Are you a lifelong anarchist?

Submitted by ziq in Anarchism

I know anarchists who feel themselves naturally inclined towards a life of disobedience and perhaps even revolt. I have many friends who recount a life extending far back into childhood of questioning or even despising authority, a seamless transition from heated words and rocks thrown at overbearing fathers, abusive social workers and authoritarian school principals to those same projectiles directed at police, politicians, and white supremacists in their adult lives. But I know just as many for whom the cop inside the head was quite strong until they were convinced to try and kill it, who preferred to run and hide from schoolyard bullies rather than stand and fight, who felt no natural inclination towards rebellion before they stumbled upon it, either by persuasion or demonstration. I know people who faced terrible circumstances and endured them quietly, and people who lived privileged and comfortable lives and still couldn’t stomach obedience. This difference may be a matter of character and luck as well as circumstance, and I therefore refuse to elevate the “naturally” rebellious over those who need to claw their way out of obedience through perseverance and self-work. In fact, having known a fair number of both kinds of people, I have no preference as to which constitute my own close comrades the self-workers often tend towards self-righteousness and rigidity, but the rebels can be unkind, selfish assholes. What matters to me is that we are here now, and that we remain open to others who might one day join us in struggle.




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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote (edited )

I've had more of a life long "empathy": legend has it, that when I was a kid I witenessed the news of the Concorde plain crash, and I "engineered" a plain with a safety device with my lego toys so that no one would get hurt.

It's probably my love for other people that brought me to anarchy *throws flowers*


Splinglebot wrote (edited )

In a similar vein, growing up I always used to get visibly upset or even angry whenever anyone on TV got killed. I often seriously wanted to punch whatever caused it. I seem to recall this one time when I was watching a scene in which someone was murdered on my pc, and I nearly broke my monitor because I actually punched the image of the murderer.

Come to think of it, I still have this reaction to extreme violence, although it's a bit more controlled now.


zzuum wrote

Nope. I was a quiet child who just went along. I'm maybe 5 years in.


wagoncigs wrote

Pretty much same. My parents weren’t overbearing or anything, they were pretty laid back. I just went along with life, but with the question of why? Just because so many fucked up things were happening around me. It wasn’t until a few years ago I realized what was wrong.


zzuum wrote

I didn't really start questioning everything until college. School is great for that let me tell you


wagoncigs wrote

If a Catholic school teaches one to worship God, what does a state school teach? Or a private, corporately-owned school? Ya know?


zzuum wrote

Eh, my college was fairly progressive so there are lots of leftists on campus, including some professors.


Tequila_Wolf wrote (edited )

Not me, I'm about five years in.

(edit: I'm really not in a rush to set up a dichotomy between two types of anarchists or whatever though; this kind of categorical thought is my enemy)


ziq OP wrote

I've been lashing out at authority since before I could walk.


heckthepolice wrote

I've only been calling myself an anarchist for about 2 years. Thinking back to my early childhood, I think I may have had some anarchist-ish ideas and just didn't know that was what they were, but even so I went through a significant period of just being a socdem (and at times I was even into intellectual elitist technocracy-type ideas that, in hindsight, are worryingly fash-like) and I was never very rebellious before I became an anarchist


db0 wrote

I always lived like an anarchist but I only realized it and radicalized further 10 years ago or so.


[deleted] wrote


db0 wrote

Eh, I dunno. Anarcho-Communism/Synicalism already encompasses all the Marxist parts worth having.

Generally speakingm "marxism" as an ideology doesn't make a lot of sense, since Marx was all over the place when proposing alternatives to Capitalism. Mostly it's used as a gravitas to give weight to Leninist methods who consider themselves the one true way.


GaldraChevaliere wrote

I wasn't a lifetime anything. My beliefs and mentality changed growing up like anyone else's. I never dealt well with authority, but authority also thought I was an abomination, so whatever.


Trashman wrote (edited )

I’d say I’ve always had a hate for authority. The first time I heard the word anarchism was 6 years ago on parazite tho


RevolutionaryCatalonia wrote (edited )

I've been for less than one year I think and I feel like my mind is in harmony, what I see and what I think of what I see always ends up in anarchism being the best solution.

And even thought I'd love to be an illegalist and burn down my parliament and kill police I follow the law just for someone to ask me what I think of it and break their schemes when I tell them what I think. Like this lady


0w0 wrote (edited )

Since I was a kid I was a libertarian Marxist, I didn't like Stalinism at all. I moved to anarchism in my twenties.


edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I'm still not sure I'm an anarchist, period. I've just come to be more sympathetic to anarchist ideas and correspondingly more distrusting towards others over time.


bloodrose wrote

No, I'm definitely new to it. I've always been one for order and structure. Having a disorganized mind made my want an organized life. However, I've finally realized it would be perfectly okay to have a disorganized mind if I wasn't forced into an authority structure.


Just_An_Author wrote

Only really started identifying as an Anarcho-Syndicalist an indeterminate point in time a couple years ago. That said, my primary motivation for most of my life has been maximizing quality of life for the greatest possible number of people. Given that, it was really only a matter of time until I discovered that Socialism =/= USSR, and from there my trajectory has been generally leftward.


Faolinbean wrote

I think so. Before I had the vocabulary and knowledge of what anarchism was I thought I just had an attitude problem, because it felt like everybody else could cope and just accept hierarchical bullshit as 'the way it is' without complaint, but i couldn't. I felt alienated from all of society in a lot of ways I'm sure you all identify with and thought that there was something wrong with me as I didn't really fit in anywhere. My internal monologue was always just why are you like this

But then i started reading and it felt like oh, so thaaaaat's why I'm like this


Cheeks wrote

I grew up in a very rural area of the mid western US, surrounded by bigotry. Racism sexism homophobia was and still is the norm there. I looked towards my mother the way a lot of young boys look towards their fathers, she was and still is a hero to me. And because of that alone it was easy for me to notice how she treated by her male counterparts. I never understood that until I got a bit older, but questioned it since day one. When I was 7 I was starting a new school. I was poorer than a lot of my peers and was being cornered on the playground, fun being poked at my thrift store clothing and the haircut my mother had given to me. A few of them jumped me and this black kid that rode my bus jumped in and helped me fight them off. He became my best friend after that. And had seen a lot of the same treatment that he received from people mirror that of my mother. I was confused by all of it and didn't want to participate in any of it. At 15 a friend of a mutual friend needed a guitar player for his band. I was pretty good so I was asked to join. I had know clue what punk rock was and was in this band, so they loaded me up with cassettes and records. I kept hearing a lot those bands talk about anarchy and was curious but couldn't find anything at the library about it. Another friend had the ism series for you adults by James d Forman and gave me their copy of anarchism. Reading that was the moment when everything I wanted and had tried to put into words my entire life was suddenly there.

That was 25 years ago. I get more militant ever day.


armadilloPancake wrote

I wouldn't say I hate government or authority, but if it just got out of the way of peoples lives it would be much more liked and appreciated.