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Hello all - I've got a question about affinity groups and balancing theory/ideology/action with self-development which I guess combined help formulate praxis.

Unfortunately I struggled with addiction for many years but gained a great deal of insight the different forms of therapy and group environments I experienced which would benefit most, addict or not!

I noticed most open-minded individuals able to overcome initial fears and prepared to perform honest soul-searching while sharing these insights improves emotional flexibility, group cohesion, bonding and trust plus an appreciation of autonomy and anarchism whether aware of it or not!

Self-improvement and intimacy are less exciting than protest and civil disobedience. For many they (for Brits especially!) are also very scary which I believe is why many groups focus more on praxis and action. Intimacy requires honesty, trust, transparency, humility, intelligence, both intelligent and emotional and positivity and mutual respect.

Thoughts please? Thanks, Keith
i think you're asking a chicken/egg question (or raising that kind of point, since you don't exactly ask a question).
people in the u.s. (can't speak to other places) learn that passion and enthusiasm is for a certain stage of your life, and then it is time to get practical and settle down. that is part of the turnover in radical (not just anarchist) circles. since there is a high turnover, and since people are not good and staying in relationships (especially not when they're challenging and questioning everything they've been taught), it's hard to build trust and "group cohesion".
also, i'm not sure i agree that groups in general focus on action. i think there are plenty of groups that focus on self-improvement along the lines you're talking about, but they are less likely to call themselves anarchist, even if, as you note, the principles they're working from could be called anarchist.
Hi dot, sorry I didn't get back to you earlier.  Thanks for taking this on cos it's not so much a question as something I'm working thru myself.

I'm 50 and all about settling down too!

Some years ago I did an ACT course (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) which basically teaches how we all travel thru life on auto-pilot as our brains have been hard-wired that way for millennia. Most take the path of least resistance and it's important we know why we do what we do..

I've always identified with anarchism, partly because of personal life experience ie. conditioning, however, at the end of the intensive 2yr ACT course my core value remained my commitment to anarchism.

I hope this clarifies my very awkward start and explains my emphasis on self-development. I couldn't agree more about the passion wearing off which isn't a bad thing but I think we can never stop learning and improving.

edited by dot to make a comment.
just to be clear, i am *not* for settling down, merely describing one way the culture manages us, and one impact that has.

also - i know the software is sort of confusing, but your response above is posted as an answer. can you edit it and make it a comment (just check the box). that way it will be clear that no one has answered your question/journal entry.
I'm not for settling down in traditional sense either .dot. I understand and agree with you regarding the distinction between therapy/self-development and anarchy despite their common truth.

I also appreciate and agree with your comments re. impracticality of such among anarchist/affinity groups and complexities of individual identities in radical groups generally.

I'm 'lucky' to have had the luxury to engage in so much psychology. The most important tool I've found to help cope with the way society impacts on us is the ability to better distinguish between reaction and action. ie. conditioning/autonomy.
Again talking personally, I realised how my rejection of patriarchy/authority is partly a consequence of my early relationship with my father (who was in turn conditioned by his father and by the state) and part ethical/survivalist/empathy. The same applies to all aspects of life.

Anyway, next time I'll think and clarify my question before I post to Anarchy101. .dot's feedback has helped me a lot but I could have made the subject more accessible to my peers. Thank you .dot.

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