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Small Anarchies

A few days ago I was at the beach, and I ate dinner at a small seafood shack run by a family. It was crowded with diners and takeout folk. Everything was fresh and tasty. The owner kept coming over to ask how we liked the food. He bought fish at the market early in the morning — not frozen. There was a full roll of paper towels of decent quality on the table to wipe your hands, not the lousy napkins they give you in big chains.

I was struck by the difference between what he and his family sold and the pride they displayed in selling it vs. the ice cream bar I bought on the beach earlier that day (made by Goodhumor owned by Unilever) whose ingredients I recently tweeted in a photograph, about twenty or thirty of them, mostly unrecognizable as food.

I know it’s a little naive, but much of the trouble we have come from the size of corporations and their power over government, the lack of individual responsibility, and the unwillingness of government to prosecute individuals within companies rather than fine them.

The best times I ever had at work and in life were when the group I worked in functioned as a small autonomous unit, with people passionate about what they were doing, like that small restaurant. The stupidest bosses I ever had were the ones who didn’t understand the passion for work, but thought only about money.

I know it’s naive, but anarchism is about people doing what they like, with passion and with responsibility.

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