Anarchism and Go

Posted on June 18, 2021

kamo no itte

anarchist theory is one of, if not the, most important things to learn. the way we as a species of individuals interact with each other is a universally relevent thing and its a disservice to yourself to not further your knowledge of that.

as a side note, many people in this world are not fortunate enough to have the luxory of choosing to educate themselves on this topic - many people have not been given the necessery conditions to have that priviledge, due to the effects of capitalism, imperialism, and heirarchy. of these people, many have had to learn these interactions the hard way - something many of us in the west have never had to. i will be writing this with the perspective of one such person, as that perspective is mine. i mean no disrespect.

back to our regularly scheduled programming

the game of go - igo, baduk, weichi - is probably the oldest game still played today. in my mind, it is the game equivilent of the lambda calculus. while chess is obviously designed by humans, the game of go seems to emerge from the idea of points on a grid. in the same way that the principles of the lambda calculus seem to be discovered, rather than invented, so to are the rules of the game of go.

if we ever meet with aliens, they will probably also have discovered the lambda calculus, and will probably also play go (although with some weird scoring rules, if humans are anything to go by).

i am not a good player at the game of go. i will probably never be good for as long as i watch hikaru no go instead of studying the game live. i also can not claim to have a enormous understanding of anarchist theory, i believe it would be arrogant and hurtful to assume i knew it all, or that it was a field possible to “know it all” for.

however, i will not allow that to prevent me from speaking about it. knowledge naturally wants to be shared, and with the correct disclaimer that i may be completely wrong about everything im saying, i will talk on.

lets GO haha get it?

the game of go, when played “correctly”, is not about winning. the act of playing a game with another person is an intimate converstion - if you will let it be, and play with the respect that another person deserves.

when played with respect, the game becomes an act of mutual aid, it becomes a way for both players to test their skills, with the testing of skills becoming the main aim of the game.

handicap stones and altered komi can be - and should be - handed out freely. we strive for an even playing field - not one in which both players start with the same resources.

if we let it, the game can become one of the few times we are allowed to exist in perfect freedom. for just a moment in time we place ourselves in mutual standing and allow ourselves a conversation from that base.

every day i wake up, and i long for the rest of the world to be that way.

if we were to play with the mindset of heirarchy, i would not be allowed that conversation. i would not see my friends and family grow at the game, and i would be disincentivised from teaching them.

i find no joy in winning an unbalanced match, and i would not find the game satisfying if that were the case, yet i am told that life is such, that there is no other way.

we are all motivated by profit, nothing more and nothing less.

closing thoughts

i may not have said much in this article, i simply wished to mention the feeling one gets when utilising a system, and paying the proper respect to another living person.

communication can be hard, and sometimes impossible feeling. many times i wonder if i can ever truly communicate with another person, however the simple act of playing a game with someone, in a setting in which we are both equals.

that is a feeling that comes close.

if i were to become immortal, and live on a beach, i could place stones for an eternity and simulate a computer.

those same stones could be used to play the game of go, and with that , i could communicate with someone on a new level.

i wish to get better at go, and to learn more about the interaction between persons.