Part 1 – Institutions of life networks

Free Cities

What you think you become,

what you feel you attract it,

what you imagine you create it


The notion of a free city.

Free cities because they use the functioning of participatory local direct democracy, social life networks and no longer want, refuse the functioning of systems of power.

At the beginning, that is to say, as soon as we want, to form a network of resistance, today does not necessarily mean taking the scrubland as during the Second World War but rather as in 1789, asking for the opening of a room, if necessary as in 1789, a gym, the room of the game of palm and installing there the works of the teams of political, economic, social, cultural and military life projects to establish a free city on the local level.

The abandonment of our submission to systems of power now begins with the establishment of a free city, where we live. It is the application of the definition of power that we have chosen.

Later, the city will simply be a member of the confederation of living networks because the opposition of the systems of power will have been eliminated.

Why use the word “city” and not common, region, etc. ? Because the development of cities in the history of mankind has been accompanied by a special organization between the city and the surrounding countryside and villages, of course to feed the people in the city but also so that the higher incomes of the city’s craftsmen and traders also serve to raise the standard of living of the countryside and the use of better technologies in the work of the fields and the farm.

The city thus represents a primary network between it and a rural territory whose size corresponds to the needs of its development. In the liberal system of power, this primary network has been eliminated and remains prohibited under the liberal economic principle that we have already mentioned: the company does not exist, there are only markets.

The establishment of the legal status of a free city, a member of the Confederation of Social Life Networks.

The first constituent meeting of the free city of “Name of the City”.

Its aim is to validate the choice of civilization and the selection of knowledge necessary for the functioning of social life networks.

The basic text for starting this political process is, for example, the Declaration of the Rights to Social Life posted on

The Declaration of Human and Citizen Rights of August 26, 1789 also serves as a starting point, but we must then disregard Article 17, which does not sufficiently define property and which has been used to defend only private property, including means of production, while allowing the prohibition of common property and strictly limiting collective property to expropriation alone.

Article 16 on the separation of powers corresponds to the regime of centralized power as in the monarchy and then the republics still as centralized. It is ineffective in Life Networks organizations.

Intermediate objectives:

  1. Unanimously decide to abandon the dogmas, ideologies, theories and principles of functioning of political, economic, theocratic, military and police power systems.

  2. Decide not to defend in the debates positions and ideas previously used in its membership of a social group belonging to the functioning of the systems of power, for example :
    • The distinction between market and non -market economy no longer exists in life networks, as well as the administration and business distinction.
    • The means of control used by the liberal economic system and the democracies which ensure its development no longer exist in life networks.
    • The obligation to use a distribution of income and heritage because of the private property of the means of production through a tax system and social assistance, of public policies intended to avoid the social explosion, no longer exists, etc.
  3. Decide to use the source of productivity gains that focuses on raising the skill level of free city members in areas related to the development of life networks:
    • the alliance of opposites to define the objectives,
    • subsidiarity to obtain the optimal solution,
    • complementarity between the three forms of property,
    • the use of our two sources of knowledge to manage all human activity: work, works, political action,
    • the use of a full currency (Positive Money) to pay for the work of members of the life networks.
  4. Decide to set up a Confederation of Social Life Networks (for the first city that decides to establish itself as a free city) or decide to become a member of this Confederation to participate in its work. If necessary, appoint representatives to this Confederation from among the volunteers, appointment (recruitment) according to their current skills.

  5. Decide on the places of work and the location of the seat of the free city.

    The town hall remains in its place as the free city represents a network of local life that includes the city and villages, the surrounding countryside that participate in the satisfaction of the individual needs, primarily food, of this network free city of ” Name of the city network “.

    By contrast, the decentralized public institutions of the republican state and its representative system disappear, leaving room for the new political institutions of the free city.

    For example, prefectures or sub-prefectures have premises that are then available for free city services. The same applies to other premises of public administrations whose function is adapted to the functioning of a local participatory direct democracy within the framework of a Confederation..

  6. Decide on the method of work and a first division of work into groups of life projects.
    • Adopting the solidarity insurance approach, that is to say analyzing the risks present in the functioning of the free city and finding optimal solutions in the state of current knowledge thanks to the practice of upward and descending subsidiarity. Transmit these optimal solutions to other life networks exposed to these same risks.
    • Train the group in the practice of problems of problem solving and the method of obtaining total quality. Calculate the current cost of non -quality. Calculate the cost of adaptation of the optimal solution to our local particularities and the cost of irreducible non -quality in the state of our knowledge. Establish the necessary investment budgets after carrying out the useful simulations and the risk assessment of each of them.
    • Determine a list of priorities to ensure against these risks and threats and according to the skills available to date, set up groups of life projects.
    • From the composition of members of life projects, designate on the one hand experts who will join the expertise group with their other colleagues from other life networks and if necessary other experts still in systems of Power and on the other hand the spokespersons of the free city vis-à-vis other networks, the Confederation, the power systems still located in the vicinity of the free city..
  7.  Decide on the schedule of the next meeting to define the objectives of each life project group.

The second constituent meeting of the free city of “Name of the City”.

Agenda: development of the free city strategy.

  • Development of internal diagnosis: Identification of strengths and weaknesses, and external diagnosis: threats and opportunities
  • Identification of strategic priorities and actions
  • Development of the project groups following the first meeting and identification of their objectives and initial objectives: material and food wealth groups, health groups, education and training group, military defense group (national guard and army) and civil security group, political action and justice group, various groups: research and development.
  • Identification of recruitment and training policies.
  • Establishment of an inter-project working group to prepare job cards according to the possible levels of responsibility in the state of available skills and to be recruited in the project groups. Determination of compensation based on levels of responsibility (NR)
  • Inventory of available assets, technical capital, financial resources available and to be constituted by the use of positive monney.

The third constituent meeting of the free city of “Name of the City”.

Agenda: distribution and consumption of the wealth produced by the labor indispensable for life and survival.

  • Assessment of the exchanges necessary to ensure the satisfaction of individual and collective needs in the context of the work essential to life and survival and in the context of the political action necessary to develop the free city.
  • Assessment of financing needs and implementation of the creation of a full currency by the Confederation Bank, bank of the first free city while being joined by other free cities. 

The development of the political institutions of the free city.

We stay here only on the political side, and then we will see the economic, social institutions. The indications that we have just given serve to demonstrate that it is not a question of gathering around a campfire with pallets to burn while building more or less elementary cabins, as was the case for the spontaneous movement of anger of the Yellow Vests in November 2018.

Each came with his or her sincere convictions but also with his or her more or less politicized culture in the framework of a party or a trade union, and this in the perspective of seeing his or her ideas triumph in an election or a citizen referendum. This movement, initially proclaimed a-political, had no reference to political knowledge capable of organizing and developing it. Clearly, the knowledge of the law forbidden by the leaders of the liberal system, as before it by the absolute monarchy and the revolutionaries of 1789, limited this citizen movement to simplistic and illusory demands: the resignation of the President of the Republic, the holding of a referendum on citizens’ initiative (RIC), etc.

This lack of knowledge or ignorance of the closed nature of our republican constitutions since 1791, of the autocratic mechanisms inherent in the functioning of the systems of power, of the strategy of the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy in its chimerical desire to impose a world government in its hands, has been an insurmountable handicap conducive only to its decay.

Decentralization of power.

A free city, that basic local area network, doesn’t start from scratch. The change is essentially about decentralization of power and above all about its direct exercise by citizens through no longer an electoral system but participation in life projects teams to manage and develop all human activity. We are going to come and show how a civic and professional evolution can be built through these different networks that structure political, economic, social, cultural, military life.

The development of free cities takes place mainly through the unions they pass between them according to their needs linked to their local particularities. The Confederation then provided its material aid, its know-how and the provision of the full currency created by the Confederation Bank when this creation of the full currency exceeded the possibilities of the banks of the cities wishing to unite. This is essentially the case for heavy investments in structures and civil or military defense. Real estate investment for the development of the common goods, we will come to this, follows another method of financing linked to the realization of works, second level of human activity.

Gone are the politics of politics conditioned by electoral games and the frantic desire of elected officials to get re-elected at all costs. Finished with uniform regulations that apply everywhere regardless of local particularities. Finished with regions neglected by industry, doctors, tourists and young people who prefer to leave them to go to metropolises, precarious jobs, go back to their housing and eat chicken with hormones… Finished with the wealth produced by the work of all and who go elsewhere to rentiers and financiers. No more waiting for the public authorities from the top of the hierarchy of the democratic electoral system to respond and grant aid and subsidies not only from Paris but now from Brussels, even the City of London and Wall Street.

The work currently carried out by the citizens in the geographical area of the free city does not change, on the contrary it is a matter of optimizing it in a sustainable development covering all human activity. Existing companies may remain under the status of private property, but as soon as the shareholders sacrifice the interests of the citizens of the free city, the latter has the power and command to change this status and pass it into common or collective property, respectively into a cooperative or a nationalized enterprise by the Confederation of Networks of Social Life.

In terms of health and health, security and defense, we will see, and the same applies. No more ministerial instructions that do not want waves and incidents in streets, neighborhoods, cities. No more centralized management of mask stocks in anticipation of a pandemic. The means of living and surviving are managed at the local level in direct relation with the neighboring life networks and the Confederation which ensure relations and exchanges with other Confederations or nations wishing to remain in systems of power.

The succession of financial and economic crises, the emergence of a new health crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic and its calamitous, scandalous management in France, have allowed most citizens to want that “after it will not be like before!”

Historical examples of Free Cities

Once again, to consider the development of networks of life and at the local level, of free cities, we must look at how our elders organized themselves in the past when they too developed networks of life and then free cities after the destruction of the Order of the Temple in 1307 in France and Europe. We will use these examples when presenting economic and social institutions. For the time being, we are taking a few examples to show the political significance of the decisions taken by each other in the operation of life networks.

We mainly use two books and extracts from a third one that we have already used in introduction, in the choice of civilization.

La Décapole, ten cities of Alsace allied for their freedoms 1354-1679, Éditions de la Nuée Bleue, Strasbourg, 2009.

Belfort 1307-2007 Seven centuries of courage and freedom, Georges Bischoff, Yves Pagnot, Éditions COPRUR, Strasbourg, 2007.

How rich countries got rich. Why Poor Countries Remain Poor Erik S. Reinert, Éditions du Rocher, 2012 for the French translation, 2007 for the English edition. The extracts we have already presented are here. They show the importance of urban development as the main center of wealth production. We will explain why by presenting the economic institutions of life networks.


in 1307, the year the city obtained its franchise charter. The latter freed the inhabitants of the city from any dependence on a lord, but the city remained under the direction of the Count of Montbéliard, who ensured its protection. The city can accommodate craftsmen, merchants or other trades useful to its development and indirectly to the interests of the count. The city also hastens to name among its bourgeois farmers from nearby villages who were already selling their crops to the inhabitants of the city in order to guarantee the supply of the city. In the new district, in 1342, a church was transformed into a collegiate church with twelve canons, educated men who brought their skills in property management, law, as teachers and teachers.

The Decapolis of Alsace.

The development of the monastic movement after the year 500 and the end of the great invasions following the destruction of the Roman Empire and its military power system, allowed a first development of the cities around the abbeys in the 7th century: Munster, Wissembourg and Obernai. In the 11th century, Sélestat. In the 12th and 13th century the Hohenstaufen or Staufen family created Haguenau, Rosheim, Kaysersberg. This medieval period became more structured when the Benedictine and Cistercian movement created the orders of the Knights, Templars and Teutonics monks for the Holy Roman Empire.

The organization of the cathedrals in networks of time removed the nobles from the monarchical or imperial system, from the riches produced by the abbeys and the towns attached to them. At the beginning of 1300 (14th century), 90% of the soil of present-day France is managed by the Knights and Monastic Orders. The King of the Franks has only 10% of the territory and therefore does not have sufficient financial resources to run a larger field. After the destruction of the Order of the Temple on Friday, October 13, 1307, the development of royal absolutism ran up against a political and economic reality: the nobles who have titles of earls, dukes, lords and who are under the power of the king, have no money. The resources from the land domains were distributed among the networks of the cities and the countryside, which were ultimately under the control of the pope, who had freed them from taxes against kings and their nobles. The cities and the countryside were rich, the king and his nobles, no!

At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the kings of Germania were in an inextricable financial situation and to secure their power, they “engaged” the cities and their countryside, including the imperial cities. The “engaging” princes gain the power and command to take wealth from these cities to fund their armies and their monarchical system of power. Cities from 1273 onwards in Alsace sought to protect themselves against these pledges, in the form of alliances and leagues. On 28 August 1354, Emperor Charles IV solemnly formed the League of the Ten Imperial Free Cities of Alsace. They are real urban republics with similar institutions and a similar degree of autonomy. Haguenau has a monetary workshop and, following its commercial development, becomes the most important city of the Decapolis, a real city-state that has a role of intermediary against the emperor. The political institutions of these cities use an oligarchic regime that limits the exercise of power to a certain number of families.

The main objectives of the alliances between cities within the framework of this league are to ensure that the primary individual needs are met, to feed themselves properly. The example of the alliance between Munster and Kaysersberg is a perfect illustration of this. Free cities exchange their most famous productions: cheese and wine. In Munster, enjoy the munster with a good glass of white wine or in Kayserberg, drink a glass of wine produced here while enjoying a piece of munster “kneeling in front” according to the local expressions of Alsace, we will not say that life is beautiful but it includes at least some good moments!… As long as king or emperor do not come to destroy these local alliances to impose their system of power, royal or imperial absolutism.

The Decapolis of Alsace thus represents a network of resistance against the power system of a German monarchy less absolute than that developed in France after the medieval period.

This example is useful today for the new free cities that are opposing the liberal and capitalist, financial economic system. The times are no longer the same, we live in a period in which global threats are certainly stronger, but we do have a more complete knowledge that is fueled by a better knowledge of the ways of living in society and a renewed willingness to use our two sources of knowledge again after having broken the prohibitions of theocracies and systems of power.

Marinaleda, free municipality of Andalusia

After these few examples drawn from our local history, let us take one of the few examples of a free commune that is known in Andalusia by many reports or films. This is obviously a network of resistance against the liberal system of power, but also and especially here, a citizen resistance that took power in Marinaleda against the great landowners and nobles of the Spanish monarchy.

Marinaleda réforme agraire


The example of this self-managed village is better known in France since the report broadcast on France 2 on Saturday 23 March 2013 at 13:15 – Duration: 39 min. A document signed Michel Mompontet, Antoine Morel and Mathilde Rougeron and presented by Laurent Delahousse.  

This second part of the series “Carnet d’utopies” takes us to Spain, to Marinaleda, a small village in Andalusia that has been developing for years a social and political system against the prevailing model.

While Spain is at record levels of unemployment and evictions, in Marinaleda unemployment is below 5% and all inhabitants own their homes for a refund of 15 euros per month. At the head of this village of hardliners, a mayor who is becoming an example of rebellion for thousands of Spaniards.

In the heart of Andalusia, the village of Marinaleda is an example for its management and administration based on the social and solidarity economy. This village, founded after the end of the Franco dictatorship, has never stopped working for the well-being of its inhabitants.

Since the end of the Franco era, Marinaleda has operated in direct democracy.

In 1979, the villagers decided to attack the town hall. Believing that the political power did not represent them and did not meet their expectations, they decided to run in the first free municipal elections since the end of the dictatorship. They then created the Collectif Unitaire des Travail (CUT), still in power 35 years later.

Thus, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, mayor of Marinaleda for more than 30 years, establishes a participatory democracy.

At the participatory assemblies, the villagers adopted the proposal of self-built houses. This is to combat housing problems and real estate speculation. Thus, the Junta de Andalucía* finances the equipment, the town hall provides the land and the architect, and the future owners work on the construction or hire a professional to do it themselves.

Once the house is built, the occupants pay €15 per month to repay the investment of Andalusia and the village. Note that anyone who has lived at least 1 year in the village can ask the town hall for a self-built house.

The nursery costs 12€/month for a child, including food.

The salary of all workers, regardless of their position, is 47 euros per day. At 6:30 hours of daily work in the fields and 8 hours when it is a job at the factory. It should be noted that the average salary in the rest of Andalusia is 30 to 35 euros per day.

Most politicians, who do not receive a salary, work at the packaging plant, and therefore receive the same salary as their comrades, between €1,100 and €1,200 per month (2013 figures).

Link for the TV report:

Document: Source:  

End of document.

Let us analyze the case of Marinaleda with the methods and knowledge of management and management that we will use at the level of economic and social institutions as well as at the level of the values, norms and lifestyles of the humanist culture of the Networks of Social Life.

Let’s use a diagram to summarize this analysis.

Consider the price a family with a child pays for rent and day care: €27 per month. This price has nothing to do with a consumer price paid with subjective money, debt money valued on the money market according to the interests of high finance. This price is objective, real and evaluated according to the individual needs of the social group. It corresponds more to a user price, a right to use a property and an education service that depend on the objective, real work of all the citizens of the village.

We can represent through a diagram the different participation of the work of the villagers in the determination of the use price of the house and the nursery which are common goods realized by the work of the villagers. Oil and vegetable preserves are sold at market value. This value does not need to use subjective currency and an overvalued price in relation to objective work. On the contrary, thanks to common goods and objective work, the objective value of production plus a modest trade margin can be sufficient to obtain an excellent quality-price ratio on the market and guarantee an increase in sales and thus positive economies of scale.

Cash flows within the village will be exclusively in full or objective currency, positive monney. 

The price of internal trade will take into account all productivity gains achieved:

  • structural economies: no pay for unproductive employees or for a hierarchy and command structure that ensures the subordination of employees to owners and shareholders. In this networked economy, they are very important, proportionately much more than in a multinational company. According to the management vocabulary: the flowchart is flat, perfectly flat. There is not even a need to overturn the hierarchical pyramid because it does not exist in such a networked organization.
  • raising skills: the working group develops versatility and everyone can become the expert in a field that the organization needs. Subsidiarity is used: example: top-down subsidiarity, which gives the example of the organization of the neighboring village in the 14th century (such as those of the towns and municipalities of the medieval period or the free towns of the Decapolis of Alsace). The alliance of opposites is put into practice: the village favors the difference of trades to be able to build houses thanks to the presence of all trades of the building. This is an important source of synergy. modernization of the production tool with the use of profits for investment and job creation. The average age of robots is not 17, as it is in France today.
  • positive economies of scale are based on increased sales achieved through optimal value for money. They are a consequence of the good functioning of the local economy and not a cause to optimize in the short term the profits of shareholders, the profits of stock exchanges.
  • the use of synergies in the construction of houses and production buildings, as well as in public life and the management of the direct democracy that drives the local economy. All are motivated and perform a high level of demands in their work because it is the very life of their village that is at stake.
  • the use of complementarity between decreasing and increasing returns. Agriculture is the field of diminishing returns, the more investments there are, the less productivity there is, and so the solution is to combine agriculture with the increasing returns of industry, crafts and trade. But Marinaleda proves once again that when agricultural production falls, yields rise, which is the opposite of what happens in industry. Here we find the source of productivity gain related to the structural change: staying at the local level is the optimal solution to obtain interesting yields in agriculture, at least to allow a decent standard of living, without poverty, in this local network. However, Marinaleda combines agriculture and crafts, industry and commerce in a strategy to integrate the olive oil and vegetable canning sector. All of its returns are therefore growing and source of wealth.
  • As a result, internal trade values are minimal due to this use of productivity gains and local synergies. They correspond to a right of use of the entire citizen network of life and not to a consumption of goods and services valued on markets with subjective money and debt money.

Marinaleda’s model is viable and prosperous.

Marinaleda Schema

Last remark: The French 2 report expressly mentions that Marinaleda did not invent anything, she simply remembered that in the neighboring village, it was already like that in the 14th century and the inhabitants of this village still remember it today using the houses, the church, the communal buildings built at that time.

The whole of Spain was organized in this way, the time of the cathedrals had not been destroyed in 1307 as in France and many Templars had taken refuge in Spain and especially in Portugal with part of the Templar fleet.

The municipality of Marinaleda has not forgotten this medieval example and has used it again to escape poverty, unemployment, the liberal system of power and the power of the great landowners belonging to the Spanish monarchy. Without forgetting the ancient past of Andalusia and its tradition of marrying the most humanist cultures.

Here we are still at Keynes: 

« I have sympathy for those who want to minimize rather than maximize economic interweaving between nations.

Ideas, knowledge, art, hospitality, travel: these things are, by their very nature, international.

But let the goods be made domestically whenever possible and convenient.

And, above all, that finance is first and foremost national »

John – Maynard Keynes. Quoted by Herman E. Daly, a former chief economist in the World Bank’s Environment Department, in a illuminating article about the harmful effects of free trade : « The perils of free trade »

 Scientific American, novembre 1993

Thanks to the common goods, Marinaleda uses usage values, social rights and does not enter the consumption system of the liberal capitalist economy.

Full currency (Positive Money) frees us from debt money consumption with exchange values made more expensive for unnecessary subjective desires and above all for maximizing bankers’ profits.

Between consuming and working without getting rich on the one hand and using the common goods to raise one’s standard of living, getting out of poverty, being assured of full employment and participating in decisions in one’s work as well as in one’s life as a citizen where he lives, the choice for a citizen is clear and logical, yet we must wake up, get out of the prevailing conformity, resist and start developing our networks of citizens of life.

Free Cities in a Nation and in the Confederation of Life Networks

The nation is an organization that appears after the state.

The destruction of the medieval period with its free cities from monarchies is the starting point for the use of a structure of population and economic controls by the centralized power of royal absolutism.

The European monarchies follow the example of the first city-states which developed in particular in Northern Italy. The presence of the Roman papacy and its real estate possessions does not allow a monarchy to centralize power over the whole territory.

Hence the rapid power of these city-states from their maritime trade: Venice, Genoa or from their cultural and scientific activities such as Florence. The city-state is a political structure capable of governing or controlling territories far from the main city. These are trading posts, regions that have come under the control of the capital.

The English monarchy will be the first to take over the political structure of the city-states of Italy to organize its power over the different regions of Great Britain, Scotland and Ireland. In France, the monarchy will not take up this example and it will develop royal absolutism from a very centralized state which in 2023 has always remained so.

The people do not appear in this state political structure which only serves as a means of control for centralized power, monarchies and empires.

The birth of nations

occurs precisely when these peoples want to emancipate themselves from monarchies and their states to regain control of their own interests.

The European peoples will manifest their interests first through the religious question and the development of the Protestant movement at the local level. Literary romanticism will also be inspired by the national aspiration of citizens to fight for greater freedoms.

Then nationalism will be developed by monarchies or republics to create an esprit de corps among citizens and allow the constitution of national armies to fight the armies of kings and emperors formed from the recruitment of contingents of mercenaries such as companies of Swiss Guards.

We recall that in Frankfurt, Mayer Amschel Bauer (1744-1812) will transform the modest pawnbroking business created by his father into a recognized bank and will become the manager of the fortune of William I, elector of Hesse-Cassel. This banker will get rich by lending money to finance the recruitment of soldiers his prince needed for his wars and in return he will be paid on the spoils of war conquered by his master.

Mayer Amschel Bauer’s ancestor, Isaac Elchanan, took his surname from the small, cramped house he lived with his family on Judengasse (Jewish Street) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The name Zum roten Schild, that is to say in French: “À l’Écusson rouge”, or “À l’Enseigne rouge”, thus gave birth to a new surname: “Rothschild” and with Mayer Amschel, this family bank took off worldwide.

The Confederation of Life Networks is not national

In the Networks of Life and direct participatory local democracy, the notion of nation is very present. The nation represents a project of living together on a territory defined by its geographical and climatic particularities, its history and its culture. A life project is French, German, etc. or it is international, global. In all cases, it is managed within the framework of the Confederation of Life Networks of which it is a member.

But this organization into a nation has no political value and it is not a political institution or a cultural institution. It is the Free Cities and the life project teams that are domiciled in these Free Cities that are members of the Confederation of Life Networks. The Confederation brings together vast geographical areas such as Europe, North America, etc.

Example of solidarity between two villages

developing their twinning ties during the spring 2020 coronavirus pandemic.

document source: Latest News from Alsace from 03/05/2020

Cheese: Britons buy a thousand munsters and Saint-Grégoire in solidarity.

Twinned for a quarter of a century in Muhlbach-sur-Munster, the Breton commune of Kermaria-Sulard ordered 1,000 cheeses to help a young local farmer.

By Philippe VIGNERON – Yesterday at 18:45 | updated at 19:33 – Reading time: 3 min

An aphorism claims that only France separates Alsace from Brittany. “False”, corrected the mayor of Kermaria-Sulard, a village of a thousand inhabitants in the Côtes-d’Armor, two pedals from the coast. “Only France connects them,” says Dominique Boitel. The twinning with Muhlbach-sur-Munster is an illustration of this, with exchanges that have been sustained since the early 90s, despite the 950 km separating them.

The sea-mountain alliance is often found on the plate. Each winter, the Trégor oysters, among the best in the country, still awarded by President Macron last February for their excellence, accompany the New Year’s Eve in the Munster Valley. This summer, it will be the Vosges cheeses that will be invited on the Breton tables near the Saint-jacques of the bay of Saint-Brieuc or the cocos of Paimpol.

“I was forced to throw cheese away”

The initiative began in the aftermath of Easter, when the mayor of Muhlbach, Patrick Althusser, learned that the Meyer-Hunzinger cheese factory, which operates some twenty Vosges and Alpine browns, was in an uncomfortable situation. The only local operation whose sole source of revenue is the sale of cheese, it found itself with its stock on its hands, since its main customers had all closed the curtain with confinement.

“I offered some here and there, but I was also forced to throw out those that came to term,” says Mathieu Hunzinger, 30. He knowingly forgets this, because the procedure was “personal” and “anonymous”, and perhaps because his partner had symptoms similar to Covid-19, but he also sent some to Pasteur Hospital in Colmar. Faced with the “disaster announced”, the cessation of activity combined with the drought, its buoy came from the other side of France.

Nearly 1,000 orders

When Patrick Althusser threw a hook at his twin commune, he had not imagined such a return. The invitation to help his young farmer, strongly supported across the English Channel by the twinning committee and local elected officials, resonated resoundingly with the entire local press. The momentum of solidarity has passed Kermaria, with solicitations 50 km around, up to Perros-Guirec or Camlez, which are also twinned with other Alsatian cities, Barr and Griesbach-au-Val.

“The call exceeded all our expectations with nearly 1,000 cheeses, munster and Saint-Grégoire (barikas), ordered by our Breton friends in just over two weeks,” the mayor said. So much so that the operator has returned to work with a final tour that will be ready to deliver in three or four weeks, after the ripening. In the meantime, the first shipment left the valley on Monday in the direction of the Pink Granite Coast.

“A slap in the face to social networks”

Around Kermaria, a country of market gardeners, you will find some cheeses, but the production is confidential.

Generosity is not. “Solidarity is not a vain word here“, warns the elected representative of this department relatively spared by the epidemic.

“It is in these circumstances that twinning makes sense.”

His successor as mayor, Pierre Houssais, even before taking office, had sent 500 emails to his followers; while the twinning committee stretched the net everywhere to relieve the Alsatian producer. Mathieu Hunzinger is amazed by this mobilization and finds it difficult to find the words. “We thought we would sell 100, so 1 000 is unreal. It takes a beautiful thorn out of our feet.”

The other farmers in the village, who run farm-hostels, did not take any notice. Patrick Althusser sees in this Breton channel a moral that contradicts “acid comments sometimes read on social networks about Alsace and its expatriate patients”.

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To conclude on the development of free cities today.

To think of compromises with the Anglo-Saxon financial oligarchy to use again the liberties and franchises of the free cities of the years 1354 to 1679 or better the liberties of the social life networks of the medieval period, that is to say the common property to distribute among us the wealth produced by our work, to manage our common goods, to use a full currency, is this really reasonable? The current struggle to leave these systems of power does not allow any compromise with the destructive madness and theft of the wealth of the new masters of the world.

In this fight, to put into practice Hannah Arendt’s definition of power, we affirm that the free city springs from among men when they act together, when they come together as equals determined to act to live free in their cities and countryside, wherever possible on our planet, and determined to develop their teams of life projects.

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