|From "Joan Danvers' College Years" (davidchess.com)|
A TV talkshow host* once asked me point-blank during a panel discussion if I were an anarchist.
“Of course,” I unhesitatingly replied, which took him aback. He quickly changed the subject. I guess the talkshow host, like most people I meet, was unaware what “anarchy” actually means.
My Oxford Concise Dictionary tautologically defines anarchy as “a society or political system founded on the principles of anarchism.” And how does it define anarchism? “Belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis.”
The Concise Oxford Dictionary is a bit off the mark here. It fails to distinguish between internal and external government. There’s a vast difference between self-imposed discipline and discipline enforced upon us by those who claim to know what’s best. The true anarchist is a self-governing entity who attains freedom from external dictates through rigorous integrity and transparency. As Bob Dylan wryly observed: “To live outside the law you gotta be honest.”
And how does one become honest?
Very simple. First you have to replace the concept of a judgmental and punitive parent-deity with an essentially loving, non-judgmental and extremely friendly notion of divinity - sort of a best buddy and trusted confidant(e). The problem is that souls evolve at different rates – and at this point in time the grossly immature ones appear to outnumber the ones who have made it through to self-governance.
(Incidentally the word “govern” comes from the Latin gubernare - “to steer or rule” – borrowed from the original Greek word kubernan, which simply means “to steer.”) This makes anarchism a difficult, if not impossible, ideal.**
Which explains why the word “anarchy” has been commonly misinterpreted as “disorder and general unruliness.”
In truth, anarchy is the final state to which monarchy aspires. How so? An enlightened ruler’s essential function is to be a shining example of dignity, nobility, and self-control for his or her subjects to emulate (just as a real teacher would be fulfilled to watch his or her students graduate as teachers in their own right).
Governance begins with monarchy and evolves through a whole gamut of isms before it finally achieves anarchism – the glorious state wherein “political parties” are defined as grand public celebrations at which everybody eats, drinks, and makes merry – and the human race transforms into the human dance.
As children we learn to lie in order to avoid punishment from grown-ups who would never understand why we do the things we do. Remove the punishment and – voila! – the crime disappears. But... but... but... I can hear the vociferous objections from the peanut gallery.
My old pal Socrates postulated that one sure way of telling true from false authority is simply this: false authority inevitably resorts to coercion, while true authority has all the patience in the world, since it emanates from the timeless realm.
Politics is fond of posing as a self-improving system of governance but we all know it actually boils down to who calls the shots. People mistake FORCE for POWER. If you disagree with me, I’ll nuke you! That’s FORCE of the crudest order. If you criticize my management style I’ll throw you in jail! That’s FORCE too, even if it takes the form of a threat.
So how does TRUE POWER reveal itself?
It encourages and inspires. It loves and loves. Note that the words "encourage" and "inspire" have powerful etymologies. Courage derives from corage, to give heart; and inspirare means to “breathe or blow into” (and that’s how we get the word spiritus).
To inspire is to fill others with spirit, semangat. That’s the proper definition of TRUE POWER. Love as a verb, not just a noun.
In short, politics as it is practiced on this planet is largely a grotesque travesty of real (and royal) values. Look what’s happening in America (“Home of the Brave, Land of the Free”) – electoral fraud and skullduggery got Dubya the presidency twice... then came Barack Obama and little changed... now American voters are over a barrel with two unelectable candidates! When business jumps into bed with politics guess who gets thoroughly screwed?
Taxpayers of the world, start governing yourselves! George Harrison once sang about the ones “who gain the world and lose their souls.” Well, do you fancy being governed by the soulless? I bet not! However, no need to rush out into the streets to get water-cannoned, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, bludgeoned, finger-printed, incarcerated and tortured.
Evolution, not revolution!
Deactivate your reptilian fear programming in the privacy of your own mind! The fewer fears you cling to, the more you’ll be able to empathize, understand, and love. When you mature as conscious souls, you’ll find you actually have no enemies. You’ll outgrow the need to scapegoat, to pin the blame on somebody else. You’ll no longer create demons to appease, obey, or be tormented by - or a Big Brother to protect you from your own shadow self.
For a start, wean yourself off your addiction to that lethal dose of daily news from the mainstream media – you know who controls the programming, don’t you? The stuff is psychically toxic, designed to slowly, imperceptibly poison your sense of well-being like arsenic mixed into the paintwork.
When you finally locate the innermost core of your being, you’ll find your sovereign self regally seated on your own throne. You’ll know the meaning of dignity, integrity, nobility – and, above all, compassion. As each individual attains this blessed state of divine sovereignty, the brutal stupidity of politics will be expelled like so much stinky flatus by the transmutative power of internal, chromosomal, genetic change – the only real (and royal) change there is.
*That TV talkshow host, incidentally, was a smooth-talking young fella named Khairy Jamaluddin, who subsequently married the Prime Minister's daughter and became an extraordinarily rich shit-stirrer in Umno Youth (the Malaysian version of Mussolini's Blackshirts).
**Attaining true anarchy may be "difficult, if not impossible" - but do bear in mind that prior to 8 March 2008 most Malaysians believed that depriving the Barisan Nasional of their parliamentary two-thirds majority was well nigh "impossible."
[Published in VIDA! January 2005 © Antares; first published in this blog, 17 May 2007, reposted 2 November 2008]