Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tyranarchy

A kid from my church ditched school this week. He told me about it on Facebook. In his mind, for reasons I won't bother to go into, it was entirely justified; I, on the other hand, was dumbstruck. I never had such moxie when I was in high school.

We got to talking about rules and regimens and whatnot, and because this particular kid has a particularly sharp wit and thoughtful streak, we came up with a new system of government that honors both his fondness of anarchy--a state of no oppression, or something like that--and his and my and, let's face it, all our desires to reign supreme over our own existence. We each have this shadow streak in which we want to be in charge and yet we just want everyone to get along. I think our epiphany came when my friend said something like "If I were in charge, nobody would be in charge."

We named our new system tyranarchism and defined it as a paradoxical form of government accommodating a universal desire for tyrannical rule without consequence; an anarchy in which everyone, from a genius like Barack Obama to a weirdo like Tyra Banks, rules his or her own empire of one.

I recently rewatched the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which may, come to think of it, actually be an experiment in tyranarchy. And Ferris reminds me, and each one of us, even as he launches his own tyranarchistic campaign, that systems ultimately collapse on themselves in a paradoxical comment that does just that:

Isms in my opinion are not good. A person shouldn’t believe in an ism; he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: "I don’t believe in Beatles; I just believe in me." Good point there; after all, he was the Walrus.


Or we could read the second half of the book of Judges, which bookends tales of horrible, disastrous self-government with the simple, tyranarchist refrain: "In those days there was no king; everyone did as he saw fit." Good point there; after all, it's the Bible.

1 comment:

Billy Coffey said...

I had a friend in school who said he was a pacifistic anarchist (I know. Crazy, huh?). His favorite argument against government and rules was the broken stoplight. When a stoplight breaks, there is usually no chaos or burning wreckage, he would say. Folks generally work it out themselves.

Of course, the argument could be made that they'd better work it out because there were cameras all over the place and the cops would usually be on their way. I guess he never got that far in his reasoning.

We do think awfully highly of ourselves, don't we? We often trust a better nature within ourselves that is more often absent than not.