Anarchy, tangentially... Tangentium, "an online journal devoted to alternative perspectives on IT, democracy, and society," has dedicated its May issue to Anarchism, Activism and IT. Lest you freak out at that first A-word--as so many do--the publication runs a great article on anarchy:
The trouble with anarchism is that the word "anarchy" has developed false connotations. There is nothing in its Greek origins which implies chaos, violence or vandalism. It in fact describes a particular type of association, or a decision-making method, in which there are no identifiable leaders or rulers. The word is derived from a-, the prefix denoting the absence of something, and arkhos, ruler; compare this with monarch (one ruler), oligarch (few rulers) and so on. Now, it is true that language evolves, and therefore so do meanings. But in a country where the high form of language is still called the "King's/Queen's English", we cannot forget that control over the evolution of language is just one more means of exercising political power. When one sees the relatively abstract word "anarchy" applied to the material phenomenon of, say, a riot, one must remember that this is an application of a metaphor. Therefore, perhaps the first and most important task of the modern anarchist is to seek to reclaim the word.
It's a distinction Siva Vaidhyanathan makes in his book The Anarchist in the Library: his point is that anarchy's tactics--but not necessarily its political philosophy--might hold the key to reviving democracy. He sees distributed and decentralized communication technologies like WiFi, filesharing, and open-source software as a way of resisting hegemonic rule. "No self-defined anarchist has ever sparked a revolution," he writes. "But the ideologically uninitiated who have trafficked in the habits of anarchism—chiefly unmediated communication—have toppled dozens of tyrants."

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