I am reproducing Jeff St. Clair’s letter below prepended with my own appeal.
As many of you know, I have been a regular contributor to CounterPunch for a while now for both the magazine and the website. It affords me to reach a much wider audience than I can with my own blog and puts me in some very good company covering the cultural front. My articles generally appear on the weekend edition next to David Yearsley’s and Charles Larson’s. While most people probably hone in on the current events type stuff, I put their articles on the front burners. Unlike just about every other outlet on the left wing of the Internet, CounterPunch has some truly amazing material on the arts, equal in my opinion to more specialized journals. For example, Yearsley’s latest examines the career of Johann Friedrich Reichardt, a contemporary of Mozart who attended Kant’s lectures as a teenager and became a committed foe of absolutism. Although I consider myself well-schooled on classical music, I had never heard of Reichardt. Where else would you find such an article? I hate to sound sectarian but surely not on ZNet.
Now I know that most of you, particularly you tenured professors, can easily afford to pony up $100 per year to help keep CounterPunch afloat. Think about it. That’s only $8 per month. I bet that about that much gets lost falling out of your pants and below your sofa cushions every month. That $100 would be scarcely missed by most of you but of enormous benefit to the left. So go ahead and do it. You’ll feel much better afterwards, a feeling that is hard to come by in these gloomy times.
A Final Plea from CounterPunch Editor Jeffrey St. Clair
I don’t like begging for money. None of us at CounterPunch do. We understand that money is a weapon, invariably used against the poor and the defenseless, with vicious results. Begging for money is distasteful and degrading. But we are trapped by the very system that we are trying to break down. Until the glorious day comes when the system crashes, we need money in order to keep exposing the dire human toll exacted by the neoliberal policies that now rule much of the world.
CounterPunch is not based in a relatively enlightened nation like France, where the government subsidizes small and independent publications. We don’t get infusions of cash from Venezuela’s oil fields or Colorado’s marijuana trade. We don’t inundate you with ads. We don’t take money from big foundations with hidden agendas or political parties or even political sects. We depend on our readers and only our readers to keep us running. No one pulls our strings. Or calls our shots. We are only beholden to you. But that comes at a cost. Once a year our readers have to step up and shoulder part of the burden.
We are not asking for much. Our business manager Becky Grant keeps us on a trim, if not austere, budget. Let me lay it out for you: Our entire annual budget is around $360,000 a year. That’s what it costs to operate the website, publish CounterPunch magazine and CounterPunch Books. Editing and maintaining the website consumes 80 percent of our time, but generates no daily income. We offer it as a kind of commons. We want to keep access to the website free to all.
Every month, hundreds of thousands of people access the CounterPunch site–most of them every day or two. Of course, if each of our online readers contributed only $10 we wouldn’t have to humiliate ourselves with another fund drive for five years. But we know that’s not the case. Many readers can’t even afford that much. Others simply won’t contribute. That places the burden on our core group of supporters, the many thousands of people across the world who identify themselves as “CounterPunchers.” This year more and more CounterPunchers are donating, but they’re donating smaller amounts than in the past. We know times are hard. We know that the recession has only evaporated for those in the top 1%.
But in recent weeks, two generous CounterPunchers have come forward to ease the burden a bit. They have offered to match any contribution of more than $100–and through our monthly donation option–you can get your $100 matched for as little as $10 per month. I urge you to please take advantage of this opportunity offer.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunchor purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash…)
Jeffrey St. Clair
PS: If you’ve already donated, we appreciate your support. For those that donated through the Postal Service, we will be mailing you a receipt soon.
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