Friday, December 4, 2009

Be kind to an Anarchist Today

Ask almost anybody. It’s the way we think. Go up to them and tell them you like to stick to the rules. They’ll put on a mock-sly grin and say without irony, ‘Rules were made to be broken…’ So this is the moral anarchy in which we live. The old tanks of certainty and protection lie burned out in the parade ground outside the palace, Molotov cocktails of free will and denial having scorched their rigid interiors.

But that’s the world we live in. Sure, there are some immutable rules, such as personal hygiene and looking twice before you cross the road, but for the rest, it’s not a rule so much as a general indication to be loosely interpreted as: Do whatever the hell you like. Incidentally, why is it that Cape Town is the only city I know of where you have to look both ways when crossing a one-way street?

Perhaps it’s a South African thing. As a cricket loving country, we’re conditioned to celebrate when boundaries are crossed. The boundary is not a limitation, it’s a challenge. We’re not entirely satisfied unless we hit the ball right out of the park. A boundary is just a random point marking our ascension to bigger and better things, more points on the scoreboard.

So there needs to be a new personal management system in place- if we consider ourselves to be governed by freedom to choose what we want to do with our skills and resources, we need to have a clear idea of where the buck stops. Most of us would agree that whereas rules were made to be broken, laws, on the other hand, should be obeyed. Which creates a tension, and the criminalization of society- Never been caught copying that movie? It’s still against the law. Just because your boss never found out that you’ve been squirreling away funds into the Cayman Islands doesn’t mean that he’d be entirely happy with you.

I won’t get all Ten Commandments on you. You do have your own conscience. You should listen to the small, still voice saying it is NOT ok to murder your irritating colleague. Possession is NOT nine tenths of the law. But we need to increase our listening skills. Figure out how to be better, no, wait, the best possible individuals we can be. Rather than looking for angles to get away with things, we can look for ways to improve the quality of life for those around us, be criminally kind and loving. So off you go- break some rules… Be anarchically good.


  1. It's just a sad indication of how things are today and how we allow apathy to creep in and wreck stuff. I think I'll try harder to be more aware today. Maybe tomorrow too.


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