vrijdag 4 januari 2013

The political implications of the postal service + experiment

If it is really anarchic to create Cinderella stamps with deity portraits of legendary anarchists I do not know (see below), but it does lead us to Colin Ward's observations on the postal service as an example of a successful, horizontally organized network that spans the globe and connects all countries with all countries. I have often marvelled myself at the efficiency of the system when I am delivering a letter returned from some exotic (but non-existing) destination in Amazonia or the Mongolian desert. Especially when the letter is still clean and crisp. There is a sort of postal ethos there that is general and persistent. I had not before thought about this in utopian terms but Colin Ward has
Two examples which we often use to help people to conceive the federal principle which anarchists see as the way in which local groups and associations could combine for complex functions without any central authority are the postal service and the railways . You can post a letter from here to China or Chile confident that it will arrive, as a result of freely arrived­ at agreements between different national post offices, without there being any central world postal authority at all. 
With help from the oldest I have just filled 14 envelopes with her drawings and mailed them to Postman Pat in Uzbekistan, Iraq, Papua New-Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Russia, Ecuador, Venezuela, India, Fiji, Kenya, Burkino Faso and Greece. There are also letters to Barbabapa in North and South Korea. All are mailed today, January 4, 2013. Let's see if and how they are returned by the organized chaos of the international mail system!

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