TOTW: Scarcity of Labor
Anarchy requires participation. Engaging in projects that will help our culture remain relevant into the next century is an almost innate intuition for many of us. Some even espouse dreams of land projects, federations, and worker cooperatives. Yet, wishing does not make them so.
Serendipity and human effort are perhaps our greatest assets and yet lack of preparation, competence, and infrastructure cripple our ability to thrive as innovators, allies, or agents. A frequent grievance among project managers (who may even have access to hundreds of volunteers) is that the majority of the day-to-day responsibilities fall onto the shoulders of a few individuals. In the household the complaint is so frequently about the dishes.
Business is no stranger to this challenge, as building a competent team is a popular topic from either side of the fence. However, rapport—and in some cases even politics—in business is generally seen as secondary to merit and execution. Anarchists, however, seem to fetishize rapport over effectiveness, and in turn end up making new friends at best and accomplishing few if any of their goals at worst.
scott crow, in his book Black Flags and Windmills, which focuses on the efforts of the Common Grounds Collective in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina says,
“I wanted us to be as horizontal and democratic as possible. I reluctantly recognized that Common Ground Relief was probably going to be some sort of amalgam of completely anarchist ideal, which in reality we needed years to build, and something more centralized… This challenged my dreams of having large, open assemblies.
We didn’t have the luxury of lengthy meetings, a history of actions together, or longstanding community interactions to establish deeper relationships and consult with each other. It was not a secure foundation to build on.” (PG 136-137)
When it is time to do the dishes, participate in assemblies, engage in the execution of long-term projects, or otherwise participate in the revolution of everyday life, why are we so short-handed?
We tried dropping-out, but when we came back, did we really come back?