Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the subject of anarchy...

by Gabrielle Jones-Price 

After an interesting and lighthearted conversation about rules (personal mostly), I was struck by a statement that my friend offered up about anarchy:

"Anarchists don't build roads or hospitals."

My thought was that anarchists would not build more roads or hospitals by the logic that in this industrial age, we certainly don't need roads more than we need to fix what has already been paved. In the same line of thinking, anarchists would not want to build roads that lead to more strip malls and fast food consumerism that in turn lead more people to hospitals where no one gets proper care, even with expensive insurance policies, adding to more consumption within the pharmaceutical realm where CEO's get richer while people get sicker. Being sick in America is profitable -- it's why there is so much garbage in the food.

It's a system that's flawed because the resource extraction to keep it afloat is inherently violent. That is what an empire looks like and all empires fail. I'm glad others are seeking to build something outside of the existing structure that is more localized and community driven.

Anarchists want to turn that system upside down and sometimes break it, so that we can build a better one than exists. Simply put, if anarchists or revolutionaries did not exist, change would not exist and a world without change does not; cannot evolve. Everything is impermanent. Many anarchists understand this Buddhist philosophy more than most westerners and I feel they embody Gandhi's notion of being the change they wish to see in the world.

They may be unorthodox, kooky, strange or bewildering in behavior but in the end, they do it out of love and a passion for something better than the existing mediocrity of an overly comfortable capitalist society that looks the other way [the left] or cheers for more war [right]. Anarchists believe in the beauty of what lies beyond what most people so easily and too often settle for in this country. Many civil rights pioneers might today be considered anarchists.

Not all anarchists are violent but many are angry because they CARE. Anger is a valid human emotion. Suppressing our anger in the face of injustices puts more people in hospitals due to stress alone.

Hug a local anarchist...they are making changes many Americans are simply afraid to make themselves and those changes will benefit the whole.

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