Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Feeling of belonging
The feeling of being apart of something having a say and feeling wanted is a big human emotion I feel. For me it has involved joining various political party’s in the past including labour and the Socialist party both of which I’ve seen the good and bad side of now. But with the rise of Syriza in Greece and the coming to power of a so called anti austerity party all be it with a coalition partner has raised many interesting dormant feelings within me it has to be said. I do think the rise of Syriza can be partly put down to the wanting to feel to belong to something to join a party to affect change is a noble goal if not always realistic. I joined a political party thinking this is it for me this is the party I agree with and can fulfil my ideas and thoughts and take society forward. Not correct as I found out the internal wrangling of both party’s I’ve been a member of left a lot to be desired. I can’t fault anyone who wish’s to be part of something that same feeling still exists within me today but I just can’t see myself joining another political party of any form again given my experiences. I gave the green party allot of consideration a few months back and don’t mind a lot of what they stand for all be it of a reformist nature as a political party out there today if I was to vote which I don’t think I will anytime soon they would be my party of choice. But that feeling of belonging is a big thing in social movements when the ebb and flow of a social movement wains back the comfort of a political party is tempting for many and certainly in Greece since the decline of popular mass struggle within the trade unions and mass social movements have somewhat subsided the appeal of a party like Syriza is understandable in many ways. I do think however joining a party which hopes to turn the state to work for us is sadly mistaken I can fully understand where many who have been swept up with the victory of Syriza are coming from. Even some anarchists even voted for Syriza as it was seen as a big moment in Greece and we must lend them support. How far this support goes will depend very much of what happens next to Greece and Syriza as a consequence. So far so good in terms of policies and implementation. Yes the coalition with the independent Greeks is a bad move but possibly the only choice they had given the options opened to them. But the real test will come shortly when an inevitable clash with the EU comes up notably Germany who is sticking to their guns in saying Greece is no exception and must play by the rules. But returning to my original theme of wanting to belong to something I think this is something which we can all identify with and even anarchists at times feel this. I think we can underestimate this feeling. Even as anarchists we do not reject organisation out right we still do believe in organisation but not one which is controlled and run from the top down. There is no fetish for “leadership” and we do not look to form fronts or short term shortcuts to win positions within trade unions. For me anarchism represents a place I’m happy with at long last with ideas being a constant flow of thoughts with no set ideology and laws we must follow. Of course we have our basics of anti capitalism, anti state and anti authority and so on but we are not defined by one set thinker like Marxists or Leninists for example. I do feel I belong to something even if it’s not a party any longer. I belong to the working class, a global movement which has tremendous power when it starts to move. Putting my faith in democracy and the working class is key not tying myself to a particular party any longer taking the “party line” on every issue allows me to think for myself and to act for myself. Not in a selfish way but in a way which encourages critical thought and a forum to debate and challenge my ideas and others in the hope we can find a way to make this world better for all of us.