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DAOs, Coops, and Mutual Aid, Oh my!

I do not believe there to be doom and gloom about the future. At the time of writing this, we are on the tail end of a pandemic. In the US, the Supreme Court just had a document leaked intent on reversing the landmark Roe v. Wade case, potentially reversing 50 years of progress. At the same time, there are folks working on changing the very fabric of inequality in America and the World; these people are working in web3 with an eye towards a more just and fun future. DAOs, a crypto-native organizational framework, organize interests beyond the “Tragedy of the Commons” and aim to develop a truly equitable, fun way of working with one another from anywhere with an Internet connection.

However, they are rooted in web3 without a thorough understanding of cooperative businesses or mutual aid networks. Some are reinventing the wheel and not learning from tried and true tribulations of already successful cooperative business mechanisms or activist-y mutual aid networks geared towards hyper-local, neighborly help. By combining mutual aid with cooperative mechanisms through impact DAOs, we can begin to flesh out a future that shirks the past inequalities of social work towards a means of empowering public safety net structures for all such as Universal Basic Income (UBI). A world where there are no CEOs making 351x the average worker. No one left behind to sleep on sidewalks, alone. These folks embrace the wagmi slogan to be inclusive of most everyone, not just those with the privilege of aping into BAYC NFTs before they blew up.

I, for one, don’t want to live in a world where I worry that anyone else is without the basics: food, education, healthcare, housing, internet, clothes, etc. I want to live in a world where everyone gets the opportunity to flourish. There are helpers, resistors, and agitators to the status quo, but the organized history of benevolence is rife with problematic relationships to both eugenics and racism.

Published May 6, 2022

security researcher, etc.