Chapter 7, ‘Drop-outs’, examines two experiments in communal living in very different political contexts—London and Leningrad. It explores the creation of intimate spaces on the margins of conventional society in which freedom could be explored in its various forms. It asks whether dropping out was purely cultural, escapist and hedonistic, or the pursuit of a new kind of politics. Within these micro-societies in the West and East it explores different and contradictory attitudes in to imperialism, capitalism, property, democracy and sexual relations, the tensions these communities faced during their short lives and their enduring legacy.
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