the wildseed way
The Theory Behind Our Praxis
The WildSeed Way is a term we use for how we do things. All the things. It's how we love, care, fight, build, rest, nurture, evolve, subvert, abolish, laugh, block and be in our everyday lives. One of our foundational spiritual beliefs is our co-responsibility to steward the earth and ensure that both the earth and human society remain conducive to life: the adaptive, connecting, self-perpetuating, self-governing creative force.
So when it comes to work and money, it's crucial to understand that we are just as much anti-capital and we are anti-capitalism.
So let’s take a minute to talk about what capital is.
When we say capital, we mean the way Karl Marx (yes, that Karl Marx) meant it. That is, Capital as a social relationship between people in society. Capital can be thought of as bits of concentration labor (in terms of actual hours of labor or the abstract control of labor) of a society that can be directed to specific ends.
Under our current form of economy, capital is best symbolized in money - as money has the ability to compel labor and move resources.
Yet capital can be anything that allows you to command the work of others directly or indirectly, including social capital or political capital. The logic of capital is fundamentally that some social force, outside that of the workers themselves, must organize the production of goods and services in a society.
Capital says that something (i.e. state-bureaucrats [like in Soviet Russia] or the “market” [like in Capitalism U.S.A] ) should organize production, i.e. tell workers how and where to direct their labor other than the voluntary decisions of the workers themselves.
In the long term, we want to abolish work, capital and capitalism. This means we want to build a world in which people don’t have to “earn a living”, i.e. where we are not coerced into doing things we don’t want to do in order to not starve.
We think all the resources of the world should be available to those willing to help steward them democratically for the common good of both the current generation and future generations. In the short term, we want to prototype a way of collectively coordinating our activities that is spiritually, physically, economically and environmentally sustainable and joyous.
Ideally, this prototype could be scaled to become a temporary bridge between our current economies of capital and future Sacred Economies of commoning based on gifts. This means:
- Deciding on our programing collectively and distributing tasks on a voluntary basis in which each member is responsible for being a compassionate steward of each other's capacity, energy and well-being.
- We steward all sources of our income in common as well as our social capital to ensure each other’s co-thriving and the advancement of our vision of a “new Kingdom of Heaven” as metaphor for liberation on earth. We re-distribute income according to need, using a conception of equity based on how our position within racialized-gendered-bodied capitalism leaves us economically vulnerable and unsupported.
- Assuming people’s capacity is generally half of what they think it is and capping our expected workload at 25% of that capacity. This ensures people have the energy and resources to respond to crises within the organization, our families and our communities as well as take advantage of emerging opportunities. We vow to never go so hard or so fast that we can’t slow down to take care of ourselves.
- Elevating care as an essential part of communal thriving that must be acknowledged, done by people of all genders in equal measure, supported in order to be sustainable and both offered and requested consensually.
- Claiming each other and witnessing each other faithfully both privately and publicly against the grains of oppression. We agree to stand with each other in the face of life’s challenges. We agree to have empathy and compassion for the strategies each other uses to combat, overcome or survive oppression, especially when they make us uncomfortable.
- To operate with as much internal and external transparency as possible. We seek to empower all members to co-create all financial decisions and to be accountable to the communities that support us.
What All This Means Practically
The WildSeed Society is stewarded by a collective of Black, East Asian, and Desi movement veterans, spiritual teachers, and organizational development nerds.
Our Black comrades were all stewards of local chapters of the Black Lives Matter Movement and brought their deep reflection of how we needed to go beyond protest and build alternative ways of caring and resource each other to the forefront of our work. You can read more about the bios of our team here.
Through our years in the movement, we have learned foundations and donors don't understand movement work well enough to fund it effectively even in those rare moments that the overwhelming white philanthropy community moves through its fear of founding movements led by directly affected people.
Even when movement organizations are funded, turning liberation into a job has its own host of problems. Most notably careerism where individual and organizational advancement becomes the center of the work - instead of liberation
So, we decided to create an anti-capitalist commons to resource our work.
Each WildSeed member agrees to share income from consulting, facilitations, training and other income as well as donations through resourcing campaigns like this one.
Then we come together to have honest conversations about the financial resources we need to pursue our life's purpose in the collective.
This isn't fee-for-service or wage labor, and we don't pay people more or less based on their "job."
In this way, we abolish the patriarchal labor regime that separates our time into work, leisure and care. Under patriarchy, leisure is only available to men who have women, femme, children, and colonized people to do their care work for them.
For us, this means that we resource people to live - instead of compensating them for their work.
This frees people up to do the work that needs doing as it arises - instead of trying to fit being a parent, friend, or taking care of ourselves into our packed work schedule.
Because we are all people of color who are rooted in communities facing the impacts of patriarchy and settler-colonialism on a daily basis, we spend the energy and resources we have abolishing and replacing the systems that undermine our actual communities.
This means we aren't pulled to focus on actions that are fundable or fit whatever ideas our donors have of what movement work should look like.
This also means that our strategies are emergent and rooted in the intersection of community need, our actual human capacity, our principles and what makes our spirit sing.
If that sounds like something you want in your life, please continue reading to learn how you can help this work continue!