2 August 2019
With violence, racism and uproar across politics and society, it often feels like we’re moments away from anarchy.
But what is anarchy? Should we fear it?
Louise Cullen made an appearance at Southampton Green Party July members’ meeting to put a few facts straight around ‘anarchy’ as well as explaining how it is universally relevant, especially in the current political climate.
“To me, it’s a bit like the word feminism. Once you understand what it means, it’s very difficult to have any objection.”
Anarchy is often thought to portray a state of disorder and chaos – but that definition is far from its true origin. The word ‘anarchy’ comes from Greek an- (meaning ‘without’) and archon (‘rulers’).
“Arguably, nobody knows better than you about your life.”
Louise added: “It’s not just anyone does what the hell they want. It’s more that ‘yes, you do absolutely what the hell you want’ so long as it doesn’t impose on another. As long as you’re not ruling over someone else.”
As Louise explains it, anarchy is present across the animal kingdom. Nature doesn’t observe what humans project onto it - it doesn’t believe in food chains and pyramidical scales.
She said: “Try to explain to a Zebra that ‘no, the lion is better than you. He has every right to eat you.’ They do not accept it.”
Louise describes a society of control where the population is dependent on an often broken system – putting faith into politicians and presidents who don’t always stand up to account.
“Going way way back, our ‘betters’ were considered servants. You would lead troops into battle, You had to be strong. You had to have integrity and you had to do right by all the people you looked after.”
She suggests that we shouldn’t lose sight of the control we have as individuals, adding: “Nobody gave you power over yourself – it’s innate. We are sovereign of ourselves.”
Anarchy is a committee based way of living and it’s contemporary and ever-evolving such as in the Ye’Kuana tribe in Venezuela. It is a society of cooperation and individual freedom – neighbours helping neighbours, strangers helping strangers.
“If you miss an opportunity to do the right thing, it makes everyone less. It’s simple as that.”
Katherine Barbour thanked Louise for her time and expressed how eye-opening Louise’s talk was. The Green Party representative for Portswood commented: “Lou brought a complex subject to life.
“Learning about other models of government helps us to reflect on our own beliefs and we can incorporate these ideas into our own views.”
Watch the full talk in the video below.
Louise Cullen is an artist and vegan who’s been involved in studio co-operatives and the animal rights movement. She was invited to Southampton Green Party’s monthly meeting to give an educational insight into anarchy.
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