“Power that isn’t really justified by the will of the governed should be dismantled,” Noam Chomsky says, defining anarchism as a political philosophy.
I pose that thought to Bryan Quinby. Alongside Brett Payne, Quinby hosts the anarcho-comedy podcast and terrestrial radio show Street Fight Radio.
Since 2011, listeners have called in to the show to commiserate, with humor, about life under capitalism.
“Anarchism is to hierarchy what atheism is to religion,” Quinby says.
“Hierarchy is never good for the people at the bottom. Most of us end up there, so let’s level the power structures out as much as humanly possible.”
Now, the Street Fight Radio live show, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, is coming to Eugene. The visit is overdue, Quinby admits.
“From the early days of Street Fight, Eugene has been a city that we get a lot of interaction with,” he says. “I always figured that when we went out West we would have to hit Eugene and hang out with the people we have been talking to forever.”
Before performing live, Payne and Quinby write a rough outline of how the show will go, prioritizing audience participation. The hosts almost never know what is going to happen when they hit the stage.
“We hold stuff back from each other so that it is still fun for us and the audience,” Quinby says.
Since he’s an esteemed media voice on all things left-wing, I ask Quinby if we’re going to survive the Trump years. “I think the people who are always OK will be OK,” he says. “But he has done some heavy damage to marginalized communities.”
“I think the biggest laugh I get is when people insinuate that he is the ‘blue-collar president,’” Quinby adds. “He is a guy that has never done anything physical in his entire life. Picture this guy changing a car tire or loading a truck. You can’t.”