Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex: Anti-Authoritarian Community Counter-Institutions

This presentation will do a deep dive into critiques of the non-profit industrial complex and describe how those critiques have helped to form the basis for a new wave of anarchism-inspired, radically-decentered organizational structures for community-based activist groups. The presentation will proceed in three parts: 1.) The non-profit industrial complex: why non-profits always fail as instruments for meaningful social change. 2.) Starting from shared anti-authoritarian values, what could radical, community-based structures look like? 3.) New models being developed by anti-authoritarian groups and how they aim to flip the conventional non-profit form on its head--what the presentation calls “community counter-institutions.”

The presentation will describe different models for these community counter-institutions and will show how, at their best, they hold the potential to overcome the failings of any non-profit-driven social change strategy by building a radical movement driven by autonomous, horizontal groups grounded in prefigurative politics.

Michael Haber (NCF, 92-96) has been involved with Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Sandy, the Movement for Black Lives, and other social change efforts, helping to develop legal strategy and organizational structures for activist groups developing out of these moments of disruption.

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Michael Haber