Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Possibilities (or, this is what an anarchist government might look like)


OK, we've just stepped into office. We got there because we asked everyday Aussies to donate five bucks to our campaign (Obama style). We raised truck loads and while campaigning hard we used the excess money to implement 78 community permaculture gardens Australia-wide. We have another 221 ear-marked to start up in the next six months. We don't owe business one dollar, and like George Monbiot we refuse to dine with industry. As you can imagine they are shitting themselves.

The first 7 changes in this first week in office will include:

1. In consultation with indigenous Australia demolish the states and reform local governments based on traditional aboriginal tribal lands - the natural food and water bowls of Australia. Our federal government will merely oversee and encourage localised initiatives, education and activities based on indigenous knowledge and ecologically-sound economics.

2. An education programme to slow breeding. Indigenous Australia have practiced a highly successful 'biophysical economics' (Herman Daly) for over 40,000 years. Aboriginal culture is based on breeding only to numbers that the land can support. Infanticide was a strategy of their permanent sustainability. We would adapt this to a voluntary extinction gift, or a non-baby bonus (PO) in the form of heirloom vegetable seeds, recycled costumes (MU), spices wind-sailed from Asia (JW), the latest in recycled computer technology and traditional musical instruments. Breeding today is not a noble and selfless act, especially in large numbers, it's a religio-capitalist ploy to boost productivity-profit and therefore violate the landbase (just ask Peter Costello, who we've sent to work in one of the Djadja wurrung compost fields). Capitalism, based on dangling eternal fantasies in front of the dutiful consumer-parent, so as the idea of more consumerables is even more pleasurable than the products themselves (David Graeber), feeds directly into the fantasy of the ever-expanding family and therefore into baby production. Australians will be educated and rewarded to only have one or two children at most, preferably none - the most noblest act of all.

3. All rights relinquished (IR). A community-specific programme for the abolition of copyright and the advancing of the arts as a fully de-capitalised social gift ecology. Artists, writers, poets, filmmakers and musicians will gift their work to the communities that they themselves participate in. In return the community will support them in terms of shared resources. Celebrities and other toxicultural figures will join Peter Costello in the compost fields. More on this here.

4. Non-compostable waste producing industries (including the arts) will be cast adrift with no government backing or future support. The government will insist that local governments only back industries that use a 'biophysical economics' model. All previously government-supported private industry will be axed and industries that can not adapt ecologically will be bought by the government. Privatisation of public commons will become a thing of history. All other industries will be put on notice to change their operations within 12 months.

5. Aboriginal land tax for the sale of all private property (PO). Each time a piece of land is sold or resold revenue will be taken from the sale and go directly to the establishment of a local indigenous centre, or the maintaining and further developing of existing ones. These centers will foster indigenous culture - art and food covers all areas of life - and foster indigenous sustainability knowledges, which would feed directly back into the wider community. Private property owners who plant and maintain permaculture gardens will be exempt from paying tax or rates on the land, and will be given a permacultural allowance to provide food ethically - 'within walking distance' (RP) - grown for their families and friends. Private property owners who employ indigenous land consultants will be given further incentives (to be advised by the local indigenous communities at a later date).

6. The removal of all religious indoctrination and packaged-processed foods from schools. This hardly needs justification, but if you require more information please leave a comment below. Similarly, secular ignorance of religion will not be tolerated. All schools will teach the history of religions, focussing on religion's involvement in the establishment of private property and the tendency for religious supremacy to create resource wars. Food gardening will replace all religious indoctrination lessons.

7. Art auction houses (such as Christies and Sothebys) will turn all of their artifacts over to public cultural centers. Those works deemed to be not interesting or amusing enough will be garage-sold to the public. Each household can choose up to three works only, collectors will also be delegated to the compost fields. The proceeds from the art sales will go to detoxifying the arts industry with education programmes aimed at educating artists about food and survival in a post-capitalist world. The film and music industry will become heavily digitised and everything freely available online. Film projects that produce as much as one empty Mt Franklin plastic bottle (or equivalent) will be shut down.

After such a good start we're all going to celebrate with some Astrid Lorange home brew. Over to you comenteers for our next week in office.

6 comments:

astrid said...

good timing, too, peej, cause the 'permaplay pale ale' is ready for harvest as of today -- bottled and conditioned in recycled longnecks from the carlton brewery, circa 1960s, collected, treasured and ultimately gifted by my uncle john. cheers!

anon (with silent j) said...

'anarchist' and 'government'..it's an oxymoron. What are you going on about? And, I guess you'll be ditching your computer, clothes...house...in this refusal to dine with industries then.

The Garden of Self Defence said...

There are examples of anarchists in 'participatory democracies'. Here in our local council for one, also you could look at Spain's anarchist movement. I think George Orwell writes about the success of at least one Spanish anarchist local government who implemented great social policy before being done in by the communists. I have a number of anarchist friends working in government. Perhaps you're thinking purely of romantic-anarchism, as opposed to anarchism in the space of the everyday.

But I agree, 'representative government' is not the answer. You'd be better to read my writing as potentially generating the ideas for change, than reading it too literally. Also oxymorons and contradictions are a healthy part of thought (to my mind at least). If you want to see the physical embodiment of these ideas and contradictions you're welcome to visit our garden or explore this site further.

Just on some of your assumptions: my clothes are largely recycled from op-shops and swapped with friends, my computer is 5 years old and is a hand-me-down and, I agree, a problematic tool in terms of the materials used to manufacture. Nonetheless we don't use a printer. The great majority of our food is grown in our garden or within a 20km radius, and we dine with many good folk in our community, sharing food and ideas. Our house is a small re-locatable dwelling made by a small building company close to here. We have solar panels and we catch our own water, and so on and so forth.

I don't have all the answers to tackle the world's toxicological pathologies, however this is a site to share thoughts, to understand the world, to challenge and be challenged. So, thanks for your comment. I'd love to hear what you are up to to mitigate your role in capitalism's operation of destruction.

petero said...

Reckon that anonJ has a point.

As I understand it anarchy requires an absence of state so therefore, government rather than being an oxymoron is an impossible proposition. Possibly an exclamation mark after the word
‘government’ might have indicated any intended contradiction.

Maybe you could nominate it as an anarchy collective, commons or syndicate or perhaps something of your own making with a more playful or absurdist bent.

Your final reply comment of ‘I'd love to hear what you are up to to mitigate your role in capitalism's
operation of destruction’ seems to work against your principle of responding in a positive manner.

As with anonsilentJ's comments I think it holds underlying critical assumptions (or counter-punch) which derail the blog from the possibilities of ideas & actions to the personal.

Just a few thoughts…

The Garden of Self Defence said...

thanks pete,

"DISCLAIMER: I'm an atheist who doesn't doubt the existence of God - God is a three lettered word that also exists as an idea, a law, or a joke in our minds. And I'm an anarchist who fantasises about top down government for the sole purpose of dissolving the states, returning to social collectives who define their lands in terms of food/water bowls and their relationship to these ecologies."

And, I reckon sometimes its OK to 'punch' back, if that's how you see my last sentence. This is after all a garden of self-defence as much as it aims to be a collective offensive for biodiversity; against monocultures. Robustness is definitely an ideal, even though we are a society made up of vulnerable melancholics, hedonists and damaged goods.

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