Woody Harrelson, the Anarchist

June 7th, 2013

In an interview with Details, film star Woody Harrelson was asked his views on politics. He is known for speaking out on a wide range of issues such as foreign policy and the legalization of marijuana. In fact, he challenged the sensibility of the War on Drugs many years before it became mainstream to do so.

Though he has always held cutting-edge views, he took things a step further in the Details interview by coming out as an anarchist. When asked if he had any interest in getting involved in politics, Harrelson said, “I don’t believe in politics. I’m an anarchist, I guess you could say. I think people could be just fine looking after themselves.” Watch a clip from Cheers below in which Harrelson’s character Woody runs for office, and let’s dig deeper into his interest in a voluntary society after the jump.

Harrelson Expressed His Disappointment with Obama

When asked his feelings on Democrats and Republicans, Woody Harrelson parroted the views of most American independents who feel that both parties are two sides of the same coin, “It’s all synchronized swimming to me. They all kneel and kiss the ring. Who’s going to take on the oil industry or the medical industry?” As Obama ramps up unpopular Republican policies, particularly with regard to the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, many Americans also feel that both parties are controlled by the same financial interests.

He went further by comparing President Obama to Richard Nixon, “People compare Obama to Lyndon Johnson, but I think a better comparison is between Obama and Nixon. Because Nixon came into office saying he was going to pull out of Vietnam, and then he escalated the war. A lot of us were led to believe that Obama was the peace president, but there are still, I think, 70,000 troops in Afghanistan.” Considering the extraordinary number of scandals confronting the administration right now, such a comparison is fairly reasonable.

Anarchism Joins the Mainstream

More and more Americans are self-identifying according to one of the various sub-groups of anarchism, such as voluntaryism, anarcho-capitalism, and anarcho-syndicalism, depending on ideological bent. As government grows larger and larger, its failures become more pronounced and affect a growing number of people.

In the past, such an admission from a Hollywood celebrity would have been scandalous, but, in this era, it might actually earn Woody Harrelson some new fans. Frustration with government is palpable in America today, and the ranks of anarchists swell with each new scandal.

Whether one believes that there should be a government or not, it’s interesting to see a Hollywood movie star who isn’t afraid to sidestep the movie industry’s social pressure to blindly support the Democratic Party no matter what it does. The entertainment industry tends to pile on to political trends like lemmings. Harrelson goes his own way and feels that Americans can take better care of themselves without the government’s interference.

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About the Author: Barry Donegan

Barry Donegan is a singer for the experimental mathcore band Look What I Did, a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.