I suspect that - if you were to brainstorm the words 'socialism' - or better still, 'communism' with people who had never heard it before, they may suggest some variation on social living.
Kevin has evidence that it's good for kids.
Burning Spear has an opinion on it.
And Timmy wants to know why we don't do more of it?
This strikes me as an important question. Like other issues around 'collective action', what are the obstacles that stop us from benefiting from the advantages of social living? Surely some form of communal living arrangements can be incredibly efficient both in financial terms as well as time-wise? I'd be fine about cooking for, say fifteen people once a week.
Now, I understand that some of the obstacles include our preferences for a bit of privacy and a degree of flexibility about who we share our lives with. But here's my question: Is the development of ever-more sophisticated forms of social networking likely to make it easier to find people you'd be prepared to co-habit with? And are there social norms that could be developed that would result in a mutual awareness of the kind of boundaries that we all expect to be respected vis-a-vis nosiness?