a kind of manifesto about a utopia

The trouble with anarchy is it, mostly, doesn't work. The other trouble with anarchy is it is frequently misunderstood. Most people assume anarchy implies chaos, and suffering for everyone. But any anarchist will tell you that “all central control is backed by force” and so any violence endured in a state of anarchy is less terrible than the violence you might endure in a state with rigid well-enforced laws, that by some fluke, kept you from doing as you wished.

So, the youthful anarchist will hope that by eliminating all forms of central control: governments, churches, schools and organized markets, he will, at last, be free to do as he likes.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that it would work that way. And besides, the true tyranny anarchists in America should be concerned with is that of culture not church or school or state. Our culture continues to organize itself against anyone who is different, in order to preserve its sameness.

So, how can we change the way that people meet each other and the way that media is distributed so that the centralized control (television networks, the music industry, the accepted journals for academic publications and the more powerful movie distributors) to institute a kind of positive cultural anarchy?

In order to prevent cultural leviathans, like time-warner, from purveying ideas that may be harmful or merely annoying to one of the many minorities (that in fact, together, make up a majority) I propose a world where some yet unknown technology will give everyone these “magic” powers:

1. anonymity
2. accessibility
3. freedom of expression

In the utopia it will be fast and easy to become another person or remain completely anonymous.
For example, if you wanted to talk with someone you could simply be a random number and they would have to deduce everything they know about you from what you say, or if you wanted you could appear as a full person and let them know everything about you: you could make all your records on finance, your love letters, even, open to them. You can change your name any time you like. You can change the way you look and act and instantly reinvent yourself.

You can do almost anything you like and no one would know it was you.

Some bonuses of a population with the power of anonymity are:
- people will speak more freely
- companies, public figures, the government in general and other higher ups will be able to be criticized and mocked by all who have the desire.
- people won’t need to be judged by their heritage, race, gender, appearance or past

In any community there are individuals who hold radical views. But if you look at the global community there are, in many cases, enough of the outcasts that they could form their own communities centred around their interests and beliefs. Space prevents this from happening. So, this utopia will make it possible for anyone to be anywhere they like.

Some bonuses of a population with the power of total accessibility are:
- people will rally around what they like instead of what is convenient
- there will be more audiences for avaunt garde woks.
- the centralized distribution of movies, television, music, magazines will be broken down into tighter more personalized interest groups that may, in many cases, produce their own content and share it for free, eliminating the one-to-many model in the publishing and broadcast industries.

freedom of expression
This last one is obvious. Censorship is not as pervasive as it once was, but there are still remnants of it here and there. In order to preserve this valuable power for everyone we need to let unpopular and even ugly voices to be heard.

Some bonuses of a population with the power of free expression are:
- people will be able to show others how they see the world, thus increasing human understanding.
- people will have access to the full spectrum of ideas not just whoever is popular in their home town. - ideas that seem wrong now, but later may turn out to be right, won’t get lost.
- crazy people will have an outlet for expression without resorting to violence.

ok let’s do it! but, how?
I don’t have a good answer. How do you fund, build and maintain such a beast? The only reason there is a rail network or highways or phone lines is because of some sort of government legislation. Every American has access to phone service. Every American and (eventually every citizen in the world) will need to have access to these three powers, or all the notions of egalitarianism go out the window. It will take an action from some central controlling entity to bring this world to life.

Well, it’s a dream at least.

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