Every so often I’ll peruse my drafts folder to unearth some bits of hastily written wisdom or quagmire of a piece of writing longing to be abandoned completely. To close the book on them and to actually post something in this space that nobody sees, I’ll publish them incomplete or tie an ugly, inadequate bow on them and send them out into the world to finally be forgotten. This is one of those posts.
[This is something I started probably 3-3 1/2 years ago, before I changed jobs. Common to most changes that are essentially lateral moves, the change is refreshing…until it becomes stale, too, which is about now, I suppose.]
When I got my current job about 8 years ago it was like getting on the freeway. Things were progressing fast and the scenery was often new. Now it seems I’m stuck behind a bus with a powder blue Buick, cloth top, left blinker on pacing beside me at 45 mph. Nobody is going anywhere. The far left lanes speed along as I watch.
[The rest of my notes said to discuss the soul-suffocating culture of the cubical, but that probably isn’t going to happen. My will to finish this was, in fact, crushed by the job culture in which I exist. Cubicles, themselves, aren’t the problem, but just a symptom of the larger disease. They are a symptom that says we are resources to be exploited and filed away, easily replaced if lost or broken, and contained in a bureaucracy that doesn’t encourage or allow growth or advancement. Stay in your compartment, Cog!]
Anarchy: Head, Heart, or Hands?
[A little unfinished examination of the different flavors of anarchist I encountered through all my reading, which is admittedly narrow. Started this in 2009.]
Anarchy is a term that comes with an extreme amount of connotational baggage. Without any sort of etymology or thought, the word anarchist or anarchy is a word used for the sake of shock value or fear mongering. Like invoking the name Hitler, using the term anarchy is supposed to summon the worst thoughts of evil, pandemonium, violence, and essentially the unknown (booga, booga!). The confusion isn’t terribly surprising, though, since even anarchists don’t always hold similar definitions of the term. Anarchy (an·archy) simply means without (an) rulers (archy), and considering the tremendous number of ways people try to rule one another, there can be equally as many ways to oppose that rule. The definition, though almost totally misunderstood in the mainstream, isn’t nearly as important as the substance of such a belief or how one goes about believing it.
The belief in an anarchist means of existence manifests itself in a few different ways, including intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Depending on the individual personality traits of the anarchist, one or more of these manifestations will come to the forefront. In cases such as myself, I followed a progression emphasizing the various manifestations at different times, one building on the other.
One can come to anarchy in many ways. There is no one true path or doctrine; it is anarchy after all. Individuals look upon the concepts and the goals through different lenses and combinations of lenses; the intellectual lens, the emotional lens, and the hands-on lens. The justifications and arguments for anarchy share a similarly wide array as the approaches toward achievement.
The intellectual lens involves much philosophical argument, prognostication, and strategizing. When the strategizing becomes overly focused on the pragmatic (not to be confused with the hands-on lens) politics can come into play, which opens a major (maybe the largest) schism in this particular lens. This lens focuses much on what the world of anarchy will look like and trying to answer all the questions of non-anarchists definitively, regardless of how contrary to the whole idea of anarchy this systematic planning can be (though, to be honest, this prognostication isn’t so much for the benefit of anarchists themselves).
The emotional lens differs from the intellectual lens in that the future and arguments for the foreseen organization of society, including the justifications thereof, aren’t focused on. Instead issues of social justice and the crying out against the wrongs of the current organizations and memes takes precedent. The emotional lens lends itself to passionate arguments and grandiose speech, while avoiding specific prescriptions.
The hands-on lens tends to by-pass the arguments of the other two lenses and moves promptly to direct personal action. Where the other two lenses have a much larger, society-wide focus, the hands-on lens focuses on the individual alone and freeing the individual from the constraining social organizations antithetical to anarchism, for instance by gulching or agorism.
[This is a hint of a rant that never got any further and is not significant…for now.]
So far the overwhelming response of the righteous Enlightened Liberal Progressive Opinion Complex to Newtown is predictably that some laws, regulations, or government regulatory miracle will fix this kind of unpredictable tragedy, thus adding their brick to this wall of violence we call our American culture.