Friday, November 27, 2020

Woke Trust Fund Millennials 'Work' to Destroy Capitalism

They don't work. They're as privileged as you can be, benefiting from an economic system that's made them (well, their families, really) among the most fortunate people in the world. Remember that. Remember these are the young idle rich. These are the same kinds of young people whom the Bolsheviks murdered in the revolution's obscene orgy of indiscriminate retributory violence ("Anastasia screamed in vain..."). These idiots, rather than be grateful... Rather than work to help those less well-off... Rather than just, say, work for charity and human emancipation through global poverty reduction (and through free markets)... Or, frankly, rather just work --- toil! --- and make their own damn money and mind their own damned business... They're guilt-ridden and mad. 

Remember, it's always the affluent intellectuals who form the "vanguard" of radical movements, waving the red flag at the head of the worldwide proletarian revolution. Che Guevara was trained as a physician. Ho Chi Minh was the son of Confucian scholar and teacher, and after literally traveling the world, he received his political education in Paris, that destitute human hellscape of haute couture, Impressionism, the Guide Michelin, and world-foundational enlightenment philosophy. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Comrade Lenin) actually enjoyed a comfortable petite middle-class status and studied physics and mathematics at Kazan Imperial University, one of the top technical institutes in Russia at the time. He was expelled for "revolutionary activities." Stalin was the son of Besarion Jughashvili, a shoemaker and successful small-business owner who ultimately cracked under pressure and descended into a long drunken vodka vacation. Son Joseph (Joseph Besarionis dzе Jughashvili a.k.a Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin) was a very promising student who attended the Orthodox Spiritual Seminary in Tbilisi, Georgia, on a generous scholarship. He'd been mentored by Father Christopher Charkviani into the Orthodox priest-pipeline, a promising career path to economic stability (if not wealth and prosperity). Mao Zedong, as a child, was raised in a wealthy family in Hunan Province. He attended the First Normal School of Changsha, one of the best educational institutions in regions --- and he then quickly absorbed himself in all kinds of anti-imperialist revolutionary agitprop, naturally. Béla Kun, the leader of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919, received an education at the "upper class" Silvania Főgimnázium (the Silvania National College), a prestigious bilingual high school in Zalău, Romania. It was Béla Kun who, in 1919, led the fight against counterrevolutionary troop units, crushing the incipient counter-rebellion, which resulted in 1,000s of dead and tortured over a two-year period (1919–1921) known as Hungary's "White Terror."

These people are not the product of the capitalist "lumpenproletariat," that most despised and downtrodden class in all of Marxist-Leninist theory.

And so it goes: For America's sheltered Millennial youth of today, as entitled as they are --- because of racism, sexism, microaggressions, homophobia, transphobia, settler colonialism, genocide of indigenous peoples, the "environment," and (of course) Israel --- the solution is the burn it all down in an apocalyptic ideological war against phantom "oppressors." 

Gird your loins, people. They're coming after you. Sooner or later, they'll have your name and number (listed in the new regime's social media social credit system database, built in collaboration with the recently nationalized ideological-purity industry firms of Silicon Valley, now elevated under the new Biden politburo as the Big Tech Komsomol Thought Crimes Sanitary Correction Unit). Get ready for Kamala's "Truth and Reconciliation Committee." Wealthy Ivy League and elite private college students will be the party's Red Guards in America's 2020 "Cultural Revolution." 

At the Walter Duranty Times, "The Rich Kids Who Want to Tear Down Capitalism":

Lately, Sam Jacobs has been having a lot of conversations with his family’s lawyers. He’s trying to gain access to more of his $30 million trust fund. At 25, he’s hit the age when many heirs can blow their money on harebrained businesses or a stable of sports cars. He doesn’t want to do that, but by wealth management standards, his plan is just as bad. He wants to give it all away.

“I want to build a world where someone like me, a young person who controls tens of millions of dollars, is impossible,” he said.

A socialist since college, Mr. Jacobs sees his family’s “extreme, plutocratic wealth” as both a moral and economic failure. He wants to put his inheritance toward ending capitalism, and by that he means using his money to undo systems that accumulate money for those at the top, and that have played a large role in widening economic and racial inequality.

Millennials will be the recipients of the largest generational shift of assets in American history — the Great Wealth Transfer, as finance types call it. Tens of trillions of dollars are expected to pass between generations in just the next decade.

And that money, like all wealth in the United States, is extremely concentrated in the upper brackets. Mr. Jacobs, whose grandfather was a founder of Qualcomm, expects to receive up to $100 million over the course of his lifetime.

Most of his fellow millennials, however, are receiving a rotten inheritance — debt, dim job prospects and a figment of a social safety net. The youngest of them were 15 in 2011 when Occupy Wall Street drew a line between the have-a-lots and everyone else; the oldest, if they were lucky, were working in a post-recession economy even before the current recession. Class and inequality have been part of the political conversation for most of their adult lives.

In their time, the ever-widening gulf between the rich and poor has pushed left-wing politics back into the American political mainstream. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. trailed Senator Bernie Sanders, the socialist candidate, by 20 points among millennial voters in this year’s Democratic presidential primary. And over the last six years, millennials have taken the Democratic Socialists of America from a fringe organization with an average member age of 60 to a national force with chapters in every state and a membership of nearly 100,000, most of them under 35.

Mr. Jacobs, as both a trust-fund kid and an anticapitalist, is in a rare position among leftists fighting against economic inequality. But he isn’t alone in trying to figure out, as he put it, “what it means to be with the 99 percent, when you’re the 1 percent.”

Challenging the System

“I was always taught that this is just the way the world is, that my family has wealth while others don’t, and that because of that, I need to give some of it away, but not necessarily question why it was there,” said Rachel Gelman, a 30-year-old in Oakland, Calif., who describes her politics as “anticapitalist, anti-imperialist and abolitionist.”

Her family always gave generously to liberal causes and civil society groups. Ms. Gelman supports groups devoted to ending inequality, including the Movement for Black Lives, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Critical Resistance, a leading prison abolition group.

“My money is mostly stocks, which means it comes from underpaying and undervaluing working-class people, and that’s impossible to disconnect from the economic legacies of Indigenous genocide and slavery,” Ms. Gelman said. “Once I realized that, I couldn’t imagine doing anything with my wealth besides redistribute it to these communities.”

According to the consulting firm Accenture, the Silent Generation and baby boomers will gift their heirs up to $30 trillion by 2030, and up to $75 trillion by 2060. These fortunes began to amass decades ago — in some cases centuries. But the concentration of wealth became stratospheric starting in the 1970s, when neoliberalism became the financial sector’s guiding economic philosophy and companies began to obsessively pursue higher returns for shareholders.

“The wealth millennials are inheriting came from a mammoth redistribution away from the working masses, creating a super-rich tiny minority at the expense of a fleeting American dream that is now out of reach to most people,” said Richard D. Wolff, a Marxist and an emeritus economics professor at University of Massachusetts Amherst who has published 12 books about class and inequality.

He said he has been professionally arguing against capitalism’s selling points since his teaching career began, in 1967, but that his millennial students “are more open to hearing that message than their parents ever were.”

Heirs whose wealth has come from a specific source sometimes use that history to guide their giving. Pierce Delahunt, a 32-year-old “socialist, anarchist, Marxist, communist or all of the above,” has a trust fund that was financed by their former stepfather’s outlet mall empire. (Mx. Delahunt takes nongendered pronouns.)

“When I think about outlet malls, I think about intersectional oppression,” Mx. Delahunt said. There’s the originally Indigenous land each mall was built on, plus the low wages paid to retail and food service workers, who are disproportionately people of color, and the carbon emissions of manufacturing and transporting the goods. With that on their mind, Mx. Delahunt gives away $10,000 a month, divided between 50 small organizations, most of which have an anticapitalist mission and in some way tackle the externalities of discount shopping.

If money is power, then true wealth redistribution also means redistributing authority. Margi Dashevsky, who is 33 and lives in Alaska, gets guidance on her charitable giving from an advisory team of three women activists from Indigenous and Black power movements. “The happenstance of me being born into this wealth doesn’t mean I’m somehow omniscient about how it should be used,” she said. “It actually gives me a lot of blind spots.”

She also donates to social justice funds like Third Wave Fund, where grant-making is guided by the communities receiving funding, instead of being decided by a board of wealthy individuals. The latter sort of nonprofit, Ms. Dashevsky said, “comes from a place of assuming incompetence, putting up all these hurdles for activists and wasting their time on things like impact reporting. I want to flip that on its head by stepping back, trusting and listening.”

Of course, an individual act of wealth redistribution does not, on its own, change a system. But these heirs see themselves as part of a bigger shift, and are dedicated to funding its momentum.

 Still more.