June 07, 2004

Invariably, whenever the topic is raised in an open, individual-oriented environment of value systems and the type of government which is to codefy and implement them, somebody will bring up anarchy as an ideal.

Age and socio-political environment are factors here: most would-be anarchs live amid the middle-class, within a stable political environment (the emphasis on individualism has already been mentioned), belong to the dominant racial background or identify strongly with it, and range from 15 to 24 years old. (After the age of majority, anarchy as ideal is more likely to manifest as libetarianism.) No accident, I think, that this group just happens to fall solidly within the pre-university/university demographic - expecially among those who have chosen to delay childbearing or occasionally reject it altogether.

Not one of them has ever lived within anarchy. Few of them have any living relatives who have done so, or any family stories of such life: indeed, for most, their relevant conception of family is limited to the immediate relatives of parents and siblings and possibly grandparents and close cousins who don't live with them. Their understanding of anarchy is the freedom to lead their own lives as they see fit, without unwanted outside interference: for social organisations, governments, corporations, any entity which has unwanted dominance oer a valued aspect of their lives, over their absolute individualism, to "leave me alone!"

A state of anarchy removes any codefied obligation, mutual or otherwise, to diamond-hone all human interaction into a Darwinian struggle not only for the power which prerequisites survival, but also for the power to dictate by which parameters such power is to be measured: because whatever is to be the relevant measure of power dictates the ability to enforce all else. (This is one reason why international law incarnates one form of anarchy ... and pure capitalism another.)

Within anarchy, human beings other than ourselves cannot but be seen within their value - or interference with - oneself, personally and individually; and consequently one's ability to act within that perceived value toward one's own, individual, maximum benefit.

Nothing in any of this suggests in any way that individual rights, even to life, have any inherent self-evidence. (In fact, the rejection of any human rights other than freedom is a strong indicator of a disguised anarchy.) In such a system, preservation of life has no inherent value. One survives either by not having irritated anyone else (even by simple consumption of resources) past the risk threshold of acting; or one finds a way to make one's own life valuable to others such as to overbalance personal consumption of resources. The first such value encountered in life is genetic: evolving the clan and an emphasis on children and experienced elders within that clan.

Any writer of fiction, any scientist of life, any student of human interaction, any craftsman of metal, any person sublimated to the machine, any hunter, any healer: knows how very easy it is to kill, and to be killed.

What protects us, all that protects us, are the connections.


Smile of the day:

The founder of yet another would-be utopian society asked the Pope why it was that people refused to believe in her vision, but readily embraced the Catholic version of heaven?

Came the reply: "We never show ours."

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