I am told that anarchism is a “left wing” ideology, by many. I am not sure those who claim this understand the true meaning of the term.
The terms “left wing” and “right wing” come from the position of seated delegates during the French Revolution. The bourgeoisie would sit to the left, and the monarchists would sit to the right. The first leftists were, in fact, capitalists.
Ask nearly anyone, and they will tell you that nihilism is a belief in nothing. Popularized by the movie, the Big Lebowski, and perpetuated by lazy academics and philosophers, this misunderstanding of nihilism has led to a sort of demonization in anarchist circles. Primitivist John Zerzan frequently laments about nihilism, saying things like “…you start having people that are so nihilistic they don’t even care about life anymore.” To Zerzan, nihilism is simply not caring about life.
“Much that is terrible we do not know. Much that is beautiful we shall still discover. Let’s sail till we come to the edge.”
This topic comes up from time to time but usually buried in something else. I have found that polyamory (or other versions that boil down to having deep, romantic, non-exclusive relationships over time) is the most consistent way to keep anarchist community strong over time. Obviously this isn't everyone's goal. Some people want insurrectionary (sudden, bursting anarchy that can go away as fast as it comes on) relationships. Others want organizational relationships (manifestos, lots of meetings, and hard straight lines).
I decided I was a fucking anarchist after reading the Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guinn when I was in my early twenties living in Hawaii. I had no idea what an anarchist actually was, what an anarchist scene was..fuck I didn’t really know anything other than that I liked to surf and that I didn’t like the world that I lived in. Anarchy represented the most radical difference to that...this made it incredibly attractive to me. It stayed incredibly attractive because I kept living in Hawaii, not knowing or meeting anarchists. I read, a lot. I’ve read a lot since I was a little kid. I didn’t make friends during childhood because I was too intense, too black and white morally and took the world way too seriously. I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t cured myself of these childhood/childish ways. I thought at a young age that there was a moral obligation to watch the news, pay attention, know everything, and that somehow this would be helpful in fixing things. All I can do now is laugh at myself, which might seem like a refrain for my life at this point.
Did you think we would stop? Or would we ride this horse into the ground annihilating ourselves and anyone who wants to tag along on this joyride of platonic(or not so platonic) world eating.
In episode VII we discuss the second half of the chapter My Intercourse in the Unique and Its Property by Max Stirner, translated by Wolfi Lanstreicher.