Why I became an anarchist - Russia / Georgia / Greece / Ireland


As is the case with most of my comrades, I did not suddenly wake up to find out that I am an anarchist. It was rather a gradual process that started with a determination to fight racism, challenge patriarchy and doubt the existence of some omnipresent old man with white beard.
I was born in 1987 to a Russian mother and a Georgian father in Siberia during the last years of the USSR and spent most of my childhood travelling back and forth between Russia and Georgia, changing different cities and schools and meeting people who were very eager to prove to me how much of a better nation Georgia is in comparison to Russia and vice versa. What affected my ideology the most was my family’s decision to move to Greece where I got to meet many interesting people and during the last years of school together with friends to start reading books on atheism, feminism and anarchy.

The reasons for which I consider myself an anarchist, have to do with my belief that every human being regardless of their ethnicity, gender, colour, religion etc., should be able to enjoy equal rights in every part of the world; something that is obviously not the case at the moment and never will be unless something is done to change it. And the reason I do not consider state Communism to be a political system worth fighting for is, apart from the fact that any form of hierarchy is unacceptable to me (especially the one that gives absolutely no option to express any different thought that challenges the way society works) the fact that in a communist society where my parents lived, even though they both had the same responsibilities as far as their working hours and conditions were concerned, my father enjoyed much more freedom in his everyday life then my mother did.

Moreover, as a migrant in Greece, a country with many migrants and even more problems, I had to learn to get used to being the ‘other’ who is an easy target to blame for everything by the state, should it be a left wing party or a right wing one, as well as by the media who would always try their best to emphasise the nationality of a burglar should it be a non-Greek one. In this society I was extremely lucky to meet people for whom categorizing human beings according to their race, among other things, was unacceptable and while we were helping migrants to learn Greek in our migrant language school with a symbolic name ‘Odysseus’, we ourselves were learning from our students and from each other how meaningless and superficial these categorisations are.

For the last two years I have been living in Ireland where apart from the racism and class issues, to a lot of people, a woman’s life is of less value to that of a fetus. Something that, together with every other less or more important issue I witness on a daily basis makes me more confident to believe that the only way people can live in a more just world is to stand in solidarity with each other and fight for everyone’s rights whether it affects us or not.

Words: Nephele


This article is from Irish Anarchist Review no 8 Autumn 2013