July 18, 2021
From Anarchist News

Some friends and I were just talking about how in their area, the only people who are doing anything, who have any inspiration or energy, are people who are not anarchists, but are close enough not to be terrible. While these particular friends are on solid ground, the conversation reminded me of previous friends who have drifted away from anarchist activity, thought, and friends, into the morass of communism and marxism. Another friend used to say that a certain kind of anarchist would become a commie when unable to find more anarchist theory to read.

My thought (one of them) was that anarchism’s brand is getting sullied, inevitably, by being on everyone’s lips, and this is a normal, and perhaps even helpful, ebb in the flow of popularity. I also wonder what it might mean to u.s. anarchist thought to have younger people be more interested in other sets of ideas, leaving (relatively) older people to, perhaps, develop and pursue the thinking for a while.

What are your friends doing? Are you watching them slip away? Does it matter whether they identify as anarchist, and if so, why? And if not, why? What are the principles that are significant to your relations with your friends? Do you just have to feel secure that they won’t call the cops on you? Or that they won’t shoot you in a revolution? Or that they won’t urge you to join their group/buy their newspaper? (ok – too old of a reference, maybe). For those of you who are watching (or have seen) such departures, was it more of a leaving to or a leaving from?

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I don’t really have any friends, I’ve been parts of “groups” usually formed around some plan or idea or action but I haven’t really had any friendships that have gone beyond being in these groups. Perhaps this speaks to my anti-social tendencies, or how terrible a person I am to be around, but in a way I think this mainly just speaks to what we are pursuing or trying to get out of life. For most, if not all of these groups, the direction I’m trying to take my life just isn’t compatible with the way they are taking theirs and think the best thing I can do is identify what exactly it is i am after (if anything) and how i want to implement that into our life (if at all).

So for most of the people I’ve left behind? We probably feel equal amounts of disgust towards each other. But just as we are ever changing so too can we have people come and go out of our lives. And fostering this coming and going I think is a great way to combat the burdens of expectations and not limiting our selves to who we used to be, while still building and enjoying relationships in the moment.

Source: Anarchistnews.org