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Difference between being an Anarchist and being Anarchistic?

0 votes
Is there a difference between practicing the criteria for being an anarchist and actually being one.


edited to fix tags
asked Dec 3, 2013 by anonymous
edited Dec 9, 2013 by dot
Seems to me that you have found a problem with language, not a problem with anarchists. Anarchists have plenty of problems, by the way.
what does it mean to be anarchistic?
what does it mean to be an anarchist?

are you in fact asking these 2 questions? or do you have answers to those questions (not sure if "practicing the criteria for being an anarchist" is supposed to be one of them, not that i fully understand the phrase) and are simply trying to determine a distinction?  i don't mean to be dense.

i imagine that if you had the answer to those questions, your original question would be answered as well.
I do think the question is oddly worded and vague. I think it's about image vs. principle--what you do for others' sake (or for your own sake in the light of others) vs. what you do (or fail to do) for yourself (or because you can't help it). That is: Is there a difference between doing what you do to be seen, known, accepted as an anarchist and just really being an anarchist?

The first would be, in the asker's terms, "practicing the criteria for being an anarchist", the second "actually being one."
funny, i read it sort of the opposite way. practicing the criteria would be those people who do things in an anarchist way (some criminals, etc, for example), but don't call themselves anarchist or associate with others, or have the goal of anarchy (since they presumably don't think about it, or whatever).
in theory i like that the question can be read in diametrically opposed ways, but it does make it more of a koan than something answerable...

2 Answers

–3 votes
Do you have anarchistic tendencies? Or do you live an anarchistic life.
That's the difference.
answered Jan 19, 2014 by GypsieThief (110 points)
I don't see how this is anything but a rewording of the question.
But that's the answer to the question. You can be an anarchist. Or you can have anarchistic tendencies, see what I'm sayin
Nope :)

...at least 12 characters
Example; grown man works at a law firm, whenever a coworker gets promoted above him he goes out at night and tags the walls of his office building with spray paint.

Grown man gets tired of trying to play the system of corporate suicide and decides to go off the grid and live off the land doing what he can when he can and doing what he wants when he wants
"Grown man gets tired of trying to play the system of corporate suicide and decides to go off the grid and live off the land doing what he can when he can and doing what he wants when he wants" = classical drop-out liberalism. Hippy shit for the win!
yea, GT, your post is not an answer (at least not one decipherable by me). can you either clarify or make it a comment?
+1 vote
To be an anarchist, you have to consciously identify as an anarchist-- with anarchism. If someone or some people act intentionally with principles that anarchists align with like mutual aid, direct action, voluntary cooperation, horizontality, etc., then you can call them anarchistic.

As far as what amount of practice it takes to call yourself an anarchist...

Anarchists value principles like mutual aid, etc. If I value these things and don't practice them, am I an anarchist? Am I a capitalist if I don't value capitalist principles but sell a book at a profit to stay alive in a system that is enforced upon me? Am I an anarchist if I'm unwilling to risk life in a steel box, or even just the threat of attention from cops to act directly for my desires?

I'd say yes, if you value anarchist principles and call yourself an anarchist, you are an anarchist, regardless of where you are in your practice.


...but... to borrow from Crimethinc... free is a verb, not an adjective.
answered Jan 20, 2014 by formyinformation (2,400 points)
edited Jan 21, 2014 by formyinformation
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