Commentary: I had a discussion today with my friend Paul Merkley, continuing the theme of anarchism that he explores in his most recent essay, published here yesterday and linked below.
I have recently considered the trite allegory of the straw that broke the camel’s back. It is used by linear deterministic thinkers to argue that a specific act is “the last straw”, the causal factor of some ensuing major event. It entirely misses the point that in natural systems, it is the state of the system and not the singular act that is important.
In some states of a forest I can drop a lighted match and nothing happens other than that the match burns itself out. When the forest is in another state, however, that match causes a forest fire. It is interesting to know that the frequency of forest fires of a particular size follows a mathematical relationship known as a power law. All natural systems follow their own power laws. Anarchy, the expression of a segment of our society – a natural system – would be expected to obey its own power law.
It is the buildup of fuel on the forest floor that determines the size and severity of a forest fire. We have been witnessing a buildup of violent, intolerant dissent coming from the progressive left of our society. The frequency of mini-fires of this nature: French Protesters Set Car On Fire During Ongoing Anti-Police Protests: Live Feed, seems to be increasing. Unlike small forest fires that reduce the overall fuel load in a forest and reduce the likelihood of a major blaze, these protests and expressions of anarchy actually may be increasing the underlying rebelliousness, increasing the likelihood of a major conflict.
We can’t know when or even how it will occur but the risk is increasing and one might begin to think of preparation to survive a major event.