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The Mutualist Universe

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Chapter Summary

In diverse circumstances workers have participated in mutualist arrangements to make their lives more livable and less risky. Mutualist activities not only occur among all kinds of workers, formally or informally, but also among all other social classes. Mutualism in this sense is not class-specific, although it is often an important component of proletarian survival strategies: a wealth of social contacts with people willing to share may compensate for a lack of material wealth. In mutualist arrangements, different people contribute labor, products or money to a shared project. This chapter begins with mutualist institutions in which the fund consists of labor. Labor mutualism often becomes less important when money becomes more central to the local economy. The chapter further talks about rotating savings and credit funds (ROSCAs), savings and loan associations (SLAs), and mutual insurance.

Keywords: labor mutualism; money; mutual insurance; mutualist arrangements; rotating savings and credit funds (ROSCAs); savings and loan associations (SLAs)



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