Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Crescendo sem o Estado

Growing up without the State, por Pat Murtagh (narrando a sua infância algures no norte canadiano):

It's been many many years since I left my old home town. 48 if I count right. I left it at precisely the right time, when I was turning 13.(...) erhaps the town of my childhood memories doesn't deserve recording. Except for one salient feature. It was a town in an area that never had a functioning and overbearing government. (...)

So let's start with the obvious ie the police. We saw the RCMP [Policia Montada] a grand total of one time in the 13 years I lived in said town. Did this mean that we were a community of saints. Obviously not. There was the usual vandalism and petty theft which the community found it could deal with far better on its own than by calling for the 'tender actions' of government. Not that the retaliation wasn't sometimes overdone, but short of cutting off fingers or toes any physical pain is preferable to being cast as raw material for socia1l workers to "reform". The one occasion where the state/government proved itself useful was when one farmer went nuts and killed his wife. He came down to the general store to surrender, and he sat there for the required hours until the RCMP felt it was convenient to pick him up.

I mention this just because it is the most obvious "state function" that comes to people's minds, right up there with firefighters and above education and health care. The point that I want to make is that many of the functions that government now performs were or are provided by other means in the not-so-distant past, Or a little bit beyond the city limits in most provinces where rural firefighting is on a volunteer basis. Many other things such as education or health care could easily be provided via cooperatives rather than government. Sometimes a person may recognize all of this but still draw the line at police and the "justice" system. It seems almost unbelievable that people could do without what radicals call "the oppressive arm of the state". It is, however, true that the vast majority of people in history have lived without police (unless you count the agents of the landlord coming to steal things), and there are those such as myself who grew up in such conditions ie it is a living memory. (...)

What anarchists propose is perhaps summed up by a very clumsy neologism ie the "smalltownization" of a society that presently lives mostly in cities. This is not some marijuana addled vision from the 60s and 70s where everyone has to "go back to the land" and "pretend" to be indpendent of the wider society. What it means is that urban neighbourhoods could grow to have many of the virtues of a small town (such as its ability to live without police) without some of the vices. (...)

I have to admit that what I have said may seem like something conservative rather than radical, but I have to say that most "conservatives" are actually quite "progressive" in their desire to clear away all obstacles to the increase in power and wealth of the people they imagine are the "wealth creators". My vision is frankly reactionary in the desire to turn back the clock (or ahead if you like) to a different sort of politics and economy. I stand in the anarchist tradition of such people as Paul Goodman in his book 'Notes Of A Neolithic Conservative'.

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