Anarchist Convertions

An interesting self post has come up in reddit1 where people have been asked to explain how they ended up as Anarchists.I’ve already posted my history on this in the past so I won’t repeat it but I thought you might find some other perspectives interesting. Some examples:

Quoth facetiousdee

I grew up in a liberal feminist activist household. I went to protests and rallies as far back as you can imagine so the spirit was ingrained in me young. I lived in south Florida at the time of the 2000 election and I watched as votes were not counted, people were disenfranchised and the Supreme Court named a president. It was then I knew that the system didn’t work and I began my search to discover why and what could be done about it. Around the same time I got deeper into feminism, riot grrl, zine writing, political science, history and philosophy. I was and am a voracious reader and devoured any book I could get my hands on. Within a year it because obvious to me that the only way to live in the sort of world I wanted the only solution was anarchy.

Since then I have still continued to read every book I could find, no matter the subject. They all have something to teach. All this reading continuously confirms my findings that for there to be a society in which my feminism becomes redundant, it must be an anarchist society.

Quoth Drew3000

My partner is from one country and I’m from another and we have a child born as a citizen of yet another one in which we currently reside. In all these places which have different forms of government, we see examples of the state stifling people and of adversely affecting mental wellbeing through theocratic repression, imperial temper tantrums or constant surveillance. The people I identify with, or would call my “tribe” are international. National identity to me started seeming like religious identity: a means through which a person can be coarse into behaving in ways that they might not rationally want to.

Society has benefits that people, as social animals, need. I am slanted toward the communal anarchism as opposed to hyper individualism, more of the syndicalism found in the anarchist revolution during the Spanish Civil War (plus, they just had style). But as I read more into the history of anarchism, I find more great examples of other ways to live.

Quoth whatwasthatnoise

I’m probably the opposite of most people. I was agnostic but I converted to Christianity when I was 21. Practiced Catholicism for a while. I came to the conclusion that the church structure made people lazy in their faith and kept people from taking responsibility for the things they believed. A priest actually recommended Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God is Within You and Kierkegaard’s philosophy. In their writing I found the words to express what I felt. I also became interested in Quakerism during this time. The feeling that the hierarchical structure of the Church hurt individuals in their faith naturally led me into more a political anarchism a few years ago.

All in all, some generally good perspectives and discussion there. Take a look and contribute your own experience if you have one.

  1. For the uninitiated, as self post is a submission that is not linking to an external site as normal but rather a request for discussion on a particular subject in reddit proper []

5 thoughts on “Anarchist Convertions

  1. I'll post it here as I can't be bothered signing up to Reddit; my family are mostly immigrants and my father was virtually homeless as a young man. Growing up family members often expressing opinions that ranged from nationalist to just outright authoritarian. Went to a crappy public school. Grew up and still live in a 'low socio-economic area'. Started getting interested in Anarchism, came to be an AnCap for a long time, mostly because it was most accessible and easily applicable to a number of situations. Friend was murdered, another raped. Watched family suffer in the bureaucratic machine. This all happened within six months and made me start to re-evaluate. Now my position has shifted and I'm increasingly interested in Syndicalism and Mutualism, but generally I don't know where I am.

    1. Thanks for sharing Royce. Why do you think the encounters of your friends made you re-evaluate your AnCap position?

      1. I won't go into the details surrounding the events, but I think it didn't start by affecting my politics. It started by affecting me. I realised certain things about myself and I changed a lot during that period. I think it has a lot to do with identity. In the past I identified AS an Anarchist, then AS an AnCap and then whatever else. So much of my "self" was caught up with being Anarchist.

        These events that took place, and the little details involved, shook me and changed the way I identified. There were things I discovered about myself that I sought to change and I had to go away and really try to understand myself better. I found that I was lying by BEING Anarchist. I shouldn't be anything. I should just be. Live.

        Since then I've come to find that my politics and the rest of my ethical philosophy has just flowed from this and has, in fact, come through stronger than before. Although the process isn't over for me — and I don't think it ever will be — the most valuable thing I learned is that my previous way of being had me cut off from different sources of wisdom, particularly as AnCap has that axiomic foundation and 'natural law' approach to its philosophy. 'Self-evident' means 'unquestionable' which results in obedience, at least in my mind.

        And I apologise if it just seems like I've written a whole heap of wank, but this is generally why I currently find it hard to say that I am this or that and is, really, what has lead me to reject much of AnCap bar a few observations/arguments.

        1. the most valuable thing I learned is that my previous way of being had me cut off from different sources of wisdom, particularly as AnCap has that axiomic foundation and 'natural law' approach to its philosophy. 'Self-evident' means 'unquestionable' which results in obedience, at least in my mind.

          THIS

          My Gawd, this is so much the problem with those ideologies and the way they decide on something "self-evident" and refuse to budge, to hell with the evidence to the contrary. It's the most frustrating as you always end up in the same debate which they will then take on faith.

          Other than that, thanks for sharing your experience.

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