Comment on Space Collective and Anarchy: A Perfect Match

aaron kinney Fri, Nov 23, 2007

Thoughtful post Aaron. The idea of SpaceCollective standing for principals of post-politics, and post-religion are notions I am also deeply interested in.

Thank you!

But after that distinction, our views differ greatly. You see, there are many perspectives & possibilities in this 'post-ideological' world, and it seems the language & concepts you identify yourself with, are more AGAINST something, rather than FOR something.

Yes, I am well aware of this problem of being against rather than for something. That is why I subscribe to "Market Anarchy" which promotes a system of open competitive markets that are consumer driven, and absent any monopolistic government intervention. But for this post, I wanted to keep it simple as possible.

But this is also the problem I have with many facets of post-modernism. Instead of being enthralled & excited for something passionately, it is instead an ironic dismissal of all the things it is not. Sort of a waste of time and good energy.

True. And to be "post-something" is also to be against rather than for something.

One should always strive to be in a positive affirmative state... in love of the world of it's creation. It's about being for something... being ecstatic about something... crazy in love with something.

Agreed. I, for example, am in love with life, learning, sharing, interacting, and all those things that make us smile. Indeed, since I became an atheist and an anarchist, I have been enjoying life more and more :)

I believe the language and terms you champion, such as 'anarchy', do more harm than good for your righteous cause. Thing is, anarchy has multiple definitions. Yes, it does convey a 'society without government', but it also means a 'chaos', 'social disorder', 'confusion'.

Actually, in this post I explained that order comes from consensual interactions, while chaos and disorder come from the initiation of force.

Not only is this true from a Webster's Dictionary perspective, but more importantly, in the mind-share of the majority of people. Like Atheism, it comes loaded with too much cultural baggage. And comes off more as a bleak proposition, than an inspiring one. Even Ron Paul would not dare call himself an Anarchist, even though he may express some beliefs like one. And recently Sam Harris, one of the principals in the New Atheism movement, has suggested they abandon the descriptor 'Atheist' for similar reasons.

The baggage you speak of is definitely there, and thats one reason why dictionaries give silly descriptors like "chaos" to anarchy. But these baggages must be removed; you dont a priori go looking for a new word just because of social baggage. And while I love Sam Harris and have read his End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, I do not agree with him about ditching the word atheism. Rather, what we should do is promote atheism and anarchy until the words extinguish themselves. We dont have a word for anti-leprechaunism, cause its not necessary. So if we were to popularize and implement these ideas, the words would no longer be necessary.

So if we are to abandon these outworn terms, what would you then call it? Honestly, I don't know. Possibly something new, a new creation, a new idea. Like Buckminster Fuller has eloquently said, 'Don't fight the system. Rather, create a new one'.

Thats the problem. Its pretty much impossible to have a word that is "for" something while simultaneously describing the discarding of a false ideology. For something like that, you need a phrase. You need two words combined. For example: Market Anarchy is a kind of stateless society that utilizes open markets for social function. Market being the positive, and anarchy being the negative. See?

The same thing has happened to the term 'God'. Talk about cultural baggage! And you and I differ here as well, because being post-religion to me, is not the same as being post-God. I do acknowledge a spiritual dimension to our universe, and also know, that our 'reality' is only a faint slice of the mind at large.

It is true that being post religion doesnt mean being post god per se, but it depends on how you define "God." Clearly, you are a smart guy and you are well informed about atheism. So surely you know that what one theist calls "god" can be quite different from what another theist calls "god." I actually once had an argument with a guy who claimed that the universe itself is god. I told him that I use a different definition than that, and that what he calls god I just call the universe. It was very instructive about the different kinds of gods that people envison.

So in many ways, there can be an atheistic world where the "god" that we typically define is no longer believed in, and religion as we know it is gone, but people still believe in some different kind of higher power or force anyway. For my atheistic activism, I typically attack the god concept as theists define it.

Lastly... on your point of 'Consent'. It's a good one, but only part of the picture. It can be better expressed through the choice between Fear & Love. This is the true dividing line. And within Love, you will find consent..... and empathy, peace, progress, unity, joy, and compassion. And not only that, within Love, one actually finds an ecstatic exuberance FOR something.

Good point, but in a way, isnt fear and love just another way to phrase force an consent? Fear is usually a reaction to force, while love is usually a reaction to consent... at the least, they are related concepts. Consent, in my opinion, breeds empathy, peace, progress, unity, joy, and compassion. I would even go so far as to say that consent is a prerequisite for love ;)

I want to thank you again for your thoughtful comment. And I think that you and I disagree on less details than you believe. Most of the things you brought up were things that I omitted or didnt address in favor of brevity and simplicity. Im thinking of doing a follow up post to this one where I flesh out some details... and you gave me some good ideas to touch on when I write it! :)