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anarchy

Live True  –  or  –  Larks!

The point being that the lives of millions of Americans are being damaged by the selfish and sometimes criminal actions of a very few persons with extreme wealth and power, aided by a major political party, and we must therefore band together in resistance and civil self-defense, to achieve a sane and healthy society.

Nothing that I say in these pages is new.

These thoughts are not difficult.  They don’t require much education.

They require courage.  Courage to open our eyes to what is really in front of us, courage to see clearly and think accurately, and courage to live true to reality.

If I can think these thoughts, anybody can.

We must not be afraid to imagine, and then to critique and to do.  (For Americans, that’s the patriotic thing.  How else did we come to be Americans?)  We must not allow the 1% and the Right Wing Extremists in the Republican Party to cower us with their fear mongering propaganda.

I don’t know that I can get very far with this, but it’s worth a try, because we simply must make another advance in our democracy, such as Thoreau called for.

We don’t have to step off a cliff and not be satisfied with anything less than Utopia.  We just need something much better than what we’ve currently got.

What we’ve got is a plutocracy, moving toward fascism, structured politically as a weak democracy in which the very powerful few, using one of the major parties as their tool, suppress the vote and in other ways manipulate and even steal elections.  Truth is ignored and moral obligation is denied.  All the rest of the citizens are reduced to a condition of economic desperation that makes them vulnerable to theft—in various forms of criminality, deception, exploitation.  Wealth and power increasingly flow from the many to the very few.  As the many become increasingly desperate, they are increasingly vulnerable to fear, propaganda and demagoguery, prejudice and hatred, division.  They turn against each other, even against their own interests, and are rendered powerless.  Government is demonized.  Community identity is discouraged.  Collective action is made illegal.  The integrity of law is undermined.  Religion is politicized and monetized.  Everything is turned into a commodity (to be bought, sold, or gambled).  Money is the only measure of good.  Crony capitalism and political corruption are rampant.  The reward for labor is driven down, and with it goes the value of human life.  Our environment (both natural and manufactured) is destroyed.  Women and minorities especially are suppressed.

But, as somebody put it, we can do better.

So, admittedly this is my fantasy.  It differs from the libertarian fantasy, in that it emphasizes community, knowing that we are not each an island entire and of itself, and finding self-empowerment in the care of others.  It differs from capitalist fantasies, in that its purpose is not to make persons rich and powerful, it does not include a built-in principle of inequality, and it does not function as a system of exploitation.  It differs from the philosophically conservative fantasy, in that it does not propose that humans are inherently bad.

Nor does it propose that humans are inherently good.  IMHO humans are simply innately capable of both good and bad.  Perhaps brain science will show that some individuals are genetically inclined toward good, or toward bad, because of the effects of their dna on their brain functioning.  But I suspect that the vast majority of us are bent by both nature and nurture to go back and forth—luckily, with the capacity to learn to do more good than bad.

When I say anarchy, I’m not talking about throwing bombs (Americans have done enough of that), or breaking store windows.   That’s either the Egodrama of posers, or the hormonal excitement of the unavoidably inexperienced, or the ruthless recklessness of the delusionally self-centered, or the ignorance of fools being paid to sabotage the resistance, or it’s violent revolutionary overthrow.

99%Occupy is none of those.  It seeks genuine, profound, democratic change, that evolves steadily into realization of our best imagination of ourselves.  That is the basis of both our critique of current American society, and our vision of a better one that we are acting to bring into being.

It may be that for the immediate purpose of engaging enough Americans to disempower the XtremeRich, an adequate vision of a better future is simply a return to the American dream of fairness, equality, and achievement of a decent middle class life.  But I think we can and should build something even better.

Achieving anarchy will take a lot of time.  We will have to evolve society into it.  But we should no longer wait to get started in a serious way.  The first step is to imagine it, and many writers and thinkers have offered such imaginings.

So I’m going to “think out loud” on this page, as I try to figure out what I can imagine—and that’s the way anarchy will come into being: creatively, and pragmatically, as we find out what we can do, what works, as we are doing.

4 Qs:  What is anarchy?  How will it come about?  Why?  What are the limits of anarchy (within the anarchy and at its edges)?

 

“What larks, Pip!”  – Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

I have decided to name my anarchy “Larks!”.

Thinking about Larks!:

What I’m talking about speaks in the word, itself:  “an-archy”.  Ancient Greek.  The “an” or “a” prefix was a negator.  The “Archon” was a ruler.  “Archy” points to a structure of society and governance with a ruling person or group.  Typically that structure has included a “hierarchy”:  “hieros” meaning “sacred”, and thus a laddered organization with the most sacred members at the top, and then on down.  An example from theology would be the placement of a god at the top, and then the organization by rank of the higher to lower angels and other heavenly types.  “Mon-archy,” a single ruler, in our history suggests a king, sitting above descending ranks of the nobility, all of whom rule the vast bottom populace for the purpose of gathering wealth to keep themselves in power.

What might be the characteristics of a society with no ruler and minimal hierarchy?

I love you, body and soul.

First and foremost, I’m envisioning an American society, inseparable from All Earth, in which we all attend to the health of the body and the soul (intertwined, inseparable, neither more important than the other) of every person, and of the One Being.

Where a body (a person, a community, the world) is present, a soul is present; where a soul is present, a body.  Body and soul meet emotionally.  They love each other (at first sight), and form a bond, each recognizing the greater value of the other, since the basis of value is love, the clearest and fullest Reason.

No body, no soul; no soul, no body; and as one suffers and weakens, the other declines (though the symptoms may be bloat or wraith).  As a community loses its soul, its persons suffer in body.

Thinking:  With love and wholeness (holiness, health) as the bases of value (as opposed to wealth and power), people lose interest in hierarchy, and organize and function without it.

Furthermore this attitude functionally recognizes the law of constant change.  Distribution of power (as energy, not coercion; always shared and maximally local) constantly shifts to meet the task at hand.  Energized groupings tend to emerge, perform the needed task, and recede.

And look:  with no hierarchy there can be no sexism!  Ta daaa!  Or racism or such.  Everybody is equal in everybody’s eyes.  Or to put it another way:  if we eliminate sexism we eliminate hierarchy.  Imagine that!  What is more revolutionary than to eliminate sexism?  In that day, indeed, the lion shall lie down with the lamb.  I can just see it.

Thinking:  Anarchy is nonviolent, democratic community, and can be achieved only nonviolently.

Working Draft of some practicalities of the community, Larks! (revised 6/5/12):

These are ideas that I think would work, when adapted by persons with the requisite expertise.  More important is that they represent a different mindset—dare I dream zeitgeist—than the current prevailing folkways.

There are some things that make anarchy likely, and there are some things that anarchy makes likely.  They walk hand in hand.  For instance Care taking and anarchy.  In Larks! the principal principle is care taking.  (Not, eg, profit taking.)

Elections

Members of governance are elected from among a list of persons who have volunteered to take on the responsibility.  Candidates (1) submit resumes, and (2) are graded by the elections committee regarding criteria such as previous conduct while in office.  Not-for-profit organizations with interests in specific matters such as parks, water quality, commerce, also offer statements of support.  Other nonproft organizations may be formed to facilitate campaigning by a candidate, or to inform the public regarding vital issues; but such organizations are incorporated for only a brief period before the election and must report and disband within a month after the election.  Media campaigning is facilitated by community governance and is kept to a minimum.

Ownership of property

In the community of Larks! nobody owns the Earth, and nobody owns the local earth.  Care for the locale on which Larks! resides is the responsibility of community governance, with participation by every member of the community; and in return for good care, citizens lease (by individual, family, other groups) local plots, with categories of use, by contract with Larks! as administered by community governance.  The lease may be renewed (at reasonable intervals), upon certification of good care.

Other Topics:  99%OCCUPYnutshellnonviolentpowerhistorymisogynyracismmoneywealth gap 1wealth gap 2republican partynamescapitalismfascismother ismspathologiessocial justice 1social justice 2social justice 3soulbody and soulthingsanarchyactionsbtwbib

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