This paper follows the negotiations of a model to calculate supplementary child allowance inside a radical democratic organization – the Radical Cola Collective (RCC) – that pays equal hourly wages to all. With equal wages, the RCC originally refrains from evaluating differences of worth, but also differences of need. The inclusion of new members with children leads the collective to reconsider this decision. The RCC embarks on a process of discovery and negotiation to find a model for calculating fair supplementary child allowance.
Pulcinella, or Punch, the famous Neapolitan puppet-buffoon of commedia dell’arte, has hanging on his bedroom wall a notice stating ‘Do it tomorrow’. It is the first thing he sees when he rises from bed each morning. When faced with a new days’ demands of successive ‘things to do’, simply reading this notice is enough to short-circuit any attempt at doing what Pulcinella has to do, is supposed to do, or has been asked to do, in an eternal postponement of his daily tasks.
What matters about whistleblowers [is] not that we should respond to them in a particular way but that they compel such serious attention, forcing us, as we respond, to confront some of our most fundamental ethical assumptions. (Brown, 1987: 10, cited in Contu, 2014: 403)