"The system is handled generously and without problems. The only important thing is: you cannot simply take things away or sell them privatly, but you have to ask..."
Our rule is: make a fresh start and address the obstacles one by one.
The following story shared by Heinz Weinhausen (2003) gives an idea of how SSM deals with challenging situations. The van he is talking about is essential for the group's income. But it needs maintenance, which usually has been done by the same person once a week, on Tuesday afternoon. But for several weeks in a row other members had made appointments for the van being used elsewhere and maintanance was impossible, The person in charge decided not to take responsibility anymore for the van. The discussion became heated. Nobody stepped up, everybody was busy:
Reinhard for example started to build and fit new double windows for one of the buildings. Rainer is writing on his PHD Thesis on »New Work«. Gisela and Michael are active members of the new cooperative society of the borough that is called »WiWAt«. Heinz on the other hand is responsible for the computers and participates in the »Institute for New Work«.
On this day, no conclusion was found, even though the problem was touching our existential basis. Without a working van, we can not meet the targets of our busi- ness and the money for our living would be missing. One week later, the theme was on the agenda of the meeting again and actually two new members wanted to take on servicing the van together. Peter came to the SSM after years of being unemployed. He used to work in a dispatch department where he would drive a delivery van but he never had to take care of the vehicle. Even though he is not really confident that he can do the job well, he has realized that it is on him to take the first step. ....
- Develop Shared Purpose & Values. In 1986 the group forked from Sozialistische Selbsthilfe Köln html . This forking process was characterized by a conscious crafting of 1. an analysis of the socio-economic and political circumstances and 2. the strategy and procedure to adecuatly address circumstances. The results have been laid down in the preamble. They proved to be right and are being considered valid guidelines until today (2017)
- Set Semi-Permeable Boundaries. SSM writes: "Luckily there is a room available. You can come here right now and see if it is the right thing for you." -> immersion for a week for people interested in joining SSM allowing for convivial learning (see also: SSM Provisioning)
- Assure Commoners' Consent in Decisionmaking. In general decision are being take at the assembly, the highest decision making level at SSM. The assembly takes place each day at 9 am. Decision making principle: simple majority. Furthermore, decisions are take responsibly by every member in a given context or situation, usually based on previous conversation or consultation, a group discussion or -in-between-chatting.
- Relationalize Property. Whatever belongs to the purpose of SSM-Verein as written down in our Satzung is common property, especially the means of production: buildings, cars, tools etc. What you need, wear and use privatly i.e. your trousers or shirts, your mobile, bycicles etc is private property. In short: assets (capital) is in common property, things for daily use are in individual property. When people join SSM, they are provided with certain goods like furniture, that is supposed to be given back when people leave the group. But in reality people as when they leave and things are being decided according to the circumstances.
- Ritualize Togetherness. As there are daily meetings (i.e. the assembly) + the regular conference on Wednesday, there is a high basic level of ritualization. [RAINER; other forms of strenghtening togetherness?) - Share Knowledge Often and Widely. Just one example - more to be found at SSM Provisioning: SSM is socially "wide open". There are no hierarchies. In the evenings there is always an opportunity for 'social counceling', which takes place in a room with a desk, a phone and people sitting around - phonecalls with costumers are public. "It's a constant conversation, in the yard, during the assembly, after the assembly, in formal meetings, informally, throughtout the week. This is to .. Honor Transparency in a Sphere of Trust. When a member wants or needs something, an item for individual use s/he asks the person in charge (Tagesverantwortung). If it's a bigger goods, such as a TV or a washing machine, the request goes to the weekly conference on Wednesday.
- Self-Monitor, Mediate & Sanction. "You always have to encourage people to take responsibility. Taking responsibility is a social but also an economic process. Sometimes people do something really wrong, you see it and you need to say: Ok, it happend. But next time we will do it differntly and better."
- [Respect Human Dimensions] - Establish Discrimination-Free Infrastructures, ASK RAINER
Constituting Tools. SSM-Satzung, which was rather carelessly crafted and remixed from similar projects. After forking from Sozialistische Selbsthilfe Köln [http://www.sozialistischeselbsthilfekoeln.de/ html), SSM developed a Satzung that it still valid today. See also SSM Peer-Governance
Proceed the same way selecting from the following dimensions
- Beat the Bounds - Establish Discrimination-Free Infrastructures - Finance Commons-Public-Circuits - Accept State Mediation & Support if Needed - Emulate & Then Federate Rainer Kippe in 2017: "Perhaps in the next step we will have to go outside and start sharing space with other people and groups. This is the real economy. You see a problem. You need something and you look for a solution. With others. We forked from SSK in 1986, we might have to have more fork once more."