December 3, 2007

rambling post: anarchism, education, revolution, mice.

Filed under: anarchism,civilization — polywog @ 11:13 p12

Cheers to the anarchist potential in education! I met someone by the copy machine today who noticed my stack of anarchist/free love books and offered me many useful names, including William Godwin, who is at the roots of philosophic anarchism.

“Above all we should not forget, that government is an evil, an usurpation upon the private judgment and individual conscience of mankind; and that, however we may be obliged to admit it as a necessary evil for the present, it behoves us, as the friends of reason and the human species, to admit as little of it as possible, and carefully to observe whether, in consequence of the gradual illumination of the human mind, that little may not hereafter be diminished.”

I love this quote because it reminds me of the liberatory potential of education. It reminds me of bell hooks’ Education as the Practice of Freedom, Paulo Freire, and Paul Avrich’s history of anarchist education. all yummy reads (: It also offers insight into a man who recently became a very valued (and very dead) anarchist friend, Charles Erskine Scott Wood. A poem of his can be found in one of my first posts, at the bottom of the page. Erskine identified as a philosophic anarchist. He was passionate about his beliefs yet connected with many different people of different political orientations. When Emma Goldman teased him for some political work he’d done, he said (something to the extent of) ’emma, i’ll take any boat going my way.’

I feel a bit uncomfortable with the “necessary evil” idea in godwin’s quote–but i’m sure it made more sense in the seventeen hundreds. On this point I ally more with Derrick Jenson and green anarchists who argue that time for gradual diminishing has come and gone. However… I actively live anarchy through liberatory education and non-consent to authority, as if there were time. Perhaps my thoughts are more in line with eco/revolutionists, where my actions are more in line with mousy bookishness and non-antagonistic ventures like theorizing about love.


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