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Is it paranoid to hate and fear the government when living in a liberal Western democracy? I identify as being an Anarchist, but I live a fairly middle class/upper working class lifestyle, there's rarely scarcity for me, I never go hungry or cold and the police are not constantly harassing me. Is my opposition to the government paranoia?
by (740 points)

1 Answer

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Probably not. Hating the government ought to be redundant to being an anarchist. It is not unreasonable to feel fear as well, given the history of repression within "liberal Western" democracies.

That said, a lot of people congratulate themselves on how radical they think they are by acting overly fearful or cautious of said repression, which actually helps to neutralize their ability to act against their enemies. Or, they use their hatred of and opposition to the state to obscure their positions of privilege within the society they live in.
by (22.1k points)
How would one transcend societal privilege? I was born into a middle class or upper working class family, short of getting rid of all my possessions and becoming a vagrant I cannot really alter my position myself. Many Anarchist's are born into, to quote Marxian language, either the bourgeois or the intelligentsia, at least it would appear so. We all sit behind comparatively expensive computer screens and I should have thought the majority of us own said computer. Therefore we are all in something of a position of privilege.
Maybe I misunderstand  what you mean, but I don't think transcending privilege has anything to do with it. I am also from a middle/upper middle class background. I can't and won't pretend that isn't true. Although I have proven to be relatively downwardly mobile in my adult life, I still benefit from the privileges of my background, my family, and my current circumstances, to say nothing of being a white dude.

I think, at least form myself, it is more important to be honest, to leverage what benefits I can from my privilege, both for myself and those I love, and towards the greater project of destroying everything that gives me those privileges.