It is all too easy to get ahead of what is actually happening “on the ground.”
Since January 2018 I have run 21 monthly classes, combined with a meal and social catch-up. The identity work has been growing gently, and we might be growing to a “next stage.”
Gibran Place Project is emerging in a truly mutualist and organic manner.
2018 was the Foundation Year for the Gibran Place Project. The year’s activities were shaped by the 12 monthly meetings, using a style that I call “holding the common wealth in dispersed aggregate…”
The friends who attend are skilled and active in the community with their own projects. The organising process is very light, allowing attendees to contribute and collect as needs arise. This gathering together is always around a shared meal.
We survived the year….(she says smiling).
2019 has started using the same strategy, with some class lessons included. This process bridges the spaces between some of the smaller groups eg not all of the meeting attendees come to “school” and not all “school” attendees come to the Monthly Meeting.
The growth of the group is visible, trackable and measureable. This work group has been helped recently when some members of Social Ecology Brisbane recognised that Murray Bookchin and Social Ecology and Lillian Geddes and Mutualism Queensland are saying much the same thing.
In January 2018 I started regular monthly meetings to promote Mutualism Queensland and started “sign-on” relationships with close friends who wanted some training in my approach to community development (aka “School”) 10 meetings so far. Attendance numbers have been from 3 to 12 across about 30 people.
The season has been enriching and constructive. Attendees have helped to give language to my vision.
Extensional Community = Horizontal, lateral and egalitarian experience in small groups.
Organic Pluralism = Vertical experience of confident self determination in individuals.
I have remained staunchly within this process waiting for 2 things –
1. My own held position intersecting with the held position of a second party where 2. We both interact in reciprocal ways.
I am sensing that this model is being born in the consciousness of a few of my fellow travellers.
A quote from the writer Kate Morton “Purpose has been his life raft.”
In my case, the purpose for Mutualism Queensland has been to position my organised radical work onto the political spectrum so as to make the distinctions – unique and / or specific identifiers – clear to an audience.
So what has been the hold up?
Meaning 1 of “hold up” = maintaining support for the idea of a Queensland-specific Banner for an education and community activism focus. This required a localised message.
Meaning 2 of “hold up” = coping with chronic shortages of necessary resources due to my determination to be independent and self funding. This required surviving from an incredibly deficient resource base.
Therefore my community development activities have been my life raft.
In 1834 Agricultural Labourers in Tolpuddle England formed a union for the betterment of themselves and others. For this, they were transported to New South Wales. These men were feeling entrapped in poverty and subservience, and they recognised that they had to join together, to organise with each other, for each other, because they suffered equally. The concept of outside – and therefore superior – assistance was not the answer. The concept of leading others out of the desperate situation as if they themselves did not suffer as well was not the answer. They recognised the truth that they themselves were included – as activists and as beneficiaries and this is the doorway statement: OURSELVES INCLUDED.
GETTING STARTED: The Gibran Place Project is officially up and running. Mutualism is something we do, not something to dream about or work towards. This is a “Here I Stand” statement. It is better to work thoughtfully with a few close associates than to talk about how nice it could be if we only just treated each other better.
The Project is situated in Brisbane Australia, and is intended to serve interested people who live within 2 hours traveling time to here. Local Government Map of South East Queensland is a fair representation of the area but people may be prepared to travel further to be with us. Some parts of the Northern Rivers Area of New South Wales is within this catchment.
On Saturday 30th January 2015 a small group gathered in Beryl Roberts Park, Coopers Plains, Brisbane Australia to start a programme of discussions and workshops. The themes: small group organisation theory, self-management, and Plans For Land and Freedom. The focus is on cultivating skills that improve daily life within the small group.
The curriculum is built around the work of Lillian Lawson Geddes.
“We are not taught how to be fair to each other and to the community around us”.
There has been a meeting each month, set out until October. There is a Facebook Page called Mutualism Queensland. If there are other small teaching / coaching groups active I would be pleased to make contact.
“The true object of politics is to create the institutions which, by being internalised by individuals, most facilitates their accession to their individual autonomy and their effective participation in all forms of explicit power existing in society” – Cornelius Castoriadis.
“New institutions arise when organised actors with sufficient resources see in them an opportunity to realise interests that they value highly…. [Institutional Entrepreneurs] create a whole new system of meaning that ties the functioning of disparate sets of institutions together” – DiMaggio
By these statements I am happy to identify as an “Institutional Entrepreneur”. Thanks to Dr. David Brunkhorst of Armidale (NSW Aust) for alerting me, during a recent meeting, to the difference between Organisation Theory and Institutional Theory.
Maleny Urban Settlement Trust Property Fund No. One commenced business on 15th January 1995 – 18 years ago today. It was set up to house greenie activists. The house, buildings and land at 23 Tamarind Street Maleny was purchased on 25th January 1995.
The Fund’s functions, style, modus operandi and purpose developed during its first year before coming under virulent attack from a groups of local “greenie activists”. The ability of the Property Fund to continue was seriously challenged but it continues to exist. The need to provide affordable housing for “greenie activists” continues to exist. The Tamarind Street Maleny Project stands as a Case Example of the harm that can be caused by sociopathy disguised as mutualism.