Without Material Support, Resistance Falters

13 Nov

One of the main problems with the broad culture of the left is a distancing from money.

The roots of this distancing are honorable. In the culture of empire (anthropologically, “civilization”), behaviors that destroy the planet and exploit people are rewarded with money. Developers, slavers, agriculturalists, factory owners, CEO’s, feudal lords, and capitalists of all sorts thrive unjustly on the sweat and blood of the land and the people.

It’s no wonder, then, that people on the left tend to shun high paying jobs and steady careers. Instead, the trend has been to drop out and live within small means.

Capitalism is a brutal hierarchy of power, and escaping that system makes sense. Not having to hold down a steady job or mainstream career opens up a lot of time and energy for activist work, and many DGR members occupy this middle ground, living frugally and taking work where they can find it to finance an activist habit.

But we can’t all do this. Historically, gainful employment within or alongside the dominant society is a critical element of resistance movements. In America, Abolitionists, Suffragettes, and Irish Republicans are all examples: these movements encouraged members and supporters to work and work hard, and to feed money, shelter, and supplies to the movement.

Through international tours, speaking events, advertisements, neighborhood collections, religious institutions, membership dues, and personal appeals, these political activists gathered the resources that they needed to do their work.

Today, the needs of activists are the same. We print materials, pay for travel, advertise, create media, support allies, secure gathering spaces, pay legal costs, gather supplies, and see to the health and hunger of our comrades. Without the funding to support these efforts, serious activist work is impossible.

If our resistance is to be successful, it will require many of our supporters to join to ranks of the workforce and contribute substantial amounts. This is hard role, but vitally important.

Providing material support is providing the lifeblood of survival to the movement, and is an righteous and honorable way to contribute to justice in the world.

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