Comment: authority in anarchy

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authority in anarchy

Beyond my petty temptation to bicker over seth's use of the word "achieved", you've inspired me to comment about "authority structures". Ruler, monarch, dictator, president, leader, director, executive, producer, executive, chairman, father, teacher, mentor... all of these terms imply context. "Anarchy" certainly implies the situation void of my first term listed, but the principle of anarchy may be aimed toward lessening the import of any such terms. Structures of authority to some degree are perfectly organic. It's ultimately a matter of jurisdiction. Tradition, custom, rule... breaking tradition, breaking custom, breaking rules... we attempt conscious distinction between subtle [and sometimes bold] variations in color of these terms, we juggle them, all the while as they simultaneously fade subconsciously into their common hue.

At my mother's house the rules include removal of shoes at the door and lowering the toilet seat cover upon flushing. No rules as such at my house. At church and my place of hired work I remove my hat. When my kids were young I was a totalitarian dictator of a dad. "We're going to the park!" "Eat this!" "Go to bed!" Family things are a bit more democratic these days, but even democracy bears structures of authority.

Self-rule is a continual ideal that at best moderates all my situations and keeps my liberties from getting out of hand. By "out of hand" I mean the double entendre of one, abusing my own liberties, and two, essentially losing them altogether. Self-rule inspires volunteerism and free association [implying that I will at times associate], and these principles are what keep me on a path of moral progress. I often choose to embrace the authority of others in many situations as I have already described. Sometimes I even embrace the absurd ideal of total absence of rules until I expeience the dire urge to eat, poop, or sleep.

I guess what I'm saying is that anarchy is unconcerned with eradicating authority, and unconcerned with eradicating most "authority structures". More specifically it is concerned with not allowing the structures [that will always naturally exist] to become to pervassive or invassive, centralized or homogenized. Jurisdiction... anarchy is not the state of affairs at my mom's house, mom rules! and I'm okay with that, her carpet is really nice, I love to lay around on it. We certainly don't need a central authority enacting laws for all across the land to remove their shoes at all doors. A few years back I would remove my shoes in my own house when my mother came for a visit. I no longer do this. One day she just ceased removing her shoes, she was apparently okay with that. Well, I eventually realized that she was more than just okay with that. She was happy to not remove her shoes as she had become arthritic. It pained her to put them back on. I eventually got a girlfriend who tried talking me into making my house a shoe-free zone. It is not unrelated that my mother, upon getting to know her, secretly nicknamed her "the little dictator". :D