chapter  6
21 Pages

‘Stick to your Guns’

Anarchy, authenticity and ‘religion’

This chapter focuses on Straight Edge causes by exploring its relationship with anarchism and capitalism. It demonstrates that popular culture has taken on more significance for Straight Edge punk than anarchism and as such has influenced their understanding of and relation to the concept of 'religion' which marks it as radically different from other iterations of punk. Anarchism is not automatically atheistic or humanistic; rather, it is a fluid concept open to multiple interpretations united by common themes of rejection of coercive power, imposed authority, self-expression of freedom and potentiality within individuals and communities. Authenticity finds expression in anarchist writings both in relation to authority and creativity, seeking genuine spontaneity of the individual in both thought and action. In terms of a 'religion' or spirituality, then, for it to be considered authentic it must be one that makes no ultimate claim to authority.