It seems to me that many folks are misunderstanding the role of anarchy, and with it the role of the Armchair Anarchist…
Many thanks to Neil for pointing to the Urban Dictionary as a repository of many things cultural and the source of a possible definition…
Person of the ‘alternative society’ bent who would claim a desire to ‘smash the system’. Their chosen means of smashing the aforesaid system would be to get really drunk and/or stoned and mouth-off raucously and belligerently to those already aware of our non-working class hero’s political ideology, usually to the strains of seriously non-commercial underground sounds.
Revolution from the comfort of one’s easy chair.
As much as that definition meets the definition of those most likely to refer to themselves as anarchists, it possibly fails a little from the point of view of the Stillthinking concept of an armchair anarchist.
You see, not all anarchists recognise their suitability to the nomenclature, nor are they recognised as such by those around them. These are the real Armchair Anarchists.
These are the people who go about their day-to-day, looking at the world through multiple sets of eyes… They have the standard visual focus brought about through some clever biological optics but they also have a couple of little figures perched on their shoulders, providing a bit of feedback on the world they confront and, the person’s actions within it.
From this extra little bit of shoulder-perched feedback, the person is able to do a fraction more than just react. In other words, they have lifted themselves ever so slightly out of the social straight-jacket and have the potential to make an objective assessment of the world… and that might be just enough to allow them to think an erratic, independent thought. Maybe it will allow them sufficient leeway for an independent action? How cool would that be?
Now this particular anarchist isn’t carrying a placard, nor harbouring an Uzi in their trenchcoat. They don’t carry spraycans and most likely couldn’t come up with a tag even if confronted by an alluring looking public wall of easy to graffiti material.
No, this is an Armchair Anarchist. They are out there, you know. Everywhere. Doing all sorts of standard stuff but quite vividly aware of the social construct in which they operate and their role in it. Even if they haven’t yet fully decided on the red or the blue pill, they just know that something isn’t quite right.
An Armchair Anarchist is a conundrum but they know that and they get the humour in it all.