Most of us [here] likely live in the international society dominated by the greed, opportunism and indifference of wealth harvesters. Harvesters who have twisted the technological dreams of freedom and liberation of my childhood in the 1960s into human-farming, not far off slavery.
On the other hand, there have been massive failings in education and politics [keep - or allow people to remain the “dark”?] that allow this to happen.
Despite all advances in civilisation, most here will be working harder than their ancestors, and possibly less happily, for a small share of what is available, options reduced even to keep breeding to keep the stock of labour topped-up. And did I see pictures of tiny US kids working in US meat plants recently, in a reputable newspaper?
So now we have people trying to monetise what they [sometimes] enjoy doing, or at least believe in, to stay afloat in this competitive wealth harvesting-system. And that brings me to FIC. One of the reasons I’ve come to spend less time here since being initially enthused, is that this monetisation is exactly what I see here. It’s even flaunted, by job titles like marketing manager… I sincerely believe you/they are not getting rich doing it! And that you/they probably have at least one other job.
But no-one pays me to write this post! I’m grateful if it stays published and is thought about. Yet I’m not buying into a system that seems to be trying to build a just /slightly/ less monetised version of doing what most of us would rather NOT be doing, to boost people who don’t need our boosting. If people get something immaterial from doing it, they do it anyway. I’d like to see that as being the way Alt-organisations work, not copying the bribery and oppression of the mainstream system.
This is a very incomplete statement, not even an “argument” - merely thought provoking. Interested to read what others here have to say about this situation, and is it maybe a reason why FIC seems to have largely “geofenced” itself in the USA despite being internationally available?
I like to simplify things, so I’m going to simplify your text based on what I understood: you think people do marketing for the communities on here, for the heads of communities that don’t really need the marketeers’ work. you wish the marketeers (and maybe the heads of communities too?) could find more purposeful work.
The post was a bit of a rant but your interpretation is far from what I was attempting to say.
I was saying it primarily about FIC, rather than as well as.
Probably unlike most of the readers here, I grew-up in England post WW2, when it was more of a socialist country: peoples NEEDS were provided at little cost, and if you wanted more for yourself, fine, nobody stopped you. Not idealising this, it had plenty of faults and I rebelled against that system too! But it gives me another background to evaluate what’s going on here.
So to find FIC used as a way to “market” its creators’ and contributors’ input at high financial cost - quite ridiculous cost to anyone not making a good living in the USA or another highly-wealth-concentrating country - actually “selling” the socialist concept of communitarian living just seems like a contradiction to me.
The rest of the rant was really just setting the scene for maybe how folks seem to think this is fine, because the US baseline of society is so skewed.
So, an alternative summary: if FIC contributors lived in a less stressed society, they might feel less cool about asking for lots of money for sharing what I would hope are essentially their interests and beliefs.
Co-operative living isn’t an expensive luxury. How come US culture has made it this?
“The United Kingdom was one of the victors of the Second World War, but victory was costly in social and economic terms. Thus, the late 1940s was a time of austerity and economic restraint, which gave way to prosperity in the 1950s. The Labour Party led by wartime Deputy Prime Minister Clement Attlee, won the 1945 postwar general election in an unexpected landslide and formed their first ever majority government. Labour governed until 1951 and granted independence to India in 1947.”
" Despite losing the popular vote to Labour, the Conservatives won an overall majority of 17 seats in the October 1951 general election and Churchill again became Prime Minister, remaining in office until his resignation on 5 April 1955."
“The 1966 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 31 March 1966. The result was a landslide victory for the Labour Party led by incumbent Prime Minister Harold Wilson” -wikipedia
england remained (voted) conservative from 1951 to 1966. so I don’t know that doesn’t seem very socialist post war to me. they’ve gotten in and gotten out pretty quickly.
Responding to your political history quote - my experience of UK society as a child, in a New Town near London was pretty affluent by world standards, with new well-built community housing, well neatly maintained infrastructure yet not the vast income and wealth gaps we see today. The socialists got in, created the revered NHS etc, but the right-wingers when they reclaimed government did not immediately demolish all that the socialists built. They more tactfully incrementally reduced funding for it so it begun crumbling away, permitted residents to buy their social housing, and began adding charges for initially free services eg. medicines, university tuition etc.
My parents came from and socialised with people from a wide social spectrum. If I witnessed stigma in those days, it was about aspiration and ability plus, of course, ethnicity (but that’s dealt with elsewhere here), not wealth.
Some examples of US-style monetsation from my FIC inbox:
Starts Jun 20 | $299 $249 |
Raising Children in Community
Starts Jun 23 | $299 $249 |
Planning for Aging in Community
Starts Aug 2 | $299 $249 |
Aging Gracefully in Community
Starts Sep 12 | $299 $249 |
Facilitation in Community
Starts Sep 14 | $299 $249 |
Reclaiming Permaculture and Placemaking for Liberation
Starts Sep 15 | $299 $249 |
Designing a Community Membership Process
Starts Oct 24 | $299 $249 |
Working with Conflict in Community
Starts Oct 25 | $299 $249 |
Legal Basics for Forming Communities
Starts Oct 27 | $299 $249 |
Participation & Work in Community
Not seeing a course or does the timing not work for you? Check out our re-run courses below. Watch at your own pace for half the price.
Available now | $149 |
Becoming a Communitarian
Available now | $149 |
Sociocracy for Communities
Available now | $149 |
Sure, there’s the token Scholarship Fund, but does that cover the 90% of the world population whose wealth-pump/trickle-down doesn’t consume 5 planets per year, like the US folks who will be buying into this?
I’ve found two things about this website , one being it has not helped me improve my material conditions. (tbf, no website has, but I still try. I have no other viable options)… secondly, I have noticed, as well, that much of what is on here is “monied”, and seemingly only here to profit in some way or another. It does not help to change the capitalistic paradigm that haunts this planet. It’s gross.
Don’t give up hope. I believe in prefigurative social progress. A transitional socialism is possible through cooperative ownership and management. That isn’t an idealistic dream, but a reality established and proven over generations all over the world. Cooperative culture, not just an organization had roots deep in America’s national psyche until the plutocrats and their corporate and opportunistic political proxies adopted a scorched earth agenda towards any competing system.
I’m about to make a post about just such an alternative community.
You are welcome to message me directly, or now that I’m thinking about it, we should probably start a thread dedicated to just this community if I can decide which heading it is best classified under.
While I fear being narrowly characterized, allow me to recap and expand impromptu. If I didn’t mention it in my original post, every single attorney I have approached to assist in the prerequisite legal research for incorporation of this for-profit worker owned and operated cooperative has refused to accept me as a client.
Despite sending an executive summary well in advance, in each case they did not bother to read it because they presumed that I am starting another one of the hundreds of non-profit social services that subsists by competing with other non-profits for grants and donations.
I have had at least 4 or 5 lawyers laugh out loud when I tried to discuss researching how to adapt legal instruments for intellectual property and patent man agent to a cooperative business model. At least two burst out in anger and told me they didn’t have time to waste discussing “nonsense” and told me to get out of their office.
There is no actually legal justification for this. It is entirely an ideological rejection of cooperative capitalism. So threatened are these Free-Market Fundamentalists, that they will say and do anything to sabotage anything that remotely looks like socialism. When faced by a person that embodies everything white patriarchy hates, someone who openly advocates for a Transitional Socialism, comprehensible and accessible to the working poor, their contempt is understandable.
I am working to uncondition/deprogram myself from the “white supremist, imperialist, capitalist, patriarchy” that bell hooks wrote about. As a cisgender heterosexual man, I finally recognize that in order to work at fixing the problems with society, I had to fix myself first. I am interested in learning more about Transitional Socialism. I joined FIC because the signs of American Empire’s failure are all around. Contagion of corruption has infected all three branches of the American government, and the political system is a failure. There has to be a better way, one that allows humanity to thrive as a collective, where ALL are treated with dignity and respect, where ALL have needs met and a sense of purpose without fear of lack and exploitation. Capitalism by its premise is predatory, yet its worship as a sacred institution. It is allowed to thrive and conquer the souls and spirits of the marginalized, and it happens right before of very eyes.
This is me merely “thinking out loud”, but it occurred to me while reading about your trouble in legally establishing a “co-op” (that terse term just to make this brief) It came to mind that MAYBE Richard Wolff et al. may be a way to find the legal help you deserve. He is a champion of co-ops, as a way to forward the socialist revolution. While he and his “projects” are not shielded from critique, he does put out quality “leftist/anti-capitalist” content, and no doubt has access to a network of like minded professionals.
Here’s a comparison. There’s 2 choirs where I moving to. Both meet in free public space and do similar stuff. One is completely un-monied, and members voluntarily do stuff to keep it running. Another has popped-up asking for a €5 donation per meeting. Sure, not much if you come from salary-land, and it’s a donation. But “donations” bring something else with them as we know. So why does one group want money for a mutual activity and another not?
Stuff we do falls into 2 categories with a fluffy zone between: stuff that’s hard work with little built-in reward, and no free person does this without compensation in some form, normally money. And then there’s stuff that’s social and enjoyable, or otherwise rewarding, and a certain kind of person does that without thinking about additional monetary reward. I think a another kind of “get ahead of others” person and has seen too much google / youtube etc and wants to monetise anything they can do. So do we want to create the youtube kind of society or the former?
I’ve followed Richard Wolff for many years, even became a supporting member of his Patreon. I tried to discuss my work at cooperative organizing and fellow members ignored me and I eventually realized that was deliberate shunning. My personal message to Wolff on Patreon describing my trouble finding legal counsel went unanswered as did my contacting him via email.
I terminated my Patreon support.
A primary reason these seemingly progressive people and communities react this way is the widespread negative stereotypes of Black Trans Women. I’m constantly attacked in real life and online with claims that I’m running a multi-level marketing scam, and when I have the timerity to ask precisely how a worker owned and operated cooperative could be an MLM I’ve been banned for being “argumentative”.
I’ve had LGBTQ groups claim cooperatives have been proven not to work and when I shared financial facts by authoritative sources to the contrary they’ve banned me for that.
Those are the more positive outcomes; in several trans groups in the US Ireland, and Scotland I’ve been physically threatened by people who didn’t know anything but my skin color, refused to read or discuss my proposal, and claimed to know I’m a criminal.
Because everyone knows Black Trans Women are uneducated, unskilled, drug addicted sex-workers with HIV/AIDS and criminal history. I face those assumptions just as often within the Black community with many Black Queer Women and Trans Men harboring these views.
@wavesculptor I belive some degree of Monetisation is necessary for the time being, some form of income that aids in the fuction of a community.
However, where that line is drawn is dependent of how sustainable the means of income is. As well as what is being spent to justify the need for income. I belive issues arise once there is no understanding of how money is going to be made or how it is to be spent.
In order for values and ethics to be maintained, this need for monetisation should never be more than it needs to.