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[video/audio] John Zerzan, William Paul Young, anarchy or hierarchy?

A quick look at the award winning "Adventure of a Speck of Dust" video by John Zerzan, and a comparison of that video with some words from Williams Paul Young's book "The Shack"

Date:   3/10/2009 12:20:30 PM   ( 13 y ) ... viewed 2094 times

Take a look at this somewhat gloomy video by John Zerzan, an American anarchist and primitivist, directed by Ljubodrag Staroviah. It won the best prize for the Best Experimental film at the 54th Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival 2006. In it, the question is raised "how do you run the world?". He says, that's the wrong approach, he says who wants to run the world, and implies that we are mistaken if we think this should be a hierarchical structure.

Now compare that with Mack's lunchtime conversation with Papa, in "The Shack" (Oh I forgot to mention, Papa is the female god... and Sarayu is the holy spirit... don't ask...)

"“You know what I am talking about.” Mack was a little frustrated. “I am talking about who’s in charge. Don’t you have a chain of command?” “Chain of command? That sounds ghastly!” Jesus said. “At least binding,” Papa added as they both started laughing, and then Papa turned to Mack and sang, “Though chains be of gold, they are chains all the same.” “Now don’t concern yourself with those two,” Sarayu interrupted, reaching out her hand to comfort and calm him. “They’re just playing with you. This is actually a subject of interest among us.”

Mack nodded, relieved and a little chagrined that he had again allowed himself to lose his composure. “Mackenzie, we have no concept of final authority among us, only unity. We are in a circle of relationship, not a chain of command or ‘great chain of being’ as your ancestors termed it. What you’re seeing here is relationship without any overlay of power. We don’t need power over the other because we are always looking out for the best. Hierarchy would make no sense among us. Actually, this is your problem, not ours.”

“Really? How so?” “Humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that people could work or live together without someone being in charge.” “But every human institution that I can think of, from political to business, even down to marriage, is governed by this kind of thinking; it is the web of our social fabric,” Mack asserted. “Such a waste!” said Papa, picking up the empty dish and heading for the kitchen. “It’s one reason why experiencing true relationship is so difficult for you,” Jesus added. “Once you have a hierarchy you need rules to protect and administer it, and then you need law and the enforcement of the rules, and you end up with some kind of chain of command or a system of order that destroys relationship rather than promotes it. You rarely see or experience relationship apart from power. Hierarchy imposes laws and rules and you end up missing the wonder of relationship that we intended for you.” “Well,” said Mack sarcastically, sitting back in his chair. “We sure seem to have adapted pretty well to it.” Sarayu was quick to reply, “Don’t confuse adaptation for intention, or seduction for reality.”

“So then, ah, could you please pass me a bit more of those greens? So, then we’ve been seduced into this preoccupation with authority?” “In a sense, yes!” responded Papa, passing Mack the platter of greens, but not letting go until he pulled twice. “I’m just looking out for you, son.” Sarayu continued, “When you chose independence over relationship, you became a danger to each other. Others became objects to be manipulated or managed for your own happiness. Authority, as you usually think of it, is merely the excuse the strong use to make others conform to what they want.”

“Isn’t it helpful in keeping people from fighting endlessly or getting hurt?” “Sometimes. But in a selfish world it is also used to inflict great harm.”

“But don’t you use it to restrain evil?” “We carefully respect your choices, so we work within your systems even while we seek to free you from them,” Papa continued. “Creation has been taken down a very different path than we desired. In your world the value of the individual is constantly weighed against the survival of the system, whether political, economic, social, or religious—any system actually. First one person, and then a few, and finally even many are easily sacrificed for the good and ongoing existence of that system. In one form or another this lies behind every struggle for power, every prejudice, every war, and every abuse of relationship. The ‘will to power and independence’ has become so ubiquitous that it is now considered normal.” “It’s not?”

“It is the human paradigm,” added Papa, having returned with more food. “It is like water to fish, so prevalent that it goes unseen and unquestioned. It is the matrix; a diabolical scheme in which you are hopelessly trapped even while completely unaware of its existence.”

Jesus picked up the conversation. “As the crowning glory of Creation, you were made in our image, unencumbered by structure and free to simply ‘be’ in relationship with me and one another. If you had truly learned to regard each other’s concerns as significant as your own, there would be no need for hierarchy.” Mack sat back in his chair, staggered by the implications of what he was hearing. “So are you telling me that whenever we humans protect ourselves with power...”

“You are yielding to the matrix, not to us,” finished Jesus. “And now,” Sarayu interjected, “we have come full circle, back to one of my initial statements: You humans are so lost and damaged that to you it is almost incomprehensible that relationship could exist apart from hierarchy. So you think that God must relate inside a hierarchy like you do. But we do not.” “But how could we ever change that? People will just use us.”

“They most likely will. But we’re not asking you to do it with others, Mack. We’re asking you to do it with us. That’s the only place it can begin. We won’t use you.”"

So maybe Zerzan is right?

What other animals on this planet impose a hierarchical structure on themselves?

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