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Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

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+3 votes
I'm sorry I used "lifestyle" originally in my question because that seemed to throw people off. I understand terms like "lifestyle anarchism" and "green consumerism:" this is not something I want to participate in, I know better. All I'm asking is: doesn't it seem somewhat stupid to be talking about oppression and corporate control but then still end up having to buy sneakers from JcPenny's? Should I be buying them somewhere else, and does it even make a difference? What makes me different from annoying liberals who take sociology 101 and assume they know how the world works now?
what did you not understand about the answers to your first question (which did not seem at all distracted by the lifestylist label)?
what makes your situation so much more compromised than anyone else's? who do you consider to be living a "truly anarchist" life?
how can internet strangers talk to you about how you might be different from or similar to people who take themselves too seriously and think they know more than they do? (in that case surely the problem is arrogance, rather than what specific things people believe?)

edited for clarity and explicit-ness.
I suppose I'm sorry if I had trouble understanding the answers. I didn't know about anyone else's compromised situations, that's why I asked this question. I'm not looking for an answer about how to live an "truly anarchist" life, I just wanted to point out this concern I had and see what people would think. And when I wrote my last question I should have written "What makes me different, as an anarchist, from..." because I would be talking about the negative impact of sweatshops but then still be buying sneakers from a company that uses sweatshops.

P.S. Please do not edit my or any other person's questions for "explict-ness." You do not have any say so as to whether or not my question is suitable for any other tastes besides your own. What kind of anarchist site is this, then? I would would rather you delete my entire question than edit it from my original meaning and my opinion regardless of its grammatical mistakes, inaccuracies, or clarity.
no, i edited *my* comment for explicitness, not anyone else's.

the only time it looks like other people's posts are edited is when i change tags. (also you can see when something is edited - it says "edited".)
sorry i didn't see your comment until now.

that said, there is some way that you're comparing your situation to an idealized situation that can only exist in our heads. everyone in this (westernized) world, participates in it -- even the dumpster divers who live on its fringes. so as anarchists we draw a line that will always be subjective and somewhat arbitrary about what we care about, and how much energy and other resources we have, and then move on. for example, some of us are vegan, some of us only eat locally-produced foods, some of us try to dumpster everything we consume, some of us spend all our time supporting political prisoners... no one can do everything that seems like a good idea, so we pick the practices that make the most sense for us and understand that this discomfort is why we want a *systematic* change.
Perhaps one way of looking at this is that nothing "makes" anarchist any different, save for a more articulated desire.  Anarchists responses/non-responses to everyday life informed by an open and honest interpretation of anarchist literature and principals may be the only examples of how they are different.  Otherwise they may often look, act, and behave very much like almost anyone else in society.

Also, a more nuanced and intelligent observation reveals that anarchists are less concerned with "what" they "are" now as apposed to how things (social relationships) could be. After all the perspective maintains that state and capital are both unnecessary and undesirable.  Notice the distinctive lack of any specific prescriptions or prohibitions as to how one is to conduct oneself? Neither is there any specific moral code.

You may also have noticed that the power of state and capital still exists and dominates throughout society. So obviously anarchist have yet to achieve their desires and many (if not all) are besieged by the same everyday grind that anyone else is experiencing. There is no special privilege in being an anarchist and the space for expressing oneself freely is just as limited for them as any other tendency.

All the various moral ideologies are distractions and are pretty much besides the point of anarchism.  Max Stirner and Jason McQuin have both written some very interesting critiques of these.  

Your questions are interesting to me nonetheless for the challenges they pose, yet they imply something naive and idealistic.

4 Answers

+2 votes
If you think you can find some space(s) where you have access to supplies and services for your survival that exist outside the reach of capitalist socio-economic relations I, for one, am ready to join you for some anti-capitalist shopping. Until that space exists, I'm reluctantly resigned to shopping at JC Penney for my sneakers. The logic of capitalism requires you to make a decision about a "better" retailer, not whether or not to patronize a retailer in the first place. Guilt is a bourgeois luxury.
by (570 points)
+1 vote
Obviously the goal of a robust anti-capitalist movement is to sever our dependency upon the capitalist mode of production, however this will not be achieved by individual acts of consumer purity. We have no power in our economic roles as consumers, contrary to mass-media indoctrination; our power comes from our relationship to the mode of production.

The worker controlled co-op, the locally owned boutique, the JC Penny's, these are all part of the global capitalist system which is totally exploitative. Even someone leading some sort of allegedly pure and idyllic wilderness-survivalist lifestyle is part of the global working-class and exists precariously due to the realities of global capitalism.
by (170 points)

"someone leading some sort of allegedly pure and idyllic wilderness-survivalist lifestyle is part of the global working-class"

not quite sure how that works....  hunting and gathering are "jobs"? ones that fit into the "working class"?  

+3 votes
Fellow anarchists have no reason not to take you seriously as we all compromise our principles to survive in this system. Non-anarchists may bring up this percieved inconsistency, but many of them are unlikely to take anarchism seriously no matter what.
by (6.1k points)
+2 votes
What matters more is that the person takes themselves seriously as an anarchists.  

It would be hard to say why a person would comform to a society which is totally contrary to that person's convictions.  

Must a person loathe authority, heirachy, and capitalism or can they simply see the logic of anarchy over the present situation?  Must one be a rebel and noncomformist to agree and desire a change toward anarchy?

I would think that being an anarchist at heart would cause some sor of noncomformist behavior or lifestyle.  But if not does it matter.  Shouldn't the scope of anarchy be inclusive for the self-determination of everyone apart from anyone else's views including that of what personal lifestyle is acceptable as an anarchist.
by (2.0k points)