Re: The Value of Extremists, or, "What's for Dinner"

From: Travas Gunnell (
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 04:46:16 MST

--- Zero Powers <> wrote:
> >From: "M. E. Smith" <>

> <snip, snip>

> >As a hypothetical example, imagine a person
> confronted
> >by the opinions of , oh, let's say an "anarchist",
> >opinions which he/she thinks are silly and wrong.
> >
> >Before responding, the person could think to
> >himself/herself like this:
> >
> >"Anarchists", he/she thinks, "are just extreme
> kinds
> >of libertarians. They are foolish because they
> espouse
> >the impossible, but so what? What's the harm? No
> >society will ever actually BE an anarchy; there is
> too
> >much benefit to be gained from organizing good
> >governmental systems. If 'anarchies' were superior,
> >they would already exist; their very absence is
> proof
> >that they are obviously inferior in an evolutionary
> >sense.
> Hmmm. Do I respond to this? I mean after all its
> only the hypothetical
> internal dialogue of a hypothetical person. Oh
> well, its lunchtime and I've
> got nothing else to do right now, so here goes...

Hmmm, shall _I_ respond to this? As a
non-hypothetical Anarchist and extremist, I think I
shall. :)

> A better reason for your hypothetical person to
> ignore the rantings of an
> avowed anarchist is because (a) true anarchists are
> in the extreme minority
> and (b) its not even a very active or vocal
> minority. On the other hand, if
> say 1-5% of the population were to advocate true
> anarchy and they were
> actively and vocally working toward it, you would
> have very good reason to
> become concerned, regardless of the obvious problems
> with anarchic
> philosophy or the fact that anarchy has not taken
> hold in the past.

We may be in the minority, but we are global, growing,
and vocal; we just don't get much corporate press, as
you can imagine. A nice sampling of links related to
our very real movement can be found here:
     Anarchy has, in fact, taken hold in the past,
during the Spanish Civil War in 1936, for instance: and
continues to have a lasting effect in The Mondragon
and their homepage: The
Mondragon Cooperatives are organized in an
anarcho-syndicalist manner where the workers are also
members and the owners of their companies.

> All that having (perhaps unnecessarily) been said, I
> whole-heartedly agree
> with what you say about the value of extremism.
> Without extremists there
> would never be revolution, only evolution. And
> history has shown than
> revolution, often, is a good thing. Think where we
> might be without such
> extremists as Socrates, Jesus, Thomas Paine, Albert
> Einstein, Mohandas
> Ghandi, Martin L. King, Jr., and K. Eric Drexler.
> The next time someone
> accuses you of being an extremist, you might think
> of these folks and take
> it as a compliment.
> -Zero
> "I like dreams of the future better than the history
> of the past"
> --Thomas Jefferson

Onward the Revolution(s)! And proud to be an
extremist. :) And, oh yeah, I already ate.


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