Thank an Anarchist

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve heard people talking about anarchists like they’re just these horrible, immature kids who are only concerned about causing chaos and smashing windows. Yes, maybe some people who identify as anarchists fit that description… but the anarchists I’ve come across have been some of the most kind, thoughtful, and intelligent human beings I’ve ever met in my live. And many people don’t realize it, but I, myself, identify as a social anarchist. Now, I’m not here to discuss positives and negatives about anarchism, or argue about whether it actually works or not. I’m simply hoping that those of you out there who have a negative view of anarchists will think twice the next time you consider talking bad about us.

At this point, I will only speak of my own views as an anarchist, but from the conversations I’ve had with other anarchists, I know many of them who hold very similar views. Without getting into specifics, I am anti-state because I believe its existence will always cause extreme inequality and oppression, and will cause those who resist conforming to this way of life to be considered “trouble-makers.” When those of us who are resisters (trouble-makers) speak up about the inequality and oppression, we are met with police in riot gear, ready to beat us and throw us in jail. In my opinion, the only way to crush the inequality, oppression, and police brutality is to crush the state that causes it.

Many of us anarchists are on the front lines of the protests nationwide and worldwide, facing this police brutality in order to fight for equality, freedom, and justice for all. We’re being thrown in jail for speaking our minds so that in the future, people may be able to speak their minds without being scared of the consequences. We’re giving up the “normal” comforts of life in hopes of making sure that you, your children, your grandchildren, and so on, can live a comfortable life.

You may see anarchists as bunch of hooligans wearing black clothes and masks, but underneath those masks are human beings, and I urge you to get to know us before judging us. Besides, many of us don’t wear black clothes and masks…  But, the next time you run into an anarchist, I ask that you start a conversation with us before assuming anything about us. Many of us, including myself, are not just running around, yelling at authority figures and smashing windows like the media portrays us. Like the sign says below, many of us just wish to live  free, and hope that you can, too. If everybody lived their lives like the anarchists I have gotten to know, then the world would be a much better place.

4 Comments on “Thank an Anarchist

  1. The Anarchist movement held that the logical extension of workers owning the means of production would be the end of a need for a State. The word had such pejorative connotations, that the original Supreme Court case that declared the fighting words exception to the first amendment dealt with someone reacting violently to the charge of being an anarchist. (Held: First amendment doesn’t protect fighting words, i.e. words so offensive that they are likely to provoke a violent response.) Most of the philosophical Anarchists were Jews, and the Yiddish press gave a wide audience to the Anarchist argument. Other Yiddish papers were avowedly Socialist, including one which survives today, viz., The Forward. (It’s not just the Obama campaign slogan!)

  2. Anarchism is the bomb. Wait, that sounded wrong. 😄

    But seriously, anarchy is completely misunderstood by the majority, which is probably because most people have only seen it through the experiences of confrontation–watching anarchists and cops fight, for example–instead of anarchists doing good things in a community.

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