Monday, 13 March 2006

I wanna be an anarchist

I can't believe I'm quoting the Sex Pistols for the second time in a week...
While most people don't see much of a value in blogging, and even I think it is often just an interesting way to pass the time, I think there is great value to it.
Just like the specification documents I used to write at my now former job, which on the surface of things seem to just state the obvious, blogs have their value: First, the mere act of organizing one's thoughts in writing helps, well, in organizing the thoughts. Sounds silly, but it helps add some constuction and infrastructure to them. I knew I was an athesit, but when it's written down I can relate to each of the reasons why quite easily. And more importantly, others can relate to them, too.
So blogging acheives for me the same purpose an SRS document achieves for a software company. It helps organize and sturcture the build effort, and it helps communicating what it is all about. Only that with this blog it's not a software system that we're discussing, but rather the mundane issue of my life.
Anyway, what I am trying to say with this typically long introduction is that blogging has helped me identify my ideology. I've said here before that I'm anti consumarism and anti capitalism; like Bill Bryson before me I will say that I refuse to believe the best system for managing the interaction between people should be based on greed and selfishness.
I thought about it, I tried to look for an alternative, and although I am not saying this is the ultimate answer to all of mankind's problems, I seem to have find my preferred ideology for now: Anarchism.
Being the chicken that I am, I will add a disclaimer and say there is still a lot of room for me to research anarchy before settling with it, or at least getting up to some level of some satisfaction with it. Let's just say for now that I'm exploring.
Since up to just a few days ago I thought that anarchism is the equivalent of chaos (which always made me wonder when I read letters sent to The Age by Australia's Society for Anarchism and wonder why they seem to make so much sense to me), I will copy and paste the beginning of Wikipedia's definition for anarchism for your reading pleasure.
Let no one say that blogging is time wasting:

Anarchism is derived from the Greek αναρχία ("without archons (ruler, chief, king)"). Anarchism as a political philosophy, is the belief that rulers, governments, and hierarchal social relationships are unnecessary and should be abolished, although there are differing interpretations of what this means. Anarchism also refers to related social movements that advocate the elimination of authoritarian institutions. The word "anarchy," as most anarchists use it, does not imply chaos, nihilism, or anomie, but rather a harmonious anti-authoritarian society. In place of what are regarded as authoritarian political structures and coercive economic institutions, anarchists advocate social relations based upon voluntary association of autonomous individuals, mutual aid, and self-governance.

5 comments:

uri said...

Some bibliography:
1. Cloak of Anarchy - Larry Niven (http://www.larryniven.org/stories/cloak_of_anarchy.htm)
2. The Dispossessed – Ursula K. Le Guin (available at your local library)

You say you’re an anarchist, but you may also wish to consider libertarianism. For an interesting libertarian utopia, you can read
3. The Probability Broach – L. Neil Smith (the next time you in Israel, I can lend you my copy)
4. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert A. Heinlein (available at your library) – Heinlein himself did not consider this a Libertarian novel, but many libertarians do

Moshe Reuveni said...

Wow... There's enough reading and pondering material in there to last a while.
I had a look in Wikipedia again and first impressions show you may be on to something, although the extremist in me still tends to favor anarchism (although, as I said, I have but a very vague idea of the concept).
I was never a big fan of La Guin, and I don't know who this smith guy is, but Mr Niven and Mr Heinlin are greatly appreciated in these quarters; I've printed the Niven story and I regret not saving enough vouchers for Heinlin (next time I go to the library I'll have a look).

Moshe Reuveni said...

Two more comments:
1. When you recommend books and check their availability at the local library, don't forget to mention which branch they're in. Hampton, although closest, is a pain because it's only open from 13:00 to 13:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays (or something similar); Sandringham is just great (and they have loads of DVDs to borrow, too); Brighton is quite posh and you feel sophisticated when you're there; and Beaumaris (pronounced by the locals as something like Balmorris) is nowhere to be found since they reopened it at a new place following some renovations.
2. That said, I'm now working very near to the State Library of Victoria, which is the biggest library in Victoria (which is about the size of the British islands entire). I'm still to examine the place, though, but maybe they even have that Smith book in there.
3. I know I said two, but I just wanted to add that we'll probably have a severe packing problem next time we visit (January, for 10 days, barring some act of god), because I'll need to pack lots of warm clothes. So I may be able to borrow the Smith book, but you'll never get it back.

uri said...

Actually, the State Library of Victoria has a poor selection of SF books. In particular there are no Nivens and only 3 Heinleines.
If you spend more than two days in Israel, you can read the book while you're here.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Thanks for saving me the trip (for now).
As far as our traveling adventures go, we intend to spend 10 days in Israel. Thing is, as boring as your country is, I doubt I'd be in the mood to read much.