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Larks!: Introducing an Anarchy (2)

August 8, 2019

Visitors to Larks!, especially tourists, who have heard of the city but never experienced that kind of coummunity, find it exotic.  At first it feels pleasantly interesting, and easy to enjoy; but some visitors begin to feel out of place, or even challenged or threatened, as they experience occasions when their habitual patterns of identity and action don’t fit.  They gradually realize how different the natives are, as well as the native structures. 

How do I know?

At first, the main thing required to understand life in Larks! is a strong, healthy imagination—just to believe your own eyes when you look around.  For instance, the residents are all at home here.  You’re in a big city with a welcoming climate but there’s no homelessness.  There are lots of places with children playing and adults playing.  At night, there are as many women as men outdoors.  Imagine that!

One thing that makes Larks! similar to many American cities (but different from nearby Seattle) is that few if any anarchists live there.  Citizens of Larks! don’t think of themselves as “anarchists.”  Why would they?  They’re just a bunch of happy Americans.  Of course the tourists are a mixture of “anarchists” (like your narrator, dear reader), who enjoy this minimally hierarchical environment in which they do not have to be self-conscious about their political views—or even political about their political views, and hierarchists, who of course do not think of themselves as “hierarchists,” but rather as more-or-less-happy Americans, many of whom find themselves self-conscious about their political views, like WW1 American farm boys in Paris.

[“Introducing” page (1). Contents page for the episode, Larks!]

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