Sunday, February 04, 2007

No Gods: No Masters

Was listening to one of the 'In Our Time' programmes on Radio 4 and got a shock - I thought I knew all about Anarchism - and I don't.

It is one of those concepts you here about rather a lot -indeed, i even read about some of its authorities - and assume you understand, but it turns out you were totally mistaken.

Anarchism is not chaos - which is what most teenagers think it is (and that is the age most people stop thinking about it).

There appears to be a duality in us - an urge for authority and a need for independence - a wish to be ourselves and a dependence on others.

Anarchism is part of the needs and wishes for individuality.

Tracing the 'Anarchist tendencies' back through history it is not surprising to come across the likes of Socrates - and Xeno - in the early threads of the thought.

Nor is it a surprise to find Plato - a product of Socrates - swing against the tendency to produce his Republic - the proto-manual for fascism.

No surprise either in finding Anarchist thoughts amongst the more revolutionary elements in the English Revolution - The Diggers, of course, were soon squashed by the authorities, but not before they left us with 'The World Turned Upside Down'.

But more interesting has been the discovery that I am something of an anarchist myself: My move to Romania, the desire to feed and live on my own away from the borders and restrictions which have impinged on my life, all smell distincly anarchistic to me.