Wednesday, May 22, 2013
CJE/WWH Hippie News: Meme Bandit --Anarchic Anachronism
Hola, WinSTONE, and boy's n goyls, hippies and straights around the woyld. I too wanna thank Steve for that terrific hook!
The Meme Bandit rides again, today examining this one (Show Image)! Ya like the tie-dyed bandana, I hope??
Howsoever it may be misused by the misguided, who locate it in the universe of disorder alongside such dread social phenomena as "dead babies, ugly women and drug addiction," Anarchism exerts a strong pull on many folks on the "critical" side of the political spectrum. It is hard to disagree that "we" would all be a lot better off if we were not subject to apparently random exercise of arbitrary power. With its promise of mutualism and cooperation, Anarchism seems to promise relief.
Much as I admire--even venerate--Noam Chomsky, perhaps the most influential and erudite advocate of the Anarchic ideal in our present discourses, there is one aspect of it which, it seems to me, gets overlooked, and that is thsi: As a functional system of social organization, anarchy requires every bit as much obedience, orthodoxy, and cooperation as any totalitarian state would.
Any system requires the orderly, mutual, cooperative efforts of the participants for it to function and succeed.
No community can function without internal rules.The enforcement of those rules, whether by consent or by compulsion, is a "government."
As such, for an Anarchist community to succeed on their own terms, it seems, ironically, that they--moreso than even totalitarian states, require absolute unanimity, and the capacity to exclude--by some means or another--those whose disagreements threaten the internal cohesion of the whole.
What does the "anarchist" community do with people who DON'T cooperate?
Exclude them, you say. But how? By what means?
Tribal societies are often held up as models of ideal, "leaderless," anarchic systems.
But tribal societies are NOTORIOUSLY unforgiving of violations of their norms. Trespasses against community norms are ruthlessly rebuked, usually by some figure in the social order who commands mortal power. They unhesitatingly and swiftly banish or kill violators who threaten the established order. If Anarchic communities must exercise the same control, how do they do it without compromising their ideals?
The thing one notices about anarchic/istic communities over the years is how short are their collective life-spans.
Yes, they are often subject to attack by hostile interests.
But that's just the point.
What does an anarchist community do when there's some guy with an army and an attitude--which there ALWAYS is--and who doesn't LIKE you?
Anarchism is a dream, unfortunately, a pipe-dream.
On the large scale of cities and states, anarchist enclaves have been remarkably short lived, moist enduring a couple of years, at most, usually. There were at least FOUR in the 20th Century. The "Free Territory" in Lithuania, after 1918, lasted about three years, but only because it was under the protection of a fierce guerrilla army. The "Shinmin Autonomous Region" in China, endured three years, also in the '20s. Revolutionary Catalonia was subdued in about 11 months between '36 and 37...The rural collectives of Anarchist Aragon didn't survive long after Catalonia fell. The ARCHETYPE of such aspirations, the Paris Commune of 1871, collapsed inside 10 WEEKS. All fell to hostile, external opponents.
When Anarchism been implemented at all, successfully, it has been in small groups. It is practicable, apparently, from the human record, mainly in monasteries and cloisters, communities of such integrated character and shared purpose that dissent is almost non-existent, and opposition is obviated by strict adherence to local standards.
I'd like to think such sharing and respect is possible. But mebbe only at the beach, chers???