of whom left some sort of mark on him. around 1831 he accepts that there is only one man who feels right to him anymore and stops looking around.

gender headcanon

man.

mental illness / neurodivergent headcanon

i am more interested in Combeferre with autism than in Enjolras with autism, but this is possibly because I relate to Combeferre more than Enjolras. i don’t have a headcanon that sticks with him, though.

3 random headcanons

  1. his first love married his sister, so that was fun
  2. had his first serious sexual encounter as a new polytechnicien with another new polytechnicien in the same room as other new and also some more experienced polytechniciens on his eighteenth night off-campus. he thought they were being discreet but he found out in fact they weren’t, but it turned out okay because everyone there was familiar with this phenomenon.
  3. had a lover who was in an open marriage and it was really weird and he’ll never do it again.
  4. because all of those are related to the first question in this meme somehow: deathly terrified of deep water and hates swimming, has an English mother, wanted to join the military for a long time for no reason because he didn’t know what else he wanted to do. medicine turned out to be a good fit but i think if he had lived longer he would have ended up a teacher at some point.

TWO UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINS, LEON CZOLGOSZ (WHO ASSASSINATED WILLIAM MCKINLEY) AND CHARLES GUITEAU (WHO ASSASSINATED JAMES GARFIELD), WERE BOTH BRIEFLY MEMBERS OF THE SAME FAILED UTOPIAN COMMUNITY.

THIS SOCIETY, CALLED THE “ONEIDA COMMUNITY,” PRACTICED AN ODD FORM OF FREE LOVE IN WHICH ANY TWO CONSENTING PARTNERS COULD HAVE SEX, UNLESS THEIR ATTRACTION WAS TOO STRONG OR THEY BEGAN TO FALL IN LOVE, AT WHICH POINT THEY WERE BARRED FROM INTERCOURSE FROM ONE ANOTHER.

FURTHERMORE, MIDDLE-AGED AND OLDER ADULTS WERE EXPECTED TO GO TO BED TO TEENAGERS, IN ORDER TO TEACH THEM HOW TO HAVE SEX WITHOUT AS MUCH RISK OF PREGNANCY. THIS WAS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO PREVENT TEENAGERS FROM BEING SADDLED WITH A RESPONSIBILITY THEY CAN’T HANDLE, BUT BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY HAD A EUGENIC BREEDING PROGRAM IN PLACE. 

ANYONE WHO WANTED TO BE A PARENT HAD TO GO BEFORE A COMMITTEE THAT WOULD SELECT THEIR PARTNER. CHILDREN WERE SUPPOSED TO BE RAISED BY THE COMMUNITY, AND IF A PARENT WAS SUSPECTED OF BECOMING TOO ATTACHED TO THEIR OWN CHILD, THEY WOULD BE KEPT FROM SEEING ONE ANOTHER FOR A TIME. FIFTY-EIGHT CHILDREN WERE BORN FROM THIS PROGRAM, NINE OF WHICH WERE FATHERED BY THE FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY. 

ALL MEMBERS COULD BE CALLED BEFORE A COMMITTEE OR THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY FOR PUBLIC CRITICISM, AND THEY WERE EXPECTED TO BE GRATEFUL FOR THE HOURS OF BERATING THEY WERE SUBJECTED TO AND USE IT TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES. 

THEY WERE DISBANDED AS A UTOPIAN SOCIETY IN 1881, BUT STILL EXISTS TO THIS DAY AS A SILVERWARE COMPANY.

What I think when I see twenty bazillion posts about the JRC on my dash.

Close the Judge Rotenberg Center.  For the love of everything holy, close the Judge Rotenberg Center.  Stomp it into the ground and dance on its fucking ashes.

But.

You won’t be done.

You’ll just have eliminated the most obvious of a huge number of places that torture and abuse their patients in the name of treatment.

Skin shock is showy and scary and it makes a good story and it makes it easy to see what is hurting people.

But people can be hurt just as bad or worse without it.

People can be hurt just as bad or worse by places that don’t brag about the torture they inflict on their patients.

People can be hurt just as bad or worse in the institutions everyone loves to love because they’re so beautiful, they have such wonderful grounds, they seem so loving.

You can’t understand, maybe, why this is true.

You think, maybe, that abuse, trauma, PTSD, CPTSD, can be measured in volts.

It can’t.

You think, maybe, that the destruction of lives is proportional to the visible destruction heaped on the body.

It isn’t.

It’s so much more complicated.

I have a friend who gets really upset every time some over-the-top institutional horror story makes the news.  So do I, for that matter.

One part of it is because, obviously, it’s horrible, and we’ve both lived through horrible things.  She’s been to both state and private institutions (and found private ones worse, by the way, so much for stereotypes).  I’ve been to private institutions and private residential treatment facilities and what I like to call ‘community institutionalization’… too hard o explain in such a short space.  

I spent most of my teen years in the psych system (and to some degree was exposed before that) and sometimes in mixed psych/DD settings, and pretty much all of my adulthood in the DD system.  I have physical disabilities that could easily put me in a nursing home, and developmental disabilities that qualify me for admission to an ICF/MR.  Staying free takes up more of my energy than I’d like.

I’ve been abused and tortured and traumatized and almost-killed in all kinds of settings, inpatient and outpatient.

At one time in my life, with severe self-injury, I’d have made an ideal candidate for the Judge Rotenberg Center.  I am not somehow different from people who go there.  You’d be surprised at the people who go there and how not-different they are from many people you’d imagine would never go there.

(That’s true of all institutions.  The people who live inside them, and outside of them, are identical in every way.  The only difference is how the support takes place.  When it’s support at all and not just hell on earth.)

Anyway.

What I want to say is.

One reason that my friend and I get upset by these stories is because we’ve lived through some horror stories of our own.

Another reason that we get upset by these stories is this fear we have, that we don’t think is irrational at all.

We fear that when people focus on the outrageous, the flamboyantly awful, then they won’t see the way the outright ordinary, even the seemingly wonderful, can do the same degree of harm, or worse.

The worst harm in institutions is, by the testimony of many, many inmates, not just the physical torture that takes place in some places – sometimes above-board, sometimes secretly.   Often it’s things you can’t even name.  Those things are happening in the JRC too.  Those things hurt people there as much as the torture does.  Nobody is doing a huge campaign to shut down those things.

Many people, if the JRC is closed, will simply be sent to other institutions.

They will then be told that they are lucky and that those other institutions are better.

They may come to believe those other institutions are better.

Those other institutions may actually be better.  But they may not be.  It may just be that the badness has seeped down deep into some underground place where you can’t count it, can’t name it, can’t even describe it, and therefore it…. isn’t there.

And they will continue to get hurt by that.  They may not realize they’re getting hurt by that.  They may attribute the hurt to themselves, to their mental illness, to anything but the environment that is causing or contributing to it.

And that hurt may be harder to recover from than the JRC.

How do I know this?  Because while I was not in the JRC, I was in mental institutions that physically tortured me (not with skin-shock), and was then moved to a 'better’ place that tortured me in harder-to-explain ways, and hurt me in deeper places, and I learned to say and believe how 'better’ they were while living how worse they were deep down.  I still live with how worse they were.

And I know many other people who have the same story to tell.

And I know that unlike me, many people who live at the JRC won’t be able to escape the institutional system the way I was.  My situation was unique to me.  I didn’t get out because I was better off disability-wise than others, I got out because I was in a particular, unique set of circumstances.  The difference between people on the inside and people on the outside is not their disability.

But once you’re in a long-term institution, it’s harder to get out.  I was lucky, I was usually in a string of short-term institutions (even if I spent longer time periods in them than other people there), then when I was in a longer-term one, my residential facility closed and it became useful to them to decide I was recovered enough to leave, and to “transition” me to a “less restrictive environment”.  Which was still a hellish environment, mind you, but more chance of freedom, there, too.  And I had people around me savvy enough to advise me how to take the chances I had.

And most of the people in the JRC won’t be leaving to freedom, if it gets closed.  They’ll go to other institutions.  And however grateful they are to be out of the JRC, they will get hurt in those new places.  Because that’s what institutions do.  Invariably.  You don’t have to know you’re hurt to get hurt there.  You don’t have to understand how deep the hurt goes, to get hurt there.  You just have to be there.  And you’re often the last person to know how deep it goes, right down to the level of your self and identity and everything important to you.  You can get turned inside out without anyone laying a finger on you.

Nobody will ever be able to pinpoint the institution that inflicts the worst of this sort of damage on its inmates, because this sort of damage is, by its very nature, secretive, even from the person it’s being inflicted upon.  And because nobody will be able to pinpoint the worst of it, there will never be a massive, targeted, decades-long campaign to close the worst of these institutions.  Anonymous will never catch on and take part.  The world will not be outraged by the damage inflicted, no matter how devastating.

And if the people damaged by these institutions show that they are grievously psychologically injured by these institutions, people won’t connect it to the institutions.  They’ll connect it to the nebulous concept of 'mental illness’, and quite possibly try to construct more of the exact same kind of institutions to deal with it.  Nobody will notice that the 'increased mental illness’ is correlated with the institutions themselves.  Nobody ever does notice.

Nobody catalogues this kind of damage.  Few people study it.  Few people understand it.  Few people can see when and where it is happening.  Few people can understand the damage in the first place.  Most people who describe the damage won’t be believed.

Worse than merely not being believed:

When we describe the damage inflicted upon us, we are invariably described as ungrateful for the advantages that we had in not being in “a place like the Judge Rotenberg Center”, or not being in “a state institution”, or not being in a place that the world universally recognizes as horrible.  Because some of the worst damage is inflicted on us in places that other people see as wonderful.

They will ignore the abundant testimonials by ex-patients who have experienced a wide variety of institutions.  There are tons and tons of people who have been to both state and private institutions and found the private ones immeasurably more damaging, because the extra funding means extra ability for staff to mess with the heads of the inmates.  There are tons and tons of people who have been to both state institutions and group homes and found the group homes immeasurably worse.  There are tons and tons of people who have been to both locked private traditional-institutions, and unlocked residential facilities and group homes, and found the residential facilities and group homes immeasurably worse.  There are tons and tons of people who have been physically tortured at one institution, moved to another institution where no apparent physical torture was present and found the second institution immeasurably worse.  There are people who have been moved from 'bad’ institutions everyone loves to hate, to wonderful paradise-like 'intentional communities’ where they had, in the eyes of others, everything they could possibly want, and described how much more horrible the intentional communities were, the ones formed with the best intentions of parents and staff.

People ignore this.

People ignore this completely.

No, worse.

People ignore this and they utterly disparage any current or former inmate who says these things.  They say we don’t understand what we’re talking about.  They say we have no vision.  They say we have no comprehension. They say we don’t understand how good we have it.

And it’s even worse for people who have only been to the 'better’ (in the eyes of the public) institutions, and complain about how awful they are.  They’re told that they don’t understand how good they have it, only much worse.  And they are told they should be grateful for what they had, that they wouldn’t last a day in a 'real institution’.

Hell, i’ve been told I haven’t been in a 'real institution’ just because I was in locked, private, short-stay institutions a lot of the time.  (And one private long-stay institution that was on a ranch in the country so it didn’t count as an institution, somehow.)  Never mind that, at the time, I was referred to as institutionalized by everyone in the system, including people in these institutions… apparently it’s not an institution until it’s a big-campus state institution.  

So people who’ve only been in much fancier, much 'better’ institutions than I’ve ever set foot in, are told this only ten times worse than anything I’ve ever gotten for talking about my experiences.  Especially if they’ve been in the pseudo-utopian farm communities, or the 'intentional communities’, or things like Camphill, which are all billed as not institutional somehow even though they totally are.  You can’t change an institution by changing the shape of the building and slapping on a new coat of paint.

Anyway.

People who have been through the worst kinds of hell that institutions can provide are not believed, because the worst kinds of hell that institutions can provide are not things that people outside of institutions can understand in any way.  People outside of institutions want the blood and gore and skin shocks to prove a place is horrible.  They don’t want to understand that there are things more horrible than any of that.  They don’t want to understand.  They just don’t want to understand.

And people in institutions often don’t want to understand either.  I didn’t want to understand what was happening to me.  I wanted to believe that now that I wasn’t being tied down and tortured on a daily basis, then I was free.  I wanted to believe that really badly.  You have a vested interest in believing you’re someplace better now, that things will get better.  Sometimes believing things are better is your only defense against how awful things are.

But once I really got out, and I had to deal with the intense emotional and psychological injury I’d been done by all of these places, the truth gradually began to dawn on me.  It’s easier to heal from physical wounds than it is from psychological and emotional wounds.  It’s easier to heal from the obvious horrors than the hidden horrors that lurk behind the scenes, turning you inside out and upside down, piece by piece, one bit at a time.  You can heal, but I can tell you that it’s not being tied down, not physical or sexual assault, not even the horrifying restraint practices I sometimes endured, not the physical pain, that continues to haunt me.  I mean, it does, to some degree.  Things like that always do.  But there are things that have damaged me deeper, in ways I can’t even articulate.

And my friends and I, when we see coverage like this, we’re so afraid.

We’re afraid of the 'better’ institutions.

We’re afraid of the public’s idea of what a 'really bad institution’ is.

We’re afraid of some of the disability community’s idea of what a 'really bad institution’ is.

The JRC is a really bad institution.  It’s doing that horrible kind of damage at the same time that it’s doing the physical damage.  I can see that.  Because it’s got enough funding, it can really fuck with people’s heads.

But you could force the JRC to remove every piece of physical punishment it owns, even restraints.  And it would still be horrible.  It could even become worse.  Because when places can’t focus on hurting your body, they have more time to focus on hurting your mind.  And hurting your mind does the most lasting damage there is.

The JRC needs to be shut down, period.

But there are places just as bad that will never be shut down if we use the JRC as the model of what the worst kinds of institution look like.

And there are places even worse that will never be shut down either.

And the worst places in the world, generally, are the same ones that will get propped up by the shutting down of the places the public has the most visceral unpleasant reactions to.

There’s problems in the disability community, too, and until they’re exposed for what they are, there will be a lot of difficulty changing things.

There’s… a lot of disabled people out there who engage in the completely unproductive practice of competing to talk about who stayed in the worst institutions, who had the worst treatment.

Understand that when I’m talking about the worst institutions above, I’m not talking about the worst institutions in any kind of competitive sense.  I’m talking about, the worst in terms of the overall amount and kinds of damage done.  

I’m not saying that there aren’t people who had worse experiences in state institutions than private ones, or that there aren’t people who had worse experiences in traditional institutions than in pseudo-utopian farm communities.  I’m not trying to negate any one person’s personal experience.  I’m just trying to explain… things are not what they seem, what everyone believes to be true is not necessarily the truth.

But I’ve seen disabled people who compete with each other about things like this.  They say that they, unlike so-and-so, had experience with REAL institutions.  Or they, unlike so-and-so, had REAL bad experiences.  Or they, unlike so-and-so, were REALLY traumatized by what happened to them.  That because they stayed for months rather than days, or years rather than months, their experiences were automatically worse and more deserving of recognition.  And there’s… absolutely nothing productive that happens there.  That’s ego-driven bullshit.  It’s not activism, it’s not helping anyone at all.  It’s a competition in self-pity.

So understand, again… when I’m comparing things, I’m doing so not with the aim of undermining any given person’s experiences in their own life.  I’m doing so with the aim of showing people things they don’t want to see.  I’m saying that what most people says is best, in terms of institutions, is often the worst of all.  That often, the most damage is done where it can be seen the least.  People have to understand this if they’re going to have any hope of actually reducing damage.

So close the JRC, close it over and over and over again until it’s really damn closed.

But… don’t focus on it to the exclusion of places just as bad or worse that don’t necessarily look as bad on paper.

Understand that your visceral reaction to the idea of skin shocks doesn’t make it the worst possible punishment that can be devised.  It’s a pretty diabolical physical punishment.  But sometimes – no, more like often or usually – people are damaged worse by things that don’t touch them physically at all.

Your instincts here are not necessarily a good guide to what is truly awful.

And I worry so so much about what will happen to people after it closes.

And I worry so so much about people enduring unspeakable damage, sometimes far worse than skin shock would hurt the same people, in institutions considered progressive and even utopian.

(Trust me, behind just about every utopian institution lies a dystopia beyond imagining.  And I worry about the “He loved Big Brother” effect obscuring people’s views of what actually goes on in those places.)

My worst nightmare.  And when I say my worst nightmare, I mean, these are actually real actual dreams I have that are worse than any other nightmares I’ve ever had.  They vary in content, but they go something like this:

I’m living in a place with lots of other people with disabilities.  There are staff there.  The staff try to give us every freedom they possibly can, at least as visible from the outside.  In one of these nightmares, I’m climbing a tree, outdoors, and totally allowed to do so.  But there is someone following along behind me to make sure I don’t get hurt.  I feel like a child.  

I feel like I’m suffocating.  I feel like I’m suffocating in cotton candy.  But I can’t point to anything particular that’s wrong.  There’s this fog that lurks over the entire place.  It’s white, maybe slightly yellow or pinkish white, but mostly white.  And it obscures the ability to see anything.  And it smells like sweetness.  And it feels like death, in the worst possible sense.   But you can’t tell where it’s coming from.  It’s everywhere and nowhere at once.  You can’t see it except in your head, and only out of the corner of your mind’s eye.

Staff are nice to us, in the same way that people are nice to young children.  They giggle at us as if we’re cute.  They hug us a lot.  

They also make us do what they want us to do.  It’s not possible to know how they do it.  They don’t use physical torture or restraints.  They don’t even always use drugging or anything like that.  We just… somehow always end up moving in the direction that they want us to move in, so to speak.

When I wake up, I feel an intense longing for the place I just woke up from, just for a minute or two.  And then I realize what’s going on, and I want to vomit over and over and over again until the experience is gone from my head forever.

This isn’t the best description, because the problems of these places can’t be described.  I once spent six days in a place very much like that, though, and the sickly-sweet-death-fog clung to me for years before I could get it to dissipate.

Nobody will ever get the kind of backing to close a place like that, that they will to close a place like the JRC.  Even though a place like that could potentially do more damage than the JRC, after a person is moved from the JRC to a place like that.  And if we close the JRC, it’s quite possible idealistic people will be building places like that to take its place.

I can’t explain why it’s as bad as, ,or potentially even worse than the JRC or a place like it.

I can’t.

But it is.

Please trust me on that.

Please understand what I’m trying to say here, because it’s incredibly important, and not enough people are saying it.  (And no, it’s not “don’t close the JRC” or “the JRC is good”.  Somehow, people are really fond of reducing important, complex things I say to simplistic bullshit like that.)

I’m trying to say this, for the sake of all the people who won’t be helped if we focus only on closing the JRC.

Now I’m going to try to get some sleep again.  I hope I don’t have nightmares.

ETA:  Before anyone tells me, as they always tell me when I say this, that the Judge Rotenberg Center will call attention to the issue and everything will follow from there and the public will be interested in closing all the other institutions then, later, once we get to the JRC first, that’s not at all how I’ve ever seen it work, not with Willowbrook, not with anything.  (And a friend of mine worked in a “good institution” that killed a former Willowbrook client, mind you.  She got fired for trying to stop them from killing her.  So she survived Willowbrook only to get killed by staff in a 'supported apartment’ group home setting.  So… that’s a very specific example for a very specific reason.)  The public doesn’t want to close all institutions when they hear of things like this.  They want to make good institutions and then forget about the matter.  And the good institutions can be worse than the old ones in many ways.

yo kids

before getting so pumped up about communism
better read about its history and communist/post-communist countries

because in reality it wasn’t about freedom and equality
it was more like terror and oppression

yeah, the propaganda may sound appealing but people tried and all these (noble, indeed) ideas didn’t work out in real life