I run almost every day of the trip. Lately it’s been barefoot on the long beaches of the Atlantic. While I run, I think. Sometimes I fantasize. Sometimes it’s about revolution.
This particular fantasy is not meant to be realistic. It’s an anarchist creation myth. Like any creation myth, it’s more about helping us understand what something is than how it comes to be. So, to be clear, if we ever achieve a much more free and equal society, without private property, that could be described as anarchist, it certainly won’t come about in the way presented here. This is revolutionary bubblegum literature that also serves to highlight the differences and similarities between the world we have and the world we could have. So come, strap on your shoes, get this blog into an audio MP3, and fantasize with me. 🙂
It’s the culminating day of years of popular struggle for non-capitalist direct democracy. State authority has collapsed as a result of mass defections to the revolutionary cause and the people consider the egalitarian general assembly the most just and effective way for managing those affairs that require large-scale coordination.
On the first evening, the people take the first step. They agree to public policy (a recommendation, the compliance with which is based on trust, cooperation, and reason, rather than the threat of force) eliminating the use of money beginning the following day. The recommendation is to go about your day as you would, but leave the money out of it. The teachers don’t notice much of a difference, but the bank tellers have a pretty odd day.
On the second evening, the people take the second step. Those who don’t have enough of basic necessities are encouraged to take what they need. A child eats kale instead of Cheetos. He’s a bit unhappy with the revolution at the moment, but probably less likely to die of diabetes. A foreclosed family moves back into their home. The doctors are launched into weeks of chaos.
On the third evening, the people take the third step. Those whose jobs are useless are instructed to find something else to do, and those who are overworked reduce their labor to what they deem appropriate. A single-mother goes home to read to her daughter after her shift at the solar panel factory. An Ameriprise account manager takes over that mother’s night shift at their neighborhood Starbucks, where he used to begin each day with a purchase. The coal miners call it a day at 2:00 and plan a meeting to discuss whether or not they should continue mining coal. The Wall Street bankers end their two days of mindless wandering and get to work organizing the relocalization of the economy. A sugary cereal advertiser stays home to play video games.
On the fourth evening, the people take the fourth step. They release the non-violent prisoners and recommend all military personnel return home. The police are only to protect people from violence. Christopher puts on his own clothes and meets his family for dinner. A soldier dismantles her gun, but chooses to remain in Afghanistan for awhile to help build schools for girls in the mountains there. The borders open to human travel. A deported mother reunites with her kids at their soccer game in Galveston.
On the fifth evening, the people take the fifth step. They reprioritize the economy. Large numbers of workers who have stopped doing useless construction, advertising, and nothing begin the rapid transition to renewable energy and more localized infrastructure. Rust belt factories start modernizing and reopening to produce necessary goods without relying on exploitation of desperate workers elsewhere. Styrofoam production stops forever. Automation is pursued wherever possible, to reduce the amount of human labor necessary and expand time for leisure and education. A process is laid out to train hundreds of thousands of new teachers, plumbers, and doctors. All adults are encouraged to attend socially and personally useful university classes.
On the sixth evening, the people take the sixth step. The food and medicine immediately needed in less wealthy parts of the world are sent there. Raw materials in the developing world remain there where workers make shoes and salads and soccer balls for themselves, not just for us. The ships crossing the Pacific, now half as many, stop bringing disposable junk to California and instead deliver anti-malarial bed nets to Southeast Asia. For the first time, a family in Honduras eats three meals in one day.
On the seventh evening, a bunch of people throw a crazy party, some meditate in the woods, and a family plays scrabble, using the dictionary as arbiter of challenges. It’s anarchy.
– Adam (w/ Jesse)
from Fort Lauderdale