Cecilia Colony

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= failed Brazilian communal experiment


Joris Leverink:

"In March 1890 the Italian anarchist Giovanni Rossi arrived in Palmeiras, Paranà, in Brazil where he founded the Cecilia Colony. Since his early youth, Rossi had been fascinated by utopian socialism and communitarian ideas. At the age of 22 he published the novel Un Comune Socialista (1878), in which he laid out his theory on the organization of anarchist communities.

Earlier, in 1887 Rossi was invited by a left-leaning local landowner to found the agricultural cooperative Cittadella between Milan and Bologna. Although the cooperative thrived economically, the peasants who made up the cooperative had little interest in anarcho-communist thought, which led Rossi to abandon the project in 1889.

The Cecilia Colony was founded by just half a dozen men, but grew to about 250 members in less than a year’s time. Around 80 acres of land were cultivated collectively, and several workshops were set up. The intention was also to found a school based on libertarian pedagogical principles, but it opened only irregularly.

Rossi’s hoped to create a community without hierarchical forms of organization, bureaucracy or coercive discipline. After five years, the commune succumbed to pressure from neighboring hostile communities and the antagonism of the local administration." (https://roarmag.org/magazine/pirates-peasants-and-proletarians/)