Cast said on October 21, 2011
John, I wish to address you with respect, but throughout your note you left little respect for myself and other anarchists. I hope you and others who will read this will understand that my unwillingness to accept your rude opinions with polite kindness. To begin, I can understand your fear, but I’ll not forgive you as you “take 5 steps back. I don’t encourage others to forgive you for lack of courage, either. Why would you prefer a “democracy” college? Because it already sits well with your preconceptions of what is morally acceptable? I encourage you to question your upbringing. The experience of this occupation is already outside of the bounds of “democracy” as understood in political science. The consensus decision making process being exercised at Occupy Wall Street, and now at occupied sites throughout the country, is an extension of anarchist philosophy. If you prefer democracy, you are invited to vote on your preferences and accept a majority held vote — but do not expect consensus.
If this anarchist college would help rehabilitate the soured reputation of anarchist philosophy, a body of thought that goes back to the early 1800s. It is true that a slim minority respects anarchism now, but that will hardly change without effort on our part. The horizontalist composition of Occupy Wall Street already presents a solid argument for the practical aspects of anarchist theory and practice. Can we not take this opportunity to encourage society to reassess its prejudices?
That you do not agree with anarchism is fine, but your prejudices that it is “infantile, impossible ideology detached from science” are put down immediately by an understanding of anarchist philosophy. No philosophy is inherently infantile, except to minds already too small to consider them in good faith. And of science? All political philosophy is detached from the hard calculations of “science.” Science gives answers, while philosophy asks questions. Your appeal to rationalism falls flat when you consider that Liberalism and its system of Democracy is also detached from science. However, anarchism is not detached from scientists. Many notable anarchists of the 1800s were attracted to anarchism precisely because they saw it as the most scientific of the socialist projects
. Peter Kropotkin, a Russian botanist and evolutionary biologist, was attracted to anarchism due to its association with his studies in the field and crated the school of “anarchist communism” as a result. Elle Recluse, a French geologist, was a well respected anarchist who contributed to early studies in environmentalism, decades ahead of his time.
The contributions of anarchism and anarchists to Occupy Wall Street’s success thus far should be appreciated by everyone; not derided as causing “failure to create meaningful; organization” (sic). Anarchists are not inherently against organization, but merely hierarchical organizations that strip participants of power.
Your problems with other organizations and movements is none of our concern, unless you can justifbly link your problems with a similar source. Take your “Venus Project” fears back to your therapist if your feeling paranoid. The rest of us are too busy trying to fix our own problems to have to fix yours — your fears, prejudices, ignorance, and paranoia — as well.