Adolescence from an anarchist perspective

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Joined: 24-03-14
Dec 2 2014 23:17
Adolescence from an anarchist perspective

What does it mean to grow up, what does it mean to be 'an adult' and what should it mean?

This might be a philosophical question, but I think it's one we should tackle for two main reasons firstly because becoming 'a grown up' in capitalist society means getting a job, leaving home, starting a family, becoming a consumer and learning to accept authority therefore anarchists like us or anyone trying to work for better conditions for the working class are told by some to 'grow up' and that life isn't meant to be easy. Secondly because often those with mental health problems, when they need support are often seen as being weak and are also told that they need to 'grow up', 'deal with it' and the cliché 'life isn't easy'. So the result then is that we internalise this authoritarian culture and at our worst of time we doubt ourselves. We may have negative thoughts and may at times think maybe they are right.

It seems to be understood that becoming an adult means becoming a part of society, in an anarcho-communist society it would mean becoming a part of that society, but in a capitalist one it means becoming a part of that and reproducing it.

So it got me thinking then, how would an anarchist view this concept.

In my own opinion and I just came to this conclusion as I wrote this post, the problem is perhaps in viewing adolescence in a social perspective, because then you are forcing ideals upon a person which by default would be authoritarian. Perhaps it should be seen from an individualist perspective, a person is 'an adult' when they have discovered themselves to a certain degree, made important relationships with others and feel comfortable with themselves.

I would like to hear your opinions though.

jondwhite's picture
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 3 2014 12:26

It means becoming a worker indentured by wage labour above all else like political participation. The carrot for this is you might get a house or a car 'if you work hard enough'.