Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Dr. Biobrain has a post up about anarchism. After he read a mission statement on anarchism, he came away less than impressed. I encountered anarchism at a young age and still have some affection for the orientation. His post certainly points out why I had to move on once I wanted something beyond slogans.

The appeal of anarchist ideas for me, when I was in high school, is that it discussed political issues from from a perspective that felt familiar. I wasn't well educated about politics or civics when I was young. Almost all of my political education came from reading history, and things where generally much harsher in the past. I knew that I didn't like nazis or totalitarians, but I didn't have a clear set of political values to judge contemporary politicians.

When I started hanging around a music scene, anarchism was kind of a default political position. It had a symbol system, slogans, and utopian ideals. Since, at the time, the political parties didn't even attempt to speak to me, I thought there was something there. It didn't take me long to figure out that all the coherent anarchists thinkers, like Proudhon, were dead and speaking to a different era. Once I figured out that Ron Paul is the most successful politician to espouse views reflective of political anarchism, I knew I had to look at different political orientations for solutions.

Once I paid attention to real political problems, I saw that the Democrats actually fought for helpful practical positions, and I was able to move past the distaste for all elected politicians beaten into me by network news.

Where any political tendency like anarchism or libertarianism works is in articulating politics beyond the parties that are often represented as hopelessly corrupt. For some of us, supporting a major party means learning to hold your nose and look past all of the dismissive rhetoric directed at anyone bold enough to try to do something for real.

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