Individual wealth redistribution

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j.rogue
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Jun 9 2007 04:07
Individual wealth redistribution

I have an anarchist friend with a $400,000 trust fund. He is active in the "social justice philanthropy" circles and has a lot of criticisms of that framework, in that it is a lot of wealthy people trying to assuage their class guilt by donating small portions of their wealth to various organizations. He is has less criticisms of the activist-led foundations (such as RESIST in the U.S.) but is still critical of that model as well (see "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded" for more on that). He and I have been having a lot of conversations about the best way to use his wealth. Any thoughts? I can clarify if need be.

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 15:12
Quote:
I have an anarchist friend with a $400,000 trust fund.

grin

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the button
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Jun 9 2007 15:38

I wouldn't worry about it. He won't be an anarchist for long.

Hopefully.

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 16:34

I will take a donation to research the influences of TV and laziness on the individual.

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 9 2007 16:43
Quote:
He and I have been having a lot of conversations about the best way to use his wealth. Any thoughts?

I’d like to invest in some kind of legal, highly advertised, PSE-style Escort Agency in Northern Ireland.

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MJ
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Jun 9 2007 17:01

Can you narrow down his "anarchist" politics any for us?

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the button
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Jun 9 2007 17:04

Yeah. I'd tend to steer clear of any "anarchist" where you'd have to put a bullet in the back of his head come the glorious day.* Call me picky.

* Edit. Except Jack, obviously.

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 17:06
the button wrote:
Yeah. I'd tend to steer clear of any "anarchist" where you'd have to put a bullet in the back of his head come the glorious day.* Call me picky.

* Edit. Except Jack, obviously.

Hey!

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the button
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Jun 9 2007 17:10

If I don't get to shoot people in the back of the head, it's not my revolution. angry

j.rogue
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Jun 9 2007 18:18

If anyone has serious responses, they would be appreciated. He is an anarchist communist, and has been active in mostly anarchist radical queer organizing for about six or seven years. He was raised by wealthy parents. He is a smart and committed activist. He is my best friend and I trust his politics a hell of a lot more than a lot of people who call themselves anarchists.

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 18:23

Donate the money to turn the NEA into a national publication with real mainstream distribution agreements.

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MJ
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Jun 9 2007 18:41

Yeah or maybe just 1/4 of it.

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 18:44
MJ wrote:
Yeah or maybe just 1/4 of it.

Not too skilled in negotiating there MJ?

j.rogue
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Jun 9 2007 18:52

There is some concern about the idea that the money is "his" and that he has the right to decide what to do with it. Like, why is he qualified to decide what is "deserving" of the money? Is there a way to donate mone that doesn't reinforce the power that comes with being upper claass?

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 18:59
j.rogue wrote:
There is some concern about the idea that the money is "his" and that he has the right to decide what to do with it. Like, why is he qualified to decide what is "deserving" of the money? Is there a way to donate mone that doesn't reinforce the power that comes with being upper claass?

Oh jesus christ. Worrying about it reinforces the power that comes with being upper class. Pick something or some things. Give it away. Then forget about it and move on.

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jef costello
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Jun 9 2007 19:21

Be pragmatic. Any organisation that has money decides what to do with it. Either he gives it all to an organisation and takes a single vote on any discusssions about what to do with it or he decides what to do with it himself.
I'd be tempted to get a building, provide living space for people and permanent office space for organisations.
He didn't earnt the money but that doesn't mean anything, we don't expect people born poor to be ashamed because we know they are not responsible for their position. Neither is he, so get over it and do something useful with the money.

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the button
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Jun 9 2007 19:24

I'd ask him to give it all to the SolFed, but luckily we have something in our constitution preventing us from receiving donations from rich cunts.

j.rogue
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Jun 9 2007 19:36

Oh please, "rich cunts?" What are you, twelve? You don't even know him.
Clearly this is the wrong place to have this conversation.

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jef costello
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Jun 9 2007 19:40

does no one ever read my sensible posts?

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MJ
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Jun 9 2007 19:57
thugarchist wrote:
MJ wrote:
Yeah or maybe just 1/4 of it.

Not too skilled in negotiating there MJ?

shut up i'm trying to use reverse psychology

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oisleep
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Jun 9 2007 20:13
jef costello wrote:
does no one ever read my sensible posts?

i thought it was a good idea, especially giving him only the same say as everyone else, if he wants more than that, then i think that's a good enough indication of what he thinks his money will bring

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 20:18
j.rogue wrote:
Clearly this is the wrong place to have this conversation.

I was serious.

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MJ
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Jun 9 2007 20:19

that's not enough money to buy a building in a lot of places.

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thugarchist
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Jun 9 2007 20:21
MJ wrote:
that's not enough money to buy a building in a lot of places.

And would have minimal impact compared to building a large scale media distribution.

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Rob Ray
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Jun 9 2007 21:53
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get a building, provide living space for people and permanent office space for organisations.

Agree with this. Investing it in the back hole that is media would be silly, very few people in the movement have any expertise, planning skills etc to run a viable media outfit. Getting a building which has a decent space, IT facilities and a couple of rooms for wardens to look after the place would be a better plan. Suggestion would be for a trust to be set up to 'own' the building and oversee it, wardens to do admin/publicising/run any retail operations etc in exchange for being in the building, and to pay some money into a maintenance pot in lieu of rent.

You'd need to be careful about making sure the setup doesn't allow any wardens to dominate what happens in the building though obviously, I'd suggest they get places on the trust but have no direct control other than their votes on that body. Members of the trust should have a good reason for being so, and put in a specified amount of time each month to qualify for their positions maybe?

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Felix Frost
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Jun 9 2007 22:34

double post...

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Felix Frost
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Jun 9 2007 22:34
the button wrote:
Yeah. I'd tend to steer clear of any "anarchist" where you'd have to put a bullet in the back of his head come the glorious day.

So after the revolution, you plan to shoot everyone with rich parents? That sounds a bit authoritarian to me...

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888
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Jun 10 2007 00:12
the button wrote:
I wouldn't worry about it. He won't be an anarchist for long.

Hopefully.

But in that time, get as much money off him as possible! "The revolution will not be funded" - bullshit! Get money from whatever sources possible. Moralism must be crushed.

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888
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Jun 10 2007 00:14
j.rogue wrote:
Oh please, "rich cunts?" What are you, twelve? You don't even know him.
Clearly this is the wrong place to have this conversation.

The problem in the button's sentence is not the "rich cunts" but the "luckily".

petey
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Jun 10 2007 00:27

seriously? let him build it until he has enough to support himself for life. $1,000,000 in munis (no tax) at 5% give 50K a year, which might do it, depending on where you live. then, he can give away sums forever. the building sounds like a good idea.

afraser
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Jun 10 2007 01:31

In the real world, $400k (=£200k) is not a lot of money.

And genuine activists are not short of money anyway - it is activist time that is the real issue.
Buying an empty unused building means you get to own an empty unused building. Real activist groups would be happier (and cheaper) renting commercial meeting rooms and campaign offices on an as-required basis. What do I mean by that? Well - Does your campaign need an office for one or two admin workers/campaign organisers for the next six months? Can it absolutely not squeeze into some activists home? Well, ok, fine, go rent some temporary office space in the most nearby cheap light industrial zone, and remember to vacate that space once the campaign ends. If your campaign really is that big and important and mass-supported, then it'll have no problem raising the (extremely reasonable) rental costs for the duration. Temporary salary or volunteer staff expenses costs will be way far higher in the real world than the office rental. Big empty buildings feed big empty egos, good campaigns need good people instead of good rooms - and $400k is just not enough to start paying out in permanent organiser salary costs for the good people.

So, what to usefully do with that money? Well, where there is a need and use for funds is for start up finance for worker or community owned businesses. Commercial banks just will not lend to start up firms that do not have underwriting by collateral such as homeownership rights from the founders. - which pretty much rules out everything that isn't going to be a capitalist firm. But someone prepared to risk making unsecured loans to start up worker or community owned businesses could buck that trend. The whole operation could be self financing if risky third sector loans were spread amongst many different businesses: the return from the successful ones could, with interest, offset the cost of debt write-offs for the failures. Commercial Savings-and-Loans outfits would I think be interested in administering that type of fund. And plenty of other ordinary people would be happy to park at least some of their own savings into such a fund too, so your $400k could act as the seed with a multiplier effect. Mondragon only succeeded once it set up such a bank fund to attract ordinary folks savings.

Andrew.