The roots of this tenuous relationship are certainly honorable. In the culture of empire (civilization), social behaviors that destroy earth and exploit humans are rewarded with money and wealth. Developers, slavers, agriculturalists, factory owners, CEO’s, feudal lords, and capitalists of all sorts: they thrive on the blood of the land, the blood of the people.
Of course, paying jobs exist that do not directly require this sort of exploitation. But regardless, people on the left have been understandably distant from high paying jobs and steady careers. Instead, the trend has been to “drop out” – to find ways of avoiding the necessity of gainful employment.
This manifests in many ways. Many people on the left live in poverty, either voluntary or involuntary. Many of us rely on thrift stores, dumpster diving, squatting, social support programs, or the generosity of friends and family. This is sometimes appropriate. Capitalism is a brutal hierarchy of power, and escaping that system makes sense.
However, withdrawal is not going to save us. Historically, gainful employment within society is a critical element of resistance movements. In America, Abolitionists, Suffragettes, and Irish Republicans are all examples. These organizations encouraged their members and supporters to work and support the movement with sustained funding.
Through international tours, speaking events, advertisements, neighborhood collections, religious institutions, membership dues, and personal appeals, these political activists gathered the resources that they needed to do their work.
Today, the needs of activists are the same. We print materials, pay for travel, advertise, create media, support allies, secure gathering spaces, pay legal costs, gather supplies, and see to the health and hunger of our comrades. Without the funding to support these efforts, serious activist work is impossible.
Social change requires money, and it requires a great deal of money.
Money is a multiplier. It expands the effect of our work many times over. If our resistance is to be successful, it will require many of our supporters to join the ranks of the workforce and contribute substantial amounts. This is a hard role, but vitally important. It is supplying the lifeblood of the resistance.
It is a righteous and honorable path.