Over the weekend the Colombian-American artist confided to Twitter fans an anecdote that connects strongly to anarchist principles. Working as a cashier before she was famous, she’d intentionally not ring up certain items for customers she felt “needed it.”
Radical egalitarianism—equality of wealth and power—is a part of a genuine anarchist belief system. And one of the means of achieving an anarchist society is direct action, which is what Kali Uchis was doing with her deliberately chosen shopper freebies. There’s a pro-socialist aspect to this too; giving regular folks free stuff from a presumably giant and very rich corporation is a form of wealth redistribution.
Many of the singer’s followers tweeted in support, some offering their own stories:
But a few others pointed to the obvious: If they’re caught in the act, they may be fired. And for so many living paycheck-to-paycheck, that’s a risk they cannot take.
The takeaway here, really, is to help others whenever you can. Donate to grassroots organizations that help those in need. Pay forward groceries next time you’ve got extra cash. Or, like in the scenario Kali Uchis presents, where you see someone stealing food or other basic necessities, do your part by not doing anything at all.