TOTW: What is our financial plan?

  • Posted on: 2 January 2017
  • By: thecollective

We want to bring up a delicate topic. How do we fund our projects? What is, for lack of better terms, our business model? Of course it is strange to bring this up as anti-capitalists but it is also naive to think that the way we get and use money isn't part of the "what we do," rather than what we think.

This project, a relatively inexpensive one, has largely (like for 99% of its 12 year run) has come out of one person's pocket. It has cost somewhere between 60-100 a month (hosting, legal expenses, technical help). These details have a lot to do with the capacity for this site to make unpopular decisions. It also is why this site continues even when oh-so-many people have called for (anon on its pages) its dissolution.

Other sites (alternet, MJ, infoshop, Zmag, etc) are constantly asking its users for donations (or kickstarters or other crowd fundraising methods). Most of the independent and radical press feels like the poor mans NPR half the time. Anarchist press is often lowest-common denominator because we can't afford to piss anyone (or their demographic) off.

Are these our only options? Is there a better way to fund raise for our information/communication sources? Should we just do, and insist everything we do is free? Should we accept ads? Let us discuss how our financial decisions, even here on our media, impacts the kind of coverage we have and what we are capable of planning.

Happy New Year. May 2017 be a creative year for anarchist thinking and practice.

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Comments

Music theatre and circuses are great ways to get some fellowship flowing. This method of mutual assistance started by simply sitting around a fire a few million years ago.

One benefit of formal membership organizations is that there is money coming in from membership dues. (another benefit is that you can clearly tell who is and isn't a part of the group)

For the sake of looking at some numbers here, The Black Rose Anarchist Federation (USA) asks it's members to pay "progressive dues as a percentage of income (roughly 1-3% based on income)." Although at other times they have also said that it's 1-6% of your income. Part of these dues go to the Federation and the rest stays with the local.

wow an anarchist institution, complete with local and national organizations. sure glad that exists.

Who, specifically?

You know … the actual anarchists? As distinct from the confused people trying to make their pet theories seem cooler by hanging out under the black flag with us*

*Again, the actual anarchists.

Is there a specific idea you're trying to advance? Can you articulate it without in-group/out-group bigotry?

That's cute. You might be spending too much time online if my snarky comment constitutes bigotry to you.

Look up the definition of bigotry.

Presumably you were attempting to frame anarchism & capitalism as opposites, but again you have failed to articulate yourself and resort to insults.

I'm not really seeking your approval or having a serious conversation here. Only callously dismissing anyone who doesn't include staunch anti-capitalism in a basic definition of anarchism. They are beneath my attention except as a joke.

All anarchist praxis for finances has to be based on expropriation or scavenging. There's simple hoodlum shit, the ol' grab-and-run, all the way up to more complex con-artistry like embezzling funds and resources from sympathetic nonprofits and NGOs. Expropriation requires risk-taking. Cant overstate the potential in scavenging from the ridiculous excess and waste that defines consumer society.

Any other means by which you finance anarchist projects probably aren't anarchist in themselves but whatever. If you want to sit there with your hand out, by all means! If you want to throw a couple bucks from your shitty job to your friends and comrades, great! It's just not technically an anarchist thing, although your choice to do whatever the fuck you please with your own time and money certainly is haha

Good post. Although I disagree that "all anarchist praxis" has to involve expropriation & scavenging. There are other moral/ethical factors involved. Anarchy doesn't mean chaos & backstabbing, although many interpret it as such.

But you raise an interesting point about anarchic practice amongst the "higher ups." There are recurring themes, rightly or wrongly, in anarchism regarding insurrection, revolt, collapse, revolution, apocalypses, etc.; and being actors in these sorts of disruptions. However, when someone within the wrong class-rank, or lacking of the correct virtue-signals, becomes the actor, it is often decried or unrecognized.

All well and good to be calling for chaos until you're the one choking on your organic hibiscus gummy bears because one of your 'comrades' was monkey-wrenching on the assembly line. Dear anarchist will then be denouncing the greedy profit motives of capitalism which puts profits over the lives of the people.

Same goes for the absolute ineptitude we often find in high ranking corporate & bureaucratic positions. So bad that one must wonder if it is actually malice. But strangely the anarchist does not praise these internal weaknesses of the machine.

Perhaps subconsciously this is why anarchists approved of Obama & Hillary, but fear Trump. Rather than simple vapid identity politics.

lmfao @ choking on organic hibiscus gummy bears

To clarify, I meant anarchist praxis specifically in regards to financing projects, has to be either scavenged or expropriated to be "pure" (as if that matters). It's mostly a semantic point I'm making, just do shit however you can, get it done.

If you pay rent and then do anarchist stuff in a rented space, fine but renting isn't anarchist. If you work a shitty job and then give some of that money to fund anarchist shit, sure but siphoning the funds from wage labour isn't very anarchist. There's no judgement here, only an emphasis on being honest about our relationship to this fucked up society. Pass the hat and collect some cash for a comrade in need? Good. Steal some flatscreens, sell them cheap in a back alley and give that cash? Better.

I would love to steal a small country and sell it in a back alley to a large arms dealer, that would be sooo cool and super illegalist, uber anarchist dude.

If you find a little basic larceny that daunting and "manarchist", just imagine what real social rupture would do to your tender little psyche ;)

It's actually very legalist... Just in disregard of whatever laws the colonized people had, but find me one empire that didn't use the Rule of Law to legitimate and reinforce their god-given "authoritah!"?

Anyways... I might be wasting my time with you, as you seem to be butthurt about the sole idea of breaking laws decided by a tiny bunch of selected bureaucrats that got nothing to do with you, and enforced by an army of pigs and other State dogs.

So what's your anarchist paradigm, my friend... anarcho-fascism!? Looks sooo interesting.

yeah, because all anything humans can do is be ideological puritans, right?

i don't understand this quest for 'purity' and it involves creating strict binaries, especially ones built on the politics of ressentiment that makes 'illegality' mean 'the good.' the universe is already anarchy, and human control but delusional belief, because human models for reality (illegal, legal) are not reality.

and i mean this on as a framework for long term practicality.

i can't think of very many groups that have survived in the long term. one of my favorite comedians lived successfully via illegal means...until he eventually got caught, and though he did time in federal pen, still has a warrant out in a state. even the most successful anarchist thus far, got caught for his citibank traveler's check scam (that financed most groups worldwide thought the 70's) by the spanish state.

if we measure success as groups by the gang form. well, what about all of the state collusion re:the continuation of the black market? the cia helped free lucky luciano from pen in ny, and helped him reinstate the italian mob during ww2. even the mob had help via this state sponsorship campaign. then there's plan columbia, operation fast and furious, iran contra, and the over 10,000 informants currently active in the US.

hell, even a code of omerta can kept the best organized from folding by ratting each other out.

who's going to do the support work of bails, places to go once released to get jobs, and the legacy of recidivism in terms of the strict guidelines paroles often entail, and now certain individuals will be on records, on the map.

and that also leads in to how to effectively pass on skills in every facet (including all the steps of being processed by the system).

after everything that happened in peak interest in anarchism (not a guage for anarchy mind you), all it took is world war 2 happening for the memory of this ism to fade from public memory.

i'm not saying you're doing these things, but it is easy to puff, posture, tilt, flex than flesh out all of the implications.

Sort of like how it's easy to strawman and make sweeping, categorical statements about illegalism? I mentioned purity earlier with obvious sarcasm. I've worked plenty of shitty jobs, collected welfare AND used methods that would be called "illegal" by the enemy. This is all obvious and done out of necessity, not "puff".

Do what you need to but anarchism should always include a strong anti-capitalist tendency and to me, that means the best anarchist praxis breaks from the rules of the booj as hard and as often as possible while still staying alive and out of jail. The "purity" isn't about judging what others do, it's just the horizon you're always walking towards. Clear?

No moral judgement here, we all do what we do. But how is selling something stolen anarchist? Wouldn't that imply that production is the problem and not exchange? Again, not knocking it, for it, even.

Ooo good question. My first thought is yes. Production is definitely a major part of the Problem. It is not only the site of ecological destruction but also obviously human exploitation. Workers not paid the full value of their work yada yada Marx Capital vol.I. Without wage-labor production there cannot be any mass consumption nor real capital accumulation. Stealing subverts the logic of production since the real value of the product may not longer be realized through a traditional sale. Its a loss, dent on profits, although hardly ever a very large one...

Exchange is perhaps more complicated. The reification of a product or service sold and bought with money is not so healthy. But using a currency as a means of exchange is also super pragmatic. It would be quite tricky to try to jump right into a barter and/or gift economy right now or directly following rupture, rev, apocalypse, etc. So, the fun brain exercise is to think up alternative modes of exchange that are non-coercive (people who do not want to participate really don't got to) and do not lead to a concentration of wealth in the hands of a few (perhaps limits on saving that prevent accumulation via something like an expiration date?). Who knows!

Anyways a bit off topic but I liked your question. Hope this helps a bit.

I guess the way I understand it anarchy or communism or whatever we want to call it would be the immediate suppression of the economy (as opposed to state capitalist regimes that have almost always (semi)socialized distribution without changing production). I'm with you on expropriation being a wonderful tool, you just lost me how the selling could be considered 'anarchist'. Deferring to the present social relations is always pragmatic, no? Looting of grocery stores etc in riots and catastrophes (Katrina comes to mind) and redistributing it, that I can understand as anarchist on both the production and distribution sides.

… This is a serious question? You must be trolling.

Who's talking about reselling stolen goods? Are you dense or I just didn't follow the comment cascade correctly? He looting that anarchists have been doing always the Robin Hood type (i.e. keeping a part for your own benefit, the distributing the rest to random proles on the sidewalk, park or plaza.

I think the comment chain you're referencing goes: 12:14 21:03 02:34 10:02 23:45

looting is practically the only thing that people in our universe (insurrectionary a, individualist a, social a, left-com, appelist) seem to universally agree on.

"all the way up to more complex con-artistry like embezzling funds and resources from sympathetic nonprofits and NGOs." No. I've been to this place and it's full of power-hungry pathetic sub-capitalists. Ever heard of the Soft Power or diffusion of capital or "social capital"? Here you go.

Nonprofits are legalist and statist means to get money. Forget it, brocialist. Not in my bloc.

… Did you miss the part where you're stealing their money because you hate them?

Well I guess that LBC/Anews is a much more successful half-capitalist model than the donation-based media that isn't working so well, objectively.

But potential snitching of customers as well as profit parasiting are always issues when it comes to that type of business, especially when related to radical Left interests, especially under a neofascist regime that may just start using its vast surveillance apparatus against all its potential political enemies.

Which lead to the redundant old question of when it comes to make easy money, why do you guys keep rejecting "illegalism" as a consistent anarchist practice? Vendor machines are still decent cash cows, but randomly hijacking or robbing yuppies may be a more fun/challenging recourse. You've got this fairly large spectrum of illegal action ranging from low to high risk investments.

Who's rejecting illegalism while calling themselves an anarchist? That's an oxymoron.

Basically, most of the prominent, well-known anarchists I've known in US/Canada? Not saying they're rejecting it discourse... on the contrary they're promoting it. But what do they end up doing in their daily practices is far too often another story.

But maybe I just didn't get to know the right people, or under the right angles. Will that ever happen? I'm afraid it won't.

Well, for instance, I'm a petty criminal. It follows that I end up hanging out with other "illegalists" by default. Only a handful of them politicize it because most lumpens don't give a fuck about definitions but if you're surrounded by windbag poser pundits, only you can answer why?

why rob yuppies when you can rob your friends, amirite?

There are no friends in capitalism, only alliances and partners (i.e. comrades), that can at every turn become part of your net profit scheme. Also works in Leftist milieu politics.

"You want a friend? Get a dog."
- Michael Douglas in "Wall Street"

Turns out that punks today have all applied Gordon's advice.

It is the consumer approach to the social. The accumulation of specifically styled & oriented 'friends.' Found among many walks of life, but perhaps most conspicuously among the left's appropriative approach to identity & group formation. But of what quality is this 'friendship?' Political & aesthetic signifiers rarely represent personality traits, talents, intelligence, capacity to love, etc.

The word 'friend' has suffered the same fate as 'man', 'woman', 'mother', & 'father,' among others, in the upheavals of modern consumer culture. The word 'friend' used to be connected to certain forms of life. These forms of life no longer exist, they've been destroyed by technology, amnesia & displacement. The word doesn't mean anything anymore. Friend. Man. Woman. They no longer exist.

Actually, I still have lots of friends and feel bad for you?

Good for you... so the rest of us atomized pariahs -and +30 yrs old senior citizens- can suck it. What was that Commune thing about, again? Oh yeah, that was "Logan's Run".

Again … actually, I'm 30+ myself and always wonder when people spend a lot of time lamenting total alienation that if perhaps they only need to look in the mirror? Especially because of how the internet is full of such chatter which is another self-explanatory problem. (Of course, society creates external problems too)

The point being made was that the words we use today describe different conditions and relationships than existed in centuries prior. As such, using words like 'man', 'woman', 'friend', etc., these days, is akin to using a term like 'root beer' to describe an artificially flavored corn syrup drink. Or a word like 'chicken' to describe the meat pulled out a malnourished, sedentary, cage-bound bird.

Yes and I was mocking you for splitting the atom with your overwrought analysis. Clarity achieved.

ads should never be placed on an anarchist website, better to bankrupt and close the site.
crowdfunding is not an option, the same as using paypal, we should not make it easier for the cops/NSA to spy who finance (contribute to) anarchist projects. for the same reasons, website should never be behind cloudflare and similar, they collect info about all visitors.
donations are the best way, using bitcoin with the Tor, or using some other more anonymous crypto-coin.
in any case, most anarchists are without job, anarchist projects mostly collect money from friends who have a job, there is even problem with activism based on friendship, many people don't support anything out of their friends-circle. I heard many times anarchists robbed a bank but I never heard they financed some projects, I hope they will buy some bitcoins and send it to anarchistnews.org and similar.

conclusion: cash in hands, cash in the mail, bitcoin or other crypto-currency. no paypal, crowdfunding, and similar spying shit. there is still no anarchist crowdfunding website, with onion domain behind Tor network.

"But I never heard they financed some projects"
What kind of dumbass bank robber would publicly announce what they did with the money?

You don't have to tell where when who or even how... duh. It's basically just telling, to show that it can be done so that others see it as an example.

Well, I have. Maybe you're reading the wrong things?

Jacques Mesrine, the closest thing to an anarchist in mind and spirit, actually broke into prison to free a friend.

No, and fuck off already, troll. Vassilis Paleokostas is the greatest example of anarchist bandit lord. Mesrine didn't had the class of doing a nice wax job to an SUV he stole to a prole overnight for a robbery, and get it back to its owner a bit later.

Mesrine also sided with sketchy authoritarian commies, and did like to live like a rich guy.

OK, I shouldn't overreact at being always labelled "troll", I only get deleted, but to me Vassilis has no politics, and if one is going to enter in an absurd mine is bigger than yours debate, Mesrine didn't do it for just money like Vassilis, he was a sociopathic rebel with a Machiavellian methodology, siding with anyone was merely the means to an end, there was no ideological preference on his part, ideologies have laws, the last thing he respected. You are a poor judge of human character, which explains your repeated targeting and derisive replies to my comments and the labelling of me as a troll. Vassilis seems to me to be a macho narcissistic Archilles archtype which goes with his territory.

Admit it, you're retarded. You have no idea what you're talking about, distorting everything and contradicting yourself. Mesrine was way more a retrograde macho figure than Vassilis, who's been collaborating with women at least in his exploits, instead of treating the as his Barbies.

Back to topic please! Such patriarchal clichés such as "the family breadwinner", the"Master of the house" etc etc, since you introduced Barbie, the stereotypical model of femininity? Whether that was intentional or not, Mesrine leaned towards the Wonder woman. Eons ago I don't believe in the Neanderthal brute, ironically it was the Greeks who introduced machismo via their racial epigenetic tendency. It is from this heritage, I declare Vassilis the capitalist criminal, and Mesrine the charismatic anti-authoritarian moral annihilating Casanova, an enemy of the Church and State, who financed his lifestyle with what he considered to be his compensation for the psychic damage he had suffered whilst a soldier in the Algerian War.

Le Way is "special" alright! Who's our special little man? ;)

start a project with a portion of your disposable income (whether this means illegality or not matters little to an amoralist) and design it to hopefully operate on its own. see what happens. if it works, great. if not, fail better next time.

*and*
enjoy the anonymity of cash while it still exists!

the only 'real' anarchist praxis i'll ascribe to is passionate endeavor - do what is necessary to accomplish what you will

participating in the economy isn't anarchist so don't pay for anything and if you do participate in the economy you might as well put up a company and not leave capitalism to bottom-line reactionary capitalists

I'm ssso tired of ssseeing sssnakesss depicted asss evil, violent monstersss. They are not. They are sssitizensss of earth like any other sssentient being and should not be held accountable for anthroposssentric sssuperssstisssionsss. Thisss all ssstarted with Eve projecting her phallic innuendosss onto the limblesss bodiesss of sssertain arborial ansssessstorsss. Those Assstecs weren't much better, dresssing sssnakesss up in feathersss & wingsss. Ssseriousssly, that'sss almossst asss bad asss putting 'anarcho' in front of 'communissst.' But I digresss... Imagesss like OPsss only ssserve to enforssse negative ssstereotypesss of ssscaled folksss. I know many sssnakesss persssonally who do not bite humansss, who eat ratsss exclusssively, donate venom, and operate holelessss sheltersss in their local communitiesss. I bet the OP has never even shaken a sssnake'sss tail before. Ssspesssiesssissst.

Hard to believe there's people here who require an explanation about how taking the things you need or desire is anarchist. How do you even find your way to this website without knowing that property is theft? As in, all "property" is now mine unless it's heavily guarded or I respect the other people enough not to take it. Stop me if you can. That's why they invented the police kids, to act as a deterrent to the only real anarchist financial plan. Lets hope you're just trolling...

::applies a firmer grip to toothbrush:: NEVER. EVER.

There's sadly apparently some socialite, resourceful so-called "insurrectionist" anarchists -like one that I know locally- who'll prefer to be working in bullshit jobs located an hour away by bike from their house, even in the winter, instead on working on building personal and collective autonomy with individuals interested in anarchy. Which in itself says a lot on what/where their standings truly are, politically and ethically.

So I dunno WTF to do with apparently fake people like these... and feel like explaining anything to them is a waste of breath.

I'm an insurrectionary anarchist with a job too. Want to know why?

Living entirely off of street hustling is fucking awful most of the time. Selling in the black market is usually pretty high risk for relatively low margins, or you can sell the shit that forces you to deal with the kind of people you will likely have to stab. That sucks balls too, terrible for my mental health for some mysterious reason! Boosting shit is the same, little things here and there can decrease your overhead but the big ticket items require more risk and increase your stress levels. I was on welfare for years and that's a fuckin' barrel of laughs too. Pretty much forces you to steal and sell drugs even while you're on the dole so … maybe you should ease up on judging your peers and think about where exactly your own housing/food/cash comes from and how sustainable it is?

I obviously have a lot of admiration for the communities that manage a true break away capitalism: squats, farm collectives, etc and if there was more options like that in my part of the world, I would definitely quit my bullshit job. Do you live wild and free in a militant anarchist commune that I haven't heard about? Do tell.

No, I'm just surviving on welfare in a trendy northeastern American city filled with armies of poser punks and related bureaucracy of crypto-fascist hipsters. Though I'm somewhat lucky to be in a still-overlooked lumpen neighborhood with '80s levels of pig patrols (i.e. very little presence).

The only militant anarchists (sic) I know in this town seem to be more interested in maintaining cliques than building a breakaway commune like the relations you're mentioning above, or don't seem to understand the difference between a rented communal flat and an autonomous squat/farming commune. So in short, not a very special context.

Just to know... what makes you call yourself "insurrectionist"? Been smashing or decorating a few windows? More conventional activism? Philosophical or aesthetic posturing? Lots of aesthetics dominating people's endeavors these days, aside from the bla-bla...

To me, it's an orientation that's fundamentally opposite to activism, platformism and reformism.
(I promise I'll stop isming now)

So for instance, we don't cry about how we can't trust the police; we develop our own capacity to defend and fight. We're not attempting to dialogue with power, we're always talking to potential future friends and accomplices when we make public statements. We share our resources so housing, food, etc is slightly easier for everyone. Recently the Antifascist tendency is becoming one of the front lines in a big bad way, but you can't really develop capacity for conflict without conflict, can you?

Anyway, I have to be pretty vague for obvious reasons but I sure as fuck don't consider philosophical or aesthetic posturing to count for shit. That's social media nonsense, I deal almost exclusively in the real world.

You're a freakin hypocrit calling 15.35 an insurrecto-workerist (poor sarcasm) when the welfare you live of off is paid for by workerist taxes! You're more the crypto-hobo posing as a prole.

"So I dunno WTF to do with apparently fake people like these..." Hahah Why don't you take them to your lair concealed off the grid somewhere in a cave and by firelight give them some B-B-Q venison and show them the camouflage you have painstakingly done out of tree foliage and the strict daytime curfew you observe to avoid being rounded up or run-off by the authorities cos its private land or national conservation reserve you have taken residence on and tell them its all a very fulfilling way to exist if you're a sociopathic reclusive obsessive hermit hahaha

That's like my ideal 1st date right there. Be still my heart!

Yes, because punctuation is feminist, Leftist, probably also SJW and obviously PC!

You are 18-20 years old.

I would be interested in helping you find and apply for a grant. I know that Tesla provides grant funding to political artists and culture creators. There are also grants available for archival projects, which your page is definitely within the category of (thinking specifically of the monthly zine collections). Is there a method of contact that works well for you?

Hi. My name is Winslow Bonmartin, dandy artist from the "hood". I've been looking forward to funding for my avant-garde insurrecto-subversive art projects. Please get in touch with our local police liaison officer in one of our anarchist cliques, who might redistribute the funds accordingly with his honoraries.

In other words... if you hand me over 500$ for setting a car on fire or taking down a pylon in some artistic manner, I would as well burn that 500$ right under your nose for the added value. Because if I wanna ride a high-end Mercedes for the kicks, I know all I have to do is to go terrorize some filthy rich downtown and run away with his car. The most beautiful things in life are free.

hahaha "Applying for a grant" synonym for stealing from yuppies

Free cars seem to go faster for some inexplicable reason!

Tesla is an anagram of steal.

Somewhat related: I think Musk founded Tesla to extort money from the US gov, which he has, while taking money from wealthy yuppies, which he does. He's profiting from green energy fads i.e. a way to sell inferior products at a premium. I doubt he sees solar or li-ion batteries as anything but niche products for a sector of virtue-signalling elite consumers, compared to hydrocarbons & combustion engines. He's gonna do the same for space travel, sending the most fame-obsessed useful idiots to Mars first at great risk & cost. Selling dubiously useful products to people he doesn't like for great profit. $100k for a car which the gov is already subsidizing. $400k for a rocket ticket to go live in a Martian terrarium. He's an ancap or a disgruntled secret Rhodesian exacting his revenge by taxing yuppies and eventually exporting them to a distant planet where they may or may not survive.

Exactly what I think about Musk too! The guy could basically be a snake oil salesman for the ultra-rich. Probably he's some clever trickster from an establishment family who learned on his own the routines and weaknesses of his milieu, so to extort them like any con man would. The guy picked up on David Mayer de Rothschild's tactic and took it to new horizons.

Yeah let's redefine property as surplus necessities and leave folk to their pet hobbies and fetishes.

in an ecosystem, participants are giving to the ecosystem at the same time as the ecosystem is giving to the participants. the ecosystem is not the sum of its participants but a relational complex which is continually gathering and regathering forms within itself. because relations are the basis of ecosystem forms and it is not the forms which are the basis of relations, earlier forms are being regathered into new forms as necessitated to sustain the ecosystem [creation and destruction are conjugate aspects of relational transformation].

if each form were to get its own financing, it would never want to depart gracefully, nor would it welcome new forms to subsume its function within theirs.

financing individual systems leads to competition where multiple 'contenders' in a given 'category' vie for survival by pulling finances away from one another, a very wasteful form of 'evolution'.

eco-currency is needed to finance ecosystems. anarchist eco-dollars could be purchased and paid for in 'standard currency'; e.g. 20 anarchist eco-dollars for $10 USD with the proviso that the recipient; e.g. anarchistnews, could only spend 10 anarchist eco-dollars ($5 USD) on their own projects and the other 10, they would spend on others in the anarchist network in need of financing [eg. anarchist legal support association, anarchist archives, anarchist video productions, environmentally damaging (pipeline etc.) project resistance organizations etc.]. Participants like anarchistnews would publish their anarcho-eco-dollar financing transactions.

The idea would be to bootstrap a nurturant anarcho-eco-cloud which anarchist activities could be, at the same time, giving to and taking from, in the manner of evolutionary ecosystems.

I'm strongly of the opinion that fantasies of permanent purely illegal means of fundraising are typically very short lived and badly paying. Ain't no one robbing banks in America anyway to fund anarchist shit and I don't necessarily think that should change, as bank robberies bring in very little money these days compared to the risks they carry. I'm not against the idea of anarchists taking risks to raise money, but it should be worth it. Getting charges for robbing a bank to get the typically bank haul of $4000 or less is NOT worth it. Most people make that much money working a month or two, depending on their job.

I know I'm gonna catch flack for this but I honestly think the biggest problem with fundraising for anarchist projects is that people generally don't care enough. If you care about a space or a project or whatever, you'll happily make contributions to it. The fact that most American projects end up falling all on one or two people (the ones who started it) sucks and is indicative of a larger problem that people, even those who are living all anarchy all the time, tend to not care enough to contribute regularly and don't prioritize their spending on things they claim to be important.

There is some truth to the excuse of not being able to afford it, but you have to be truly broke to not be able to afford even just $10 or $20 a month to something you allegedly care about. Even someone making $1000 a month or less in many North American cities can afford that and while that might not be much, it certainly should be enough to do some worthwhile things if your city has a decently sized anarchist or even just broadly radical movement. New York, Seattle, Bay Area, Montreal, etc. should NOT be having trouble funding some basic movement spaces and projects. They've got enough comrades in these cities to fund shit and if you're whining about being broke and spend $50 or more a month on alcohol and other nonsense I really don't have sympathy for you. Buy a few fewer beers a month a put that money in your local space. We shouldn't need one person ruining their life to rob in the long run a pittance of money just because the scene is collectively too selfish to put some meager contributions in.

I am in no way advocating everyone joining an anarchist federation and paying dues, but I appreciate their practical notion of the due and while I sympathize a bit when people make fun of these organizations and their "dues-paying members," part of me is always wondering if one of the main problems they have is simply being cheap. And so while dues-paying organizations aren't the solution, caring enough to financially contribute to things is and at least the dues-paying members agree with that. If we can learn anything from them, it would be the recognition that shit costs money and is going to continue to and it's a collective burden we all must share.

Bank hauls of 4000$!? For a small town bank, perhaps... You'll get way more out of Garda or G4s trucks. But any bank robber will go to the bank HQs in big cities.

Your butthurt about illegal money-making shows your bias favoring capitalist labor and statism, as well as the support to legal moneymaking that stupid useless federations are doing when asking dues to their members. A lot of shit doesn't have to cost money, it is MADE to cost money (as per property laws), and if you had any imagination and were not so chicken about "breaking the law" you'd know this like the sky is blue. System slave.

in protests that turn into riots where there is looting [the sort of thing that colonizers built their unbalanced rich-over-poor colonial societies from], the laws protecting the rich as they amass obscene 'property holdings' that impoverish others, are not a problem. everyone is in robin hood mode helping one another in opening the locked storehouses and in facilitating the needed goods-reallocation operation.

this action transpires because the conditions have been established to make the reallocation feasible; i.e. gathering together in one place a high proportion of people who are opposed to law protected property monopolization. the Zapatistas have been able to do it after having one big riot that has never been crushed sufficiently for the statist law-enforcers to fully regain control.

it is fine to talk bravely and boldly of ignoring laws that protect property monopolization to individuals who are moving in a population where 90% are believers in market-driven allocation of resources [where property monopolization is seen as a human right and a 'natural activity' as in the linear bullshit of Darwinist 'survival of the fittest' theory], but the likelihood of them being apprehended and crushed, in the course of a robin hood operation, by the overwhelming proportion of believers they are embedded in, is very high.

it is not that people abstain from property reallocation activity 'because it is illegal', it is that the density of believers in law-protected property monopolization is too high in those places where reallocation is most needed. Even those severely impoverished by law-protected property monopolization have been made into believers in the 'American dream' that 'free people' have access to a stairway to fame and fortune, as is continually being demonstrated in the case of lottery winners that inspire the lot of us to keep buying lottery tickets. We just need to keep our spirits up and understand that 'our day will come, if we just wait a while'; so say the lottery operators.

Oh for fuck's sake. You recognize there's a pretty substantial difference between robbing a bank and hitting an armored car, right? The former is far less fuss than a mugging and the latter constitutes a paramilitary strike. Sure, there's more money, but also way higher risk, higher sentences, and a lot more coordination involved. If *any* anarchist groups in the English-speaking world are capable of doing this kind of thing consistently, they're pretty damn well hidden.

This shit is, as OP above stated, a fantasy, and it's really fucking obvious that none of the people advocating it have the slightest bit of experience with real crime. Moreover, it's pretty clear that the ideological basis of this "hardline" position is more an extreme form of the petty-bourgeois politics of "ethical consumption" than anything else. Literally nobody's discounting petty theft as an option for fundraising, but making it a moral imperative is just fucking ridiculous and attacking everyone who brings up the obvious practical problems as if they're secretly traitors only makes you look even more ludicrous.

As far as the rest of it, I'm inclined to agree with OP that the problem here goes beyond illegalist fantasies. Most of the same critiques could be leveled at any number of groups in the DIY crowd. This TOTW is filled with schemes and hustles meant to avoid working which all tend to end up being far more hassle than just getting a damn job. That they're utterly impractical doesn't really matter since nobody's actually relying on any of it to survive (at least, not for longer than it takes to make a point and get bored). Obsessing over this stuff is safe, because it's all ultimately hypothetical, and these moralistic restrictions on any remotely realistic options help keep it that way.

As with 'real warfare,' currently exists in its most effective & destructive forms within the obscurity of law, finance & media.

You make good points on effort and ROI. In a perverse sense it can take a lot of effort to remain poor, to dumpster dive, to DIY. In this sense these 'anarchist' ethics have nothing against work, or what you might call wageless wage-slaving. In fact, inefficiency & backbreaking self-sacrifice is often valorized within the milieu as part of its unspoken social-capital economy, helping to position people within different moral rankings & authenticity hierarchies.

One does not need alcohol cigarettes or meat which are the most expensive things. I can live on 7 potatoes, 7 tomatos, 7 apples, 7 oranges 7 carrots 1 cabbage 7 ozs oats and a few other bites / week, around 25 dollars. I met some people who had tandem ridden a pushbike around the world doing odd-jobs and bartering along the way. I met this other person who sold 3 jokes for 1 dollar and made 50 dollars on some days at malls.

Cigarettes are the only tough thing to steal among these. It's crazy how they basically require armed robbery for it, whole you often can just walk out with beers under your armpits. Same for duck meat and deer steaks (that I anyways get to eat from roadkills. duh).

"even those who are living all anarchy all the time"

ROFLMAO!!!!! yeah, i wanna meet those people.

if your "project" requires a "scene" for support, and your "scene" is too "selfish" to support it, guess what that means...? FUCK SCENES!!!!!!! all you pathetic fucks that assume it is the responsibility of every OTHER anarchistic thinker to materially back YOUR projects... probably ought to rethink your world. THAT is a capitalist (not to mention "privileged") attitude.

There are a lot of irrelevant answers here, did anyone except the first reply mentioned the benefit concert as a classical and historically well accepted method to cover costs for an anarchist project? The artists are not get paid this day, the people organizing the event are not get paid either, its possible you have to cover costs for sound engineers and to rent the technical equipment (if no one can offer them for free). The dance party with djs has always less costs than a concert with bands and it is easier to set up and defend.
The event can take place in an occupied space, at a rented space, at a free of charge offered space, at a university, at a public park, abandoned factory e.t.c. You need very big publicity at the previous days at the public space of your city or town as to gain public support and also you need an organised group of people to defend the space from the police, the fascists and the mafias. Probably you need also a lawyer. You can make it happen even with 10 people but they have to be really committed and trustful people.
If the movement is small at your town it can be even at a legal club for beginning and this can be organised even by 3 people (as long as the entrance is free / the security of the bar are not fascists / you charge no ticket / the prices at the bar are cheaper than mainstream bars and you can decorate the place at your will / you can ask for 50% or less of the bar income if you can organize a really interesting event and gather a good crowd).
If this is an illegal party you have to defend the benefit bar where anyone can take a drink and offer as much money as he/she likes. No prices, no selling, just the people are suggested to offer more than the cost price of the thing they take. For example if the organizers buy one bear 50 cents at the market they say at the bar "put at the box whatever you want but not less than 50 cents, please". Is this makes sense? This is how we do it in Occupied Self-Organised Free Theatre Embros in Athens anyway and it works fine the last 4 years.
Its good if you have a contact with an alcohol store that can give you a big amount of drinks without pay them before the event and pay them at the end of the party and give back all these drinks that you didn't sell. This is how we do it. The same with flyers-posters typographers and sound equipment. Anyone is paid after the end of the event, we start with no money at all to make it happen but with good, truthful and trustful social relations that we keep them in time for many many years. In this way you don't need a big amount of money before the event. It's possible to make such a deal if the people trust you and understand that you will not disappear at the end of the party with their money and their drinks- this is a deal you can make if you are rooted at a place. Especially about the drinks can happen if you plan a big event that will bring anyway a good income for the alcohol store that gives you the drinks.
Anyway to do such an event you need to be rooted at a place, to have good and trustful friends and good and truthful social relations with people you need around you (locations, sound machines, typography, drinks, bands, djs, e.t.c.)
If you have anarchists and other people that they want to support and defend this project for sure you will cover the costs and you will have money for the project after that, especially if the people around you are sure that you will not put this money at your private pockets.
If you need a bigger amount of money for a bigger reason you can charge a specific price for the drinks at the bar (less price than the local bars) and if the cause is so great (for example prisoner's support, creation of new social center, publish a magazine, organizing a big parade or many other reasons) you can even charge a small entrance fee (even though this is a final solution that we avoid and is best to keep for really really serious reasons when you need really really serious amount of money)
I hope this reply will be useful and inspirational for any group of people want to try that at any city of this planet ( of course according to the local circumstances and special conditions).

Most NA anarchists are philistines and think artistic creation is yuppy gay. I've tried explaining the innate anartist "I" everyone has inside of them, to no avail. Sometimes I feel like the person who invented the wheel,,,,,,,,

PS Anartists still retain the sentiment "honor amongst thieves and warriors" which transcends monetary and materialist pursuits.

Maybe if you stopped using terms like "philistine" seriously? … but never mind. You're completely hopeless.

Well in this age of middle-eastern religious sensitivity dominating the global psyche and historicity linking it to Palestine, and sympathizing very much with the Palestinian condition, I suppose I can stop using the "philistine" word, mmk

It's your decision to sound like less of a douchebag, I certainly don't care.

And indeed, the industry of artistic "creation" is definitely gay yuppies, with a few closet heteros and/or lumpen.

Yes it is, however my anartist is actually the anti-art perspective, the Daliesque inversion of the bourgeois sentimental art institution.

And this gives me licence to use the word "philistine"!

So you lasted a few hours with the whole not-sounding-like-a-douchebag thing.

I haven't actually re-used the word "philistine"in any context. so not-sounding-like-a-douchebag..

We've done dozens of events like this over the years too. It takes a moderate amount of work for a group of like 3 to 6 people, definitely very do-able although it's definitely not easy and requires skill-sets like promotions, running sound equipment, running the bar and security, etc. This is assuming you either have the full use of a social space or access to a sympathetic venue but it's definitely an easy project if you're serious. But if all your friends are flakes, don't even bother.

Also! I should stop saying definitely ...

Modern amplified audio systems are incredibly versatile and compact, though I suppose at gatherings of primitivists one would have to keep it all acoustic, sitting around fires, using seashells as currency etc etc

"You need very big publicity at the previous days at the public space of your city or town as to gain public support and also you need an organised group of people to defend the space from the police, the fascists and the mafias. Probably you need also a lawyer."

And what do you do about the liberal yuppies like those that took over Nosotros? And what about activist-supported lawyers extorting people over trumped-up unnecessary bail charges?

Always entertaining to read that small-school level of militant analysis, Void.

Many people from Void Network participate at the function of Nosotros from first day before 11 years until today. We have presence at the weekly assembly together with people from Antiauthoritarian Current (AK). Even though probably this is not the proper thread to talk about Nosotros we find very strange your comment about this social center cause you mention: "And what do you do about the liberal yuppies like those that took over Nosotros"... Sorry but in the anarchist social movement in Greece,...we don't have "liberal yuppies". To be a yuppie you need money and good job and here most of the people taking part in the movement have no money or work at all. Also liberal ideology has very limited influence, here the people around the movement are communists, leftists, autonomists, anarchocommunists, insurectionists, nihilists e.t.c., e.t.c.,...but liberals?. NO Also, in Nosotros the two main organizing groups are not liberals in any way, we are super poor anyway all of us. Politcaly actually AK are militant anti authoritarians with influences from post-anarchists and Castoriadis and in Void Network assembly co-exist anarcho-communists, nihilists and romantics. All other people coming at Nosotros and doing things there or attend at events are also under the influence of the huge Red and Black flag that weaves at the entrance of the building. The decision of the first assembly ever happened at Nosotros to put a huge Red and Black flag at the entrance of the building protects Nosotros from the "liberal yuppies" (even though probably this kind of people they never dare even to pass around from Exarchia) and makes a clear statement about Nosotros political identity in the center of Exarchia. At the same time of course Nosotros is an open social center at the center of a big city and people from all different political or social backgrounds can come there, have a drink and listen a public lecture or a concert. The people at the assembly that organize what is going on are Anarchists and they are not at all "liberal yuppies",...be sure about that.
Of course to give you also a general reply about your question, we believe that a public anarchist project has to offer a clear expression of anarchist ideas and practices as also a special care to do not exclude people that are not anarchists YET (anyway the basic role of the existence of an Anarchist social center is to introduce anarchism to new people as also to benefit the movement with facilities and financial help). It is very difficult to keep some kind of ideological purity running an open social center, but you have to put the anarchist values in practice and share with the people the existential experience of these values (with their positives, negatives, successes and failures).

I doubt that the person you're responding to deserves any serious attention from you. Their post smells like troll to me.

Yes obviously,... but it was a great chance to share some info about Nosotros and some views about the creation and sustaining of anarchist social centers, even though we have to stay at the office for some weeks and do it in a well written and much more organised and coherent way. Also, many times at @news appeared these troll comments about "liberals" of Nosotros and we have to finish these lies cause comrades from other countries is very easy to create some false views and never have the chance to change opinion about some things...

Fair enough!

Benefit shows are a great way to bring people together, raise awareness for a cause or build up a scene/community. As a means of raising money tho, they're kinda shyte. Most of the time they bring in a few hundred bucks at best (on a few rare occasions I've seen people make more than a grand, but not often) and often a lot less. Sometimes they flat-out lose money, which can easily reach into the thousands and usually falls on some individual (who rented the equipment, bought the beer etc). Those that are basically free to put on (when the venue, bands etc are all friends) don't tend to draw much of a crowd (beyond other close friends) and those that do tend to involve far more substantial costs. Also, they have a real tendency to conflate drinking and dancing with action and have dragged many groups to a point where all they really do is put on dance parties (gee I wonder where all our awful scene politics come from...).

Agreed. They should be a secondary use of a social space: lightens the mood, creates artistic/cultural space, prevents those weird sort of formal relationships when everything you do together is too serious and can generate a few extra bucks but it's not a real praxis.

I'm not in this for "the scene", the scene is a coincidental little perk that occasionally amuses me and at the best of times, helps boost the mental health of all my weird friends with psychological problems haha

Too bad that the only benefits I see happening these days in my town are for financing the capitalist rents, and beers for a privileged caste of young punk and hipster conmen who got ZERO individuality.

So roll up your sleeves and do it better?

Better suggesting me to start a new career in marketing, or medicine. I ain't in a social position to organize anything with anyone (or why am I posting on this site?).

But I guess I could throw one or two thought-provoking critiques at well-known concert organizers around... though how the fuck can I know whether ANYONE out there is even interested to bring a more "political" angle to what they do? Is it possible to, like, rewind "counter"-culture back to its historical revolutionary instinct, when it's been such a brainless meat/drugs market for so long?

I mean counterculture -its whole scene- is a lucrative business now, and I don't even know all the nasty dark corners it has.

*facepalm* Not jerk yourself off writing "thought provoking critiques", I meant organize the concerts yourself.

If you have no capacity or willingness, maybe you don't know much about what you're talking about and that should change first?

get into day trading --- you buy and sell in the same day -- NOT FUNDING CAPITALISTS ... it's called scalping. if you're good you can fund your projects but theres something called 90/90/90 which means 90% of new day traders lose 90% of their money in the first 90 days.

This looks better and safer than sex-and-drug dealing schemes in the subcultural milieus. Does it attract friends and sex partners tho?

"Scalping" destabilizes the prices/drives prices through wild speculation. (IE. via stock market chumps who push numbers around, not via anyone actually involved or invested in the industry.) It's an extension of criminal derivatives practises. This has detrimental effects in many ways. For example, the jump in grain prices in 2011/2012 was driven this way, which led to people starving to death.

People get into farming because the prices are sky high. They invest heavily. Then the speculators drop the bottom out of the market with no warning, which makes people go broke.

It's far from an ethical practise, imo. It hurts people.

Looks like a good plan for more trendy punk chicks milking cows for drugs AND something to eat. Before they get all wasted at 35 years old looking like they're 65. Live hard, die young, so they say? More like get screwed hard...

1. we are not likely to have an impact on the actual movement of the stock since we don't have large trading accounts.
2. the ends justify the means.

By that logic, you might as well just be a raging consumer of non-essential goods, too, as you aren't likely to have much of an impact as a single non-participant in consumer capitalism, either. You might as well drive a gas-guzzling SUV three blocks to the corner store and leave it running while you pick out your Slurpee flavour du jour. And then just toss the empty Slurpee cup out the window when you're done. You are just a drop in the bucket!

No, the ends don't justify the means. That's a lazy way of thinking and being. The way you do things, including making money, sets an energetic tone. It pretty much all matters. Either you live by a set of ethics or you don't. You can't pick and choose which ones suit you.

its going to happen whether we do it or not, so might as well make a ton of money and use it for projects.

Again, very slack-ass way of thinking and being...

Have sustainers and contributors.
Submedia did this with the taco conspiracy.

Dues/monthly sustainers make a project both independent and accountable to those that support it.

I don't think having monthly sustainers should make this site "accountable" to the people shelling out. That's not a very anarchist concept in my mind, probably the opposite.

This site will continue doing what it does. The people who value it and want to see it continue can contribute or not.

There shouldn't be strings attached to any type of patronage or monetary contributors. I definitely wouldn't allow that on my own site, anyway.

Sure but understand that financing projects out of poor people's hard-earned money is far from being the best way, when we can also manage to extort/rob capitalists or capitalism (a.k.a. "eat the rich").

Or what if Tesla (or similar form of parasitism against rich people) would be run by business people secretly supportive of the anarchist paradigm, and using the money extorted from the ultra-rich to support anarcho projects and anarchist prisoners. That'd be way more awesome than proles and lumpens tearing their asses off with unethical jobs just for some bucks.

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