Recently I have been interacting with a Dutch Buddhist who is also a follower of anarchism (which is also referred to as libertarianism in some parts of the world), and I have found it interesting to consider what the meeting of the two might mean. Personally I’ve never been that interested in political philosophy, and the whole idea of class struggle is something that I have rarely contemplated.
I’ve always thought that if you decline to be fitted into other people’s compartments for easy identification, you can consider yourself more of an individual, more free in a way. Which is why I don’t apply isms to myself, because they always seem to come with certain expectations. One of the main things I have learnt from Buddhism is that a lot of the movement towards freedom comes from dissolving ones own previously held convictions, the restrictions we have placed on ourselves.
Of course this is also about identity, a lot of people define themselves by being a member of certain groups. This then brings in attachment to the groups ideals and goals, which then starts to stir the emotions. It seems a set of behaviours which is not really conducive to the path...
How do you feel about identity and being part of movements? How does it work with your Buddhism?