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TOTW: Family

We’re entering a time of year when many of us will be having a higher-than-usual amount of contact with our families. Desired or undesired, the holidays present us with more contact than usual with “normal” people whose presences in our lives preceded our concept of the political.

My sense of many anarchists is that their initial sense of rebelliousness came from a “fuck you mom and dad” that carried over into adulthood, and that their rebellion was born in part from a resistance to parents who were/are disapproving, disappointing, domineering, abusive, etc. There’s no shortage of radical critiques of the bourgeois family as stifling, disciplinary and depressing.

Yet the family may be felt as a positive influence as well – for myself, I’d say the trust I felt and the freedom I was given in action and expression as a young person helped inculcate an aversion to authority. And while the oppressive bourgeois family may persist, some of us may be the products of alternative parenting styles, conscientious liberal households in which science is real and black lives matter, or even black diaper babies.

For this topic, I want to focus on the people who were responsible for raising you as well as the people who were being raised around you during your childhood and teenage years – that is to say, parents and siblings, or people you considered to be in those roles.

How much has your family influenced your politics? Did your relationships with them change after you became an anarchist?