An interesting self post has come up in reddit ((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)) 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:
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.
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.
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.