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The reluctant anarchist

I’ve never written about this before, but I used to be deeply involved in politics. Around 2018, I was part of a libertarian socialist group and I went at least once a week to a meeting or demonstration.

However, I soon became disillusioned with libertarian socialism, also called anarcho-communism. Primarily because a lot of my comrades completely ignored the libertarian/anarchism part and had no scruples working with Maoists and other authoritarian strands of left-wing politics. Personal autonomy and the right of every human to be free of violent coercion was not something I was or ever will be okay with compromising on. Human rights are far more important than so-called ”left unity”.

It was also becoming increasingly obvious to me that putting the collective in charge was not a guarantee for equality. Would you, for example, expect a homophobic collective to treat its gay minority well? Of course not. I recognised that the collective has as much potential to be oppressive as the state or the capitalist system. The collectives we grow up in, like our families, are often our very first oppressors. 

Thirdly, I realised that a lot of the people I thought were interested in making a difference actually just wanted to break shit. I am not a pacifist and I do believe violence is at times both justified and necessary, like for example to stop the spread of fascism. But some people around me seemed to think rioting was a bit too fun and that started to bother me.

Eventually, I was just too disillusioned and dropped politics altogether for about 4 years. Only recently have I taken up interest in it again, mostly because I am terrified by the normalisation of the far-right.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently became a member of the Green Party. But I don’t really believe in what we call ”representative democracy”. I can attempt to work within that system, but I don’t believe it’s where true change will come from. In my heart, I am an anarchist. I believe in no authority other than the Good.

I don’t really believe we will ever have an anarchist society. That’s a bit too utopic, in my opinion. But I do believe anarchist principles are beautiful and just and something to strive for.

I will continue to be member of the Green Party for a while, because they are among the parties that most stand against the far-right. But I think I will focus on working outside the parliamentary state politics system. I am particularly interested in the mutualist and ecologist strand of anarchist philosophy and will probably be writing about it further.

3 reaktioner till “The reluctant anarchist

  1. thank you for posting this! I’ve low-key admired anarchism since I was 17 and attending my local anarchist bookfair for the first time. Every time I try to read an anarchist text, I feel really weighted down by what I don’t know. a lot of the texts available seem really scholarly and inaccessible. do you have any favourite intro texts?

    Gillad av 1 person

    1. It’s been a while since I read anarchist literature but I can recommend Peter Kropotkin for the anarcho-communist side and the writings of Voltairine de Cleyre for the more individualist anarchist side.
      There’s also a book called ‘Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction’ by Colin Ward that I’ve heard good things about, but I haven’t read it myself.
      In terms of fiction, Ursula K. LeGuin’s ‘The Dispossessed’ is an old favourite where the author imagines what an anarchist society could look like in practice.



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