Can someone really like being ruled and then just stop liking being ruled because someone wrote about the marvels of mutual aid?
If you're the kind of person who has long leaned on the steady, guiding hand of authority, who lives in fear of life without the blood-soaked safety nets that have been wrapped tightly around you to make you feel warm and fuzzy while the rest of the world burns just out of sight, are you really going to abandon those proclivities just because you read some zines about capitalism's failings?
If you spend your days basking in the calming radioactive glow of Law and Order or The West Wing reruns and lining up to receive the steady dopamine injections provided by Amazon Prime and the professional influencers who litter your Instagram feed, will you ever want to give that up? To give up the comforts of your cushy civilized life to take a leap into the unknown?
If it ever fell on you to slay leviathan, and watch every luxury and security you know and depend on spew out of its belly and rot, would you valiantly lift that sword and charge the beast, or turn and scarper back to civilization's warm embrace?
Does it make any sense to brand yourself an anarchist when anarchy conflicts with all your deep-seeded needs and desires? Won't it only serve to stress the fuck out of the rest of us when you lay your baggage down at our feet and demand we diminish our innate need for autonomy, our ineradicable disgust for all forms of authority, so as to not alienate poor little you and your perverse authority fetish (with Kropotkinite characteristics)?
Who are you, really?
celebratedrecluse wrote (edited )
Yes in fact. Someone can be ruled by the desire to rule, until they understand that desire for what it is, and understand other ways of being by seeing them modeled in some way.
I've seen this in a variety of forms, and you're right that it's not likely to work in a purely theoretical frame. The illusion of having the platonic truth, however, is much easier than an actual truth, when everything is so abstracted.
You see this behavior in many children as they mature; some will be bullies, until they gain a greater understanding of themselves and the world. The work of childraising is an exercise in patience where the child is slowly coming to these understandings, making many mistakes along the way.
Of course, many remain bullies, and will as long as hierarchical society reinforces those bullying behaviors.
One way to confront this, is by thinking out in abstracts, and writing or reading about them.
But you're right, it's often not the best way to teach the vast majority of bullies, even unconscious bullies.
The best way isn't a fixed static property, it's relative to each person and more specifically each passing situation. Sometimes it takes multiple ways over a long time. Sometimes, the bully needs to lose something dear to them. Sometimes, the bully will always just be a bully.
Building an antiauthoritarian culture is hard, but essentializing anarchism as an innate individual reaction, one based in the very biology of social conditioning, a condition of risk and valor, seems like a route to cyclically retaining permanent minority status. It's also, just as you allege of the behavior you criticize, kind of elitist, and basically an inaccurate ontological map because most people of any tendancy are quite enslaved to various dogmatic thinking and recurrent conditioned behaviors. Freedom from such minor serfdoms and mental fiefdoms is not associated with politics, in my experience, although the practitioners do often seem to believe they are the one true faith.
I would know, I used to be a priestess like that.