I received a message concerning my last post. This was from an old friend of mine who's a self-described anarchist. He basically said that my score on the political compass puts me square in the anarchist camp, and he shared the Wikipedia link for "anarchism without adjectives".
I don't dispute the anarchism label, mostly because I've read a few writings by anarchists, and I tend to agree with their sentiments and have even posted a few links to their articles in past blogs. But there's a reason I don't embrace the anarchist label, and it's mostly because of the stigma of angry anarchist kids breaking windows of Starbucks and starting fires. I realize that the stigma is bullshit, like pretty much any stigma. It's incredibly unfair to label all anarchists as violent just because of the actions of a few (Jeffrey Dahmer was from Wisconsin, so does that mean everyone from Wisconsin is a child molesting, serial killing, necrophiliac cannibal?), and there's nothing inherently violent about an anti-state ideology (indeed, anarchists tend to see the state itself, with its military forces and police departments and prisons, as inherently violent).
But that doesn't change the fact that the "anarchism = violence" stigma is still there, and I'm about as non-violent as you can get.
Pretty much any label has a stigma attached to it, and this is why I try to avoid all labels. I'm a writer, and while using labels can sometimes be useful, usually it's just a sign of lazy writing. Also, as a writer I strive to reach the largest audience possible, while trying to stay true to my convictions, because I think I have a viewpoint worth sharing with others. If I were to call myself an anarchist right off the bat--or most other labels, for that matter--I might alienate a big chunk of my potential audience. So I just try to share my conclusions and how I reached them, and if those resemble anarchist ideas, so be it.
To a lesser extent, another reason I don't call myself an anarchist is because there's a whole anarchist community that I know very little about. My anarchist friend is the only anarchist that I know personally, as far as I can tell. So I'd feel like a bit of a poseur if I suddenly started referring to myself one.
I settled on identifying myself as "anti-authoritarian" because the root of all my viewpoints stem from the idea that I think no one should have power over someone else, and because I think it's a good starting point for dialog as it's something most people can agree with. Nobody likes to be told what to do or how to live. I realize that "anti-authoritarian" is a label, too, but I think it says more than "anarchist," and without so much of a stigma.
Of course, anyone who can't get past the anarchist stigma has probably made up their minds about me by the third paragraph and hasn't made it this far, so there you go. And I'm probably now on some Department of Homeland Security list, if I wasn't already, even though I'm about as much of a security threat as a bowl of oatmeal.
Ah, jeez. I've spent this whole blog so far talking about myself, and that wasn't supposed to be the point of this blog. Let's see what others have to say...
- This is bad, bad, bad
- A 14-year-old American girl who couldn't even speak Spanish and was deported to Colombia by our "crack" U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now back home
- A teen mom's baby get sick and dies, cops bully her into saying that she killed her son, girl spends three years in prison, nothing happens to cops
- Ask a cop for directions, get arrested
- If you want to be a cop, better not be too smart
- Speaking of cops that aren't smart...
- Defending your life could cost you your job in today's corporate America
- Goldman Sachs is cashing in on Facebook
- I heart Venn diagrams, especially ones that illustrate crony capitalism
- Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admits Iran isn't building nukes. I'm sure we'll invade them anyway...
- Our government is still spending billions on Reagan's "Star Wars" boondoggle
- Numbers don't lie
- People are leaving both main parties in droves. That's because neither represent the people
- Liberals are in denial about Obama, especially when it comes to civil liberties
- Obama's new Chief of Staff used to work at Citi and made money from mortgage defaults and received a bonus after the bailouts
- TV host Tavis Smiley got booted as MLK luncheon keynote speaker because he'd been critical of Obama in the past
- Glenn Greenwald is spot on as usual, this time about Ron Paul, Obama, and the 2012 election
- Ron Paul may actually be the big winner from last week's Iowa caucus
- Too bad the big winner couldn't find time in his campaign schedule to vote against NDAA
- Noam Chomsky thinks Ron Paul is right on some issues and very wrong on others. I concur
- Rick Santorum thinks it's perfectly fine for states to outlaw birth control. Government small enough to fit in your bedroom...
- More on Santorum
- Mitt Romney and his handler try to bully a reporter who calls him out for lying
- Newt Gingrich thinks Romney is a fraud and a liar, but he'd vote for him anyway
- Gingrich also thinks the founding fathers would've been "violent" toward people who grew pot, even though they themselves grew pot
- Aim high
- The Saudis, one of our big allies, beheaded a woman for supposedly practicing witchcraft
- On "the double standard of concern when it is an American kid and when it is foreign kids who are killed"
- A man who tried to remove an electric tower on his property is being charged with terrorism
- If advertising is an industry that convinces people to buy things they don't want, the Google and Facebook algorithms, which hone in on what people already want, are making advertising obsolete. Or something like that...
- Rapper Snoop Dogg was arrested for having "a small amount of marijuana on his tour bus." Don't you feel safer knowing this criminal is off the streets and unable to keep to himself and bother no one with his pot habit? What a great use of our tax dollars...
- Pot may help fight dementia. Better keep it illegal, though, because someone might get high off it. Which is totally different than legal pharmaceuticals, such as Oxycontin. By that, I don't mean nobody takes Oxycontin to get high--I mean big Pharma owns the patent to Oxycontin, and they can't patent pot, at least not yet.
- Even more appropriate today than six years ago
- So spot on it got banned
- Vote Canada in 2012