October 3, 2012
Vol: 19 No: 40

Dr. Wes

Share and share alike, until overlords like Mark Zuckerberg make it illegal

By Dr. Wes Browning

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Recently, a friend on Facebook was told he’d been “sharing too much.” So much, that Facebook is denying him sharing privileges for 60 days, to teach him a lesson. For the next 60 days, I have to find my own pictures of cats being smart and sassy. I have to go see for myself what makes people post videos of former “Star Trek” actor George Takei saying “Oh My!”

This isn’t the first or the last time anyone has been prohibited from sharing.

Let’s consider the history of prohibitions against people helping each other and try to understand the mentality of overlords that results in this form of oppression.

Community sharing itself has an ancient, prehistoric, um, history. Before there was history, namely before people could read and write, people didn’t have banks and laws and governments. They just did things for each other all the time.

Admittedly, some of this got out of hand. There was endless wife swapping, I’ve heard. There was the “Have a baby, leave a baby — need a baby, take a baby” tray. People would take turns chewing the same piece of bark. Extreme sharing practices evolved that led to whole families destroying themselves trying to out-share their neighbors.

But mostly sharing worked and even led to small primitive anarcho-democratic societies. Then along came some jackass like Hammurabi the Amorite, or Philip II of Macedonia or Mark Zuckerberg of White Plains, and all of a sudden primitive anarcho-democracy is seen as a threat to the New World Order.

Think about it.

A single Iroquois longhouse might have housed 20 loosely related families, sharing space and chores. They liked it; it worked for them. So why don’t the Iroquois live like that today? The immediate answer: It isn’t allowed. It violates the White Man’s housing code.

But why is the housing code there? What’s the White Man’s problem with the longhouse?

Last week San Francisco city officials were considering whether to allow people to live in apartments as small as 220 square feet. Reading about it made me laugh and cry at the same time.

I lived in an 85-square-foot room in the U-District for three years. It seriously violated the housing code in this city. Not only was it too small in terms of area, the ceiling dipped as low as four feet on one side of the room.

The room only had two-and-a-half dimensions, instead of the usual three. It had only one-third of a window. How could I live in a space like that?

By sharing.

Besides the room I slept in and where I stored my belongings and watched tv, there was also a kitchen, a porch and a shared bathroom I could use, so long as I didn’t mind sharing it all with the rest of the residents. For the low rent I was paying, I chose not to mind.

I don’t know how I got away with living in a space so clearly illegal for so long, but I know that you can hardly get away with it any more. That building was torn down by the Man in 1993. Most of that sort of housing is now prehistory in Seattle. You aren’t allowed to live so poorly.

What advantage does it give our overlords to deny us the right to share living spaces and living facilities to cut costs? How do our masters benefit by preventing the rest of us from relying on each other to take care of our needs when we are too poor to afford middle-class housing?

For that matter, how does it benefit the majority sexual orientation to deny same-sex couples the right to share their lives, one with another?

It’s a trick question. The answer: It’s not done for any visible benefit. It’s done out of fear and stupidity, and the mere urge to control, even when maintaining control is against the oppressors’ own best interests.

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