Think anonymously

Oh wow, where do I start?
Just so you know, the anti-hero in V for Vendetta graphic novel by Alan Moore was intended to be an anarchist, NOT a liberalist fighting against totalitarian tyranny. So the mask, was just to drive the point home.

The mention of anonymous thought, and evolution of ideas is very aptly reflected in the Hesse’s magnum opus, The Glass Bead Game. Castalia, a fictional state, entirely dedicated to the scholars in pursuit of knowledge and funded by the government. There is a very clear distinction between the states; beyond Castalia, you have the world young Siddhartha never saw but within, it is the ideal world. Devoid of politics, and worldly pleasures. Where knowledge is the prime motivation. Where you invest time and effort in learning anything and everything, and your ultimate prize is the opportunity to play an elaborate game. A pseudo-philosophical Turing game that alludes to every discipline but decidedly concludes nothing. Castalia was a utopia; and for my young mind then, a dream.
But there are two major problems with this kind of thinking, I realise in retrospect. Firstly, intellectual snobbery is never good, and I know I’m guilty of that crime too sometimes [I’m going to try and cut down].
Secondly, and maybe this is related to the first, the snobbery creates this exclusivity. Some intellectual elite class that lords over everyone else, or at least thinks it should be the one running the whole show. The snobbery will contribute to inherent biases, and push comes to shove, biases will manifest themselves in some form of cruelty or another. It is the way that all radical ideas will lead to if not regularly and constantly tempered with practical thought. There’s a subtle difference between being rational and being a realist. Even Hesse realised that.

The other thing about Castalia, the cost of the goods so to speak, was anonymity. Once inducted, each individual member lost his identity in the history books, regardless of achievements. All they would ever have were titles, if they were lucky and talented. Castalia then boiled down, in essence, to a human machine, where each part is no more important or worthy of mention than the other. Any individual’s achievement was Castalia’s pride and any individual’s crime was Castalia’s shame.
The power of anonymity is nothing new. It’s empowering most of the time. Even a simple survey of what people dare to get away with saying online or via email/sms and to a much lesser extent, over the telephone as opposed to face-to-face is evidence of the comfort level of pseudo-anonymity. We are social animals, and we are innately part of a herd. Anonymity in an evolutionary sense would have meant you’re less likely to singularly attract a predator’s attention. Why blame people with stage fright? They’re just trying to stay alive.

It’s very coincidental that I find this video now, and just yesterday had a particularly interesting chat about anarchy. I have since realised Pidgin did not log my chat. Stinks.

People think anarchists are attention seekers, mostly because they are the minority. That’s not true. Anarchists are fighting for true anonymity, total freedom. In what passes for the order du jour, you get attention whether you like it or not. The average Briton is on camera uniquely 300 times a day. Britain is orderly enough, but this is the price to pay?
Anonymity [+strength in numbers?] is power, and in a system of control, making you think you have power, while still holding the reins, is absolute deceit. And way more empowering for them, because there is little or no resistance.
As Alan Moore puts it, democracy is a liberal fantasy. A forced equality of opportunity is just as restrictive as equality of outcome; democracy as it stands is a misnomer. Rule is not by the people. Hats off to Switzerland for being one of the few that make it work as close to the ideal as possible.

Anarchism is great, I think. Live and let live, loosely modelled after mother Nature herself. But something tells me it’s not time…yet.


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