Wizards and Heroes – an Analogy for Anarchy.

today has been an awesome day.  last night The Wizard had a friend (henceforth referred to as “The Hero”), over to spend the night.  it was a good evening, with video games, board games, building, battles and playing outside.  however, The Heroes parents have drastically different parenting methods from ours.  while we try to lean towards the “autonomous collective” household, theirs definitely follows the dictatorship model.

it’s easy to forget that the techniques I use with The Wizard (suggestions when possible, and discussion as to how his behavior is impacting the other members of the household, and letting his make his own decisions), will not work with The Hero.  with The Hero I have to get down at his level and state household rules and consequences very clearly.  if I suggest or discuss, he acknowledges, but then will repeat the exact same behavior, unless I draw that boundary.  he will hide things from me, and lie to me, and though he and The Wizard are good friends, they need a lot of mediation and interference when playing together.

now, this may sound like a deviation, but it’ll tie together.  his mom and I were good friends in highschool (has that really been a decade now?  good lord.), and we would frequently talk about anarchy.  I held anarchy as an ideal, and she thought of it as more of a negative, but inevitable occurence.  many debates ensued.

many people claim that anarchy is impossible due to “human nature”.  IE: without laws to control our behavior, we’d all destroy the world, steal each other blind, kill each other, overdose, and eventually the human race would cease to exist.

okay, so, our culture is a group of people used to being oppressed and suppressed, with laws to tell us what to do, and threats of the bad stuff that’ll happen to us if we break them.  most children are raised this way.  children who are raised this way don’t follow rules out of morality, understanding, or a decision to create a positive environment for all involved.  they do it out of fear, and break the rules when they know they can get away with it.   …which sounds a lot like many adults in the world.  most of the kids raised this way eventually get rebellious, and the attitude becomes, “I don’t care what you’ll do to me, I’ll do what I want.”  which sounds like many of the adults presently in prison.  it is not human nature that makes people this way, it’s their environment. 

see the parallel?  children live up to our expectations of them, and so do adults.  when we are told by Mother Culture we need laws and enforcement to “keep us in line.” , there is one of three reactions:

A. obey out of fear.

B. hide behavior and try to get away with it.

C. get angry and cease to care.

Now The Wizard is out playing with The Princess, a neighbor and good friend.  I don’t think her parents are anarchists, but she obviously has a lot more freedom in her life and choices than The Hero.  therefor, I can trust her, and at only 6 years old, she demonstrates an ability to be up front, self-controlled and a problem solver.  know how many times I’ve had to mediate their interactions?  only one.  …and that was not that either of them was upset, just I had to shut down the hose fight.  LOL.  which may have been more for my comfort than theirs…

-domestic anarchist

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