Advantages of Neighbors

The big advantage that neighbors have over larger governments and business is a keen appreciation of what is needed what is harmful to them and their place. Also neighbors can create low cost associations to look after shared concerns. Most neighborhoods are not organized to tax residents. Most regulations come from governments larger than neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods can create local funding mechanism without the heavy cost of a paid bureaucracy.

Much is written and done to try to get people to do what a company or institution wants them to do--others are making the decisions and then searching for ways to control the behaviors of the employees. Since everyone is on the payroll and the money is usually connected to some commodity or service there is rather tight coupling and the associated behavioral constraints. Lots of "musts" are encouraged and enforced. Civil society has the freedom of self-organizing based on personal preferences, passions, ethics, knowledge, and desires. While effort will likely be sought to coordinate action, the metasystem will be more familiar and less alien when compared with employment situation.

Civil society will not scale well in a tree structure but may scale will in a network where the passions and goals are the attractors. It may well be true that such structures are not well matched to massively complex projects (though open source software development argues otherwise) but what they are not well matched to is creation of complex anti-social projects like creating nuclear weapons and delivery systems or creating armies to undertake foreign invasion. Beauty and ethics drive civil society. Technology and economics drive non-civil enterprises.

It does seem that the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy Wikipedia has created a networked capability that is driven by passion yet is capable of producing technologically complex products for the market. This is done by keeping the work units small and personal and participation is a choice.