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The Goldman Pamphlets #2 Impractical Morality

The philosophy of a new social order based o liberty unrestricted by man-made law; the theory that all forms of government rest on violence, and are therefore wrong and harmful, as well as unnecessary.- Emma Goldman


The first thing that needs consideration, according to Red Emma, is Anarchy’s definition, we live in an age that prides itself on ignorance, Che Guevara’s face stencilled all over- things are understood for their hip potential and then we move on in our ever shallow association with significance. So apart from the age old habit of ‘defining your terms’ before embarking on a treatise, we also get a shot at avoiding superfluity. Look at us go.

Of course this Goldman venture represents such a danger to me, as I shallowly milk her image for some counter cultural street credit. Sure we are allowed to do such things, given that we’re honest. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t seduced by the veneer of anarchy; its sexiness appeals to me on a deeply superficial level. The hope of course is to make some crucial connection with her tenets and grow, but accidents happen and who am I to thwart the regress of popular thinking?

At the very least I’ll dig deep enough to piss off the neo fascist conservative pigs that take fault with free thought. At the end of the day it’s about disagreeing with the biggest guy in the room, it’s about engaging a meaningful and challenging experience & subjugating which ever edifice would presume itself an authority (a.k.a sticking it to the man).

The first idea Goldman cares to mould our understanding around is the understanding of what anarchy actually means. The nuts and bolts of the term are a lot broader than what I assumed.

She goes on describing anarchy as the proverbial bad man, she talks about the vested interest the media and our leaders have in obscuring the term. Our collective consciousness, through a number of authoritarian influences, have attached an angry devotion to destruction and violence to the term. Rightly so, it makes sense that Uncle Sam and the preacher man would fuck anarchy’s P.R up, I would if I were them. Economic necessity and all.

Now from the outset I have no ideological qualms with destruction & violence. Though the act of homicide leaves me a little nervous about the world, the idea of theoretically underpinned violence leaves me with a big rubbery one. She goes on to unpack the inner workings of an ideal anarchist; virtuous, sensitive, moral and cultivated. Taking great care to enforce the notion that though anarchy celebrates and encourages nihilistic martyrdom it takes no joy in mindless destruction. How utterly boring, but redeeming if I had to be honest.

Another great objection to this political ideology is that it remains fiercely impractical. Impracticality is something I’ve always admired in which ever form it presents itself. We are after all a terribly practical lot, with our economic pragmatism, bilateral trade agreements and plutocratic undertones (read boring cunts) calling the shots, I find the occasional flurry of pointlessness refreshing.

My immediate response to anarchistic literature is that it seems to be a system of thought designed for and by artists. Massive utopian reveries manifested in colour theory, beauteous prose and small acts of novel rebellion. I know this last statement would piss a few brick throwing idealists off but I can’t help but agree with the perceived impracticality of the movement. This, however, doesn’t make me like it any less- like I said, beauty and impracticality are inseparable. Oscar Wilde was quite clear on this, for something to be entirely beautiful it must be entirely useless.

This notion fits into my romantic life too, my world view desires the same receipt as my interpersonal meanderings; this thing of aesthetic freedom.

Of the women that have influenced me most my favourite have been the artists. I’m heavily opposed to this middle class zombified prescriptive shit, fuck suburban industry. I don’t want a child bearer or a fellow mindset to slot alongside my protestant work ethic. Give me an over educated size zero rock n roll ornament for my ever growing ego. A scag princess draped in post modern excess, complete with needle marks in her soul.

Apologies to those who adhere to the good life, your dedication and discipline remain unmatched. I’m of course not saying that the middle class utopian dream is devoid of creativity or ingenuity, it often surpasses the potency of the so called bohemian elite. I just don’t want to spend my days looking like a cunt.

When it comes to beauty you have to be a pretty dull mother fucker to marvel at pragmatism or ergonomic congruity. Might as well buy the matching dinner set and get the lawn mower out if you’re leaning in that direction. No, give me impractical, give me near impossible, life is short and matching curtains are getting longer by the day.

There we have a bit of it, this anarchy, this impractical morality.