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Practical Mutualism

Practical Mutualism

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Practical Mutualism

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  1. Practical Mutualism “Moving the hut”

  2. So what’s the problem? When the hut was delivered, it was placed directly onto the ground. This made it hard to raise onto blocks, and allowed the sub-frame to rot. The distance from the main camp made its use inconvenient. If it was moved closer and raised it would be in constant use.

  3. The Plan As owner of the hut it was up to Lil to organise the event. Lil had the most to gain from solving the problem. Lil organised: • a work team with skills • a date • a truck • a heap of pallets • Tools • (and camera) • (and a feast)

  4. The Hut was winched up using chains that were connected to the sub-frame.

  5. The Hut wasplaced onto the tray just enough to move it safely, but leaving an overhang ready for unloading onto the pallets.

  6. Pallets are stacked to become stumps. These are easy to collect for free from industrial sites nearby.

  7. Practical Mutualism uses principles of “Fare Exchange” to reward the workers. • In this example, no money changed hands. • No-one was a “volunteer”. Everyone involved gained something from the experience. • Skills and labour are “fare”. Food and accommodation, and other supports are “fare” • 4 dozen cans of beer and bunches of bananas rewarded the truck provider. These items are “fare”.

  8. Measureable benefits rising from the work • Time spent negotiating, organising and settling accounts is well rewarded. • The use value of the hut is greatly increased. • The floor height allows ventilation which will slow the rusting process of the sub-frame. • The hut is now above the level of flash-flooding. • Improvements to the hut can be organised.

  9. “A Carton” is a time honoured currency that is clearly understood in Australian working men’s culture. This crate of cans were left over from an event, and earned by helping to clean up after an event. They were given to the driver in return for his help in doing this job. Later some bunches of bananas became available and these were shared with the Yard workers where the truck came from.

  10. Low cost practical living and work space The floor was levelled. The verandah was constructed from metal frames and pallets. Steps were made from above-ground swimming pool steps. Power leads supplied electricity.

  11. A new season of work couldbegin, with different workers organised to do the next improvements. The space is now well-lit and well ventilated, which was not the case when the hut was first purchased. The windows open to the east and the rising sun shines in. Lovely…

  12. This story never ends