Imagine you looked at the world as if it belonged to everyone. Sure, people could have necessary amounts of private property, but the common areas were just that- common areas. If you walk through your local park on a nice spring day and see a candy wrapper on the ground, you pick it up and throw it in the garbage. If an injured bird was lying somewhere on the streets, you try to help it in whatever way you know how. If you’re hiking in the pristine wilderness and see someone throw a cigarette butt into the woods, you call them out on it and explain to them that what they did was wrong. If a billion dollar corporation with a history of abusing the commons is trying to drill in the Arctic Ocean in order to extract oil – risking lives and destroying nature – you do everything in your power to stop it. Naturally, you wouldn’t expect police to arrest you or lock you up for keeping the commons clean. In fact, you would assume that if a police person saw that same candy wrapper, she or he would also pick it up. If a police officer walked up the hiking trail while you were lecturing the cigarette thrower, you would expect the officer to also talk to the litterer. If you got in the way of the boat trying to destroy natural habitat and potentially kill entire species in order to make a few bucks, you would naturally expect the police to help you- after all, they protect and serve.
Unfortunately, you would probably be wrong in the last example (and to be perfectly honest, I doubt many police would pick up trash in a park). We have seen time and time again that in battles between activists – people who dedicate their lives to make the world a better place – and corporations – murderers who dedicate their lives to make more money – the police protect the corporations. Not only that, but in the vast majority of the cases, the courts (and often times the media and, therefore, public opinion) also side with the billion dollar corporations. Even if the person on trial has never done anything to intentionally hurt the other beings that they share the earth with, and the corporation has a long history of abuse and neglect, chances are the corporation will win- or at least not lose.
When people think about Anarchy, they think about looters smashing windows, murderous gangs roaming the streets, and garbage piling up on every corner of every avenue. However, would a world in which we govern ourselves truly be worse than what we have going on now? If the outcasts were the people who purposely destroyed the earth and hurt other people and beings instead of the people who tried to protect these things, would that be bad? Would doling out the world’s natural renewable resources evenly to every human being, instead of being horded (and then sold) by the rich and privileged be a world full of violence and complete chaos?? I think not. Our elected officials won’t make this happen, the police will not steer us in that direction, and most schools do not teach us to desire a world like this. The only way this will ever stand a chance of occurring is if we – each and every one of us – treat the world in the way described above, even if this means battling with the police or ending up in prison.
The reason why I wrote what I wrote today is because of these people; if even half the world had a quarter of the courage as these men and women, I wouldn’t need to have a blog.