Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

"hey, state, why can't you do this?"

I like mutual aid because any distance between ourselves and the state is good. One of the reasons that the park was so dangerous was that, by feeding 1,500 people per day and providing health care to anyone who wanted it, we were also posing an unanswerable question to the state: “Hey, state, why can’t you do this? You, with all of your resources and millions and millions of dollars, why can’t you feed everyone?” Whereas we, a group of poor people, who were actually fairly disorganized and kind of had our heads up our asses, can pull it together and feed 1,500 people three meals a day. That’s a really dangerous question to ask the state, because it invalidates it. But as far as creating a new world through mutual aid programs, or that being an echo of a world we would like to see, that idea is a little bit complicated. It’s always a direct response to the world we live in right now, and not a thing onto itself. It therefore contains the world we live in right now and doesn’t make any sense outside of that context.

this interview is pretty fascinating.