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January 26, 2006

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chutney

I was thinking more of $45,000. And a new Wordygurdy. And an expense account. And working from home.

WB has its privileges.

Phil

How about free space in the Dumpster and a swig of Thunderbird?

P.I. Tchitchikoff

Phil, he's talking about much more than funding an intellectual platform. He's talking about activist infrastructure, the craft of moving the political structure and the training to do that. Good ideas are fine things to have. So are smart policy proposals. They're completely useless without a coordinated effort to move them forward. And that means there has to be way to keep body and soul together for the people engaged in actually doing it.

Everyone focuses on the intellectuals. Forget about them. It's the people who take phone calls and go out to lend a hand that make a movement.

phil cubeta

OK, P.I., thanks. Good points. Do you see this kind of grassroots infrastructure funded by a few big funders, realistically, or by paypal type fundraising? Can we imitate the right wing model of astroturf funded by fatcats? I don't think so. Too few fatcats and even if they were of the noblesse oblige variety, we still would need ordinary people to put their nickles and dimes and sweat equity into it or it would again be top down. Big Foundations? Soros? One doubts it.

If people man the phones for short money, wouldn't that be raised locally in small denominations by those who can't man the phones, but can send in $10 instead?

Many-to-many against the might few?

If so, doesn't it come down again to creating ideas or songs, or art, with the lift to energize a torpid, or mass media mezmerized public?

Are we back to fundraising per se, not unlike many a grassroots org or like moveon?

P.I. Tchitchikoff

Phil, I think deep pockets funders are going to be mostly interested in what funding a movement can do for their bottom lines. Building an infrastructure based on the kind of controlled disbursment of money most of them favor would cripple the ideological base. It would wind up with Stirling Newberry when we need Jay Taber, Bob Parry and Jon Schwarz.

PayPal funding has been next to impossible. Small time donors are in a hurry and give their money to high profile, sexy causes, like the Dean campaign. The disappointment dries up that well very quickly. To make it work, an outreach network that was not affiliated with dismal failures or wretched triangulating would have to be built first. Someone should start a site, maybe call it the "Gift Hub", and see if they get any enthusiasm for helping with that :~p

Spinorb has something very worth looking at. It pertains to the many-to-many question and grassroots fundraising.
http://spinorb.typepad.com/spinorb/2006/01/peer_to_peer.html

And yes it does come again to revitalizing culture. The strength of movements can't be measured in dollars, but in what they have that is not for sale.

Phil

Spinorb and I are good friends and both of us are working with Tracy Gary in various ways. In fact, I don't mind telling you that Spinorb recently awarded me a Certificate entitling me to practice the liberal arts. Framed it too. She is very much in the Gifthub mode. I kind of think that waiting for funding is like Waiting for Godot. First you get your own thing going and demonstrate your own staying power, if only by keeping at it in your free time, then others get involved, and some show their engagement with a little money, others with some time, others with their rolodex. Gifthub, Changemakers, Spinorb, Inspired Legacies are up and dancing in their lonely way. Others are welcome to join.

P.I. Tchitchikoff

A certficate? A genuine, framed certificate?! If she gave it to you, you've undoubtedly earned it.

I look to Spinorb for inspiration. I would want to be part of anything she does, even if it's only making coffee.

Phil

Good to hear it. The circle begins to close. She is a fine person, a great writer, a personal coach, and much else. Gerry and Debbie know her from an Omidyar.net meeting last summer in Chicago.

Spinorb

Let's all have virtual coffee together! I am red in the face and could use some caffiene.

Rather than paypal, try Pledgebank. We believe people who are like us. And we are likely to feel warm and supportive of those like us too. Peer-to-peer we support each other sometimes with money, sometimes with ideas, sometimes with words, sometimes with warm hugs.

Phil

Sometimes with chaff and banter.

Spinorb

Too much time on Onet, I guess, since I keep trying to find the place to give your blog points. ;-) And if I find a way to give GiftHub points, would those kick-up to Rooster? Would Wealth Bondage get a bite?

Is there currency flowing here even if we are not tracking it explicitly?

Tropology

I thought I'd crow a little for what turns the sphere.

So many fans so little time?

Phil

It is all about linking, conversing, creating social capital. The Omidyar.net point system is inside a walled garden. The points don't carry over very well to and from the so-called real world. But as long as we get to be civic friends, and get a little more active, it probably does not matter how we "keep score" with points or google juice or whatever.

Spinorb

Maybe I understand this? There are those that have to pay in dough 'cause they are paying in negative figures when it comes to soul. Those on the other side that tend to thrive, without much dough, are those who learn how to make currents and currency out of something else, since bread is scarce and cake (aka benefits) more rare.

So whether we are counting in points our reputation or keep a recollection of social connection, there is an exchange--something we measure with grace and gratitude, I hope.

phil

Spinorb, you sound as if you were about to break into song, poetry, or a rap. To write what you feel leaves a person invigorated, to write what Candidia requires leaves a person feeling like a lowly worm. Of course Candy's minions need to "compensated." Message discipline works well for marketing and propaganda, but can you imagine the toll it would take on a real thinker or on an original mind? Only a hack can maintain message discipline, and only then if well paid for the sacrifice of his or her independent intellect. The market clears at a price, but in the market for ideas, as for love, the high bidder may get a Wealth B*ondage Professional.

Tropology

In part I take the view that they sell their souls - or independent intellect - far too cheap. (Or do they?)

You pay for what you get, we all pay in some way. If you dont want originality, might as well pay a premium and get an original mind to debase itself.

phil

Excellent point, Tropology. The powerful must take some malignant pleasure in seeing a first rate mind truckle. As Napoleon said, "What is surprising is not that people can be bought, but how cheaply." Their truths are oft told lies, and their art the art of propaganda. Their speech cannot be heard without disgust, yet they vie with one another for preeminance and tawdry honors, eager to display their sores on national television, and make of themselves a national disgrace.

Spartacus O'Neal

I just stumbled on your post Phil. Seems like a good discussion took place.

You might want to take a look at my free online memoir in the sidebar of Skookum to get a sense of what us thinkers do besides write about lessons learned from painful experience. If you do, you'll see it involves a lot more than writing blogs, and, is rarely rewarded.

As for funding for activism, I've never in thirty years received any, so maybe you misunderstood my comments. What I have on occasion gotten is an airline ticket to a conference, or physical therapy so I could travel, or a part-time minimum wage job from someone who wanted to make it possible for me to continue doing research, education, and organizing in a way that enables the next generation to avoid some of the pitfalls we encountered.

A couple of times, people I hardly knew just showed up at my door and handed me a couple hundred bucks. No need to make it complicated.

Phil

Thanks, spartacus. I applaud your work and the personal sacrifice. Believe me, I see this everywhere. The talents on the left working for nada, and those on the right brought up a "ladder" well beyond the Peter Principle" until they are talk show pundits, etc. Reading stories of the funding, about Michael Joyce, for example, you can see the way it was and is done. Nothing like that on the left, and nothing likely, it would seem.

tease

If you. I think twenty http://www.createforum.com/nikitadamirow >web cam strip tease will be continued. Look of a little peck on my.

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