Arrival at Kommune Niederkaufungen
This Monday evening I arrived in Kassel-Niederkaufungen to be a guest for my usual three weeks of research at the well-known commune here. I was given a very nice guest room with garden view and and even the luxury of Internet access in my room! This will make it easy to keep this blog alive during my stay.
Several commune members kindly volunteered to be my guides here, which makes things quite easy for me. One of them is Anke Moka, a very sympathetic lady who is currently on leave from her day job for some months. Normally she would be working at the day care center for dementia patients – one of the community’s facilities for the public. On Wednesday Anke and me had a very nice day, working together at the day care garden.
As you can see, the leaves are falling and it is getting autumn here for real now – but there are still some last lush and beautiful roses in the court yard to delight us.
The members of the commune, about 60 grown ups plus 20 kids, live in a shared economy, which includes everyday economy and wealth economy. So all the money goes into one account, and all the members live responsibly, based on their individual needs. All important decisions, for example on bigger amounts of money – like buying a new electric car – are made at the plenum. Small sums can be taken out of a cash box by any member. All they need to do is sign their name for the amount taken out.
I find it quite impressive that based on this economic principle Kommune Niederkaufungen has existed for more than 30 years now. In that respect it is quite unique in Germany. I will go into more detail in one of my next blogs.