adding the page following a twitter interaction.. in response to this sentence from David Graeber‘s the utopia of rules:
What ultimately lies behind the appeal of bureaucracy is fear of play.
[David clarifies … distinguishing play from games in this respect; play generates rules, but isn’t bound by them]
then Luba uses this short phrase to preface 3 points ..
if play = subversive—> (why we have play deficit, why we criminalize free range parents, and why we standardize ed)
and it felt odd to me.. really struck a chord. maybe i’m analyzing too much… or maybe it’s the heart of the thing we keep missing. [like our wanting to do things partially, ie: trust, inclusiveness, bureaucracy.. that raised eyebrow..]
perhaps seeing ie: play as subversive, is the myth obliging this manner of civilization we now oblige/perpetuate. when perhaps it’s the civilization that is subversive to our nature/ecosystem. [civilization ness does seem to have intent, and so perhaps it can’t imagine – and is even fearful of – the idea of play w/o intent. you can fight/define intent/subversive ness.. but it’s hard to battle (aka control) – whimsy. hard to even imagine a no intent/agenda ness.]
David later adds..
obviously there’s a romantic view of play too .. but it’s not dominant.
what if it is dominant.. in each one of us. just not when we get together. when we become civilized – Hannah‘s promise of politik ish ness.
what went wrong is politics, our plural existence, and not what we can do and create insofar as we exist in the singular;
[perhaps too – this mass beyond 20 – is not in need of more hierarchy – ie: a thing to be subverted.. but rather.. a mechanism that breathes well with chaos/ambiguity/uncertainty. – referring to David on reactions to Jo Freeman’s – tyranny of structurelessness]
i guess my thinking is.. perhaps if we weren’t so accepting of the civilized version of play, ie: as subversive.. perhaps more of us would .. play. be natural. wake up. be alive. it’s like – when we think play is subversive, govt et al has reason to fight it and the masses/slaves/oppressed/et al have reason to avoid it. but when we realize play is not subversive, but rather .. it’s the natural nonorder of things.. that’s where govt et al becomes fearful and the masses et al become free.
you know masses.. that most-of-us-amount. the ones that aren’t perhaps protesting – that seem unmoved. silently asking – why does it have to be a fight. a subversion. why can’t it just be what it is.
too many of us think it’s illegal/subversive to think for ourselves. what if we thought the proper/civilized/natural thing to do.. was to play… to follow our whimsy… to be arbitrary.
it’s like we’ve made up the rule that play is subversive. and since that rule in particular has perpetuated/served the bureaucratic/civilized/man-made system, we’ve lost sight that we can (legally) change the rules. we are free to quit. and that’s not subversive/lazy/irrational, it’s just .. i don’t know.. living.
and it seems if we don’t understand/grok that play isn’t subversive or some escape plan.. then the subversion itself.. or the escapism itself.. become the focus.
and so then.. play won’t be play. the dance won’t be the dance. we won’t be free.