Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I guess I'm more sympathetic to anarcho-communism now....group precedes individual, then individuation, then group, then individual

Because Kropotkinesque mutual aid is making a lot of sense to me. The thing is that despite the importance of individual responsibility we all come into this world dependent on others for our basic survival. Whether our backgrounds are poor or wealthy, we start out unable to take care of ourselves and unable to provide for ourselves, dependent on group support for our basic existence and survival. It's only after we gain some age and maturity that we're able to individuate and take on individual tasks, to differentiate ourselves from the group, and to set individual courses for our lives. Yet the exercise of individual responsibility often if not almost always goes beyond simply the maintenance of the individual and goes towards contributing to something outside of the individual life, which then provides for the individual themselves. This is cooperation and group orientation, whether direct or indirect. In return, the group helps the individual, either through basic help or through monetary contributions, or both. This allows the individual to pursue their own goals, which often or even mostly imply group contribution, whether actual or potential. For example even the most individual expressions of art or of music are only truly appreciated when other people view or listen to them, books when they're read, plays when they're performed. The audience can be small, but their still needs to be an audience of some sort for the work to be verified and understood in reference to objective reality. And that is a social and group orientation, even if the group is as alternative and non-traditional as they come. You create works of art, people view them and give you feedback, the feedback is the return from the group to the individual. Obviously there are different levels and types; people's work can be viewed differently, but in general there is at least a potential for objective correspondence between individual creation and social appreciation.

Much more easily seen is the material work that gives economy its shape, but I'd suggest that it's the non-material relationships between members of society that lead to economy, and that the material actualization of those relationships is a final step, not an initial one.

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