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Is loyalty valuable to anarchists?

+5 votes
Loyalty is referred to in anarchist talk though the ideas of mutual aid, affinity groups, sex and sexy relationships, attitudes towards snitching, friendship...

While I don't think that a commitment to another person/group benefits from an obligation to last forever, I do think it is worthwhile to stick it out when it is unfun and hard - sometimes.

Is true friendship so beautiful and anarchic and joyful that tests to loyalty would not happen? Are we so completely "individual" that our bond to someone is easily re-evaluated for its strategic worth to us?

When is loyalty important? When is it silly?
asked Nov 21, 2013 by shark.heart (1,510 points)
what is up with people upvoting questions and/but not answering (or even commenting on) them?
6 upvotes is a lot for this site so...  explain!
i mean, you know, if you want to. ;)
The importance of anarchists voting is sometimes lost on me.

2 Answers

+1 vote
i don't have a good answer for this, but i think it deserves conversation, so i'm jumping in anyway.

loyalty to me is what people do in the face of enmity. ie, i am critical of my friends when it's just us, and not critical (mostly) of friends when we are around or fighting with people-not-my-friends. that decision not to be critical in certain contexts is what i call loyalty, as well as the decision to stay in relationship even when i disagree with someone's decision(s).
(the level of relationship and the level of disagreement is meaningful, of course.)

this conversation is complicated for me by my rejection of a kind of secrecy that i associate with drug addiction and family dysfunction (which i guess ties back to my initial paragraph by challenging who gets defined as an enemy, which can be confusing).

so loyalty is important when emotions and theory are in synch? and it's not loyalty but codependency (ew!) when it stunts us more than it teaches us?

well, maybe a start, anyway.
answered Jan 20, 2014 by dot (50,730 points)
0 votes
I never use the word "loyalty" in my conversations, and I only have a vague understanding of what that means to other people who do use it, as it appears to me that it means different things to different people. As a concept, it's not something I've ever been familiar with.

It's only recently that I've come to see myself as an anarchist (primarily because I've always been prone to reject labels), so I don't know if most people who self-describe as anarchists generally believe in or care about something called loyalty.

Not sure if this is more of a comment than an answer...sometimes it seems like I don't have any answers for anything.

edited to add:

After a little more reflection (including reading my own answer), I've concluded the answer for me is "no", if for no other reason than I don't use the word. A further description of "loyalty" could possibly change my mind. More than anything, this question has served to remind me of the limitations of language to express feelings and relationships.
answered May 18, 2014 by bornagainanarchist (7,800 points)
edited May 18, 2014 by bornagainanarchist