"And by anarchist spirit I mean that deeply human sentiment, which aims at the good of all, freedom and justice for all, solidarity and love among the people; which is not an exclusive characteristic only of self-declared anarchists, but inspires all people who have a generous heart and an open mind." – Errico Malatesta
Logic, reason and everything that is Aristotelian is a powerful weapon to prove our case for liberty. I rather not play on the onus probandi and instead appeal indirectly to those who cringe from intellectual pursuits. I can't ask you to take notes on what I have to say. Instead I ask that you enjoy what I have to say - when leisure allows for it. I find that here at Mises Institute we have a plethora of scholars all quite sharp of mind which completely makes up for my lack of acumen. I shall for the most part in my writing, let those who think – do what they do best. I readily accept their thoughts and contrast them to mine – I love to learn and love to read their viewpoints.
As we all know the general publics opinion and knowledge of free-markets and indeed liberty is dismal at best. At worst they mistake nihilists for us. Mental acuity is not enough alone to combat this. One must cross borders of intellect to lands bordering religion and myth. One must appeal to the soul. There are quite a few who would scoff at non-intellectual pursuits on the ideals of freedom. However; I think that people readily grasp personal reasons than general applications of philosophy. In fact it seems that philosophers hold everything but the frontal lobe with contempt. So while you do your best advancing the scholarship of liberty I do my best advancing the expression of self.
I am approaching these ideals with nothing in mind but self-realization. It is very easy to grasp that one can become the artist of your direction in life. Freedom from confines is freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is art. When this freedom to express is shared with others - there is a way to ignite something that logic alone was incapable of accomplishing.
I cannot help it. I’ve argued heatedly and I’ve held the coldest of discourse. When one mocked me or made preconceived notions of the love for my theory – I tempered it with heavy-laden logic. I perceive it is this logic that is indeed, heavy; indeed leaden. For while it is one thing to utterly confound my opposition to my beliefs with wit and intellect (and I could always use more) – it is another to completely lose them by attacking with disregard for emotions and attention spans. Once boredom in your opponent is conceived, the point of displaying the thought (no matter how strong the argument) is fruitless.
Authors have helped shed light on the role of anarchist theory and their figureheads in the manifestations of modern art. It is easy to surmise that political tradition and classical pleasantries were ‘threatened’ by the questioning graze of the painters brush, the sculptors chisel, and the writers prose through the medium of aesthetics.
I recently stumbled upon Ian Davis. I tumbled across a scene; a tundra, framed by a wintry gray-scape where symmetry was all too apparent. Strategy revealed the absurd orchestration of men marching in neat little rows. Redcoats paced into the horizon without a purpose in sight and with their sights set to their feet.
Most of his artwork swirls around the bumbling and destructive quality of humans. Pointless journeys, bureaucratic formations and oblique geometric representations of our monstrous enclave are all softened with faux-naïf presentation. The individuals are always reduced to a babbling mass. Like any true artist, he doesn’t reveal his ideas without first raising your brows in curiosity.
I wasn’t struck by curiosity so much as awe. I have always felt a need to oppose any repression or any directive as long as I’ve lived. Always I’ve maintained a craving. This craving grew in direct opposition to conventionality and tradition. This craving evolved to disagree with fads and fashion. This hunger grew for something that wasn’t force fed down the throat. This taste spat out the spun out details of elections and wars. It digested subjective history on administration and facts on bureaucracy. It was pleased at first. But I grew hungry to know: what about the people? Who paid for all these wars? What did they say the commoners huddled in their homes? The dissatisfaction grew before childhood ended. You see all that was necessary was to but ignite my fuel to pursue liberty.
I grew older and the disgust bloomed with it. I grew further angry that life was a never ending tale of bureaucracy. I learned fury when I looked on my high school classmates in quiet disbelief – seeing them for the cogs they were. Oh I’ve learned and I would continue to learn. But I would not recall my bitter outrage so suddenly and with such clarity were it not for the works of Ian Davis. I would not have felt so inclined to write this – without inspiration.
We are human. The surface is comprised of logic. The bulk beneath is raw ore. To attack emotional appeal – one must fairly attack the logical portion of our beings. So I hope to wield the ephemeral inspiration humbly and share that torch with others blind to its ideal.
1. Christine Stansell, American Modern: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century (New York: Henry Holt, 2000). Alan Antliff, Anarchist Modern: Art, Politics, and the First American Avant-garde (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
3. (Does anyone know how to put pictures in blog posts?) lol.
Oct 09 2008, 09:43 PM