Now, if you think about it, these are, in fact, the distinctive features of anarchists.
In order to work, a heterarchical society needs mature, responsible, empathic, individualized citizens, whose sense of right and wrong is not something being decreed from the outside and from above, but comes from within, from one’s spiritual and intellectual integrity guiding their behaviour.
Anarchists have no need for a higher authority to impose “harmony” and “discipline” upon them because they are not human predators; coercion, violence and subordination nauseate them. They understand that they are interdependent and complementary (like the organs of a body), and therefore cooperation, patience, open-mindedness and love is all they need.
Essentially, in such an ideal society – mostly comprising voluntary, episodic, irregular and temporary communities in which each individual’s potential is not realised at the expense of others, but along with others –, pyramidal, hierarchical government would be a symptom of some kind of deficiency for, as memorably stated by R. W. Emerson (Politics, 1844): “The appearance of character makes the State unnecessary”.
The problem that confronts us today , and which the nearest future is to solve,. is how to be one’s self and yet in oneness with others, to feel deeply with all human beings and still retain one’s own characteristic qualities. This seems to me to be the basis upon which the mass and the individual, the true democrat and the true individuality, man and woman, can meet without antagonism and opposition.
Emma Goldman, Red Emma Speaks
More, bigger, faster, cheaper, nastier has built an economy that might just be in furious pursuit of mediocrity…The pursuit of more, bigger, faster, cheaper, nastier too often seems to demand putting what, why, and who we love at the end of the list, the underworld of the inbox, the bottom of the heap. That’s a recipe for stagnation, whether for people, communities, cities, countries, or the globe. But the converse…
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