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Kansas City IMC

Re: Authoritarian Anarchists

This is a great article that addresses what seems to be a common problem in radical movements -- presence of emotionally disturbed people. I am afraid this problem doesn't just plague anarchists and anarchist groups. I have been involved in a variety of progressive organizations, many of which had problems with people with personality disorders joining and often doing considerable damage. Psychological pathologies are largely socially conditioned, and we, as a society, have to devise constructive ways for people affected by them to live their lives. In the US, where the social safety net and healtcare infrastructure are poorly developed, this seems to be a particular problem.

The authoritarian personality disorder is particularly strongly manifested in a society dominated by hierarchical structures and authoritarian modes of social interaction. This is why we have to watch out for them. To this end, we must use our own "light of reason" to scrutinize claims, especially extreme claims, about people and events that promise to divide movements and destroy the possibility of a meaningful progressive change. Only by employing common sense and logic can we escape the curse of authoritarianism.

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