December 8, 2008 by The Mormon Worker
Recently on our website we’ve had a number of people leaving comments claiming that we at the Mormon Worker are not really anarchists but in fact are socialists and should disassociate ourselves from the word Anarchism. One commenter concluded that we are an “embarassment to real anarchists,” and that these “real anarchists” are “watching our every move.” This is because we published an article encouraging people to vote for Ralph Nader, rather than for Obama. Apparently we overlooked the passage in the Anarchist Bible which says that anarchists can’t vote. To respond, the founders of the Mormon Worker (of which I am one) have been largely influenced by Anarchist writers, in particular Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Chomsky, and from a specifically religious persective Dorothy Day and Leo Tolstoy. We kept seeing aspects of Mormon Doctrine that were consistent with our understanding of Anarchism and from making such observations we decided to begin the newspaper. The other main impetus was frustration with LDS support for the Iraq war, despite the fact that such support contradicts Mormon doctrine condemning offensive war. Others that write for and contribute financially to the paper are not all anarchists in their world-view, some are democratic socialists, others progressive democrats, some are strict pacifists, while others are anti-militarists. Hence the articles we publish are from a variety of perspectives, though always from a generally non-authoritarian left point of view. If someone wants to say we’re not anarchists that’s fine with me. Being called a socialist is no insult, and we’re not looking for acceptance from anyone, whether from right-wing Mormons, the leadership of the LDS church, secular leftists, anarchists or anyone else. So even if we’re not “true” anarchists, we’ll continue to publish many articles from the anarchist perspective, for example, Tariq Khan’s article entitled “Obedience to Authority” in the most current issue, #5. At the end of the day what we’re concerned about is promoting ideas that we think will lead to less violence, less exploitation, less misery, less poverty and more freedom, regardless of what ideological label may come with them.