I was once a theoretical physicist. Now I'm an anarchist and opposed to the growing division of rich and poor. I'm 82 years old. A few years ago I left my old life behind, put my house in a trust to benefit the community, and moved to Oaxaca, Mexico, where I live happily.
I was drawn to live in Oaxaca because I love the mix of races and the courage, humility, and dignity of the people here. While they are poor, they are able to make a living, unlike many indigenous people living in the U.S.. Yes, they all want laptop computers, but they know their worth is not based on money.
My wife and I got rid of our stocks during the Vietnam war; we didn’t want to profit from the war. We put the cash into a savings bank, even though we lost money not keeping up with the rate of inflation. We gave some of it away to the Resist Foundation and over the years I put $200,000 into a building fund for the Lucy Parsons Center. I believed that we needed to invest our surplus into building communities’ key resources: community centers, printing presses, community-controlled radio stations.
After I bought a house in Cambridge, MA, I kept wrestling with the concept of private property. I was disgusted seeing how much housing prices had been driven up, by realtors and homeowners looking to make as much money as they could, so that a lot of the people who had lived here all their lives couldn’t afford to live in Cambridge any more. So in 1999 I deeded my duplex house, 12 and 14 Laurel Street, Cambridge, irrevocably to a charitable trust. Should I ever be in dire circumstances, I could come back and live in the house -- a not insignificant insurance for me. But I don't expect I ever will. Now and after I die, trustees collect a modest rent from the young professionals living there and grant the funds to various local grassroots efforts. I'm pleased with this model.
I'm doing ok financially: I live on a small pension from my years of university teaching of theoretical physics. I now don’t save money any more for my old age. I figure when my time comes, it comes. I helped my two children when they needed help but I'm not leaving them money.
Even though I’m so old, it’s a very exciting time of my life. I’m full of energy, full of anger towards the governments of the U.S. and (as a Jew) Israel. For many years I've been appalled by what the U.S. government is doing, destroying the lives of millions across the globe. I’m unhappy with so many of the values the U.S. is based on. Even so-called useful endeavors (like my former field of physics) aren’t that useful. Instead of studying whether there is life in other universes, let’s forget that crap and pay attention to the life that’s right here.