/ Social Order /
@ K. 2006 08 09
What my anarchism comes down to really is a perception that government didn’t exist before societies settled into cities and became overpopulated … educated, full of answers. We have so many answers, our education, our answers are killing us: but not to worry: when enough of us die, we won’t live in cities and won’t be overpopulated: and won’t need government. If we’re lucky that is. If we’re unlucky, there won’t be any way left to live even for small, scattered, wandering populations. Goodbye mankind.
Start again: Humans emerged on grasslands in Africa. We were and are a social species, competing or cooperating among ourselves as called for, and sometimes as not called for. Previous Homo species had been vegetarians, others carnivores; humans could be both, or either: eat the fruit, or the veggie, or the bug, or the carcass, or the bleeding meat. Individuals would have had a hard time surviving, but a pair, a trio, a quartet, a dozen, forty … two hundred … might function just fine.
A band of humans eating a berry here, catching a bird there, ready to fight, ready to run, depending on circumstances, made a nice species: resourceful, sexy; no need for Hamlet’s praise or damnation. I envy the humans who ran over the savanna. Two million Londoners in 1830, eight million New Yorkers in 1940, those are different stories. The dozen humans on the savanna needed no government. They needed no leader, no priest. They needed no God.
They didn’t need to be told what to do. They didn’t need to be told what not to do. If they were hungry, they looked for something to eat. If it was getting dark, they looked for a place to hunker down. If the lions were coming, they’d back into a defensive circle. If the hyenas had a carcass they might circle around to invade the meal as a team of parts. City living, overpopulation, stored wealth, mass leisure … are all different. Two hundred people could use the London Bridge, 24/7 no problem. There could be nobody on the bridge, or all two hundred, all going in different directions, still no problem. But when traffic congested into the thousands, something had to give. Traffic lanes were invented. Somebody had to teach the invention. The rule had to be enforced. Still, bearing right (or left) can be almost spontaneous.
But what if those on the bridge in London decided to bear left while those on a bridge in Manchester decided to bear right? What would you do when you got to Brooklyn? or Sydney?
2011 11 18 The straightdope.com give a fuller history.
To raid the hyenas at their meal Og had to coordinate with Bor. Pack hunters have worked well without spoken language, but speech in addition to those other skills certainly can’t hurt. But to send an army across the ocean and have this battalion bear clockwise and that battalion bear counterclockwise, something complicated, something I find ugly, repulsive, has to happen. An improvising species has to become more hive-like. I’d rather be a wolf, or a hyena, or a human running the savanna, than a worker bee, or a queen ant, or a soldier termite.
Meantime, what should those of us do who would rather be one of a dozen, ganging up on the hyenas with a prize, than one of six billion, ganging up on the countries with the oil? Call in the nukes? Hope for Armageddon?
Master a sniper rifle and randomly shoot strangers hundreds of yards away?
[2016 07 20 The FBI arrested me two months after posting the above. Another judge may take a dim view of me next week without knowing anything about the federal arrest. Kleptocrats are less likely to get anything right in 2016 than they did in 2006: or 1966.]
I believe we would have been much better off if Jesus had given us an Armageddon two thousand years ago where people could hit each other with rocks and sticks and swords rather than nuking us into winter. With rocks and sticks and swords, even though this ant hill and that bird’s nest might get crushed, this creek bloodied, that tree mangled, the damage would be mostly species specific: the harm would be done to humans; it wouldn’t also have to wipe out the trout, the tigers, the red cockaded woodpeckers. King’s The Stand imagines a world with only a couple of thousand people left but all of the buildings, roads, cars. How would our ancestors on the savanna have fared if they’d emerged into Watts or Bed-Stuy instead of into grass?
It ain’t easy. But let me advise that nothing has to be done, nothing at all. Leave it alone, it will fix itself.
There’s no reason to believe that nature will tolerate a runaway pathogenic species for long. The bison, the horses, the chickens, the passenger pigeons didn’t stick up for themselves in time, any more than the tree defends itself against the arsonist. But the whole will drop the misfit through the trap door in time.
I just hope it happens while there’s still a little greenery left somewhere, at least one nice coral reef; something other than just roaches and crabs.
Needed No Government
2016 07 20 Notice, whether we needed a god or had a god are separate questions. We could have a god but not need one. There are things in my closet, in my drawer, in my shed that I have but don’t need. And how much God needs us is a separate question from now much we need him.