(I)An-ok Ta Chai (pronounced "Yan-ock Ta Ch-eye") (nvc_anarchy) wrote in lifeoutside,
(I)An-ok Ta Chai (pronounced "Yan-ock Ta Ch-eye")

Components of intentional free space

I wrote this up a couple weeks ago in my notebook, and now I am transcribing it for here. This is one of the things that I want to commit my life to creating, nurtering, and proliferating. This is a framework from which I want to live, and it is a model that I have a hope can be of use to guide greater anarchist socially transformational activity as well.

Since this is a transcription from my notebook, it is presented as such - notes. I hope that this can give it a kind of open-ended and open-source-esque kind of quality to it. This is certainly something that I want to continue to work on, add to and refine myself - theoretically, in a written articulable way, and in a lived-practicable way as well.


Components of intentional free space:

1. Boundaries and interfaces with authoritarian society

2. The relationships and inter-relations of freedom, respect, cooperation, and sharing

3. Emotional freedom - authenticity/congruence, listening/understanding, acceptance/trust


#1 - This is the circumference of the delineations, distinctions and areas of interface between the two conceptual areas of predominantly qualitatively different ways of being - namely, "authoritarian" and "free". This can occur in any number of different ways - insurrectionary seizure, subtle theft, spectacular occupation, or within the framework of traditional property relations. Each is in it's own way a compromise, because each exists surrounded and immersed within authoritarian society with it's constant threat of overwhelming force and it's various demands set out before that. That being said, each also holds it's own particular advantages, drawbacks, and concerns. In order to maintain a healthy sense of perspective, I see it as best to avoid unilaterally condemning or praising certain modes of maintaining these circumferences of free space. Instead I propose critically examining one's particular circumstances, situation, access to various resources and different kinds of resources, goals that one is aiming to accomplish, and particular effort, risk and investment that one is wanting to put in. From that, a more grounded basis is set from which to choose a form to suit one's ends. This is an area where analysis and understanding of various operating social-economic-political forces is useful.

#2 - This is the meat of the whole matter - the social relationship of anarchy, the ways that we relate, act, and inter-act that foster the experience of what we call "freedom". Because of our extensive background and still-present surrounding immersion within assumptions and relations of alienation and control, qualitatively changing our operant norms is no instantaneous or easy task. Almost every aspect of our lives, actions, and thoughts is somehow tainted with the norms of authoritarian relations. Assumptions and manifestions of alienation and control are present everywhere in our lives - communication, diet, handling conflict, child-care, learning, working, romantic relationships, group living situations, sexuality, our relations with both objects and non-human life, and how we deal with emotional distress. What I am proposing is not policing or setting up a new moral code for every aspect of our lives, I am instead suggesting cultivating an ongoing practice of personal awareness, mindfulness, and ultimately understanding of our thoughts, actions, relations, etc. in order to more consistently locate and in the end uproot these persistant patterns within our lives. Having a mutually supportive social environment consisting of people commited to such a personal practice and explicit end goal for living their lives is invaluably helpful for the individual who wants to change and live their lives in this way, with the practiced social relationship of anarchy being the norm.

#3 - This is the "heart" of the whole matter - the rejuventating and sustaining force that fuels our inspiration and drive to keep us carrying on. In order to even want to engage with others, let alone invest personal time and effort to try and relate in radically different ways, one must at some point get a sense that one is cared for, valued, trusted, listened to, and understood. One must feel an equal part of a group, hopefully even a part of a greater community at large. One must also feel like one is interacting with real-life human beings - actual people with actual thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes, ambitions, faults, insecurities, abilities, skills, and short-comings. Hence, personal authenticity and transparency becomes an essential component. I believe that these above-mentioned experienced qualities and attributes can be nurtered, fostered, expressed and developed through various practicable and learnable means. Much like the social relationship of anarchy, these ways of relating and living our lives are not things that we are consciously used to carrying out and actively proliferating. Also like the social relationship of anarchy, I do believe that to an extent we already engage in these practices and experiences, and that the degree that it happens is a direct correspondent to how much meaning, fulfillment, and enjoyment that we have in our lives. I believe that these personal/emotional processes - of authenticity, empathy, and positive regard - when enacted and experienced by people feeds and stimulates an innate drive towards personal responsibility, self-acceptance, respectful cooperation with others, and self-motivated activity. In the end, I believe that recognizing and attending to our deeper personal/emotional selves stirs up a personal, natural, and inherent organismic drive for anarchy.
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