- Conflict & Crisis
By JG Vibes
March 15, 2013
Months ago I wrote about how Occupy Wall Street was raising money so they could buy up debt at random and pay it off, in a brilliant campaign of radical agorism.
The effort that I am talking about is called “Rolling Jubilee” and the stated mission on their website is to:
“Buy debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals’ debt – instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.”
This idea has brought about many success stories. The group recently announced through their website that they erased over $1 Million in debt from emergency rooms in Kentucky and Indiana.
The average debtor owed around $900 and we will be abolishing the debt of over 1,000 people! We are sending the letters to the debtors as we type this. We are very concerned with the privacy of debtors, but if any of them come forward and want to share their stories, we will make them public. This will be the second in a series of purchases of medical debt. For each one, we will announce it on this blog with extended details.
We’ve also been working long and hard to make sure our finances and operations are as transparent as possible. The all-volunteer Board of Directors, along with the RJ sub-committees (tech, messaging & debt buying) and countless activists throughout the Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street networks have been working diligently to ensure the Rolling Jubilee accomplishes its mission with dignity, transparency and political effectiveness.
As a friend, supporter and also a critic of the occupy wall street movement over the past year and a half, it has been exciting and interesting to see the loose knit, decentralized movement transform and grow into many different branches that are taking a more local and decentralized approach than we saw from the protests last year.
Recently, I have been noticing that various pockets of occupy wall street are beginning to practice agorism, and starting initiatives and projects to replace inefficient state programs with their own voluntary mutual aid approaches. This Rolling Jubilee project is one example, and the recent efforts to go where FEMA wouldn’t after Hurricane Sandy is another example.
For those of you that are not familiar with the term “agorism”, it is a strategy of noncompliance that uses counter economics and underground markets as a way of keeping power in the hands of the average people, thus slowly diminishing the power and relevance of the control structure.
Growing food, starting mutual aid or charity groups, using bitcoin, homeschooling, running a small business without licenses, bartering and starting community currencies are all examples of agorist activities. Some agorists are even so bold as to create businesses that will challenge existing state monopolies, like we saw earlier this year when Detroit residents created their own community protection agencies because the police were no longer responding to 911 calls.
It is as simple as finding a need in your community for a particular good or service, and attempting to provide that value without any sort of interaction with the government or any other unchosen 3rd parties. In other words, the basic idea is to try solving the problem yourself, with your community instead of waiting around for a politician to make the problem worse.
Read more articles by this author HERE.
J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter-culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer, reporter for Intellihub.com and Executive Producer of the Bob Tuskin Radio Show. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com