Okay, so the fact that it’s taken me several days to do even my introductory post should be enough to set the tone for my future contributions to this blog.
My name is Jon Wolter. I live in Chicago, IL, though I grew up in Charleston, SC. I am 34 years old, in a heteronormative, state-approved marriage, and work a desk job in high-rise condominium property management, despite going to college for a degree in theatre I almost never use. I eat meat, drink Coca-Cola, and often fail to support local businesses. I’m an occasional sports fan and I get obsessive over music quite a bit. I was raised Southern Baptist, but I haven’t believed in any god or supernatural event since I was about 13.
I’ve been an anarchist since I was about 20. Go figure.
Prior to discovering anarchism, I was pretty much apolotical. Sure, I was a fan of punk music, and listened to all sorts of bands that fell into the anarchist camp, but I also listened to bands that were totally apolitical, or borderline fascist in outlook. I discovered Noam Chomsky (whom I never even thought of as an anarchist at the time, though he seems lumped in there a lot) via a Jello Biafra spoken word album. From Chomsky, I discovered Rudolf Rocker, specifically his sprawling Nationalism and Culture. That was my “Damascus” moment. Specifically because he was my first exposure to the notion that anarchists weren’t all bomb-throwing, nihilist assassins. Rocker, unlike numerous other European anarchists, had no problem mining the American libertarian tradition, citing Jefferson and Spooner (among others), and taking the best aspects of Classical Liberalism to their logical conclusions. That appealed to me.
For years, I was a self-proclaimed Anarcho-Syndicalist due to Rocker’s influence, though I sometimes leaned towards Anarcho-Communism from my readings of Kropotkin. Now, I think I’m a little more steeped in mutualism, localism, free-market-anti-capitalism, and about 9000 other -isms to determine which modifier to put before the hyphen. On Facebook, I describe myself as a Zenarchistic Jeffersonian Anticrat, which is probably as good a label as any.
I’m probably going to be the most sporadic poster on the blog – I have a tendency towards procrastination – with a focus that will probably seem more abstract. Expect me to speak less on politics (I’m often of the “throw up my hands in despair” school) and more on culture and literature, and how they tangentially relate to an anarchist mindset. Most of my political influences have already been touched on by my fellow bloggers in their far-more-well-thought out introductions, so I’ll save my link-dumping for future entries.
Ultimately, I think my views can be summed up by something thebuddhadada wrote a few days ago:
“Even if full anarchism is never achieved, a voluntary, peaceful society seems like a worthy goal.”
P.S. I’m also open to huge flame wars with other bloggers who think I’m too bourgeois to write on anarchism. You know, for kicks.