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+1 vote
socialist, conservative, woman, vegan, trans, poor, jewish, rebel, ....

we are probably all far too familiar with various identity groups, even though there is likely no agreement as to what that term really means.

do you think of yourself as an anarchist? what does that mean to you, in reality? does that meaning involve others you do not know individually? do you think of yourself as anarchist based on thoughts/ideas? political perspectives? activities? lifestyle? relationships? other...?

and the followup: how would you describe the difference between group identity and individual identity?

this is kind of related to the previous question (hopefully not completely redundant):

by (12.9k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
That all depends on whether you're in on the identity group


In the end, identity groups are more of a consensus thing, as there has to be a general agreement whether you fit in or not. I just recently saw this movie called "the spook who sat by the door", it's about these inner city black people who start this militant group called the "freedom fighters". One of the people in the group is a white guy but refuses to be identified as white, and because of his loyalty to the people he spends time with, they never question it, they let him be a "real" black person. His ideas about who is don't faulter, and so nobody in the film tries to take that away from him! Things don't always work out that way though....

The anarchist identity is different from a lot of the identities you point to:

"socialist, conservative, woman, vegan, trans, poor, jewish, rebel, ...."

most of these categories (with the exception of "rebel" or "socialist") are more demarcated and accepted by general society, whereas nobody really has much of a clue as to what "an anarchist" is, or what it means. An individual identity is one that doesn't give a shit about what other people think, and in my opinion is therefore less useful. Overall, i don't find any identifier outside of a description of what one regularly does to be worth as much as a grain of salt. For example, "a doctor" or "a guitarist" gives me a lot more clues about what a person is like than "a poor" or "a conservative"

"do you think of yourself as an anarchist?"

meh, not very often. Around election season I do, it's nice to have that reminder of why i don't need to march to the voting booth. I'm an anarchist to the extent it describes my perspectives on politics. I also have used it in decision making to keep myself from getting stuck in forms of bondage, but for the most part i don't need to think of it like that. As stirner alluded to...if you don't use an idea then forget about it.

All this weirdness is why i try to keep a sense of humor about my screen names on line ("Nihilist" X-D), the more absurd and silly the better!
by (2.4k points)
you made me think of something i find rather interesting. your mention of "doctor or guitarist" triggered it. saying "she is a guitarist" is somehow different to me than saying "she plays guitar". one seems to attempt to define her, the other simply describes one of her (assumedly desirable) activities. and that makes me have an entirely new appreciation for one potential use of eprime. not that i'd adopt it as my normal/preferred way of communicating, but that is a clear scenario where using eprime would be the clearest way to express myself when describing myself or others.

dammit! :-)
yeah saying "she is a guitarist" is slapping a label on her, or putting her in a box. A lot of the time i feel that the only time someone could really be a __________ is in relation to some profession or role. "a prisoner", "a doctor", etc...not horribly practical overall especially from a perspective of someone trying to do anarchism.

As far as e-prime goes, i just try to be critical of the particular way i use words, and i've found that actually have an incredible number of advantages in terms of how one lives their life, it's a way of keeping yourself out of trouble i guess...normally if i say something like "you are a _________" or "i am a ___________" i use it in a joking or non-serious way, i tend to find those kinds of conversations just to be a way to just bullshit and small talk with people.
most people i know who have a "profession" hate when they are identified - outside that profession - as their job. some folks, on the other hand, actually like it, and somehow get an ego boost from it. that is a whole 'nother discussion.
i use the term "dog person" to identify some people. it means not that people own dogs, or like dogs, but that they identify with dogs in a way that is dog-like, or at least not as accessories to humans.

a guitarist then, would not be someone who plays guitar, but someone who thinks of life, music, etc through the lens of guitaring. i have no idea what that would mean, but then i couldn't be considered one.

i believe that we agree that all labels (all words) have limited and contextual use. this society errs in over-emphasizing their significance, which i agree makes eprime a useful exercise.

and i have said many times that the label anarchist means very little, since anarchists can take diametrically opposed positions on so many things. i appreciate that openness. it does still mean *enough* though (perhaps just: i am willing to engage in a particular range of arguments), that i do call myself one, gladly.
Lol...good points...

Labels are such a basic function of human language, pretty hopeless to try to get rid of them...
That white looking guy in the "Spook Who Sat by the Door" claims he's black in real life. I wondered about that when I watched the movie. He reminds me of that Shaun King/Talcum X guy.
0 votes

Apparently "anarchist" is an identity to some groups of people. I have noticed people refer to "anarchist" as being part of a "movement." For it to be a movement, I have deduced that it needs to be "a group of people with a common ideology who try together to achieve certain general goals." Now I haven't been invited to any of the anarchist movement meetings where it is presumably determined what the common ideology is and the goals are. None. Zero. Not that I would ever go, but I think that it is a bit rude not to give me holler at least once. So I cannot tell you what's discussed during the anarchist movement meetings.

Do I think to myself what a wonderful world that I am an anarchist? No. I don't really think about it much and it doesn't mean much. It's kind of ambiguous. For an identity, anarchist isn't a distinct trait for a person. I feel it also depends upon other peoples interpretation of anarchist and that can open up whole 'nother can of worms of awkwardness. I think more of myself as a weird and I'd let people know that weirdness is, I guess, is an aspect of my identity. While it is vague I don't feel the need to explain what I mean by weird because people can just observe my behavior and/or talk to me, and it would become apparent. With anarchist I think I would have to provide an explanation.

Out of the terms you listed, I think woman would qualify as an aspect of one's identity. It's a recognized characteristic of a person.

by (4.6k points)
well, i think it could become a distinct trait for a person if they say, threw a molotov cocktail  at a cop...but then the person could also be a radical left or right winger, you never know.