Fortune (June 2019)
Created in collaboration with Boy Vereecken, Olivia Parkes
While much of my writing has been about privilege in general, this essay zeroes in on the functioning the trust funds. How can one find oneself in hundreds of pages of estate planning documents, portfolios distributed across many countries and asset classes, and tax and accounting needs which require staff and expertese - how can one ever have enough intelligence to master that which one must one day call one’s own? Struggles to find the requisite knowledge to understand and one day manage the millions for which I will be responsible, I find to my dismay that alienation is written into the language of the agreement that bequeaths to me my fortune. Can it ever be had? The question points back to a basic problem money in general, and capital more particularly - the origin of my family’s fortune in finance and it’s means of perpetuating itself via investment.
This essay portrays the basic desire of the individual to write an own story that integrates the traumatic and external aspects of his or her origins. Capital, always already alienated, is a repressed memory of both society at large and the subjects it inheres. These essays take the tension of structure and agency at play, relocating debates around finance from their usual place at the systemic level, focusing instead on how they are made legible on the level of the individual, bringing to utterance the persistent personal discontent at the root of the politico-economic system in which we live. This re-oriented reading of finance and the subject allows the reader to see themself as a product as a systemic order, asking how the subject may in turn facilitate certain modes of alienation enabling our political and economic systems.