This article in the Washington Post raises a very interesting question:
A meeting of anarchists, progressives, a self-described “surly feminist” and others on the far left of the political spectrum is underway. They’re young and radical. They’re organizing intently. The matter at hand could be oppression, or the police state, or revolution.
But it’s not. It’s walking dogs.
They sit in a circle in the living room of a Petworth group house and tick off their “route updates,” which mostly consist of details about the new canine clients they’ve signed up.
That’s because business is booming.
The seven people present belong to Brighter Days, a dog walkers’ collective founded on anarchist principles. Last year, the five-year-old business grossed more than $250,000. Its members have equal ownership and make business decisions by reaching consensus during weekly meetings such as this one. Any of them can block any decision. They split their earnings evenly, have a group health insurance plan and cover for each other on days off. They even get paid vacation — seven weeks of it.
Moving from would-be anarchist to successful business owner brings a few quandaries. If you oppose the idea of a state, should you pay taxes? Is it ethically sound to care for the animals of professionals while they are at work at institutions such as the International Monetary Fund? And if you don’t believe in corporations, should you buy health insurance from one?
From the start, Brighter Days has taken a path in the middle, keeping as close to its anarchist ideals as possible while running a legitimate business…
[continues in the Washington Post]
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