Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

How to portray an anarchist character?

+1 vote
I've been doing some research, but I still don't know much about anarchy. I'm writing a novella in which the main character is an anarchist. I don't want to portray it the stereotypical way of this: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BombThrowingAnarchists and this: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AnarchyIsChaos.

I want to know little things/actions that make an anarchist who they are. I know theres different types of anarchy. An example of what im looking for is the character(~23y/o) has never gotten a drivers licence but instead uses a fake one(using her real name) to get around....? Y'know what i mean?
asked Aug 8, 2015 by jojojoll (130 points)

you might want to check out the maude character in the movie harold and maude.

and let us know if you write something! The last film I saw that attempted to portray anarchists was "No God, No Masters" which i don't think did much justice....lol
One thing I'd suggest is to take some time to read some of the discussions on this website, particularly those that take place in the comments below answers.  There are quite a few 'characters' on here (I mean that affectionately), and it could help give you an idea of what anarchists are like in an informal setting, just talking to each other.

One other thing, be careful that your character's anarchism has a purpose, so that it isn't just a curiosity, doing little other than attempting to embody an exotic ideology, devoid of any actual character/personhood.

Best of luck, and hope you'll stick around :)
baa, perfect suggestion.

yes to maude!

another (more recent) fictional character that i found both amusing and interesting from an anarchist perspective is dr. gregory house. i rented the tv show (house md) some time ago, and i fell in love with it. not quite an anarchist (though constantly accused of such by those that see @ as a bad thing), but with strong anti-authoritarian tendencies, and complete disregard for rules and morals. probably my favorite character ever on a tv show.

1 Answer

+1 vote

So, considering the few biographic details you included about a life lived on the margins of illegality, I would suggest that you might want to look at some of the stuff Crimethinc. has produced over the years. In particular, I am thinking of the books Expect Resistance and Evasion*, though the stuff they wrote in the publication Harbinger might also be of use. This is especially true if the novella is set in North America.

I would also echo what Yosemite said about reading through different questions, answers and comments on this site. I really appreciate the ways in which different personalities come through in our conversations.

I would also be careful to avoid having this anarchist be such just because it is an interesting plot point. What are the choices they make based upon their anarchism? Are there places where living their life means compromising those ideals?

What led this person to anarchy? Was there a formative moment that led them to it, or are they someone who found the label and it fit who they already were? Are they active in explicitly anarchist groups and projects, or do they prefer to carve out a niche where thy can live as they desire (these aren't mutually exclusive)?

*I don't think I have suggested that anyone read Evasion since it came out in book form, and I have serious qualms about doing so here for a number of reasons both personal and related to the way that that book influenced the larger anarchist scene of the early 00's, but I think it might actually be a useful tool in the context of this question.

answered Aug 8, 2015 by ingrate (19,820 points)
edited Aug 8, 2015 by ingrate