Can’t Help Complexity

… 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!

Social Survival

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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