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Anarchist Solutions for a Liberal Parent

I need advice on how to educate my parent.
Portland Indymedia Readers:

I am attending an anarchist conference next weekend, and my mother recently asked me about it. Her exact words were,

"So what is this anarchist thing about? Is the group working alongside any sustainable energy organization, or are they working to stop global warming? Cause it just seems like it's going to be a bunch of people sitting around talking about blowing things up. I really haven't heard anything impressive about anarchists, and it all seems like a big secret."

My response to her was,

"Well Mom, since the conference is at a University, it's not really a secret. I doubt they're going to be blowing anything up there. If you have questions about anarchist theory or practice, I can give you some web sites to check out or suggest some books."

I know my mom doesn't like to read, so she probably will not make follow-up questions wanting suggestions for web sites. Talking to her usually results in an argument for me, so I don't want to talk to her about anarchism myself and end up in tears. I lean toward green anarchy. She's a liberal who really, really loves Al Gore. She also thinks that while some cops are bad, most are good. She also gets very angry and yells when she doesn't understand something, and then the insults and attacks on my self-esteem start. I know she's going to be fretting about my beliefs that I recently came out with though, and it will never end. What should I do?

reply 28.Apr.2009 00:26


My suggestion is do not spend much time trying to educate (change) your mom. No offense, but she is brainwashed and stuck and unless someone wants to change, they will not. Focus instead on your own growth. Develop your own skills and capabilities. Follow your own heart and inclinations.

I have lived many years, on my own terms. Have traveled, studied, been true to myself. Years ago my parents thought I was nuts and 'worried' about me. I paid them no mind. I did not try to alienate them, nor would I lie for their comfort. Today I am just as 'nuts' as always, but now they respect me and have themselves taken some steps along some of the paths I have walked.

Never wait for anyone. Get a move on yourself. Changing and growing yourself is the best way to live a fulfilling life, and also happens to be the best opportunity to be of help to loved ones.

Good Luck!