The following essay is a preview chapter of the upcoming Manifesto of the Free Humans from Derrick Broze and John Vibes. The book will be released online and in physical form on April 7, 2017.
The next essential piece of the triangle of liberation is the concept of “Mindfulness”. This simple concept could be also be termed “mindful awareness” or simply, awareness. Mindfulness represents the reality that we must apply a sense of heightened awareness, a constantly self-aware state of mind, to every one of our actions if we hope to continue the spiritual evolution of our species. Throughout The Conscious Resistance series, we have stressed that achieving peace and freedom is a task that requires more than just knowledge or logic. Compassion and communication skills are also essential if one is attempting to create positive change in the world. In past generations, people on different ends of political and religious spectrums have seen each other as mortal enemies. This behavior has negatively impacted living standards on all sides (except those ruling from above). When groups with divergent views are able to set aside their differences, the standard of living is typically elevated on all sides. When groups are locked in endless war or conflict everyone suffers, except, once again, those ruling from above. Oftentimes, feuds and conflicts continue due to manipulation from the establishment. Sometimes, these disputes are simply the result of inflated egos on both sides. In many cases, people seem more concerned with being right than finding solutions. It is this mentality that we are working to heal.
The term “The Conscious Resistance” was born out of an awareness that the world is in a state of imbalance due to the influence of small groups of elitists working to use the state and corporate power to live off the fruits of the rest of the world. It was also born from our individual realization that those who wish to control and manipulate others do so because of their own pain. That pain is absorbed by the population and then turned into fear and anger. This results in states of anxiety and disharmony which allows for the continued manipulation at the hands of the same fearful elite. Our ambition is to lead the way by being open and vulnerable about our own struggles and triumphs. For the two of us this means incorporating meditation, positive affirmations, visualization, and other practices into our message of anarchism. Because of this decision to focus on healing and interpersonal relationships, The Conscious Resistance could also be referred to as Holistic Anarchism.
The term holistic is related to the theory known as Holism, which argues that “the universe and nature should be viewed in terms of interacting wholes (as of living organisms) that are more than the mere sum of elementary particles”. Holistic is defined as “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts”. For example, holistic medicine typically treats body and mind while holistic ecology examines humans and the environment as a single system. Holistic anarchism posits that the end of statism and authoritarianism will not come by examination of political and economic theory alone. The fight against the state should be viewed holistically, meaning we should view the problem in terms of the whole system. This means reflecting on all the forms of oppression faced by the free people of our world. This also means being honest about the ways our personal habits and prejudices are contributing to the oppression we see. By understanding the fight against the state as a battle with many arenas, and choosing to reflect on the steps we can take as individuals, we are employing holistic anarchism. Ultimately, it is not just the tyrants in office, or the theft of taxation that is keeping us from being free. It is our own self-limiting thoughts and actions which truly hold us back.
In Finding Freedom In An Age Of Confusion, we explored the concept of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a conflict resolution technique that was promoted by activist and psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. The premise of NVC is simple: instead of arguing about who is right or wrong, and who must win or lose, people should strive to have win-win interactions by focusing on ensuring that the needs of each person are met. The goal is to find solutions to problems by addressing the unmet needs of everyone in the equation. Again, from a holistic anarchist perspective the way we communicate with other free people is equally important to making sure our arguments are sound. It’s extremely difficult to have a rational discussion when both parties feel their concerns are not being heard. Such a battle of insecurities is not likely to lead to a better understanding of one another. How can we ever hope to possibly influence others if they choose to communicate with anger, aggression, or impatience? We recognize that human connection is essential on the path to liberty. We lead by example and learn to communicate without violence, condescension, or passive aggressive tendencies.
Daryl Davis is a shining example of how the power of love, understanding and compassion can overcome the darkness of hate and bigotry. Davis, a black, 58-year-old blues musician and author, has managed to successfully convince hundreds of racists to quit the KKK. Davis goes deep behind enemy lines to Klan rallies and white supremacist meetings and attempts to make friends with people who hate him. Davis says he has been doing it for over 30 years. He is even responsible for single-handedly causing the entire Maryland chapter of the KKK to dissolve. Years ago, Davis began seeking out members of the KKK so he could learn more about racism first hand. In the beginning, his initial goal was just to try to gain some type of understanding of why these people choose to be racist. On at least two separate occasions has had to defend himself from violent Klan members. Most often though, these meetings happen without any incident. While there are plenty of tense moments, the interactions between Davis and the racists he encounters are surprisingly pleasant. Instead of focusing heavily on race and areas of disagreement, Davis instead tries to focus on areas of agreement and steers the conversation towards common ground.
“If you spend just five minutes with your arch enemy, you will discover that you have something in common, and if you spend ten minutes, you’ll find you have something else in common,” he says.
Davis has a closet filled with Klansman uniforms, all of them given to him by friends and former Klansman who quit the racist cult as a result of their friendship. One KKK member and Baltimore City Police officer even gave Davis both his Klansman uniform and his police officer’s uniform. The approach that Davis has taken in converting racists into friends is the same approach that anarchists can use to turn statists into free thinking human beings.
One such anarchist attempting to find common ground is Sterlin Luxan. Rather than holistic or conscious anarchism, he refers to his approach as “relationalism” or relational anarchism. Luxan, also known as the “Psychologic Anarchist”, is a professional writer, editor, research assistant, and aspiring counseling psychologist with a BA in psychology. In his essay Anarchy and Emotion Pt. 2, Luxan explains his viewpoint:
“I call it relationalism. It is the philosophy that promotes absence of rulers and total freedom through relationships and social healing, rather than through the traditional routes of argumentation, persuasion, or economic theorizing. Current conceptions of anarchism have been hyper focused on the LEM Axis. That is, they are geared toward solving Logical, Economic, and Moral problems of society and government.”
Instead, Luxan suggests employing empathy when dealing with others.
“If people are attuned to each others’ feelings, there is less of an opportunity for violence and aggression to erupt. This is the application of the therapeutic alliance to society-at-large for building a freer, more psychologically stable world. In order to build a social order based on logical, moral, or economic truths, humans must first grapple with their emotional worlds and how they relate and interact with all people. They must learn to heal each other through being together and uniting, in much the same way that a counselor helps a client get better through their mutually agreed upon alliance. In this sense, the philosophy of relationalism sees the anarchist as a social healer that creates communities and nurtures love.”
Luxan’s relationalism is perfectly aligned with our message of holistic anarchism. We applaud his efforts to explore the intersection of anarchism and psychology, in the same way we have explored anarchism and spirituality. Our hope is that the message of freedom and empowerment will continue to grow until there exist anarchists in a variety of fields of research, each pushing for true freedom through the filter of their particular area of expertise.
The evolution of consciousness is absolutely necessary for true, lasting freedom to be achieved. We boldly stand by our positions and arguments made in this series, but the reality is that none of the solutions presented will succeed if the broken and confused people of this world refuse to do the necessary internal work for individual healing to transpire. The insecurities, doubts, and fears will differ person to person, so an honest self-examination is needed to decipher where to begin your healing process. If we want to heal the deeper root causes which allow violence to be perpetuated among our species we must be willing to face ourselves. If we fail to recognize healing and personal growth as a vital part of the fight for a more free, ethical world we are setting ourselves up for failure. Our only hope in creating a free society based on mutual aid, voluntary association, and individual sovereignty is to embark upon a path of mindfulness, reflection, forgiveness, acceptance, healing, empowerment, and finally, self-actualization. These seven steps are the ongoing path towards The Conscious Resistance.