everyone’s a radical / ends & means

We are all anarchists now – Siva Vaidhyanathan – openDemocracy.

Ah, Siva, if only it were true. At any rate it reminds me of one of my mantras in earlier years: everyone is a radical if you dig deep enough.

Meaning, that if you dig, everyone will agree that people should not be killed, that people should have life, that society should be structured so as to maximize fairness … Folks disagree on how to get there or if it’s possible. Or sometimes on what constitutes rights or fairness or equality. (Equality of opportunity versus equality of results.) But, at the time, anyway, I felt that most people ultimately share a common sense of core beliefs. People might disagree, or be too afraid or too cynical to believe it openly, but it was there deep down.

Now, it’s not so much that I have changed my mind, as that I no longer necessarily believe there is any deep down for folks. I’m not sure that people have cores. Are we not all just onions? Every one of us? Growing onions? Where if you scrape away a layer and think you’ve achieved something, in the meantime more stuff is growing up from the center?

And most relevantly, all the little surface beliefs that I dismissed as mere conditioning or tactics–maybe after all, maybe those little surface beliefs are the real thing, or as near to it as one gets. Fighting & quarreling over tactics is even more important–because tactics are the struggle. The means are the end.