A recent Chronicle article outlined the line monitors’ plan to “kill” the walk-up line for the home basketball game against UNC. I agree that Duke isn’t perfect, but the mob power demonstrated in the 2018 UNC game walk-up line was surely the closest thing to an idyllic culture on our campus in recent memory. Without walk-up line, after all, how will Duke students feel the rush of anarchy?
Let us first understand the history of Duke’s famed walk-up line. Following the political tradition of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, who advocated for anarchist society in his treatise What is Property?, the walk-up line was created to provide greater access to the cherished UNC game and to allow students to release their pent-up desires to abolish traditional government institutions. As Cameron Crazies pair up to brace the harsh conditions of late Winter weather during the two-day walk-up line period, sustaining themselves on only beer and idealism, they form a community independent of the crushing authority that defines the Duke experience. In 2018, brave walk-up liners, inspired by this liminal space, took a first step towards prioritizing their small, localized community power over the line monitor governance system that is reproduced throughout this campus in different authority forms ranging from administrators to professors to, of course, the line monitors.
Quite frankly, Duke students need the walk-up line to experience the same thrill that the French revolutionaries felt as they stormed the Bastille. How many freshmen enroll in this historied University expecting an institution of higher learning free of hierarchical organization, only to find dominating structures such as the line monitors? How many two-day K-ville residents found themselves with more autonomy than ever before at the 2018 UNC game, charging into the hallowed halls of Cameron Indoor Stadium?
Jaxson Floberg, a line monitor at last year’s UNC game, outlined his objection to the walk-up line in a column called “It's time to kill Walk-Up Line.” In the piece, he writes that the walk-up liners were “ignoring and insulting the people trying to create any semblance of order” and that “one thing is for certain: it’s time to kill the Walk-Up Line.” My peers, I remind you that in “killing” walk-up line, Floberg and the other line monitors do not intend to remove the structures of law they have established. Instead, they want to enforce further regulations upon your rightful entitlement to watch Carolina go to hell.
Rather than removing the walk-up line, Duke needs to have more walk-up lines, and with increased chaos. A vast majority of lines at this campus are conducted in orderly fashion, conforming to the wills of our oppressive statist administrators, who watch us suffer from the comfort of their gothic towers up in the Allen Building. Instead, I envision a Duke that guarantees absolute freedom to the individual. One where the fraternity system serves as voluntary institutions in a limited authoritative fashion, never approaching state-level power. These organizations can free us from the chains of structures like the Sazon line, which can take upwards of five minutes of waiting for a simple rice, cheese, black bean, mushroom, and grilled onion quesadilla with a side of guac. At a truly free Duke, in the model of the walk-up line, Sig Ep and KA battle for control of the speaker to play remixes of rap songs, and Duke’s subjugated and beer-drunk student body will finally experience the glorious liberty of "law and freedom without force" that Immanuel Kant imagined. As more and more students let the established authority tremble at the power of the masses, this feeling will become addictive to a people numb to the pain of regulation they so willingly accept.
Of course, walk-up line leaves a few important questions unanswered. When the revolution occurs, will we establish an individualist anarchist campus or one of the social anarchist variety? How did those insurgents rushing into Cameron view the role of welfare in their idealized stateless society? By how many points will Duke defeat Carolina come February 2019? Regardless of the particulars, one thing is certain: everyone participating in last year’s walk-up line had a firm commitment to the base principle of rejecting hierarchy.
Students overwhelmingly agree with my philosophies. When I asked students lined up outside Cameron Stadium at Countdown to Craziness their thoughts on the anarchist nature of the walk-up line, they looked at me with bewilderment and didn’t respond, presumably because they were busy planning to charge into the basketball court in revolutionary fashion in just a few moments. “Walk-up line is the spark that has set a mobocratic fire within me,” they would probably say. “My only hope is for that flame to spread to the whole Duke Forest!”
In the midst of reflection on last year’s UNC game walk-up line, Duke Student Government voted to accept the line monitors’ proposition. This legislative body—which ultimately must, of course, be dismantled—claims to represent Duke’s undergraduate student population, yet failed to consider how the walk-up line liberates the Cameron Crazies in the great anarchist tradition. Without this emancipating practice, Duke students will have to settle for off campus barn parties, freedom to consume drugs in front of law enforcement in K-Ville, and generally being sheltered from any repercussions for their actions as the closest forms of anarchy accessible to them in their formative college years.
Jordan Diamond is a Trinity sophomore. His column runs on alternate Thursdays.
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