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Larks!: Introducing An Anarchy (1)

July 1, 2015

I’ve been threatening (here and here) to unleash a healthy, happy, nonviolent, democratic community on the world, and here it is! Larks! WA.

Like democracy, and humanity, Larks!, a pragmatic anarchy, is a work in progress.

So let’s see.  Where to begin?  With a popular saying:  “Begin everywhere.”  With Lao Tzu:  “In sympathy with each being.”

Larks! (as you might already know) was founded in Iowa by Czech-speaking immigrants who had recently settled in that state. They renamed their farming community, in the summer of 1893, feeling a rush of inspiration when Antonin Dvořák came to live and compose nearby. The meadowlarks that were plentiful in Iowa at that time gave wing to their feeling that they could live together in such a healthy way that each morning (even in the winter as they revived their hearth fires and drank fresh, ice-cold water) would be a new world. They set themselves to figuring out, together, in practice, how they could make that life.

Over the years the descendants of those founding families sought their livelihoods in many states, and countries. By the 1920s, westward migration brought many of the younger generation to resettle, in the valleys of the Cascades, east of Seattle but West of the rest (and yes, young Larks!ians were active in the nonviolent protest against WTO, but not wearing black—they were dressed as turtles and such, and as workers and homeless people). By the 1930s, Larks! WA had become a small town and center of a “diverse” (as we would describe it today) migrant community. By 1950 it had become widely known, among persons who shared that vision of a good life.

Larks! is a small city now, much like Everett. On future pages, as I’m thinking out loud about anarchy, as a viable option for advancing our democracy, I’ll describe life in this community, and I’ll explore how it contributes to our understanding of the psychopathology of American democracy (and btw, anarchy is a psychopathology too, a pathos of the soul).

These are an imagined, and most important, an imaginative people, in some ways like the imaginary friends who enlivened my childhood with imagination, and who prepared my way for others, like them but touchable, family and dear friends who have enlivened my life and my imagination even more.

Dear Reader, everywhere in this novel I’m counting on you to add your imagination. Especially in this episode, ”Larks!.” I’m convinced that a significant decrease of hierarchy in governance and society in general is a key to creating a vastly more healthy human life. I believe it can be done, if we imagine our way through it, and if we have the courage and compassion to defeat the self-centered, greedy bastards who are trying to dominate the rest of the country.

An example of life in Larks!

[Introducing (2). Contents page for “Larks!”]

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