A Lion in Late Winter

Many people who know me know that I am a member of Lions Club International and also my local Lions Club in Sandy Spring.   The Lions are a good organization, I just went to a meeting tonight, but I have been missing some of my commitments there recently due to my separation and me just generally blowing anything off until Melissa is gone (either to spend more time with her or because I am too sad to really commit myself).

I hope to redouble my efforts in the near future and be sure to be a useful and contributing member of the club.

My grandfather, who asked me to join, asked me a few years ago why I had done it.  I told him I joined so that I could help people and be an upstanding member of my community.  These are both totally true statements.  But I also had a bit of an ulterior, selfish motive.  The libertarian / agorist political stances I take require me to take responsibility.  If I don’t want the government helping people, building and maintaining institutions, or structuring society, then voluntary organizations need to arise to do all those things in a voluntary manner.  The club just happened to be one such organization that was doing so, and one that I was invited to join by my grandfather.

And we do good work!  We genuinely help people and help organizations that help people, and we do it all with voluntary action.  I am proud of all the good things that lions do, but it’s not exactly a radical organization (and I do consider myself a radical).  I’m too timid to try to push it in that direction, mainly because I don’t think it’s my place to do so, and because putting a political slant on something that is generally a-political feels like I would be cheapening it.  I would like to expand my horizons, though, and possibly join or form another organization that does take radical agorist stances but also helps people and supports the community in which it arises.

The one thing I can’t abide at the Lions Club meetings is the pledge of allegiance.  I basically just mumble through it, considering each of the phrases and whether I could support them or not, deciding not and continuing to mumble, until we get to “with liberty and justice for all” which I put some force into.  I hope that doesn’t make me a bad person or a bad lion!  The invocation is also a little sketchy, since I don’t believe in God, but generally I can get past that.

I recommend that everyone join an organization whose sole purpose is to help those who need help.   The Lions are a good one.  I’m sure there are others.  If you know of any that are also trying to “build the structure of a new society within the shell of the old,” will you let me know?

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2 Responses

  1. I just found your blog via the tag surfer on my dashboard (looking for Agorism tags). I haven’t had the opportunity to read much more than the two or three posts you had tagged with Agorism, but I’ll be checking back.

    I never really considered the non-radical social clubs before, mostly because of affiliations most have that I don’t share such as a religion or ethnicity or something. Room for thought, anyway.

  2. I will try to post more on agorism, it’s a strong interest of mine, but I am new to blogging and not very focused.

    I think the non-radical social clubs could be a good way to effect change. Their spirit is usually in the right place, and most of them are aging and aching for new membership. I’m sort of an island unto myself at this point, the only other agorists I know are over the internet, and I barely even talk to them, but if I was part of a cadre I would definitely recommend having everyone try to join one and use the club as a tool for both a) having a place to bounce ideas off non-radicals and b) effecting change.

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