Toronto is an anarchist town
By Rick Salutin, via The Toronto Star
I was driving up Bathurst Friday during the windstorm when all the traffic lights went out. Amazingly, traffic kept moving at about the same rate.
At major intersections, people stopped, looked each way, made eye contact, let others go, then drove when others let them, also allowing pedestrians to cross. It was impressive and co-ordinated.
I saw this once before, in the power outage of 2003, also in rush hour. It proves, I thought, that the anarchist theory of human nature is right: people can self-regulate instinctively. They don’t need rules, outside authorities, police legal systems. It makes me feel good about my species.
I mentioned this to a longtime Torontonian, who grew up in a Third World city. It’s true, she said, but only in Toronto because people are so nice and courteous no matter what. If it happened where she grew up, they’d be killing each other from the first moment, taking out their rage and frustration.
So is Toronto the natural anarchist capital of the world. It always seems so mild and unradical. But the greatest anarchist of all, Emma Goldman, the “most dangerous woman in the world,” spent loads of time here. Why did her anarchist heart feel at home? She even died here, on Vaughan Rd. — near Bathurst!