This Thursday, the U.S. celebrates THE national holiday. I am reminded of all that comprises that holiday. No, not barbeque and parades; fireworks and leisure. Rather all the work that has gone on to assure that we as citizens CAN celebrate this independence day. The founding fathers (and yes, they were old [or not so old] white men} took great risks to stand up for what they believed. They did what I advocate- determined (through a variety of methods) the merit/worth/value of the program, and took a stand. To me, it is a great example of evaluation as an everyday activity. We now live under that banner of the freedoms for which they stood.
Oh, we may not agree with everything that has come down the pike over the years; some of us are quite vocal about the loss of freedoms because of events that have happened through no real fault of our own. We just happened to be citizens of the U.S. Could we have gotten to this place where we have the freedoms, obligations, responsibilities, and limitations without folks leading us? I doubt it. Anarchy is rarely, if ever, fruitful. Because we believe in leaders (even if we don’t agree with who is leading), we have to recognize that as citizens we are interdependent; we can’t do it alone (little red hen notwithstanding). Yes, the U.S. is known for the strength that is fostered in the individual (independence). Yet, if we really look at what a day looks like, we are interdependent on so many others for all that we do, see, hear, smell, feel, taste. We need to take a moment and thank our farmer, our leaders, our children (if we have them as they will be tomorrow’s leaders), our parents (if we are so lucky to still have parents), and our neighbors for being part of our lives. For fostering the interdependence that makes the U.S. unique. Evaluation is an everyday activity; when was the last time you recognized that you can’t do anything alone?
About anarchism, though there is an element of going it alone in the sense that there’s a moving away from government and other coercive power structures, it is about building alternative structures that satisfy a community’s needs based on mutual aid–community members mutually assisting each other for the self-interest of the community. It’s about local rather than large governmental power structures.
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The definition I was using for anarchy is taken from Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary: “1a. absence of government; b. a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority; c. a utopian society having no government and made up of individuals who enjoy complete freedom. 2. absence of order.
That definition doesn’t mention “…building alternative structures that satisfy a community’s needs…”; it also doesn’t talk about size (“…large governmental power structures.”