NYT article about Anarchist household in Greensboro

Ed Cone links to a really well written article in the NYT by Liz Seymour called Inviting Anarchy Into My Home. It’s about her experience growing an intentional community run with consensus – aka anarchist collective – in Greensboro, NC. It’s such a beautiful story.

I hope it will help people learn about these lifestyles and have respect for them. So much fear and ignorance abounds. Even the most progressive democrats I know are terrified by the ideas behind Anarchism. It isn’t just made up of the violent, no rules, black hooded, molotov cocktail throwing crowd.

Fear of Anarchism is truly perpetuated by governments. Mainly because some Anarchists suggest that governments aren’t necessary. Some are against ANY government and some are against national governments only.

One of my favorite parts is:

After Isabell came home from college an anarchist herself, I began to put aside my preconceptions about these people — as disorderly, violent and destructive — and to see them as a community dedicated to replacing hierarchy with consensus and cooperation. (Isabell once described them as Quakers who swear a lot.) Over time I found myself drawn to their hopeful view that people know best what is best for them and to their determination, naïve or not, to build a better world right away. Anarchism, at least as practiced here, seemed to be more about building community gardens and making your own fun than about black bandannas and confrontations with the riot police (although it was about those things, too).

If you want the facts about Anarchism I recommend you read An Anarchist FAQ Webpage. But the only way to really understand is by getting to know people with an open heart.

Read and Write Access is Control

One of the great things about the web is that it’s read/write. Just about everyone can read it and write it. This can foster GREAT global equality IF everyone has access to and knows how to read and write the web.

I’ve read a lot on the web and email lists recently about false information being written on Wikipedia. Such as Adam Curry changing the Podcasting entry on Wikipedia to suit his version of events and John Seigenthaler Sr. being connected to the assignation of John F. Kennedy. This is really just a demonstration of new power. Now that people have the knowledge and the tools they have at it.

Dave Winer wrote:

In June I wrote People With Erasers about Wikipedia. Now after reading about the Seigenthaler affair, and revelations about Adam Curry’s rewriting of the podcasting history — the bigger problem is that Wikipedia is so often considered authoritative. That must stop now, surely. Every fact in there must be considered partisan, written by someone with a confict of interest. Further, we need to determine what authority means in the age of Internet scholarship. And we need to take a step back and ask if we really want the participants in history to write and rewrite the history. Isn’t there a place in this century for historians, non-participants who observe and report on the events?

The fact is we are all participants. No one who is reading the web is a non-participant. We have access to so much media we become part of it. If we compeltly ignor the media – like the web – then we are not part of it. If we are not part of it then we can not observe and report on it.

The tension I described above about the editing of wikipedia is just a growing pain. Pain from loosing control over others. Those who had control may not even realized they had it. The experts, trusted sources, gatekeepers, professors, teachers, editors, encyclopedias, dictionaries, media, leaders, and the parents are no longer in complete control. The masses have discovered that racket. Now we all can read and write. Let’s their be no one in charge!

Time Management for Anarchists : The Movie

Time Management for Anarchists is a wonderful concept described in a flash movie. It’s title may seem like a oxymoron to some but for me it’s absolutely RIGHT ON! Working hard towards a fair classless society isn’t going to get done if you can’t make efficient use of your own time. There is just TOO MUCH TO DO. Thankfully there are many good suggestions within. Jim Munroe, the movie’s creator, has a talk about time management that he gives while showing this movie. Man I know some radical slackers who should hear this! As for myself I have a paper based date book that I write all my appointments and to-dos in. A pencil and paper just work better for me than a PDA. Now I need to do more project time estimates as Mr. Munroe suggests.