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.
With the current downturn in capitalist economies our attention once more turns to other possibilities, and the topics of “communities” and “co-operatives” are popular again.
“Intentional Community” is a category and a banner word. It is not a legal structure. A “Co-operative” is a legal structure. We are guided by Heart Songs, and we make the assumption that registering as a co-operative will mean that involvement will be “mutually beneficial”.
For each blissfully unaware searcher who responds to romantic stories about successful co-operatives there needs to be two people who are more experienced to caution about emotionally appealing spin.
We are limited by our inexperience. There are people who have dreams of power and position, who hide this within “love-speak”. The social ideals of “being in a co-operative” can lead to the construction of a perfect place for borderline sociopaths. The spin attracts cult-making people as well as cult-prone people – and the latter are not likely to recognise the sub-texts. At the point of recognition and exposure – revealing that the “intentionality” has been subverted by a cluster of Mock Mutuals – expect to be embattled. [*Lillian Hellman “They will hate you for disturbing them”, Noam Chomskey “The threat of a good example”].
For legal structures to operate for the benefit of the members rather than for the benefit of the operatives, there needs to be regulating mechanisms to prevent “the scum” from rising to the top, rather than “the cream”.
We are robbed by our gullibility. Individual membership needs to be protected so that separations are equitable, to prevent unjust expulsion. The right to fair reward for fair contribution needs to be clearly spelt out in the documents.