Editor's Choice

Remember Remember the Fifth of November

Published On: 29-Oct-2021

There’s a fine demarcation between anarchism and chaos. However, the intended outcomes overlap to some extent. But let’s not talk about that shall we. It could get boring and might lead me to quote a precise definition of either; anarchy, or chaos, from Merriam-Webster, and I would be left with less words of me own. To sum it up, anarchism is more structural, it’s like a lack of order in the society. Anarchists want an order-less, structure-less, “no hierarchy – no authority” sorta’ self-governing, and self-supporting system.

“miaan biwi raazi, kia karey qazi”

That only answers the “rights'' aspect to it, there’s another aspect: the “duties'' aspect - self-accountability is the only thing that opens a new tab in my mind, when talking about the duties aspect, which is why, the anti-anarchists advocate for an overarching figure or framework of some kind: which could be anything… morality, rationality, “rule”, “law”, religion, a code of conduct, or your parents, a monarch, or a leader, or God, and everyone is answerable and a subject before this overarching thingy.

If you’re still confused, and haven’t left the page, welcome aboard, for now most of the people would’ve skipped, so it feels like the perfect time to talk about the title. If the title of this content rings a bell, but you can’t remember the fifth of November, or what this is about, the statement is a dialog from 2005 English film V for Vendetta, directed by James McTeigue and screenplay by The Wachowskis. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Alan Moore of the same title. If you haven’t watched it, you would’ve seen the mask; knowingly or unknowingly.

The V mask however, got more famous than the film, still the mask is used by anarchists, rebels, revolutionaries, and over-enthusiastic college students across the globe. The lead character, V is a rebel and a freedom fighter against a totalitarian regime. Won’t spoil the film for you, but V is inspired by a 17th century anarchist, Guy de Fawkes, even the mask is inspired by facial characters of De Fawkes, who plotted the failed Gun Powder Plot against King James I. De Fawkes was a Catholic, while the church and crown were anti-Catholics.

The Gun Powder Treason Plot was not just a failed coup attempt, but quite disappointing as well. The plot was to ignite fireworks, in the House of Lords, to assassinate the King, and overthrow the anti-Catholic nexus of clergy and nobility. The fireworks were set for 5th of November, 1605. During the state opening of the parliament. But someone reported about the 36 barrels of gunpowder present in the premises of The House of Lords, which were guarded by Guy De Fawkes. He was tried-and-convicted, and sentenced to death alongside his comrades, in January 1606.

The fireworks were unarmed, and the outlaws unearthed. The 5th of November is still remembered, mourned, cherished by outlaws, rebels, anarchists, and pro-freedom people, who mourn the failure of a great plot against a tyrant regime, by taking it to the streets. The 5th of November is celebrated as Guy de Fawkes Day all over the world. This day became a thing after V For Vendetta, and got culturally sanctioned after the infamous hacker group, The Anonymous, who pose as anarchists on a regular day, clear off people’s debts, and conduct other notorious, cyberspace related non-violent and/or violent acts.

People across the globe, possessing similar ideological traits, celebrate this day by wearing Guy De Fawkes’ or the V Mask, holding candles, wearing cloaks, and hats... go to capital cities like The DC, London, Florence, and other cities. 

As an individual I’m more tilted towards an anarchical structure of society, but, only if no harm is intended, assurances are made, and deed... done. Obedience, and control is all cool, until someone or some law, or some provision is forcefully implied. That’s where it could get a bit out of hand, and a conflict may arise, which might cause some disturbance: emotional, physical, mental maybe fiscal. Life is designed in such a beautiful way that the actions of one person might affect someone completely non-related. March 2021, a cargo ship got stuck in the Suez Canal, and cost about $400 million dollars per hour to the global economy. Cost-and-effect value analysis seems important for such cases.

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