Nigger, Wop, Kike, Spic, Chink, Faggot, Retard, Communist, Liberal, Socialist, Anarchist…
One of the insidious ways those in power retain that power is by making those they need to hold power over less than human. The task is really all too easy: to demote another human to the status of other you simply have to attach a dismissive pejorative that is understood only in the broadest and most general way to the individual or group.
For racists, words such nigger, wop, kike, spic and chink are handy. For the homophobe or closeted homosexual in denial, faggot rolls off the tongue. For the ignorant, retard provides a quick retort. For the wealthy one percent and their minions, communist, liberal and socialist (the favorite of the Tea Party) draws a clear line in their minds between us and them.
Thanks to the people involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, an old pejorative that has not seen much use for nearly a century is slinking back into our political vocabulary: anarchist. An anarchist is a bomb-throwing, unwashed lunatic with filthy clothes and hair whose only motivation is jealousy driven by the wealth and lifestyle achieved by honest, productive citizens who have worked hard for their rewards and deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Right?
Only if you either a.) are a member of the one percent; or b.) depend upon the one percent for your table scraps.
In an America where homegrown journalists are greatly compromised by the one percent’s control of our media, we must turn to the rest of the world to begin to understand what we’re not being told. Cleveland anarchist and Occupy Cleveland activist ZachyIraqi Schraufl linked to this Al Jazeera piece last night.
The easiest way to explain anarchism is to say that it is a political movement that aims to bring about a genuinely free society – that is, one where humans only enter those kinds of relations with one another that would not have to be enforced by the constant threat of violence. History has shown that vast inequalities of wealth, institutions like slavery, debt peonage or wage labour, can only exist if backed up by armies, prisons, and police. Anarchists wish to see human relations that would not have to be backed up by armies, prisons and police. Anarchism envisions a society based on equality and solidarity, which could exist solely on the free consent of participants.
Like all utopian ideals, an anarchist society is feckin’ hard to realize. That does not excuse society from striving toward the utopian, for in the effort there is benefit.
That’s how I see the Occupy Movement: it strives for a utopian society based on the universal Golden Rule, where humans treat humans like humans. Dr. King understood. Nealy 50 years ago he delivered a 17-minute speech that recognized the reality that the struggle for freedom and equality is a hard slog, but demanded that we engage in the struggle nonetheless.
If you’re not fighting for that, what are you doing?