photo by SG

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Where I'm From

I just noticed that Will tagged me with the question: What motivated you to start looking into Anarchist/Libertarian thought?

I was raised by two Democrats, my mom rather moderate and my dad pretty left-wing. In '03, I helped organize a walk-out in my small town on the day the bombs started dropping on Iraq. (I've since consistently encouraged radicals to do organizing work in conservative rural areas. It was the best training for people disagreeing/hating/threatening you that I've ever encountered.) I volunteered for Russ Feingold and John Kerry in '04, that summer reading a biography of Clarence Darrow. The Darrow book mentioned, with some negativity, those "anarchists," incorrectly calling Bill "Comintern" Haywood one of them. That was my first touch with anarchism and with the IWW, the former which I promptly dismissed, with the predictable democratic socialist response of "it's totally unworkable!"

Humorously, I remember walking the hallways of my high school on the day after Kerry conceded the election to Bush in 2004, totally disgusted. I had twisted my principles tremendously just to support his run and even he had given up rather than fight. That was the last time I ever supported a candidate. I started doing more research on anarchism, particularly the summer before my senior year. By that fall, I was comfortable enough with the word and subsequently spent my last year in high school ruining the reputation of a "good boy" that I'd earned, working on a campaign to keep Wal-Mart out of town, spearheading an extremely unpopular campaign against Coca-Cola in our school (for which it was made clear to me that my mother could lose her job) and even entertaining such blasphemy as trying to get the recruiters and youth pastors out of school. My brother informs me that I am to this day pointed out by teachers as the "token radical" in town.

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