[Payment-discuss] Introduction (en y es versions)
guy at sdimc.org
Thu Feb 8 05:07:29 PST 2007
You're leaving out many important considerations. But you are onto
something. You are posing the question "Is the US unique?" I think the
answer would have to be "yes" -- and also, because of that, it is not
possible for people living elsewhere without any direct experience of
our social realities to know how best to advise us to proceed. Consider
1) The US is the world's wealthiest country in absolute terms, but also
the wealthiest country that almost wholly lacks any social welfare state.
2) The level of class solidarity and general social struggle is uniquely
These are very powerful social factors. Please do not make the mistake
of chalking up people's behavior solely to "self indulgence" or personal
moral failings. To do that is a distinctly reactionary -- and
unfortunately also very "American" -- habit.
In other countries, sometimes even very poor ones, there are often far
more resources for working class people to fall back on -- whether based
on family, or social networks, political organizations, or mass social
movements. A Brazilian MST activist, even though much poorer in absolute
economic terms than a comparable working class American, could still
have much better social resources to rely on when in need. Look at the
debacle of New Orleans.
Also, it is dangerous to divide us according to nationality, therefore,
as good internationalists, if we perceive the issue of money as a
potential source of division between comrades in America and elsewhere,
we should come up with a positive proposal that is internationalist and
anti-imperialist, while still respecting the autonomy of different
collectives. So why not propose that IMCs that generate an economic
surplus -- and maybe also comrades who get paid, in the course of
whatever work they do -- voluntarily contribute to an international
fund, a fund that would be administered primarily by comrades NOT from
one of the imperialist countries?
Has dejado al lado varias consideraciones bastante importantes. Pero
tienes algo. La pregunta que se nos ha planteado es: "Son únicos los
EUA?" Y yo pienso, "claro que sí." Y además, por eso, nosotros aquí no
podemos confiar completamente en el consejo de quienes que no viven aquí
y/o no cuentan con ninguna o solamente con poca experiencia directa de
nuestra realidad social. A considerar:
1) El país es el mas rico en todo el mundo en términos puramente
económicos, pero tambien el país mas rico que casi no cuenta con ningún
estado del bienestar.
2) Hoy en día, el país está a un nivel de lucha social de masas muy baja
-- casi inexistente en tiempos recientes, desafortunadamente -- y con
poca conciencia de clase y poca solidaridad social.
Dados estos factores sociales muy poderosos, que hacemos? Ojala que no
hagas por equivocación la presunción de atribuir a "la debilidad moral
personal" o la indulgencia con uno mismo todo el conducto de individuos
-- una costumbre muy reaccionaria (pero tambien muy "americano").
En otros paises -- aun a veces en los paises mas pobres -- hay
frecuentamente mas recursos sociales para la gente de clase obrera: o de
familia, o de redes sociales, o políticas, o de movimientos de masa,
etc. Un activista brasileño de MST podria contar con mas recursos
sociales que un norteamericano de nivel social equivalente -- aunque sea
mucho mas rico este proletariano norteamericano en terminos absolutos.
Mira la desastre de New Orleans...
Además, es peligroso dividirnos, como compañeros, por país o por orígen
nacional, y por lo tanto, si vemos una division potencial entre los
compas del sur y nosotros, porque no hacemos una propuesta de unidad,
una propuesta que simultáneamente reivindica los principios de
internacionalismo, de antimperialismo y de respeta por la autonomía de
colectivos a la vez? Por ejemplo, podríamos acordarnos que todo
colectivo -- o compa como individuo -- que recibe una sobra económica
debe contribuir voluntariamente a un fondo internacional, un fondo
administrado por compas que vienen en su mayoría de paises NO
> Such an idea has been around a long time, and did not originate with
> I believe it is primarily in the U.S. though, where people are getting
> paid for indymedia work. It is also in the U.S. where people are
> perhaps most attached to an indulgent lifestyle.
> This sort of argument always perplexes me. If the place is so poor
> that people have no time to volunteer, then where do they get the
> money to pay themselves? It is also confusing when this argument is
> put forward when it is in a relatively well off college town in the
> U.S. where multiple people are getting paid for indymedia work.
> Personally I think it is questionable to use the name of the poor
> elsewhere, to justify behavior here. If some indymedia people from a
> truly poor nation would like to explain how they are going about it,
> why they choose to pay people and so on, I honestly would like to hear
> this. My mind is open.
> So there are so far on this list.
> From the U.S. -
> Nick (Houston)
> Sascha (UC)
> Aaron (Philly)
> Eric (Big Muddy)
> Michelle (UC)
> Guy (Portland)
> Daniel (UC)
> Kim (Portland)
> Sheri (Floating)
> Deva (Portland)
> Jay (Philadelphia)
> 11 people
> 8 for payment
> 2 against
> 1 unstated
> The rest of the Network -
> Jack (UK)
> Libertinus (Uruguay)
> Toya (Brasil)
> Cameron (Sydney)
> 4 people
> 3 against payment
> 1 unstated
> I would say the first priority would be to not have 75% of people on
> the list from the U.S.
> Second, while there is not enough people to be sure of the pattern,
> the current breakdown is already noteworthy. Most people in the U.S.
> wanting payment, most outside the opposite.
> Perhaps we can propose nobody gets paid in the U.S., but it is okay
> elsewhere. I simply do not believe it is necessary in this country.
> There are people here in portland who have children, full time jobs
> (not high paying) and who find time to do brilliant media/organizing
> work and who are important and strong voices.
> Maybe everyone from the U.S., myself included, should step aside, get
> more people involved from around the network and let everyone else
> decide whether people should be paid in indymedia and if so, under
> what circumstances. Everyone from the U.S. can agree to abide by
> whatever decisions the rest of the network collectively decided. Might
> be a good exercise for all of us to not be at the center of things.
> On Jan 30, 2007, at 2:42 PM, sheri at speakeasy.org
> <mailto:sheri at speakeasy.org> wrote:
>> This has also been raised as an issue about diversity and
>> inclusivity. Those who cannot afford to participate in indymedia
>> because they have families, work full time or have other
>> responsibilities that keep them from being able to give their time
>> and energy to Indymedia, might be able to participate if they were
>> paid. It's an interesting argument and I heard it through multiple
>> people in multiple countries. It actually did not originate in the
>> U.S. but in South Africa. How do you expect people from the poorer
>> parts to get involved when they must work?
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