To live outside the law you must be honest
First, you need to imagine it: horizontal social structures, no gerarchic configurations, from I-rationality to We-rationality, homo reciprocans and a new approach to economics and society as a whole, with ecology at its core. Once you’ve pictured it, you get on with it. Here and now. No use in waiting for “kingdom come”, no need to burn it all down and start anew. “Just do it” might not be just an advertising catchphrase after all.
This is how we went about the third edition of Lessons of Anarchy last Wednesday, kickstarting the autumn season of glorious Edicola 518 events: after an impressive presentation at Todi Festival and a full week of work and play at the Mantova Festival, it was about time to get back to our favorite revolutionary corner in the world, the gardens next to the kiosk.
This time around we had libertarian Antonio Senta to guide us through the good practice of self-government, tapping on the ideas and historical research outlined in the book he co-authored with Guido Candela, La pratica dell’autogestione (Practicing self-government).
Exploring the ethical and efficacy premises of Robert Wolff – whose anarchic theory was mainly based on the assumptions that humans are inclined to collaborate and that the anarchic system can only work on a small scale, Senta went on to analyse these theses and to draw a detailed sketch of what it meant to self-govern.
Having freedom, equality and solidarity as its three main pillars, it’s only natural that self-government should be anarchy’s practical offspring: a social and not political practice, strongly ethical and inherently pluralistic, open to trials and tribulations, but definitely not to rulers, nor gerarchies.
Recalling on Gustav Landauers’ here and now approach, going through practical examples of self sustained communities, cultural or productive associations of all sorts, and insisting on today’s biggest and (what should be) single challenge – the brink of ecological disaster this planet is on, Senta touched on a word often correlated with anarchism, albeit not always in the best of ways: Utopia. Not that utopia, though, not the promised land of a perfect architecture, not the dream of impossible achievements, triggering cynical and condescendant reactions. Instead, the utopia of possibility, utopia as a process, as a fuel for an engine that sparks the much needed transformation in the face of the smell of self-destruction already floating in mid-air. The project within reach to be built by homo reciprocans in the search for a new-found freedom is clearly illustrated in Amedeo Bertolo’s definition of anarchic utopia: ”the space of thousands of patterns exploring the shapes of freedom”.
As always, we explored our own shapes and ideas of freedom with a heated debate and an event that, as Sante underlined, brought its own contribution to taking us closer to a different social fabric: one designed on cooperation, starting small and going big.