Archive for July, 2010
Overview: The following article, ‘Anarchy and Order’ and subsequent discussion was published on the Anarchistnews.org website on July 20, 2010 and includes comments and discussion through to July 27, 2010. The last comment posted at that time was ‘Makes sense! Thanks’ by Squee on July 25, 2010.
This overview is to provide some contextual perspective (the article and discussion is copied ‘as is’ without edits) of where the author of the article is ‘coming from’ since the reader may otherwise ‘come in’ to the reading employing one or other of the very different definitions of ‘anarchism’ that are ‘out there’ in the mainstream media and/or in the intellectual writers forums.
To the author of the article, ‘anarchism’ may be compared directly with ‘decolonization’, a term used by indigenous peoples of North America (‘Amerindians’). The ‘decolonization’ movement (e.g. see Taiaiake Alfred’s video presentation at http://vimeo.com/4650972 ) [taiaiake starts speaking at the 10 min. 22 sec. mark]) orients to ‘the resurgence of traditional ways of being’. It has this in common with the ‘de-westernization’ that is implicit in ‘anarchism’. That is, the quest is for a way of life that is indicated by the Lakota words ‘Mitakuye oyasin’ (‘we are all related’, not just humans but.everything in Nature). This way of life is ‘backwards’ from our western urbanized or government organized way of life in that the organization is ‘extrinsically shaped’ by the dynamics of the space we are included in. For example, if one is in a sailboat in a storm, or driving a small car or motorcycle in the flow of the freeway, the spatial-relational dynamics we are included in extrinsically shape or individual and collective behaviour; i.e. ‘how we are organized’ is orchestrated from the outside-inward. By contrast, if one is on the Titanic and/or if one is in a semi-trailer or tank in the flow of the freeway, the organization is ‘intrinsic’ (directed from this inside-outward) and is deliberate intention/purpose driven.
In the west, since Aristotlelian ‘telos’ became dominantly popular; i.e. the belief that dynamics in nature are governed by ‘intrinsic final cause’ (e.g. the acorn is directed by its inner ‘purpose’ to become an oak tree), western intellectual/scientific man has conceived of himself as a ‘purposeful system’ (i.e. as having locally originating, internal purpose directed behaviour). This Aristotelian notion of the organism as a purposeful system has been built into western biology and into Darwin’s theory of natural selection. The ‘purposeful system’ view of humans and organisms is ‘over-simplied’ in that it ignores the extrinsic shaping influence that we experience in the dynamic space of nature. Nature, as we experience it in ‘real-life’, is ‘purposeless’ (anarchic); i.e. it is a ceaselessly innovative unfolding field of spatial-relationships in which we are each uniquely situationally included. In its entirety, there is no ‘encoding of what Nature is going to become, nor is there any ‘local internal purpose’ directing its unfolding (Nature is not one ‘giant acorn’ knowledgeably pushing out of itself on its way to becoming a ‘giant oak tree’). But western intellectual scientific thinking (the mainstream or popular variety which we build into our institutions::education, governance, justice) has locked-on to the purposeful system model of Aristotle, and imposes it on the individual ‘members’ of the ‘organization’ (the state, corporation, membership club etc.) The social ramifications are huge. As McLuhan pointed out, the purposeful system orientation blinds us to what is really going on. While we purposefully focus on constructing a factory in a small town (where ‘labour’ and ‘materials/resources’, the ‘factors of purposeful production’ are available), it matters little whether this purposeful system makes “Cadillacs or cornflakes”, what matters is how our relationships with one another and with the land are transformed. It’s not that we shouldn’t have technology, its just whether we should put ‘Mitakuye oyasin’ first as the orchestrator of our behaviours, or whether we should ignore it as is the current western way; i.e. our ‘western ethic’ is to focus purposefully on achieving our self-interested objectives/destinations. ‘Decolonization’ and ‘anarchism’ are both to do with ‘restoring to its natural primacy, the ethic of Mitakuye oyasin’. ‘Decolonization’ and ‘anarchism’ implicitly represent the resurgence of natural ways of being, the ‘reconnecting’ in the wake of western ‘disconnecting’. The traditional ‘connected way’ can still be found in the ‘spandrels’, those spaces which form ‘in between’ the arches and supportive beams of a deliberate and purposeful architecture, but as purposeful structures increasingly ‘take over’, the last of the spandrels in which the practitioners of Mitakuye oyasin can ‘breathe easy’ are being eliminated.
* * * Start of ‘Anarchy and Order’ Article * * * (more…)
This note is designed to serve as a simple ‘thinking tool’, to remind that there are two ways of visualizing the dynamic behaviour of matter (the dynamics of form and organization) and two ways of understanding the role of space in these dynamics (participating and non-participating), yielding three different ways to contemplate the meaning of any dynamic. The choices we make impact our sense of ‘self’ and ‘society’ and shape our manner of engaging with/in the world dynamic. (more…)
The Mayan prophecy that a 5,125 year cycle will give way to a new cycle on December 21, 2012 has been stirring increasing interest as the date approaches. It excites us to think that we could experience both sides of a ‘turning point’ where our globally pervasive beliefs undergo a radical shift. What was it like to have straddled the flip from the belief that the earth was the centre of the universe to the belief that the earth was one of several planets that circled the sun? What was it like to have straddled Newton’s ‘discovery’ of ‘laws of motion’ that opened a door into a new industrial age? (more…)