Anarchy and Minecraft

SUBHEAD: When it's running for free the participants "play nice" and build a world to their own liking.

By Juan Wilson on 31 March 2014 for Island Breath -
Image above: Aerial view of a landscape built with computer game Minecraft. From ( Click to embiggen.

The recent announcement by the Kauai Department of Water to abandon the project to drill a horizontal well sent me to thinking about how we rule ourselves and how we as a community make decisions.

In my mind this seriously flawed proposal was essentially to tap into Mount Waialeale to drain the Alakai fresh water aquifer for the sake of money and development.

The various dog and pony shows put on by the DOW to sell the project  - and appear to go through the motions of consulting the community were disasters. All the green smoke rosey blather from the DOW's management and their consultants hit a brick wall.

Blow by Blow 
People who attended these scripted events were not going to be polite and follow the presenter's rules. They spoke up and pushed back. They implored and bullied. They would have no part in the fiasco.
  • This was similar to what Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho recently faced when he vetoed the GMO regulation Bill 2491. It passed with the concerted and in-your-face effort of a populist uprising. Carvalho, under pressure from the chemical companies in control of our ag land, put Kauai's health and well being  behind corporate interest and vetoed the bill. To his dismay his veto was overturned.  
  • This was like what our Governor Neil Abercrombie faced in April 2012 with his attempt to create the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC) that would be the means of privitizing Hawaii's public land and getting around environmental restrictions and local community interests in the pursuit of real estate speculation. Massive stone faced opposition.
  • This is also what ex Governor Linda Lingle experienced as the point woman for the Superferry. This was in reality a military experiment in crowd sourcing the R&D of navel craft, in the guise of public transportation. It and Lingle lost its traction in September 2007 when she faced the people of Kauai at the Peace & Freedom Convention Center in Lihue and could not intimidate us.
  • It is what the Navy Commander of the PMRF faced at Kalaheo School in Novermber of 2003 when presenting a plan to greatly expand the area of PMRF control of the Mana Plain that included a lease arrangement that would be free and forever. Two hundred Kauai residents showed up on short unpublicized notice. All testified strongly against the proposed arrangement.
Pitchforks and Torches
These kinds of responses to government have been seen by some as "mob rule".  But I would say they are really the heart of what democracy can achieve. Sure, democracy can quickly dissolve into mob rule. A summary lynching can be a thoroughly democratic process. The whims and blood fever of a hungry crowd that senses injustice produce ugly results.

All political forces have their dark sides. Enlightened personal leadership without selfish interest is key in all governing situations.

The United States has never been - and was never intended - to be a democracy. It was designed to be a republic. A people ruled by selected representatives. It was meant to be a federation of semi-sovereign states that were too unwieldy to be make decisions the votes of all its constituent citizens.

On a day to day basis, even running a large town by up-or-down votes by majority rule is to too cumbersome for practical operations. Not only is democracy impractical but the results can be quite undesirable. Think of a public lynching.

But when corporate interests take control of representative government and public and corporate employment passes through a revolving door - then somebody has to break the cycle. Put their body in front of the door. So what works.

For democracy to work the cost must be to the participant.

Less is More
Recently the Kauai County Charter Review Commission rejected three proposals that would have given voters the chance to split the island into districts for electing council members rather than having them elected at-large.

My opinion is that this was a halfway measure that really did not address the issue of properly representing the interests of Kauai. The district scale (moku) were too big and unequal in scale and resources.

Closer to the heart would be town (ahupuaa) representatives. It always seemed odd to me that Kauai's executive leader was a "mayor". In my past mayorships were the role of town or city leaders, not rural county counterparts.

I recommend that Kauai would be better off with a mayor in each of its towns. Let's start with trwenty-two mayors for Wainiha, Hanalei, (I don't count Princeville as a public town but a private resort), Anini, Kilauea, Moloaa, Anahola, Kealea, Kawaihau, Kapaa, Wailua, Waipouli, Hanamaulu, Lihue, Puhi, Omau, Lawai, Koloa, Poipu, Kalaheo, Hanapepe, Waimea, Kekaha.

Moreover, I suggest that each town should also have its own elementary school, park, library, fire department, peace officer and public works operation.

The less you have to deal with the county, state or federal government the better off you are. An even though all government has become a form of mafia operation, it seems to me that the smaller that operation is the less harm it will do in the long run.

Anarchy and Minecraft! 
We will need a lot of faith and a lot of good will to get through the approaching maelstrom of change needed to sort out the future. The powers that be have short term vested interests in the continuity of current arrangements. You don't. I recommend finding a situation where one won't need cable TV, a car or a job.

Accepting this take on authority is to a degree accepting anarchy: A situation where you are best suited to be your own regulator. For anarchy to work it requires an informed, moral and responsible citizenry... But that's the case with democracy and even representative government as well. With anarchy you cut out the middleman.

Have you seen the computer game Minecraft? It's kind of a electronic Lego system on steroids with 3D block elements representing everything from lava to grassy lawn. You can create and you can destroy - as needed to achieve your goals.

When it's running on a free server you'll find the overwhelming number the participants "play nice" and build a place in the world to their own liking. It's a kind of anarchy rarely achieved in reality. But one that should be attempted.  

Once again I urge you to produce your own food; clean up your own shit; collect your own water; provide your own power; repair your own tools; play your own music; write your own editorials and love your own people.


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