Saturday, December 22, 2012

And I Am an Anarchrist

Don't know what I want, but I know how to get it:

But what is the alternative? Mainstream Christianity has become complicit in the very injustices Jesus confronted. And conventional anarchism leaves me cold – lacking in beauty and mystery and hope that we can ever become more than we are.

Christo-anarchism is the way of repentance, of rejecting, like Jesus, the three temptations of Satan, saying no to our religious, economic and political dominance and working toward a world where nobody has power over another.

If you choose Christo-anarchism, be prepared for a hard road. Anarchists will reject your spirituality and Christians will reject your politics.

Where nobody has power over another? What does that even mean, practically speaking? Well, it doesn't mean anything in that sense; it's just an articulation of inchoate emotion. Lots of people like to make reference to the opium of the people, but they don't often include the lines immediately preceding that famous pull-quote, which change the tone from sneering contempt to sympathy: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions." That's what's being expressed here.

It's easy and understandable to enact an ad hoc response to a particular injustice, but it doesn't necessarily follow that "injustice" of all types can be reduced to an essential ingredient, summarized and classified, after which the entire economic/political/social system can be rationally revamped from step 1 to prevent it from ever forming again. "It's all about eliminating power!" "It's all about the patriarchy!" "It's all about controlling the means of production!" I know that sounds banal, but it's really amazing how many ideological edifices rest on a non-sequitur as their cornerstone.