TOTW: Making Money!

Sweet dreams are made of this.
Who am I to disagree?
Money makes the world go 'round.
What are the ways that anarchists can make the most money in this economy?
This economy meaning in between quarantines and its implications, automation, telework and the gig economy ever more the trend.

Which is a different question from asking: What are the most anarchist ways to make money?
If one were to imagine the most stereotypical ways for anarchists to make bank, one could imagine robbing banks: at gunpoint like Sabaté, by loan fraud like Enric Duran , by hacking like Subcowmandante Marcos or like countless nameless others who do so every day?
But what's robbing a bank compared to starting one? Or what about starting a cooperative like Mondragon?

Illegalist ways of getting by while living lavishly -at least for a short time- like the Bonnot Gang also come to mind. Like burglary, black markets, grey markets, flea markets, silk roads, forgery, piracy, drug trafficking ? Today we’re not talking of the noble and dignified ways of oogles and squatters: dumpster diving, busking street performers, looting. Nor the pedestrian charlatan ways of academia: e-begging, printing books, selling art, and other petty scams and frauds. Sure nothing's forbidden and everything's allowed, but what’s a real cash cow? Show me the money!

Throughout the years, what has worked for you and what would you absolutely recommend against? Are anarchists on the cutting edge of lucrative endeavors or behind the curve? Illegalists of all trades: how can blue collar anarchists dip their feet in white collar crime? Ancaps and mutualists now’s your chance: give us your elevator pitches for get rich schemes!

There are 29 Comments

I'll speak as an internet based illegalist.

Firstly fraud. Sure Teejayx6 claims to have made millions, but the fraud game sucks these days. Even with hundreds of cards, the process [finding a drop, using a hacked rdp server within blocks of the cardholder and buying from sites with little heuristic analysis, then flipping the goods for cash or bitcoin] does work but can take ages. People are still persistent and selling credit card info can be lucrative.

Secondly general hacking. If you have a bitcoin address and enough knowledge you can crack and transfer your way to a nice amount of money. Ransomware, wipers, ddos are all good but I'd really suggest reading Subcowmandante Marcos/Phineas Phisher because hacking a bank still works and will for a long time.

But seriously fuck being on the computer all day and night. It's the type of gig that will keep you extreeeemely noided even if you use Whonix or w/e and despite the fact that the pigs rarely catch us. Do what you want but don't get fucking caught.

I get that since everything mostly got digitized it's hard to think of making money the pirate way outside of spending a lot of time doing nerdy shit on computers... Yet I'll always prefer the IRL scams, thievery and alike.

Hold a protest/riot and refuse to disband until a ransom is paid.

Better still, commandeer a boat and become literally a swashbuckling pirate, aargh me hearty, aargh, shiver me timbers, a tad romantic.

I remember Aragorn! discussing once or twice the importance of separating what you do for love from what you do for money. recently I came across Ran Prieur taking a similar stance in their How to Drop Out.

I wonder what folks have to say about this separation, and if you happen to love (or at least enjoy) what you do for money: what/how does that look for you?

not being a specialist, Ive taken on many different types of work. I also try to get work that balances physical labor and sitting/screen time, teaches me skills that could carry over into other pursuits, and (perhaps most importantly) allows for the most personal autonomy* I can possibly get from something as loathsome as a job.

*this has looked like less oversight in order to steal, not only available things I may want or need, but my time back (listening and learning with podcasts/lectures/music), and as much on my own terms (deciding what and when I do it) as possible.

i get what you mean, but kind of sinister when you realize that “stealing back your time” means dicking around on your phone while you’re at work, which in some way or another is working for the corporations that stream content, which make money off ad revenue off of user generated content, plus all the other ones that profit off your metadata and browsing habits, etc. then you leave work and do the same thing at home. except if you’re teleworking, you never left home, and you’re using the same computer all day.

Your life is a factory, and society is the market.

In this context, "taking back time for yourself" and doing what you love", while being beautiful things, are somewhat of an enigma, and in themselves may require a lot of experience and work in order to clear out what these are to you. Even being a cough slough has a social value nowadays (making you look edgy to the impressionable people, etc). So I guess doing things for yourself is the only safe way to make sure you ain't producing for some shallow external imperatives.

never heard the term cough slough. is that like a lazybones?

yes yes, Im aware of the internet and capitalism. if I have the option, I would rather have my attention spent elsewhere and possibly learn something while I perform tasks for $. if "dicking around on your phone" means listening to podcast conversations or lectures on ideas I find value in, such as anarchism for instance, then ok. Ill dick around on my phone.

i remember for a while anarchists would get brought in to universities to do talks which paid a lot. anarchist students or anarchists with student friends would form a group and get funding and then circulate the cash to people they liked to come talk about some struggle or theory or something.

the non-union workplace takeover was also a move. a bunch of anarchists working the same shitty job at a cafe or grocery. made for a much easier time stealing shit, asking for more from the boss, or fostering a slacker/anti-snitching culture.

med/opinion/marketing studies were in fashion in a few cities. places with lots of universities or research institutes are where they're easiest to find. some of them were pretty gnarly and others were as easy as saying your opinion. the pay varied wildly from study to study.

also 420 harvest was hot for a while, and maybe still is. i'm not connected to that so i don't know. seemed like people could live off of it.

most of these weren't taken up to make tons of money as much as to minimize work from what i could tell, or at least that was my approach.

some people make a buck doing astrology online. you can even make horoscopes for horses, like Michèle Bernstein used to do.

I palm read people's hands. I did Bob Black once, and when I looked at his palms I saw that he hadn't done an honest hard days work in his life ;)

That alone makes him a hero. He avoided wage-slavery and survived totalitarian capitalism.

I didn't find a hero line on his palm, but he had lines which indicated he often formed a ring with his index finger and thumb, quite common, especially amongst Buddhists OM.

I hunt mushrooms for money. It’s under the table work & I get to be outside a lot. COVID wrecked the morel season, cause you know, no restaurants. It’s a good way for anarchists who have sketchy backgrounds to make quick money off the books.

Shoplifting & EBay used to work, but I’m not sure if that’s still viable. I’ve heard they’ve cracked down on it.

“Sucking off the governments teat” can work if you’re willing to go to the DSHS every few months. It’s tough but you can get free money from the enemy.

I reckon if I read your palm I'd see that you also haven't done a decent hard days manual work in your life. Congratulations!

That person who travelled the world backpacking and living off telling jokes 1 for 50c or 3 for a dollar. When he saved a bit he travelled to the next town.

I'm surprised that Stirner fanatic dude who trolls this site hasn't commented that money is a spook, no doubt about that, it is a god and mythically potent object of desire, a classic spook, one which requires dissection down to rent, non-free food and wages and other nasty manifestations of money's hegemony.
Its easy to call it a tool, but it goes deeper than that.

I hope you understand that money, literally, is just a signifier (a tool, yes) for the (collectively-reified) social semantic reality of monetary value?

In maaah cuntry it's just a few miligrams of plastic... therefore some sick practical joke on petrodollars.

You're lucky I avoided my usual Freudian slip typo in the comment, so you did it for me!

Lazy days... Summer time...

dollar dollar bills y'all

Claudio Lavazza, rebel, anarchist, bank robber and gentleman. During the 70s in Italy he participated in the struggle against State and Capital, arms in hand. Contrary to the grave-diggers of subversion, after this experience, he never traded his desire to overthrow the existent for a political career. He never resigned, nor sought refuge in any State, which could have granted him a controlled freedom. He kept fighting, against winds and tides.

After 16 years on the run, never renouncing his anarchist coherence, nor the joy of living as a free man, he was arrested after a bank robbery in Córdoba, Spain, in 1996. On this occasion, three comrades, including Claudio, were seriously injured and two policewomen lost their lives. Claudio was subsequently locked up in the special prison regime FIES, where – even in this toxic place – he continued his battle with firmness and perseverance.

After serving twenty-two years in the Spanish dungeons, he was temporarily extradited to France – since his sentence in Spain is not yet finished – in the summer of 2018. Here he would stand trial for a bank robbery of the National Bank of Saint-Nazaire, which took place in 1986. For this robbery he had already been sentenced in absentia to thirty years of prison.

Going to take money where there is plenty is always a possibility, as a refusal of the blackmail of work and exploitation, to seize the necessary means to carry out a struggle against the State. However, back then in Saint-Nazaire, “the tightrope robbers”1 did not just touch any safe. They expropriated the State’s vault, emptying the pockets of those who oil the gears of power of almost twenty-six million euros.

Even when faced with the most adverse conditions, when everything needed to be rebuilt and re-imagined, Claudio beat his own path, with countless smiles and struggles. As an anarchist, his passion is freedom; his enemy is power. There is no time to waste when one is armed with this conscience.

It is up to each one of us to forge our own journeys, to undermine, harm, expropriate and destroy everything that belongs to power, its structures and its servants.

Claudio Lavazza, My Pestiferous Life

300 pages / 8 euros

Printed May 2020

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