Thursday, July 16, 2009

What does it mean to be...

"Well when you get married," she said to me.

"I probably won't get married. Its bad enough that other anarchists are doing it. If I did it it'd be like another angel had lost its wings," I replied.

"Even if you love her a lot," she said.

"Well, I don't totally discount it but its just one of those principle things, its like vegans don't eat meat. If you eat meat once well you're not REALLY vegan are you (if you do it on purpose)? Even if you never eat meat again. You had that lapse, a lapse of choice. Its the same with marriage and anarchists. It doesn't really matter that you're getting married in terms of the tradition but that state recognition and the culture of anarchism goes against your "anarchist identity," I replied.

"How do you consider yourself an anarchist now," she said pointedly.

"Well, I'm a lifestyle anarchist." I chuckled lightly with my reply.

"Don't use Murray Bookchin as your defense! How does slash is your life anarchist... I'm asking this because I'm curious about my own life and how it is and isn't anarchist," she said, the latter half with fifty percent of her heart.

"Well I think I'm being exploratory. I think one of the defining characteristics of anarchists, at least the ones I respect, is their desire to explore. They read, they travel, they delve, they question, its their endless search. That process is something I feel I'm engaged in. Yeah my current strain of activity isn't normally deemed as "anarchist" but I think its a strain worth looking into and its something I find personally rewarding."

"How is it rewarding?"

"Well I'm engaged with others in a way that builds my confidence, and not in an easy manner. In order to create a stronger self in this world that I'm living now you have to work hard. I appreciate that.

I've commonly found that inhabiting solely anarchist spaces that I just get judged for my "extracurricular" activity. If I'm not publishing, writing articles for some near defunct magazine, or attending x group or y activity I'm not an 'anarchist, ' or worse not 'anarchist' enough."

"How is what you're suggesting any different from people like Jack Kerouac, or De Sade? Being libertine? Living without constraints," she said. She gazed at me while I figured my reply.

"I can't say that is that much different. Utimately I believe that people who develop themselves will realize that to develop themselves more requires the destruction of state and capital thus anarchy. Alienation, a fundamental part of capital isn't about loss, its about not being able to develop oneself to one's full potential. Its not that I am unhappy with my life now, but I do think that if I was unfettered by work and the obligations of the state I would be able to create a better me, thus I would see my self now as being sad, and fucked."

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