Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is Anarchy?

We live in interesting times, for one thing Australia has a Prime Minister for which opinion polls have no meaning, sway or context. I think Julia Gillard is a moron and not fit to be called a world leader but due to the balance of power her government may be the exact freakish collision of low probabilities that Climate change needs. Whilst posessing none of the qualities I desire in a leader - intelligence, courage and astringency - she behaves as though she does, why? Because her choice is simple, capitulate to the demands of the greens and the independants or NOT BE PRIME MINISTER.

Don't get me wrong, Tony Abbott is a disaster that our best hope resides in history simply forgetting him, behind these two leaders stand Wayne Swann, Joe Hockey, the cream at the top of a list of people you probably wouldn't want running a milkbar. But it is refreshing, even invigorating to see somebody just selfishly choose to be prime minister and damn the rest to hell... and subsequently wind up doing the right thing. Australia will have a Carbon Tax, it will actually for once in its history be a world leader. In under twelve months time the average 'punter' will recieve $15,000 grand more tax free threshold the carbon tax will come in and - nothing will happen.

Well not nothing, big companies will reduce their tax liabilities by reducing their carbon emissions. They will refrain from causing the mess they didn't previously have to pay for.

That's interesting. Also interesting is this news story that is not a news story, journalism has been readily ignorable for years now. I have lived without reading any news, except on sports for 3 years and I have suffered no penalties for being 'uninformed' largely due to the fact that 'journalism' now days is not informative. But the London riots, they just fucking happened, no catalyst, no moral, no story. Details emerged, but that's fucking it. They are just happening.

For the first time in months I went to The Age's website to try and read an article about what Bishop's assasination or electoral result had triggered the riots in the UK and found nothing. Not only does this confirm there's no real need to read newspapers, but I saw shit described as 'Anarchy'

I am an anarchist and a lot of people expect me to believe that riot's and such, societal breakdown are the anarchist ideal. I would contend that what you see in a riot is usual a bi-product of authoratarianism. The violent and destructive outbursts are a reaction to the rule of law.

On the rule of law, I am not so committed to Anarchy that I don't for example believe in some kind of legal structure - the public perception of how an alleged peadophile should be treated I think indicates that when a mob of mothers think somebody only suspected of a crime should be gelded then murdered, you need some kind of mechanical judicial process to intervene and protect the potentially innocent even YES even at the cost of letting some genuinely guilty people get off easily.

But Anarchy is really, really simple:

Anarchy is the belief that people don't need to be told what to do.

It's pretty much a belief in the communities ability to govern itself. With an uneducated community, I couldn't hold this belief. Yes, my own community is not ready for Anarchy, because it is so uneducated. Each year hundreds, if not thousands of students graduate from high school that are functionally illeterate. I would suspect more go out into the world innumerate. I suspect the vast majority of people graduating high school will fully grasp terms of governance like 'tyranny of the majority' and 'innocent until proven guilty' 'burden of proof' etc.

My work in a call center exposes me to enough examples of people who assume what the law is without any actual knowledge at all. The number of people that lack the imagination to concieve that 'dinner-time' is going to vary household to household, if indeed any household actually follows a fixed schedule at all.

Here is my simple test of a societies 'readiness for Anarchy', that is when the dumbest member of society can still appreciate that a single queue at KFC is the fairest and most efficient way to queue.

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