Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Self-Reliance and Solidarity
What does it take for one person to stand in defiance to swarming enemies? What does it take for a woman to realize just how beautiful and powerful she really is in a male-centric world? What does it take for the Wal-Mart cashier to break off a piece of metal in the stock-door and then glue it shut? It takes courage, it takes inner-strength and a resolve in your cause. It takes Self-Reliance and Solidarity with a community of others who are at the very least willing to listen to you and talk with you about your views and opinions.
Self-Reliance is necessary for everyone. In my opinion, it is a very sad world we live in today, where everyone is willing to play the victim, and no one is willing to play the motivator, the catalyst, the match against the powder. Most people would sooner just let things continue happening how they are now, without regard or even empathy for the people oppressed by others. Apathy is a disease. We cannot just "not care either way" about the fate of those around us. As an Anarchist, and really, simply as a human being, I have what some might consider an extremely developed sense of empathy and care. I refuse this is a single case, too. I think that to some extent, all humans have a sense of empathy. Of course some people will be more humane than others, but still, I refuse to believe that people are inherently bad or evil.
This sense of empathy and caring is all well and good, but what good is it if I fail to use it? This system I live under would ostracize me for my empathy towards the modern proletariat, the homeless, the addicts, the poor and the disadvantaged. I would be labeled a (gasp!) 'Communist' or 'Socialist' for wanting people to share in their material goods. These two words have been demonized by Capitalists who want to censor out viewpoints that oppose the means by which they amass their fortunes. What good is being an Anarchist if you are too intimidated by our system to act how you feel? And how can you get out from under this massive rock?
The first way is through Self-Reliance. Like I said, I think we could all use a good dose right now. Americans in particular play the blame-game far too much. Yeah, ok, it probably was his fault or her fault for this or that petty thing, but these trivial things are just that--trivial. Self-Reliance enables you to have the courage, the pure will to do that most people sleepwalking through life lack. Self-Reliance to me means not being afraid of the people we are supposed to fear--cops, judges, teachers, parents, soldiers, and the government. Self-Reliance means a lot to me, and I think it is inextricably linked with Anarchists and what we do. We face down odds that at times seem like madness (examine figure one above....), but we do it for ourselves, for causes rectified with ourselves through theory, examination and practice. We do not blindly follow in our self-reliance, it is not a cult of single-file lines. Instead we constantly and fearlessly challenge what we think we know, like the Greeks of old who took Socrates to heart and questioned everything. Through our constant Socratic questioning of our principles, Anarchical theory has come to be recognized as the most wholesome, and yes that's including Communism and Capitalism. Self-Reliance lets us exceed and build, without fear of change, but with faith in our human ability to create and prosper.
Solidarity is another attribute that lets Anarchists laugh in the face of imposing authority. To me, Solidarity simply means knowing, knowing, that your friends and allies will have your back in whatever trouble you get yourself into. You won't lose your friends, you won't be seperated from your brothers and sisters. Solidarity is a union of people so devoted to each other that an infringement on the freedom of one is a blow that wounds all. How beautiful the world would be if we could establish global solidarity, a Solidarity not devoted to a political ideology but instead to humans, and to life... It is an Anarchist's goal, one among many. Solidarity is finding affinity and friendship with others, it is treasuring those personal relationships that you find with other people. Solidarity is beautiful.
Solidarity and Self-Reliance is something I want everyone to have.
Peace and Love,