To become an anarchist one must undergo self-therapy. Anarchists must relive past traumas and examine their histories. This is how they morph into freedom advocates. One cannot just suddenly claim they are an anarchist, mention they studied Rothbard or Spooner, and then hatch from the egg of Statism. Being an anarchist involves experience and knowledge of self. Socrates is relevant here. The maxim, “know thyself” comes to mind.
Anarchism requires practice of self-therapy because the philosophy unearths a terrifying truth. Waking up to the nature of reality and the world is most traumatic. Weak people won’t be able to slough off the illusions without severe scarring. This is why I believe some people revert back to Statism from anarchism; it’s because they are self-unaware, lacking dedicated study of their inner worlds. It’s the reason, I believe, people like Molyneux and Cantwell couldn’t remain consistent and stay true to their original desire for freedom. In the first Matrix film, it’s also why Cypher strikes a deal with the Agents and betrays Neo and the Nebuchadnezzar crew. He could not handle the truth of reality. He wanted to return to the fake world; the world of manufactured consent.
This, of course, is not to suggest every consistent anarchist is a model of self-therapy. Far from it. Just because one has set foot on the healing path does not mean they’ve conquered all their demons. It does mean mean they have perfected their self-image and obtained Satori. It just means they recognize enough of their own problems and issues to accept the truth of reality; they can recognize the world is ran by slaveholders without caving in and keeling over. Without at least some knowledge of self, maintaining the philosophy of anarchism is too much for the fragile mind to bear.
Hippie Stuff and The Ubiquity of Freedom
It took me a long time to figure this out. Previously, I believed it was impossible to return to worshiping government. Anarchism was too logical; too obvious; too breathtaking an insight for people to succumb to their old dogmas and brainwashing. This is why I constantly implore people to work on themselves, and why every liberty devotee should accept the spiritual journey with wholehearted devotion.
Luckily, most anarchists in the community practice self-therapy using shamanic practices, meditation, breath work, or other methods. Some may even be involved psychotherapy. For anyone who didn’t quite understand, this is why so many anarchists are involved in that “hippie stuff.” It’s because being an activist, spreading freedom, and decrying the status quo is challenging and dangerous work. It’s takes a tremendous amount emotional labor—and without strength of mind, the anarchist would be consumed with fear and panic.
As Jeff Berwick has said, freeing the world begins with self-work. That’s why many anarchist conferences place the healing arts at the top of the list. It’s why my work with relational anarchism has become indispensable. Let’s help more people come to terms with who they are; then freedom as a mental state will become ubiquitous. Then we will flourish as agents of change and the paradigm will shift.