Through the best of times,
Through the worst of times,
Through Nixon and through Bush.
Do you remember '36,
We went our separate ways.
You fought for Stalin,
I fought for freedom.
You believe in authority,
I believe in myself.
I'm a molotov cocktail,
You're the Dom Perignon.
Baby, what's that confused look in your eye?
What I'm trying to say is that I'll burn down buildings
While you sit on a shelf inside of them.
You call the cops on the looters and the pie-throwers.
They call it class war, I call them co-conspirators.

'Cuz baby, I'm an anarchist and you're a spineless liberal.
We marched together for the 8-hour day
And held hands in the streets of Seattle.
But when it came time to throw bricks through that Starbucks window you left me all alone.

You watched in awe at the red, white & blue on the 4th of July.
But while those fireworks were exploding
I was burning that fucker and stringing my black flag high.
Eating the peanuts that the parties have tossed you.
In the back seat of your father's new Ford you believe in the ballot,
You believe in reform.
You have faith in the elephant and jackass,
And to you solidarity is a four-letter word.
We're all hypocrites, but you're a patriot.
You thought i was only joking when i was screaming,
"Kill whitey" at the top of my lungs
At the cops in their cars and the men in their suits.
No i won't take your hand and marry the state.

'Cuz baby, I'm an anarchist and you're a spineless liberal.
We marched together for the 8-hour day
And held hands in the streets of Seattle.
But when it came time to throw bricks through that Starbucks window you left me all alone.


Lyrics submitted by fugazifathead, edited by ncc74656m

Baby, I'm an Anarchist! song meanings
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81 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentAnarchist either consider themselves radical leftists, or post-leftists. Anarchists call the abolition of capitalism, private property, hierarchy, sexism, racism, and all forms of domination, both economic and social. Anybody who think that this is far left is umm... uninformed.

    '36 is a reference the Spanish Civil War in which the liberal PSUC, which received aid from the Soviets, betrayed and turned on the revolutionary anarchists of the CNT/FAI in Catalonia, allowing the fascist nationalists to take advantage of the Republican army's internal struggles and defeat the leftist alliance.

    Anarchists were the main driving force behind the struggle for the 8 hour work day. May Day spawns from the Haymarket Riot, which occured in response to police killing anarchists demonstrating for a reasonable work day. In the early part of the 20th century, anarchists represented a very significant portion of the labor movement.

    In the Battle in Seattle, liberal demonstrators for some reason felt the need to protect the Starbucks and Niketown from the thrashing they deserved, and, in some cases, these peace police used violence against people to stop them from committing property destruction.

    This song is half serious, half satire. There definitely is a lot of tension between anarchists and the authoritarian/reformist left.
    tomorrowsasheson October 30, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Commenteek. well, it's a very accurate description of liberals and anarchists not getting along. Usually liberals would like to participate in protests while staying in arms length with the law, while anarchists don't wish to confrom to these laws because they think they are a nuisance to achieving their goals to be heard and taken into account. liberals will protest on the sidewalk, anarchists will take to the streets. it happens. and i guess the guy has a liberal friend and doesn't think he/she is radical enough to partake in the social revolution they're fighting for. while the liberal finds the anarchist incredibley unruly and shows unnecessary resistance because he/she still has faith in the system.

    happens in the activism scene a lot. against me! knows their shizit.
    Tsk8rKFFon October 05, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentA couple of things to add:

    - anarcho-capitalists are an interesting bunch. And while it may seem to be an oxymoron it actually makes a lot of sense. Anyone who understands what capitalism is at it's core - in theory not practice can see similarities to anarchist sentiment. The idea being that demand and supply regulate one another. If people need something en masse it will be produced (in theory). And depending on the number of people wanting the item (and the time and effort with which it can be supplied) the cost of the item will vary. The cost. Not the price. Capitalism in theory does not involve money, taxes, tarriffs, ender, race, law or government. It conveniently does not suggest that only certain people (depending on social or economic class) can buy, produce or accumulate goods. There is no interference in the market - just people reacting to one another's needs.

    If you've spent any time in an anarchist community you'll get the comparison. It's all about the people in the community reacting to one another's needs. Talents and weaknesses balancing out. Not saying anarcho-capitalism is something I agree with. I'm more a black flag kind of girl....but I can see other perspectives. Of course as an anarchist you'd have to.

    - All of the folks who think that the statement "Whether the protest is from the sidewalk or from the streets it's effective" is reasonable should read Ward Churchill's "Pacifism as Pathology: Reflections on the Role of Armed Struggle in North America". It might not change your mind and make you take to the streets but it might help you make a more informed decision about the role of anarchistic protest and the reasons why there is such a divide between so called liberals and their anarchist counterparts. The reasons are many and the differences possibly insurmountable.

    - The song is NOT a love song. There is no boy. There is no girl. They're metaphores. Analogies. It's a song attempting to explain and explore ideological differences in the political left. I say the political left because despite numerous attempts by anarchists to exclude themselves from the political system as well as the political structure of our world, the general public deems us left if not criminal. In an attempt to make people consider these differences the ideas are put into the context of a relationship. Which is why if you look at alternative literature, film or music you'll find complex and difficult, often ignored issues at the forefront. People digest things they disagree with a lot easier - it seems less offensive through art. As can be illustrated with the people in this thread who like the music enough to consider the lyrics and post here. Even if their opinions are right-ish of the spectrum.

    Point being that the song is not a love song and the gendering of the ideologies simply allows for the last line about marriage - "No I won't take your hand, and marry the state. Cuz..." The idea of marriage is built into our society...it's considered natural like so many other attributes of quote en quote human nature. but it's not. Marriage involves either state or religious intervention in a relationship between two people. Until recently in the western world, and still in many other places, those two people were required to be of the same ecolomic and social class in order to be married. So given that the idea of marriage is so embedded in state, religious and discriminatory ideologies the fact that an anarchist owuld be wholeheartedly against the idea is not untoward. Which isn't to say that anarchists can't or won't have healthy, committed relationships recognized by our communities. We do. We just don't feel right about making vows to institutions we don't believe in. We don't feel that we need to take our loved ones by the hand and "marry the state".

    Might be good to know that the song was not initially menat to be an against me song to. Tom wrote it with some folks for a side project that fell apart. So he used it on Axl rather than having it go unheard. So it is no wonder that the song has slightly differnt sentiments toward anarchists than their others. They recorded it as a good song. Not as a manifesto. And they've never, to my knowledge claimed to be anarchists outside of this song.

    Interesting side note on marriage: the words husband and wife. While we have a pretty idea of what it means to be a husband in today's western world, the historical meaning was that of a manager or steward. But another meaning for the word comes from animal husbandry - which is to say someone who breeds and breaks domestic animals. For example horse husbandry through which a horse is tamed or "broken" for somestic needs and riding. A wife until modern time was simply a woman, often in the sense of a midwife - a woman with knowledge of life and death, tobe respected. Or fishwife - a middle income independent woman. So basically in marriage, according to historical uses of the word - a man breaks and tames an independent or powerful woman in marriage. Just hought that was interesting enough to share.
    evolahon June 22, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDespite being a metaphorical political song, this is exactly why my last relationship fell apart.
    CrackRockSteadyon November 08, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwade boggs - no offense, but it shouldn't make you mad that people have the right to write songs that express themselves. if you can't deal with the fact that this is how they feel, then in fact it is you who needs to "get over it or take a hike."
    erinrocksouton May 11, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthumph. i wasn't aware that liberals were far right?

    regardless, i just saw them on saturday for the second time. wasn't the basement show in pennsylvania last year, but still good. keep on rockin out against me!
    mostlywateron April 14, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't agree that this song is intended to attack one political side or another. Yes it is political, but it is also meant to be satirical in my opinion, showing how over stupid political differences people go separate ways ("Do you remember '36 we went our separate ways, you fought for stalin i fought for fredom.") This song wasn't really in my opinion intended to be serious. The last line makes it sound kind of like its supposed to be a little rediculous "No I won't take your hand, and marry the state.", but thats just my opinion.
    opivy7898on May 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentif you like Against Me! and don't like this song you should rip of your finger nails and dip your hands in salt. It's amazing. so shut up if you think it's generic anarchist poetry. even if it was, it's still great.
    TheVinchenzoon September 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentReferences aside its mainly about how anarchists like to damage important causes by pointlessly smashing up chain stores so they can feel elitist about it afterwards.
    Violentpacifiston November 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationthrough the best of times, through the worst of times. through nixon and through bush.

    pretty self explanatory


    do you remember '36, we went our separate ways, you fought for stalin and i fought for freedom.

    the spanish civil war, when the left was fighting against the fascists, and then the leftists started fighting between themselves. "you fought for Stalin" means that the other person was a communist (Stalin was the only country to help the left fight the fascists, even though Germany and Italy both helped the fascists)


    you believe in authority, and i believe in myself. i'm a molotov cocktail, you're the dom perignon.

    molotov cocktail=explosive made with gasoline and a wine bottle~he is a proletarian fighting for rights
    dom perignon=expensive wine~she is a member of the bourgeoisie, a rich liberal


    baby, what's that confused look in your eye?

    liberals and anarchists have a history of not understanding each other


    what i'm trying to say is that i'll burn down buildings whlie you sit on a shelf inside of them

    anarchists take direct action while liberals try to pass laws and reforms


    you call the cops on the looters and the pie-throwers.

    he is criticizing them for not being extreme enough


    they call it class war, i call you co-conspirators

    kind of like if youre not with us youre against us (Against Me!)(alright sorry bad pun)


    'cuz baby, i'm an anarchist and you're a spineless liberal

    liberals arent extreme enough


    we marched together for the 8-hour day and held hands in the streets of seattle

    anarchists and liberals protesting at the WTO in 1999


    but when it came time to throw bricks through that starbucks window you left me all alone

    anarchists started a riot at the protests, but the liberals stayed out of it

    you watched in awe at the red, white & blue on the 4th of july

    liberals are patriots

    but while those fireworks were exploding i was burning that fucker and stringing my black flag high

    black flag=anarchy

    eating the peanuts that the parties have tossed you

    liberals just take what the republicans and democrats give them

    in the back seat of your father's new ford

    rich liberals who dont work or know why people join the far left


    you believe in the ballot, you believe in reform

    faith in democracy

    you have faith in the elephant and jackass

    faith in the two party system (elephant=rep, jackass=donkey=dem)

    and to you solidarity is a four-letter word

    solidarity=swear

    we're all hypocrites, but you're a patriot.

    dunno what to say if you dont get that part


    you thought i was only joking when i was screaming, "kill whitey" at the top of my lungs

    white people have screwed the world


    at the cops in their cars and the men in their suits

    symbols of conformity, brutality and fascism


    no i won't take your hand and marry the state.

    fin
    jizboton May 05, 2010   Link

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