… Social Survival / Family / Family Interference
My politics, in a nutshell, is anarchism: I don’t believe in centralized control. Oh I don’t mean I’m unaware that Hitlers and Stalins and Johnson-Nixon-Bushes exist; I mean I don’t support their tresspasses. My offer of the Free Learning Exchange in 1970 — social networking, cybernetic data basing, digital facsimiles, digital publishing … the world’s first potentially complete and free marketplace — supported by the public, used by the public, could have gotten us out from under the control of the monopolists, hypocrites, the hogs: that was an anarchist offering! Translate that differently, no less accurately: that was a Christian offering! Different yet: that was a message from God (despised, just like Christ)! …
I want people to mind their own business. I want people minding other people’s business to be resisted by the people whose business is being minded!
But: it ain’t simple!
Just what is our business? ! Can you follow that prescription and endorse the story of the good Samaritan at the same time?
Never mind the words, here’s a story:
1960-something I was walking on the Central Park side of 5th Avenue, just a bit north of the zoo. A woman surrounded by children, Hispanic, was clogging the way ahead of me. I could have wriggled by her easily except I was with Hilary, there was no hurry, I let us be blocked. Every other step this woman smacked a little boy on the top of his head. The kid reeled a step, caught his balance, and walked on: Oh, Dowdy-Doo, or whatever Hispanic kids do to pass the time, keep a beat, keep themselves company. I hadn’t seen the kid “do” anything, I couldn’t tell if there was a “reason” for his getting pummeled. Kid walks another step: wham! his “mother” gives him a smack.
Now: I believe in the autonomy of the individual. I also believe in the autonomy of the family. I believe in tolerance: diversity, complexity … I believe in minding our own business. but this woman was annoying me so that her abuse of her “son” right under my nose was making itself my business. I really wanted to grab the woman’s smacking hand, twist it, hard, and say, “Lady, hit that kid one more time and I’ll break your arm!”
A decade later my anarchist colleague, Mercury (of Free U, People’s Yellow Pages … Quaker Press) invited me to join her as a speaker at Hunter College. Sure. Some woman told of the urgency she felt for the city to step into homes where children are being abused. I advised her to kidnap the kid, raise the kid herself, send him to college, buy him a Porche; but do not let the City (the State, the government, the Fed) do your dirty work for you: get the blood on your own hands! Take whatever sins you believe are necessary upon yourself: don’t let experts commit your crimes for you. (Spell Jesus, give him a rest, climb up on his cross for him and take a turn.) I’m not sure even Mercury saw what I was talking about!