Anarchism is about courage. It takes poise to help people escape the cult of normalcy, wherein they revel in a haze of disinterest and violence and depravity. But when anarchists attempt to persuade people to discard love of their culture coma, of blood and carnage, they usually get a counterattack in the form of dismissive slander and appeals to State piety.
But it goes without saying the aforesaid defensiveness will crop up. Anarchism is not a philosophy one can peddle and not expect backlash. Anarchists require gumption to spread their ideas. They need not hide in the basement and avoid attacks; the anarchist must eventually emerge from the basement and lay siege to the idea of Statism. They must not be too fearful to communicate, lest they become miserly in their attempts to liberate the downtrodden.
However, the person who adopts anarchism must also consider the threats and challenges. They must fully comprehend what they are getting into. There will be push-back from all social segments, and much resistance will be vicious, childish, and sometimes violent.
But remember what Harriet Tubman said when she was trying to rescue the slaves:
“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
Thus, anarchists must try to convince everyone of their servitude and begin moving in the direction of sovereignty, especially with regards to friends and family.
Courage in the Family Unit
As soon as anarchists utter one word about liberation of mind and body, friends and family will alienate them, ostracize them, turn them into social pariahs. They will talk about them behind their backs and perhaps excommunicate them from the clan.
So when anarchists make a stand for truth and liberty, they are de facto removing themselves from the cult of familial normalcy. They are by ideological necessity taking a stand against violent relationships and the bad ideas that circulate within family systems. They are looking in a different direction than the friends and family who blindly and idly accept evil.
Yet, this is also a good step toward infecting the family with enthusiasm for freedom, and it should not be taken for granted. Writer J.K. Rowling summed up this ability to question the friends or family. She said:
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
If anarchists do not understand this sacrifice or they buckle under pressure from friends and family, then they may not be ideal candidates for the job. However, it is okay to remain silent in some instances and shoulder the burden of anarchism in secret. The anarchist family member must pick and choose their battles.
However, if anarchists never chat about freedom, never put themselves on the line, they will wither away and their family may never know truth. It would be a tragedy, which is why courage is the epicenter of anarchistic action. It is the melody that freedom lovers play to the hymn of bravery. And ultimately, if anarchists can get in touch with their families on this issue, the world will be better for it. When the family culture changes, global culture likewise changes. It just takes that one impulse to act without fear.
But there is an equally dire problem. Dealing with the family is not the most dangerous area of the anarchist use of courage.
The Looming Threat of Government
Anarchists must eventually challenge government sociopaths. This particular battle could give rise to violent reprisal, though. As soon as anarchists start talking negatively about the State, or challenging government agents, they may become targets. Government entities may try to use the chilling effect to quell dissent. And finally, governments may resort to violence. It is nothing new for an agent of the State to harm, cage, or harass an anarchist.
Cop Block activist Ademo Freeman can attest to this. He has been trailed to court and other places by governmental goons. One can also ask Come and Take it Texas Founder Murdoch Pizgatti about his interactions with the State, as well his friends who have been locked up for trivial “offenses.” Many anarchists have had run-ins with cops, and few of these interactions ended peaceably. However, notice that these anarchists continue to do what they do. They continue to manifest courage in all of their exploits.
The Anarchist as a Prey Species; Evolving Uses of Nonviolence and Communication
Nonetheless, anarchists have historically been a prey species for bureaucrats. They are the hunted because they are the ones trying to overturn the aggressive hierarchy and create stability among the people. Thus, the courage of an anarchist ensues as absolute fearlessness. The anarchist could die in the process of being disobedient.
This is why some anarchists and libertarians have invoked the porcupine as an the image of ceaseless defense. It spines represent pinpoint protection against its natural predators, although anarchists have not yet needed to unleash a barrage of spines. They have tried to employ less lethal or painful tactics.
Modern anarchists are using peaceful interaction, nonviolent resistance, and nonviolent communication to spread truth, which involves tremendous bravery because nonviolent resistance can also get bloody.
However, it is more difficult for governments to react to this kind of dissent with violence. Historically, when governments have tried to squash nonviolent protesters and revolutionaries, that government ended up damaging its already questionable reputation. Once that happened, other regimes targeted that government out of an attempt to save the idea of Statism as a representative symbol of the people. Thus, the anarchistic ability to be steadfast and exemplary may pay off.
Escaping the Cult of Normalcy, Creating a culture of Courageousness
Anarchists must must maintain testicular fortitude. When they get the ball of dissent rolling, they will likely undergo assaults from all of those they engage, including friends, family, society, and government employees. But if they remain vigilant, people will start to see them as role models. And thus they will help people escape the cult of normalcy.
The cult of normalcy relies on passive acceptance of the status quo, which is why unflinching courage is so important for anarchists. When anarchists spread ideas, if they employ tenacity, the ideas might be more easily entertained by citizenry who are entrenched in the matrix of everyday Statism. In this sense, courage represents the cure for the various authoritarian memes being injected into society.
No doubt, when people realize the strength of their soul, they will eventually spit in the face of those who claim to be their masters—they will rebel not physically, but culturally, mentally, and emotionally. They will reject the notion that they must be meek and docile before those who insinuate themselves as parasitical entities, bent to feed off of them forever.
Therefore, this new direction of freedom through courage represents the birthright of humanity and it may eventually spur a paradigm shift, changing a culture of conformity into a culture of courageousness.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
—Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird