November 14, 2021
From Anarchist News

image of doppelganger

If it’s “all about who you know,” what about the people you don’t know? Dealing with strangers is not unique to anarchists, but the consequences of trusting someone new can hold special weight. Common practices such as security culture and the affinity group shield us from unfamiliar people in our close circles. Pair this with a distrust of technocrats and the rejection of community and all signs point toward the fact that hell is, in fact, other people. But is it that simple?

How do you think we should treat folks we are not familiar with? Those who support the idea of a market might say that’s the ideal framework, trading with one another for mutual benefit. Others might feel everyone should be treated as a friend and given what can be given. Another option is to build and rely on community and keep interactions with strangers to a minimum.

I have also seen some who are in favor of treating all strangers as enemies, stealing from them when possible. What do we do if we want to trade, and the strangers want to steal from us? Or if we don’t want to deal with strangers at all but they force interaction? Controlling how strangers interact is one of the main things used to justify the state. We know that is nonsense, but can you explain why?

Throughout the pandemic, it’s been more challenging to meet new anarchists face-to-face. What new / old ideas have you tried to meet new anarchist friends during the pandemic and what have been your successes / failures? Do you have a soft / hard rule about how long you know someone new before giving them the key to the anarchist free bin? How do we help strangers who are interested in anarchist ideas participate in the most beautiful idea? What does the relationship of specialists like doctors and psychologists who are intimately trusted as strangers look like for anarchists?


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