On a lighter note…
At Amplified we had an interesting series of exchanges around relationships.
I asserted my belief that in a 3-way relationship, say Alice, Bob & Carol, then Alice is responsible for her relationship with Bob and also responsible for her relationship with Carol, but that Bob and Carol’s relationship is none of Alice’s business.
That’s my belief. It’s what I try to practice in life, although when you do start to try to practice it, you see how entrenched in our social dynamics is the belief that we can tell two other people how to run their lives or believe that in some way we are looking after either of them by trying to make their relationship “work” or “better” or maybe “work better”.
“What about gossip?” I was asked. Yes, good question. Again, I try, I really try not to indulge in gossip anymore, it doesn’t do either of us any good, although I don’t deny that it can be absolutely delicious.
None of this is to say that I think myself any better than anyone because of this belief, it’s just what works for me.
There was an interesting point where we were talking about it and there was some disagreement. Someone asked for a show of hands as to who agreed with me. Funny. I think maybe one or two hands went up. Did I change my mind? Nope. Did I suddenly think, maybe I should start interfering in other people’s relationships? Nope. Forty years of llife has taught me not to stick my nose in. Peer pressure isn’t going to swing it.
Because telling people what’s good for them and what’s best for all of us and what they should do that I’m not already doing – isn’t that the only way it’s going to work? Isn’t that what marketing and politics is all about? Don’t people need to be told how to live better lives, what things they need and what they don’t need, what they really ought to stop doing straight away? Otherwise, then what would happen?
It does seem as though there is no other way. Except, oh dear, we have a rather major blind spot. There is no other way as long as it’s me or my pals who are doing the telling, but the moment that you’re telling me what to do, you’re telling me how to live my life then I will resist – to put it mildly. Sometimes I will resist violently, sometimes more subtly, in fact sometimes so subtly that even I might not notice that I’m resisting, but nonetheless I will resist.
Oh yeah, and I’m quite good at recognising when you try to make me think it was my idea in the first place.
Bonus audio: Vinay Gupta’s lecture on Infrastructure for Anarchists (70MB) at the Temporary School yesterday