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(en) Freedom 6318 21st Sep. 2002 - What anarchism means to me

From FreedomCopy@aol.com
Date Fri, 27 Sep 2002 00:18:09 -0400 (EDT)


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Being new to anarchism, I can only outline what it
has come to mean to me so far. I was introduced to
anarchist ideas through participation in this year's
Mayday events.
Talking to and interacting with anarchists made me
realise that anarchism was the channel through which
I could politicise what, until then, had been a vague
rebelliousness, an unwillingness to bow to authority
and a dissatisfaction with an increasingly material and
meaningless way of life.
So, armed with a dry dictionary definition of
anarchism as "the view that society can and should be
organised without a coercive state", I set out in search
of this channel, the 'doctrine' which had the potential
to liberate me. I think it was Nicolas Walter who said
becoming an anarchist involves a great deal of
emotional and intellectual upheaval. I can vouch for
that. Anarchism wasn't the neatly packaged, magic
formula I'd thought it was.
The more I discovered about anarchism, the more
'anarchisms' there seemed to be. I almost gave up in
the face of such an overwhelming diversity of
thought, until I reflected on what I had read over and
over again in the literature - anarchism is a tendency
of thought and action which develops and progresses
in myriad different ways. It has no set doctrine, no
one true 'god', no all-encompassing truth. And herein
lies its strength.
For me, then, anarchism means not worshipping at
the shrines of dead intellectuals, nor being a slave to
dogma. I learn from those I feel have something of
value to offer, and I use what I learn. I will resist
where I can, act where I can, exercise greater choice
in my personal behaviour and social relationships
where I can. In doing so, I gain a kind of liberty, albeit
of the piss-poor sort. Naive? Maybe. But I'm still
learning ...
Hazel Little
What does anarchism mean to you? Send in your
contributions for this column (300 words please) to
FreedomCopy@aol.com or to The Editors at the
address below.




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