We’re always excited to hear about folks introductions to anarchism and are very interested in the ways that anarchist ideas and concepts are introduced to people outside of the existing anarchist milieu. So naturally, we were very excited when we learned that a recent episode of Crimethinc’s The Ex-Worker podcast was going to explore that very topic.
In episode 16, “Back to Black” Crimethinc explores the topic. However, rather than put forth either an argument aimed at convincing people to “become anarchists” with static definitions and all of what that entails, the podcast offers a collage of anarchist voices compiling personal experiences interwoven with a few words from some historical figures in anarchist history. All things said, it’s a wonderful collection of different stories.
In a similar vein, a zine project from 2013 called “Point of No Return” collects stories from anarchists reflecting on the moment at which they decided to call themselves anarchists. From the introduction:
“Anarchists are made and not born. Many of us have stories about specific moments or experiences that marked a turning point, something that made us become anarchists, or realize we already were anarchists. We compiled this zine because we wanted to hear stories of what pushes people over the edge and help us imagine ways we can create breaking points for others.”
Both of these projects are interesting for the stories alone, but also for the reflection and thought that they will hopefully encourage about how anarchist ideas are encountered and how people decide to get involved in the anarchist milieu. While we all have our own stories, it’s always worth hearing others’ experiences and using those to inform how we engage with others outside of our (sometimes narrow) spaces. Moreover, the stories can be valuable sources of inspiration that can remind us of the excitement that often accompanies our introductions to anarchism.