In Russia now seventy years have passed since the revolution and they go on increasing the force to keep people equal. Now what kind of equality is this? The whole country has become a concentration camp. And whenever you try to make people equal by force, a strange thing is bound to happen: the lowest denominator will be the determining factor. You cannot make an idiot Albert Einstein, but you can make Albert Einstein an idiot. If you want equality then the lowest will be the norm – and that is absolutely unacceptable. So to me equality is not a value.
But I understand communism in a totally different way. I think of communism as an equal opportunity for everybody to be himself – not to be equal but to be unique. Equal opportunity to be unequal – that is my definition of communism. And I want, in the place that I am searching for – and I am very close to finding it – that we create a small commune for the first time in history, which has no government and which has no classes like the rich and the poor; still, equal opportunity for everybody to be himself.
Somebody is going to be Yehudi Menuhin and somebody is going to be Rabindranath Tagore and somebody is going to be Albert Einstein. And it will be ugly to destroy these people – because they are the very salt of the earth – just to create a society of idiots, retarded people. They may be equal but that society will not be worth living in.
And in the commune in Oregon I became aware of a simple method to do it: just remove money from the commune. Anybody can donate to the commune but nobody can purchase anything with money. Yes, whatever is anybody’s need, the commune should fulfill it: each according to his need. And if you just remove money as a method of exchange, a miracle happens. You may have millions of dollars, and I may not have a single dollar; but you are not richer and I am not poorer – because you cannot use your millions of dollars. In fact I am freer than you. You are carrying a load, a burden, unnecessarily; and I am not carrying the load of a single dollar. And my needs are fulfilled by the commune as much as your needs are.
There are still islands which are absolutely without any control by any government. A few are very undeveloped, so it will be a difficult job to develop them. But there are three islands which are fully developed; one has even an airport – it belongs to an individual who is willing to sell it.
The situation is such – there are five miles of land which is lush green with big trees…immense beauty. It is almost an oval-shaped island. One part is above sea level. It has the greenery and on it the owner has made small houses.
From the outside they look like the houses ancient, primitive people used to live in, so they do not stand apart from the trees and from the greenery; they are part of it. But from inside they are air-conditioned and with all modern equipment. The island has twelve bungalows, one hotel for eighty persons, one airport where, morning and evening, the plane comes; we can have our own planes.
And the other part of the island is five, six feet under the sea. The owner has not done anything on that part, and to me that part seems to be the most important, because we can make a five-mile row of houseboats – like Kashmir – on that. And it will look far better than Kashmir because on Kashmir you can see the land; the boat is attached to the land, the land is underneath the boat.