In Defense of Lifestyle Anarchism

A great concern among anarchists, especially those of the far left, seems greatly in regards to a group they have dubbed “lifestyle anarchists”. This is specifically intended as a derogatory term used against those who, as Murray Boochkin puts it in his essay “Lifestyle Anarchism or Social Anarchism”, “eschew any serious commitment to an organized, programmatically coherent social confrontation with the existing order.” (Boochkin, 1) He goes on for about eighty-six pages afterward. In essence, the charge against the lifestyle anarchist is that they may walk the walk, talk the talk, but that in the end they are more concerned with achieving their own personal autonomy than they are about tackling hierarchy and participating in class struggle in an orderly and well-regulated manner, as a more proper anarchist ought to do. A correct charge if I ever saw one! But I do not consider this an argument against lifestyle anarchism; in fact, it is one for it. I say, instead, that the lifestyle anarchist is not the dunce of the anarchist world, but perhaps its best chance for a stateless society. Continue reading “In Defense of Lifestyle Anarchism”