Lions and tigers and radical inclusion, oh my. - Tactical Ninja
Feb. 9th, 2012
10:27 am - Lions and tigers and radical inclusion, oh my.
Last night pombagira and I were charged with the job of barcoding all the animals on the savannah. All was going well - lions, tigers*, antelopes - until the lions started eating the antelopes and then it all got a bit confused. I figure it was a modern day version of Adam's task. "Yeah, naming is all very well but now we have to inventory them too."
Also, a line spoken by someone in the dream is sticking with me: "When you're driving home from town out here at night it's comforting to see another set of headlights because it shows you you're not completely alone."
* Yes, this savannah had tigers. They were Savannah Tigers. Duh.
This morning I cut all ties with Occupy Wellington. I considered carefully before looking for further info, but I wanted to know how the group would deal with "Mr Elliot". Based on the Facebook page where discussion seems to have taken place, folks said he should apologise so he apologised and then most of them forgave him and he was allowed to continue with the group, including attending last night's GA.
Which makes it pretty clear to me that this is a group I can't be part of. Oh, I understand why they did it. It's the same reason that the thugs in the camp ended up being able to take over - this idea of inclusivity as a main principle. I've been involved with other groups *cough*Kiwiburn*cough* that value radical inclusion as well - however sooner or later there comes a time when the idealism has to be tempered with the reality that not everyone is A Happy Utopian That Considers Others Too and then you have to decide just how inclusive radical inclusion actually is.
Does radical inclusion really mean everybody? Or does it mean everybody whose behaviour stays within certain parameters? This is not a new dilemma. Kiwiburn began by including locals for free. After too many locals started coming and blagging the free stuff and causing trouble, only those who bought a ticket and camped were welcome. When this rule wasn't respected, security was hired to exclude gatecrashers (who were still offered the option of buying a ticket). However, when a few got in anyway, they were generally radically included and 'kept an eye on'. As the festival grew, this became more difficult as the fundamental differences between the crashers and burners became evident (use of too much alcohol and the propensity for belligerence and violence being a big one), and the police were enlisted once or twice to deal with trouble among these people.
This year, I'm told that Kiwiburn had its first cases of trouble from within the community, and that at least one person was expelled from the festival. I also hear that the excom is considering creating a 'blacklist' of people who are not welcome. This means that certain people will be banned from Kiwiburn*.
This is not radical inclusion. But it is defining a set of behavioural parameters within which one must operate to be part of the community. I believe that this is necessary, otherwise you don't have a community, you have anarchy - sure, an anarchy within which most people will still not be dicks, but there will be a few and if they are allowed to remain and continue being dicks, the ones who are hurt by that will leave, and sooner or later the balance will tip and you'll end up with a 'community of anarchy' where being a dick is tolerated and therefore the dick:not-dick ratio favours the dicks**. Being a dick has become the norm.
This is what I think happened at the Occupy Wellington camp. And the continuing involvement of "Mr Elliot" in Occupy, to me, is evidence that the community hasn't yet got a handle on 'practical inclusion' - therefore, I'm out.
* Please be aware that this is only a rumour and I have no desire to get involved in these sorts of decisions again.
** And not in a good way.
I don't envy anyone who has to deal with that dilemma. It feels like compromising one's principles for a start - and when a lot of kiwis are brought up to at least believe we are an egalitarian society (whether this is true or not is another debate), we often really struggle with excluding people. It's something I learned to do in my personal life for my own safety and wellbeing, but it took me nearly 40 years to figure out what those parameters were and how to reinforce my boundaries. Group boundaries are harder and those making the decisions don't usually get 40 years.
Which is why instead of trying to change this group, I've just removed myself. Personal decision. Much easier.