Monday, January 19, 2009

Anarchists and Materialism

Materialism sucks. I think that that is plain and simple. People that covet things (money or material objects) over relationships, knowledge, or really just the betterment of themselves and others are leading completely hollow lives. But, looking deeper, I can't see anything wrong with loving the things that you glean from hard-work or preserverance.

For example: I love my bass guitar. I love it. I worked in this damn Capitalist institution and bought it through the sale of my labor. Yes, there are numerous flaws with the whole thing, but am I happy I got my bass guitar? Yes. I think that the means of my work don't justify the ends. Sometimes, however, they do. My instrument widens the borders of my mind and provides a healthy outlet for my energy, all while letting me have fun! Yeah, I worked as a cog in the Capitalist machine to get it, but I believe I can justify this by all of the things that I've done to nullify this--all my direct action, my solidarity, my sabotage. Combine all of these things that I do to detract from the Capitalist society we live in with the things that I do to 'promote' it, and I think the scales will be tipped my way, heavily.

The truth is, we're stuck knee-deep in this system, and we have to fight to get out. BUT, if all we did was fight, if every scrap of energy was spent rejecting this system, and none spent enjoying some of the things that an Anarchal Society will eventually bring (relaxation, creativity, peace, joy, happiness) right now, we would surely go insane. All work and no play makes the Anarchist a dull human.

What I'm saying (again I stray off topic...) is that materialism is mostly bad, but not completely bad. Nothing can be absolute. Enjoy the things you have, but don't covet them, don't place them above people or life. Your car, all that money, that's really not that important. Material possessions are nice, but they can't be put ahead of things that are more important--see above.

What I'm saying to the anarchist is this-- Don't be ashamed because you bought a video game that you can have fun with, or because you decided to buy a book from Barnes & Noble once, and not steal it. Expecting to wade through all this mud and not get dirty at all is a fantasy. Just my thoughts.


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