Hopefully, hearing about my philosophical and political journey could be of help to someone and I intend to post as many relevant links to things as I can. At the very least, I hope I can connect you to something interesting to read when you are bored.
My philosophical journey started with a fairly non-political family. Politics was not discussed and my parents never cared enough to vote or pay attention to politics on the news, aside from the latest big story. Going through school and learning about civics, I started to lean left. I took in as much as I could about the topics of anti-corporatism, anti-war, removing social laws, anti-drug war, etc. I genuinely thought that the biggest problem was that people were misinformed or being lied to. If we could just talk to people, it would solve everyone’s problems. The more I learned, the more I leaned to the left. I started thinking about proposals to get away from capitalism and corporatism, opt out of paying for the industrial-military complex, and improving information flow to the least advantaged. Politicians were untrustworthy and with no notable exceptions, accepted bribes and influence from those in power; whether it was business magnates given special subsidies and privileges on the right or the bureaucratic sycophants chanting for more bloated, programs for kickbacks.
I read more books about local movements, reclaiming cities, and working together to enact change. I voted green party two years ago. Then I really started getting annoyed with left leaning political talk radio and blogs. They were acting in just the same manner as the people they hated. Misquoting, cherry picking, soundly defeating straw-men of their own construction, and otherwise being fallacious and dishonest against people who held different ideas because they genuinely believed in those ideas. I felt sort of betrayed that the moderates supposedly representing my side were just as silly and erroneous as “the other side” they vilified, never calling out corruption in ‘our’ own ranks or pointing out fallacious reasoning people used instead of more solid arguments. The real opinions and principles held across the spectrum were ignored in favor of talking points and the left-right divide, which separated voters on a handful of issues where we would be choosing only which politician got more power, instead of getting anything real done for people. Seeing libertarians and tea-partiers, I saw a reaction to contemporary political failure, like the Occupy movement but for the “right”, at least before they both got co-opted by their respective mainstreams for the danger they represented to those in power. I wanted to watch their videos to try and get to the common ground that I knew I could understand but pundits never would (or couldn’t say anything about for fear of reprisal from their base). Maybe we could find some new middle ground instead of just serving the Democricans and Republocrats already in power. Some rhetoric and goals of the right leaning folk bothered me though: privatizing education, cutting tax funding for social programs, or ending aid programs to other countries. I would later learn that they shared the same hopes and goals, but saw different methods and approaches. Others, like ending subsidies to big business, getting rid of the regulatory capture of revolving door lobbyists, or ending the military industrial complex I sympathized with, but some of these were even beliefs held for different reasons than I was used to. Now that I was disabused of any particular loyalty to a political party, I started on my path towards anarchism.
I’ll put a link here to the next post.