from A las barricadas, English translation by Anarchist News
by Acratosaurio rex
What is it to be an anarchist? How do you measure that? Malatesta gave a definition that said that an anarchist is one who does not want to command and does not want to obey. He neither wants to dominate, nor to be dominated. Being an anarchist would therefore be a desire. A complex desire. Federica Montseny I think also used to say that anarchism is a philosophy of freedom, which intends the greater good for all. Which is something that is also not clear, what is the greater good.
However, throughout my life, I have met anarchists who have set a series of conditions: not voting in elections, not running as a candidate or being elected mayor, not eating meat, not drinking alcohol, not smoking, learning Esperanto, deciding everything in an assembly and having an ethical behavior.
For me, not being an appointed representative has been very simple: my profile doesn’t make the cut. Not even if I sold out would those millionaire bastards buy me. Voting, I’ve only done it a couple of times to see what it felt like. The first time I felt like a moron I repeated to see if it had been a mistake, and I felt like an moron again, which is something that is also quite habitual in me for one reason or another.
I’m doing bad on the alcohol part. I usually don’t drink between six in the morning and 12 noon. From there on anything can happen, so it can be said that when it comes to alcohol, I am only an anarchist during those hours and when I sleep. When I’m drunk, you can say that I’m not an anarchist if it pleases you.
The part about not eating meat, well no problem: I don’t like it, it disgust me.
I learned Esperanto one time I broke my leg and had some free time. The bad thing is that since not a single anarchist in my immediate surroundings speaks it, it has not served me at all anarchistically speaking.
The part bout deciding everything in the assembly, I confess that I find those meetings to be tedious and unbearable. I prefer to wait in a bar to be given the the results to find out what I’ll have to deal with.
And the part about having an ethical behavior… Here it goes. The ethics that is preached so much, to me, mind you, it’s my opinion, I can be wrong… Ethics, it seems to me –in general lines–, a demonstration of Power, an alibi to impose a certain behavior on others. Those from the ethical anarchinquisition tell you that this or that is ethical or unethical, and you suddenly find yourself doing things that you don’t really want to do, just because some idiot got into their head that you have to behave in a certain concrete way. And then you look at the guy, and you see that they leave a lot to be desired.
Let’s see how I can explain it: for me, anarchism is doing what I really want. It is to carry out what comes out from inside of me with enthusiasm. And when someone starts talking to you about ethics, and what should be done, dash out. Because let’s see if anarchism is going to end up becoming doing what one does not want. If you feel like it.