How long have you been an anarchist?

less than 2 years
28% (11 votes)
2-5 years
28% (11 votes)
5-10 years
15% (6 votes)
10+ years, those were the days...
28% (11 votes)
Total votes: 39

Posted By

JDMF
Nov 17 2004 20:37

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JDMF
Nov 17 2004 20:37

Apologies if this has been here before, but i'd be very interested to hear this.

And none of this "i've always been an anarchist, but only realised it had a name when i read _____ book, heard ______ band or talked to _____".

When was it when you though "shit, i'm an anarchist". Would be interesting to know if there are any concrete situations as well when this "revelation" took place (hehee i'm making it sound like it's a religion) and the process behind it.

the button
Nov 18 2004 11:03

The year is 1984..... the 'peace movement' is the biggest it's ever been.... vans & van-loads of coppers are driving through rural East Yorkshire on their way west, to the picket lines. A small boy opens an envelope with trembling hands, to find his first copy of Black Flag, accompanied by a handwritten letter, saying "it's always good to hear from younger comrades." First time I'd ever been called "comrade." I'm filling up, even now. wink

That's how it was for me.

Refused
Nov 18 2004 12:08

About a year ago, a an old school chum of mine met up again and persuaded me to go with him to a bookfair to check out real socialism. The rest tells itself. Mr. T

Ceannairc
Nov 18 2004 13:11

About 3/4 years ago. Didn't really think about things back then, although I was really pissed off the world for being so crap in general. People kept bleating at me about anarchism and I got fed up of having to use the same old excuses to get out of political discussions: "it's not human nature", "it just won't work", etc. I decided to prove them all wrong by forming my own political ideas and in the process providing a logical arguement against this neverland crap. About a year or so later (it took me a while to get up to speed), I reached the triumphant conclusion that businesses and authorities were to blame for a lot of bad stuff. I think from there it took a full week to hit me that I was an anarchist! confused

WeTheYouth
Nov 18 2004 13:26

I would say a a couple of years, it was the afghan war and 9/11 which threw me away from the liberal left, but at the beginning i went through stages of being an anarchist, to being a communist back to being an anarchist then to being a communist , now after about 1 1/2 years i have just beem an anarchist, never looked back, must of been meeting those bloody anarchists before and at the anti-CBI demo last year Mr. T

JDMF
Nov 18 2004 13:33

i could fill in my story as well: young rebel, about 10 years ago, into all things, leftist from when i could walk, though totally without a clue on how things worked and what was really going on.

I met anarchists but they were not very impressive, they mostly lacked the class side, which bothered me, but still the ideas were fascinating. Then i met a few syndicalists, and that was it, that was the shit i've always wanted to hear. Never mind if the movement was small, quite insignificant, theories way too old, very few practical working examples, who cares if it resonates deep down smile

nah, its not all that bad...

great stories comrades smile

yes
Nov 18 2004 17:39

J18 did it for me, been to a few local demo in between the years and all the time I had no idea that the word Anarchist ever exsisted, let alone knew the meaning of the word and now thanks to indymedia. I'm on here and now slowly being brainwashed twisted .

Kidda
Nov 18 2004 17:45
WeTheYouth wrote:
must of been meeting those bloody anarchists before and at the anti-CBI demo last year Mr. T

glad you did smile

to be honest i think ive always been an anarchist just never had a label to stick on it.

always felt uncomfortable with the authority people had over me school/police/sunday school/adults/social workers and never really understood why they did as it always used to make me feel quite scared and out of control

i remember being small 6 or 7 maybe and feeling really scared at the prospect that not everyone had to live in hostels before getting shifted around from one mould ridden flat to another, always thought it was because of something we'd done. Never really understood why it was always ''us and them''. Being taken to work with my mum when i was kid as well really made me see the world from a really shite prospective, seeing how hard she worked helping people who had just been left on the shit tip but seeing how little she got back from it, the anger starts from a really young age. It was only really as i grew up and started reading stuff that didnt really fit in with what people expected me to read that i realised it wasnt all how it should be. Going to college and looking at different theorys in a more formal way really help me pin point what my belief system was though i was always really uncomfortable with the term ''anarchism'' at first. All the people id met who called themselves anarchists seem to do so because they'd read the books first not from growing up feeling what many of us had. I still wouldnt be able to hold a conversation on what happened in the Spainish war or what some old anarchist theory bloke thought about such and such because thats not where my anarchism comes from, i guess i still feel a little awkward calling myself an anarchist and not really knowing much about text book anarchism.

So how long have i been an anarchist? i guess it really all depends on what you mean by 'anarchist'

my anarchism is just the way i live and treat people, the way i approach situations, guess its more of a philosophy that i grew up with and was able to make a little bit more concrete rather than a political doctrine i sat down and activley chose.

Spartacus
Nov 18 2004 18:38

well unless you count when i was about eleven and enjoyed randomly burning stuff, thought balaclavas were really cool and then asked my mum what someone who really hates politicians is and she said an anarchist, so i said i wanted to grow up to be a pyromaniac anarchist, then i suppose it would have been j18. seeing people actually doing stuff rather than talking about how they were going to lead the glorious revolution like all the crap socialist groups i'd found on the internet. then i looked searched for octave mirbeau on the internet to find out who the guy who wrote the quote on the back of the holy bible was and discovered infoshop.org, and i thought hmmm, yes. then a while later i found the class war "we have found new homes for the rich" sticker, and after i finished laughing at the pure genius of it, i decided to actually get involved with these crazy anarchist types.

i think growing up in a small village where half my friends lived on the shitty council estate while princess anne's mansion was ten minutes walk away kind of helped too. and being brought up an atheist. i remember when we were forced to write thankyou letters to the local godbotherers who'd come to our primary school, and i always put in stuff about not believing in god, then one of them came around my house trying to persuade me to come to sunday school, while my dad hid so he didn't have to talk to the crazy christian guy. oh how i laughed...

kalabine
Nov 19 2004 11:07

lived in a shitty council estate in a shitty village in south humberside, went to a school where it was clearly working class kids against the middle class ones, had a series of jobs in crappy factories and farms got involved in trade union and anti fascist stuff (and the labour party briefly embarrassed ) - then moved back to my home town in the south, after a period of drink drugs and just being genrerally angry got mixed up with the SWP/GR/SA soon got bored of paper sales and debates about trotsky and discovered the internet and rediscovered anarchism, something i'd been very sympathetic to but never been sure that i was one

havent looked back since

Anonymous
Nov 19 2004 21:20

Undecided - an attractive philosophy.

Ed
Nov 20 2004 13:54

Well, I've always been political. My mum was in the Russian communist party back in the late 70s through to the early 80s but then got pissed off with Gorbachev's revisionism and left. Once the Cold War ended, we moved to Britain and she got involved in politics again (CPGB photographer).

I'd always liked the ideas of class struggle, workers' control and I even supported Soviet intervention in Afghanistan but eventually (after the collapse of the Soviet Union) I felt like I needed something more. I didn't really do anything coz I was only young but when CJA happened and I saw all these ravers on TV fighting the police, I thought "Yeah, that's cool". I bought some combat trousers and started a compost heap in my back garden and never looked back.

Wayne
Nov 21 2004 14:00

I suppose it's been influences right through my life. I mean I think I learned to mistrust and challenge authority from a young age so it's hard to say exactly when I became 'an anarchist'.

Although I was very young at the time, the experience of growing up in Derry during the 70s had a profound impact on me. Growing up in a neighbourhood patrolled by tanks would influence anybody. My dad was unemployed and finding it hard to keep his family away from the escalating violence, so he took us to the UK in the summer of 82. Of course in those days there was still a lot of anti-irish racism and it was hard for him to find work. My father was a proud man and an educated man, so it was hard for him to do odd jobs like washing cars, but we had to make ends meet.

In the mining area where we lived the class unity was amazing, but so was the clear distinction between families like ours and the toffs who lived outside town. I'd watch them on their ponies when I was out with my kestrel and the injustice and inequality just didn't seem right. My father was a socialist and a republican so when the miners strike kicked off he threw himself into the struggle. He was like a hero to me. My eldest brother used to go down to the pickets and fight alonside him but I was too young. I used to watch from my window as the scabs tried to drive through. Early one morning I saw the police beating my father on the ground and the image has stayed with me.

That was the same summer my little sister died of dysentry.

In the winter, the surviving members of our family all turned Afro-Carribean and moved to Broadwater Farm. I'll never forget the night my eldest brother came home and said they'd killed a cop and everyone was terrified for what would happen next. After that, anybody with black skin was even more criminalised than before. My father was arrested and charged with car breaking. The trial was a farce but he was sent down anyway. I'd never seen my father cry before, but tears clung to his cheek like dew on a rose petal as he waved to me from the dock.

I ran away to Paris to escape the social services who wanted to take me 'into care'. In Paris I lived a feral life, shoplifting and pick-pocketing from the rich. I worked for a time in a brothel and learned a lot about the subjugation of women.

Then one day an Eastern European travelling show came to town and invited me to hit the road with them. I could do some tricks and a bit of juggling and had seen so much turmoil for one so young that I took to life on the road like a fish to water. But I felt sorry for the elephants and became a vegan. There was an old Ukranian magician called Malakanoff who used to tell me stories every night. He'd tell me tales of Nestor Makhno and the Ukranian revolution. As we crossed borders I learned a lot about racism, because then as now there was a lot of discrimination against Romanys. The people in the towns used to call us 'gypsies, tramps and thieves'.

When we made it to Gulyai Poyle Malakanoff introduced me to his great-grandaughter Tatiana who, like her mother before her, had fought a clandestine struggle under the banner 'liberty or death' throughout the 'communist' dictatorship. At twenty four she was ten years my elder but I fell madly in love with Tatiana and lost my virginity. We sat together afterwards, completely naked, as the rain began to fall. She was beautiful like a diamond.

That was the year the Berlin wall came down. It was an amazing scene and it influenced me deeply. I'll never forget how Tatiana held me that night on the ruins of the wall.

I left the show to become an urban guerilla and Tatiana gave me my first rusty AK. When I was seventeen we tried to assasinate Boris Yeltsin. Tatiana was killed in the shoot out. The silence inside me was so empty that to have screamed might have shattered my heart.

For my part I was jailed for life. In prison I learned to read and write. I also discovered the joys of same sex love with a bankrobber called Bollockoff. Before then I'd been blinded by heterosexist society and hadn't realised that all people are naturally bisexual. Even those who only fancy girls.

When I escaped many years later, killing two fascist screws, I travelled Europe sans papier and illegally re-entered the UK by stowing away on a Norwegian shipping vessel. I squatted a house in Hackney. It was while living in Hackney that I chanced across an article about hunt-sabbing in Class War. I never looked back from then.

Spartacus
Nov 21 2004 14:10

^^^ quite possibly the best post ever.

Jacques Roux
Nov 21 2004 15:11

wayne - omfg. eek

Ramona
Nov 21 2004 15:19

*speechless* grin

Anonymous
Nov 21 2004 22:28

What a daft forum. See you.

Joe

Jacques Roux
Nov 21 2004 23:10

confused

Huh?

nosos
Nov 22 2004 17:48

that post was absolutely fucking stunning grin grin Mr. T

yes
Nov 22 2004 18:45

8)

JDMF
Nov 23 2004 09:32

so, wayne and his ass kissing puppy brigade:

are you saying that this thread is futile? That it's not interesting to hear what brought people into anarchism? Sure the background stuff may sound cheesy, but if that is what they feel brought them into anarchist politics, then so be it.

Honk
Nov 24 2004 11:30

My first step towards enlightenment started when I got my internet connection and so had access to online forums - the very heart of the anarchist struggle. However, a real turning point was when I first insulted a primitivist - it was like being born again. Suddenly, the way forward was clear to me. Admittedly, I did dabble with proactive, usefull activities which might actually achieve something, but then a friend introduced me to his forum. I had finally got it right! Within two months, my life completely changed. I sat at my computer for hour after hour. I argued at length over the tiniest little details of theorey. I quoted people who had died over 100 years ago. I insulted people's ideas even though they were almost exactly the same as mine. I laughed at more prims. And when a topic came up which didn't mention Northern Ireland politics and I had nothing interesting to say, I just posted a lot of sarcastic shite to ruin the thread and called it humour. I was an anarchist!

kalabine
Nov 24 2004 11:43
JDMF wrote:
so, wayne and his ass kissing puppy brigade:

are you saying that this thread is futile? That it's not interesting to hear what brought people into anarchism? Sure the background stuff may sound cheesy, but if that is what they feel brought them into anarchist politics, then so be it.

you really have no sense of humor do you? roll eyes

Steven.
Nov 24 2004 12:10
kalabine wrote:
JDMF wrote:
so, wayne and his ass kissing puppy brigade:

are you saying that this thread is futile? That it's not interesting to hear what brought people into anarchism? Sure the background stuff may sound cheesy, but if that is what they feel brought them into anarchist politics, then so be it.

you really have no sense of humor do you? roll eyes

Yeah JDMF does, I think he's just saying a serious thread would also be useful.

As it is I've posted serious replies to this thread a few times in the past when it's cropped up; don't really feel like doing it again yet...

Honk
Nov 25 2004 11:44
revol68 wrote:

what i really love are these new usernames with less than 6 posts who have fuck all to actually post other than to have a go at me or wayne for being unconstructive.

roll eyes

and so honk what threads have u posted anything of interest on??

oh wait so far uve posted twice in relation to me and wayne, and the other two posts where on those really burning issues, the smoking ban and blood donations.

So I'm not a frequent flyer. So what? At least I don't disrupt other people's threads or flame them like hell if I happen to disagree with what they say, which makes me about 451.76 times more productive than the likes of you and wayne. If you guys don't like how I respond to your "contributions", then maybe you should ease up a bit yourself.

revol68 wrote:
fuck off u sad bastard

oh aye and uve got ur occupation as nutter! oh i bet ur sooo wacky, a real mad man, never know what ur gonna do next, eh! simpson ties and hawain shirts, the works all in a sad bid to cultivate some sort of interesting persona.

I rest my case.

In fact I'll save you the effort of insulting me again, cos I'm off to find a decent forum. goodbye and have a nice life.

Jacques Roux
Nov 25 2004 11:47

Just chill out the both of you FFS... whats wrong with just not having a go at each other for a while?

Anonymous
Nov 30 2004 00:04

It is really quite silly. But can be funny as some of your people are quite witty (not necessarily effective in struggle, but hey, we need a laugh)

samjam
Nov 30 2004 05:52
Jack wrote:
revol68 wrote:

oh aye and uve got ur occupation as nutter! oh i bet ur sooo wacky, a real mad man, never know what ur gonna do next, eh! simpson ties and hawain shirts, the works all in a sad bid to cultivate some sort of interesting persona.

I can't remember where, but you stole that from somewhere, you bastard.

Wait...let me guess...is it from 'Not Another Teen Movie'?

Or...an Adam Sandler film?

Or...a film with Rob Schnieder?

Someone tell me! This is really bothering me now!! confused