What is the difference between financial security and hoarding wealth?
What are some ways we can share resources to support community and movement-building?
How can we talk to each other about personal money issues and politics without guilt, shame, and judgment?
What does a politics of wealth redistribution look like in the day-to-day, and what are the obstacles to developing conversations about this in political communities we belong to?
These are some questions we’ve been thinking about, and we’re interested in jumpstarting conversations about how we conceive of and live a politics of wealth redistribution. This website is a space to discuss these issues.
The ubiquity of capitalism in the U.S. can limit our ability, even in radical communities, to conceptualize creative responses to oppression and injustice. This can manifest both in how we build movements (reproducing bureaucratic, hierarchical, business-type models; packaging and “selling” social justice work to foundations in exchange for grants), and in how we deal with personal finances in our own lives (defaulting to patterns like hoarding, excessive consumerism, and individualism in how we conceptualize our lives and futures and economic security).
We’d like to address some of the ways that class privilege and capitalist dynamics function even within communities and within the lives of individuals working to fight oppression and economic injustice. It can feel taboo to share details about things like income, inheritance, class background, debt, and spending. Silence and secrecy about money make it difficult for us to challenge ourselves and each other when classist dynamics arise. Social conditioning trains us to hoard money rather than share it and build community. We want to get people talking about building shared values and practices around wealth redistribution, because we think figuring out how much is enough, and when to give away money, are key under-discussed questions in anti-capitalist politics.
The two of us starting this website come from very different class backgrounds, and we’re hoping for a specifically cross-class conversation about these issues. We think that the anxiety that can arise when talking about these things among folks with different experiences of class can be useful and productive, and we hope to create a space where we can learn by sharing our experiences and challenging each other.
Who We Are:
Dean Spade is a trans lawyer who grew up in rural Virginia with a single mom on and off welfare, and then later with foster parents. In 2002 he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a collective focused on building anti-racist, anti-capitalist trans resistance. He is now teaching poverty law, critical perspectives on trans law and other things at Seattle University Law School.
Roan Boucher grew up in an owning class family, with parents who were both raised working class. In 2004 he got involved with Resource Generation and began working with folks from all different class backgrounds to fight economic injustice at its roots – by organizing other young people with wealth to give away money, challenge classism and capitalism, and leverage resources and access to support grassroots movements. He is an organizer, artist, and facilitator with AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance), and lives outside of Austin, TX.