Listened to the radio on the way to work this morning (finished “Anna Karenina,” thank you very much). A news report described turmoil in the streets in Athens about the proposed Greek “austerity measures.”
The notion of a state in which a third of the workers are employed in guaranteed government jobs with all kinds of perks and vacations, automatic bonuses is hard for Americans to grasp: especially when we hear about tens of thousands of them rioting and burning and making rude noises about the fact that they would rather see the country go bankrupt than give up their automatic bonuses and raises. It’s especially hard for those of us with Scots/Dutch, Presbyterian/Calvinist forbears (Andrew Carnegie, anyone?) to reconcile ourselves to the notion of such civil unrest over the notion of guaranteed seats at the employment table. It’s the specter of SOCIALISM that the tea-baggers are so keen on.
We learned in the same broadcast that many of these demonstrations began as peaceful ones, and that they were STIRRED UP by BLACK-CLAD ANARCHISTS! Teams of these nihilists supposedly showed up, well-prepared with missiles to hurl and protective gear.
Now, this sort of thing has always bothered me. I mean, what is an Anarchist Planning Meeting like? How can someone so dedicated to a cause with deep philosophical underpinnings engage in the very act of organizing, when their world-view is dedicated to ultimate DISorganization?
The mind reels. Imagine the meetings:
Comrade 1: We’ll meet at the foot of the Gyropodelis at Noon and …
Comrade 2: Nonsense. Let’s just all get there whenever we want to …
Comrade 3: It would be better if we didn’t even KNOW what we were going to do!
Comrade 2: I want to remind you about last week’s seminar on whether or not one can truly KNOW anything in a state of perfect anarchy!
Comrade 1: We settled that, you idiot!
Comrade 2: YOU’RE an idiot, and you didn’t even understand what we were talking about!
Comrade 3: And that’s my point, you numbskull. Knowing is irrelevant, only ACTION matters.
Comrade 2: Well here’s an action: what if I hit you with this moussaka?
Really, how do they get to the point of all showing up in coordinated black outfits, running through the streets with a common purpose of causing chaos in a unified way? I’ll never understand it.