Open source anarchy

Alan at The Command Post did a little local reporting around an anarchist protest today:

Here’s something else I found interesting: the protest was not organized … it just emerged from the morning ether. Seems there’s a local organization that was giving out free breakfast and dinner to people in from out of town to protest, and it was at this breakfast that the assorted anarchists, Greens, and Radical Cheerleading Squad members ginned up their event.
So there you go: Open-source protesting.

Rerminds me of the time anarchists rioted on Telegraph Ave in Berkeley, after flooding into San Francisco for an anarchists convention, which sounds like an oxymoron to me. Do they call the place to order? Who decides who gets to speak when? Do they have their own process, a sort of Roberts Rules of Disorder?






2 responses to “Open source anarchy”

  1. Dick Jones Avatar

    If you read up on your anarchism you’ll see that far from eschewing all notions of organisation, the aim is to engender organisational structures that will be genuinely accessible to those within them. Leadership per se is not the problem. It’s a basic perception of the function & scope of leadership that’s the issue. A leader may well emerge within the context of a meeting (which is the focus of your post). S/he is likely to be someone whose skills of ad hoc organisation are strong &, for as long as there’s a need for able chairing, or minute-taking, or counting heads, then those most suited to the tasks in hand will undertake them. When the need passes, so will the function.
    Since no fundamental social change really comes about until there is a perceived need for it on a sufficient scale, attitude is all. If leaders within a specific set of circumstances are seen (for whatever entirely spurious set of reasons) as having universal powers then the hero status that we accord them now will prevail. If they are seen as individuals with specific skills no more intrinsically special than those possessed by a doctor, a plumber, an artist, an airline pilot, then, outside the immediate context of their leadership, they will carry no clout.
    Sure, there’s the mother of all debates arising from this proposition. But having taught in progressive schools for 30+ years & having witnessed elements of authentic democracy at work arising directly from transformed perceptions of the nature & purpose of leadership, I felt inclined to respond to your mild piss-take of the notion of anarchist organisation.
    In the final analysis, I guess it’s all tied up with the principle of the power of many…
    Something to do with the power of many, I guess…

  2. Dick Jones Avatar

    Whoops! A double punchline…