Santa Cruz Sentinel, “Opinion: What exactly is an ‘anarchist’?” November 1, 2014

Opinion: What exactly is an ‘anarchist’?
Stephen Kessler, Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 1, 2014

The word “anarchist” has been thrown around lately in reference to a candidate in the race for Santa Cruz City Council. I have no horse in that race — all candidates seem to be citizens who want to serve the community honorably, and they say they share many of the same goals: good water management, a healthy economy, public safety, adequate housing, a clean environment.

What bothers me in the political discourse — or more precisely, rhetoric — is the casual use of an inflammatory word (sounds a little like “anti-Christ”) whose meaning few people seem to understand. Included in this group of the uncomprehending are not only those with a “conservative” agenda and a fear of anything left of center, but many self-styled “anarchists” themselves who seem to believe that anarchism means the promotion of chaos and disorder in the service of some muddle-headed political agenda.

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