Any one else think Bukowski was... an anarchist?

...an anarchist? (In the literal sense) And that he felt sorry for people stuck in the nine to five due to a wife, a mortgage, children; that the 'American democracy' was capturing souls and he saw the answer in himself ... part of this thought occurded to me after I read his "Let It Enfold You", thoughts?
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-it-enfold-you/
 
Being honest, the Anarchist tag could be dropped on a lot of writers...?

i agree somewhat....but did he not also try to fit in?

very precarious example- Jack Kerouac railed against working life continuously, whereas Bukowski tried his hardest to become a working man and realising, in retrospect, that it wasnt in him.
 
Becoming an anarchist might require a "signing-up" or a "joining" of some kind (it is, after all, a politicized bag of goods). I doubt Buk would have had anything to do with any of that.
 
Anarchy is not
Becoming an anarchist might require a "signing-up" or a "joining" of some kind (it is, after all, a politicized bag of goods). I doubt Buk would have had anything to do with any of that.
It is basically the "no masters, no slaves" motto, I did not get into which 'sub-group' of anarchy he most closely fits, just that, as far as putting a political ideal on the man, I feel an anarchist is most and quite fitting...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
An anarchist in the literal sense of an anti-authoritarian libertarian socialist, embracing the anarchist ideology of guys like Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin etc.? I don't think so. I don't think Buk subscribed to any political ideology. Did he oppose the 9-5 wage slavery? That's for sure. Maybe you could call him an "anarchist" in the broad sense of the word, but not in the usual definition of an anarchist, I think...
 
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Anarchy is a broad topic, it can't be nailed down, 'subscribed' to, pigeonholed by one person's ideas and/or personal take on certain aspects of the word. The names you dropped above, (Bakunin, Proudhon) had two very different takes on which 'type' of anarchy they believed in, yet both still believed that anyone who is to to try to rule or govern them was an oppressing slave driver.
And I get that sense of independence and deep, personal enlightenment from Bukowski's work(s)....
 
When you are finally empowered by your own means, nourished at your whim by gained capacities, fulfilled 100% by the mere raising of personal notions (and laughingly rejecting of other notions), when you have achieved complete control over your would-be controllers, when no one else ever gets affected by your glee and travail (because its your secret)....you have transcended anarchy (which might involve crowds, protests and all sorts of trouble).
 
From the above I read about a snotty, bourgeois type religion, not what I think you intended Scribbler...
I think you can be an anarchist and have accomplished things similar to what you have mentioned (minus most of your 'parentheses' words), except I disagree with the "complete control over your would-be controllers" bit (sounds to me like a snake eating its own tail) and also "when no one else ever gets affected by your glee and travail", your own secret or not, I'd just love if someone (especially close to me) wasn't affected by my own "glee" and hard work.
Interviews and essays I've seen, read or heard by Bukowski all seem to have, in one way or another, advocated his love for (legs and) his own personal freedoms, have illustrated very clearly how he wasn't a controlling person, and the contempt he had for the menial 'job'. There is a big difference between a 'job' and work I feel.
I do not feel if asked that Bukowski would say, "Yes, I am an anarchist", of course not, I just feel that it is food for thought....
 
From the above I read about a snotty, bourgeois type religion, not what I think you intended Scribbler...
I think you can be an anarchist and have accomplished things similar to what you have mentioned (minus most of your 'parentheses' words), except I disagree with the "complete control over your would-be controllers" bit (sounds to me like a snake eating its own tail) and also "when no one else ever gets affected by your glee and travail", your own secret or not, I'd just love if someone (especially close to me) wasn't affected by my own "glee" and hard work.
Interviews and essays I've seen, read or heard by Bukowski all seem to have, in one way or another, advocated his love for (legs and) his own personal freedoms, have illustrated very clearly how he wasn't a controlling person, and the contempt he had for the menial 'job'. There is a big difference between a 'job' and work I feel.
I do not feel if asked that Bukowski would say, "Yes, I am an anarchist", of course not, I just feel that it is food for thought....

Right Saul, I suppose that what I notice in much of Buk's writting is that amongst the grit, grime, underbelly and apparent misfortune, he seems to still often be triumphant, undaunted, somehow empowered and quite encouraged in his lackadaisical battle against everyone and everything. Without any intention of joing forces to be such. You're right, control was probably not his goal - but by his own hyper-aware passiveness Buk seemed to be able to predict how things would go, allow them to go as such, and claim a little victory when they did. And while I dont feel he boasted self-importance or exaggerated Narcissism, there is often an an oddly-owned smugness, a challenge-less bravado...a sense of empowerment in the face of dulled horror. Anarchy might have been an agreeable thought, but his actions seemed to demonstrate a self preserving and a perseverence that got beyond it...and in his mind, made him better.

But other times he is a hapless victim, weathering undue barrages of bad luck...so I cant say I've got him figured out at all:D.
 
He wasn't an Anarchist in the sense of joining the Anarchist party or becoming a memeber of the Situationist International. If we must have an ideological label, which we don't need too, he could perhaps be labelled, an anarchist individualist.

But that idea is rubbish, because you cannot escape the SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY COMPLETELY, because it's virtually impossible to 'get off the grid' especially if you live in a city, which Bukowski did.

If anything Bukowski laments, like all good souls, that we cannot escape the 'engulfing nullity' of Society. Something we all strive too do. He was an anarchist of failure....a failed anarchist....because noone can escape the slimey tentacles of that dehumanising beaureaucratic octupus: Society and Politics.

I prefer the word - anythingarian - rather than change the world or put it to write - we should endure the world and the people, endure what ever is flung at us. That is part of the spirit of Bukowski. Scribbler highlights this too.

(That's my couple of pennies anyway.)
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
...an anarchist? (In the literal sense) And that he felt sorry for people stuck in the nine to five due to a wife, a mortgage, children; that the 'American democracy' was capturing souls and he saw the answer in himself ... part of this thought occurded to me after I read his "Let It Enfold You", thoughts?
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-it-enfold-you/

Yes.

But... who says anarchy has to be violent? Food for thought. Not that you implied in your post that it was, but, still, food for thought. I do also feel sorry for people not taking the road less traveled, per se (forgive Frost allusion).

PS: The "American" "Democracy" still is capturing souls. Difference is, I do not see an answer. And that is very depressing.
 
Buk's "Anarchism": Should We Burn Uncle Sam's Ass?

This is one of the clearest statements I've found of Buk's "political philosophy" which I think is revolutionary and anarchistic but Buk clearly didn't think the Age of Aquarius was about to dawn back in 1970. This is from the essay "Should We Burn Uncle Sam's Ass?" published in Notes from Underground in 1970:
"Well, I am a photographer of life, not an activist. But before you decide on a Revolution make sure that you have a good chance to win it--by this, I mean violent overthrow. Before this can be accomplished you must have some revolution within the ranks of the National Guard and the police force. This just isn't happening to any degree. Then you must do it at the polls. And your chances there were taken away with both Kennedys. At this time there are too many people afraid for their jobs, there are too many people buying cars, tv sets, homes, educations on credit. Credit and property and the 8-hour day are great friends of the Establishment. If you must buy things, pay cash, and only buy things of value--no trinkets, no gimmicks. Everything you own must be able to fit inside one suitcase; then your mind might be free. And before you face the troops in the street, DECIDE and KNOW what you are going to replace them with and why. Romantic slogans won't do. Have a definite program, clearly worded, so if DO win you will have a suitable and decent form of government."
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Have a definite program, clearly worded, so if DO win you will have a suitable and decent form of government."

This last statement is not an anarchist view. If there's something all kinds of anarchists agree on, it's the abolition of government and state.
You don't have to be an anarchist just because you're against the capitalistic 9 -5 wage slavery and consumerism. Socialists and communists are against those things too.

But... who says anarchy has to be violent?

Exactly, Lolita Ginsoski! Some anarchist individuals did throw some bombs towards heads of state etc. in the late 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century, but those actions were always condemned by the anarchist movements. An anarchist society will be organized through voluntary agreement between free individuals and groups. Organization will not be forced upon people be the use of authority and force. The organization will happen from the bottom (grass root level) and upwards.
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Personally I do not think Bukowski was an anarchist.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
If Bukowski was an anarchist ? I don't think he thought of himself as such.
If he did'nt think so , maybe he was. If anarchy is what I think it is, he wasn't.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
I think you've got a good point there!
 
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Agreed, but the question wasn't if he saw himself as an anarchist, just whether or not you saw him as one
After reviewing some posts on this thread, I'm finding it less likely to find Buk an anarchist, especillay because of 'Davids' post, no anarchist would consider a form of government, but..... Bukowski may not have meant government in the sense that it is understood today....government could be a committee, group, conscientious group meeting, hell ... I dunno...But I'm definitely feeling new insight due to some responses here.....
 
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jordan

lothario speedwagon
if you widen the lens of anarchy to encompass everyone who wanted to opt out of the trappings of modern life, then yes, bukowski was an anarchist. he was also punk rock, an outsider artist, alternative, queer (he did a guy in the butt, don't forget), libertarian, left-wing, and socialist.

while there are elements of his writing that reflect various political principles (including fascism and racism), i think it's as incorrect to call bukowski an anarchist as it is to call him a racist (or, as is used more often, sexist). labeling him by bending the definition of the label (anarchy in this case) to fit his body of work seems like a fruitless pursuit.
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
Agreed, but the question wasn't if he saw himself as an anarchist, just whether or not you saw him as one
After reviewing some posts on this thread, I'm finding it less likely to find Buk an anarchist, especillay because of 'Davids' post, no anarchist would consider a form of government, but..... Bukowski may not have meant government in the sense that it is understood today....government could be a committee, group, conscientious group meeting, hell ... I dunno...But I'm definitely feeling new insight due to some responses here.....

After all, he was a poet. "Government" could mean the group of drunks (notice how it spells G.O.D.?) down at the bar.

Though, in retrospect, Portions did have quite a bit of a political flare. And then there's that story in Tales that is titled only by a swastika. You think he enjoyed writing in a political nature, even though he claimed he had no politics? To me it's impossible to have "no" politics whatsoever... if you have a belief or an opinion on anything, you have politics. A more appropriate question would be, do you think he illustrated elements of Marxism? What with the somewhat idolization of the poor, and the belief that everything one owns should fit in one suitcase. Given Marx was for super-equality, same pay, etc... but he never said how much that pay was in The Communist Manifesto, did he?
 
...an anarchist? (In the literal sense) And that he felt sorry for people stuck in the nine to five due to a wife, a mortgage, children; that the 'American democracy' was capturing souls and he saw the answer in himself ... part of this thought occurded to me after I read his "Let It Enfold You", thoughts?
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-it-enfold-you/
That poem is amazing. It is something I am gonna try read every morning...seriously what he says here just resonates in your soul for the whole day. What Bukowski says here, to me...is like prozac in poetry form. Just the title on it's own is so mesmerizing and soothing.

It kinda reminds me of what Henry Miller said here: 'Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.'

But Bukowski is a lot more honest and real in my opinion.
 
Bukowski was an anarchist.Maybe left handed *smirk*

Maybe he was "above" the usual terms of anarchy - hating all kinds of government and restrictions on self determination in general. Anarchists tend to discuss about what is anarchy and what isn't, a contradiction in terms. If you're an individual anarchist, the communist anarchists blame you for living individuality, not anarchy. And if you're living in a house community, there are unwritten rules too often designed by the most dominant members. "Animal Farm"? Anarchy can't be stereotyped. Maybe he was "beside" of the established meanings of anarchy and people's expectations of what an anarchist is about. Another contradiction, because there is no such thing as a set of rules to follow. In that sense, his behaviour was anarchistic. Not to compare Bukowski to a child, NOT AT ALL, but children behave anarchistic in a very pure way. Now go on and ask a boy or a girl who won't behave, if they would consider themself as an anarchist. They don't have the faintest notion of what you're talking about. Is that a new toy? What I'm trying to say is that people can act like anarchists without identifying themselves as such.
 

Kisa2674

Sleeps in a yellow room
Bukowski wasn't an anarchist; he was a humane person who had the unfortunate gift of sensitivity and the ability to see the truth about the human race. Bukowski never wanted to take the system down. He knew the potential of the human race and had to live with watching it be pissed away knowing there really wasn't anything he could do about it. He sees drops of hope in the rare individual, such as Frances, and he fights his entire life to get by on that hope. I know he's a big factor on me not giving up on people thus far.

And Mark73 is dead-on about his comparison to children and anarchists. I have a 2-year old and teach teenagers too young to get what anarchy is. Even while Thoreau was in the woods he still had his clothes washed and saw visitors. The term has no meaning at all because all of those who took on the title and then assembled destroyed its true meaning. In college this girl was very vocal about being one and always talked about it in class. I asked her one day if she was an anarchist what was she doing paying tuition (at a state school, no less) and being taught things she'd never believe. She said that she had to participate in the system to take it down. She's a stay-at-home mom now; she found me on FB and wanted to set up a play date.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
uncle-sam.png
 
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