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+4 votes
I am still feeling nervous (and a little bit traumatised) ever since the first protest I have attended in which was on May this year and I was still in high school during the time, due to almost getting arrested at the time. I was invited over for a sit-in during the time. I honestly did not expect such a moment, but I joined in anyway.
As the riot police began to expand and come close, I remained for as long as I could until I ended up backing away from the conflict out of fear and feeling guilt and shame for my actions as I see the riot police physically drag away those who have not complied to the move-on order that they have given earlier. I still have feelings that consist of 'I left them behind' and 'I can never forgive myself for such cowardice' but my parents needed me to get home safely*.

Yet, I still have a growing desire to take part in activities of direct action [and preparing a revolution] that involves such risks as it is a necessity to perform tasks that are in opposition to capitalism and the state for a better society. However I still have fears of being attacked by police ever since [whether they are arresting me or otherwise] and my parents are quite concerned with my well-being and expect me to protest peacefully despite myself knowing that peaceful protests alone aren't enough for social change. How do I handle such fears, knowing that arrest and imprisonment are inevitable consequences and wanting to take part in activities that involve direct action as it is necessary for social change? I need to overcome such fears in order for myself to become further involved and eventually to contribute to organising a revolution.

*Note: Before you ask about the political ideologies of my parents, they are quite apathetic to politics. Not sure if it was relevant to put on but I did it anyway in case.

Edit: I am sorry about any unfortunate implications I have made throughout what I have posted. [Another edit for a bit more clarity: I have been to more protests after my first one but they were not as intense]
I meant to up vote, dot can you change that? Sorry.

I'm young too btw, ^ that's definitely worth reading.
if you want to upvote, then do. nothing prevents you from changing your vote.
As much as i usually despise 'pep' talks, as my old maiden aunt told me "sometime we need a kick in the backside, sometimes we need a pat on the back".  And so, to the original poster...

Ok.  You had an intense experience and you've got some shit in your head from that.  That's normal, we've all been there (metaphorically speaking), we all deal with it as best we can at the time.
So you've got 'survivor's guilt', from seeing your friends dragged off; that's normal, but put it in perspective and choke it off on its leash.  Were your friends raped or murdered by the cops, or transported to a work kamp in siberia?  No?  Would have you staying to be roughed up have changed the outcome for your friends?  No?

Okay, now freeze the frame and pull back to a longer view.  The way the riot cops dress, act, sound, move - it is all theatre - a spectacle of power designed to intimidate civilians.  They study this shit, hire psychologists and sociologists and other fucking 'ists', for the sole purpose of figuring out how to make mostly peaceful unarmed people feel afraid.  Yet you put yourself in the path of this, sat there like a duckling in the face of the wolf, til the actual violence began - a hundred billion dollars of artifice and deceipt/ wasted on a kid who wouldn't run til he was beat.  Next time, you'll know better.
There, feel better?  No?  Too fucking bad.

Now the otherside:
Make your peace with your friends, make your peace with yourself, then follow your conscience - that in the end is the only thing that will bring you peace.
As it stands right now, you are fucked up and vulnerable - and the fucking pigs have more bastards than we can count trolling for people like you to exploit.  Heal up, and wear your scars proudly.

(A far better indication is that this question has been up a day, and noone has slagged you yet.  The irregulars here don't suffer fools kindly, but none have taken a run at you - ergo, you probably are not a fool.  :)  )
Recently found this backpocket pamphlet on Emotional First Aid from a group in stockholm.  Would have been more useful than my previous comment, but i leave it as a resource for future readers.

4 Answers

+4 votes
a) how does one deal with anxiety and fear about anything?
wanting to be a brave person who stands by their friends and isn't controlled by people (*anyone*) being physically violent is a goal that we all share, that isn't easy for most of us, and that can take practice. some people practice by taking martial arts (not necessarily for the skills, but for the practice in having people be violent towards you in controlled situations). other people meditate (to find acceptance for the consequences of our actions, of *various* sorts). Etc.

b) you have many points in your post that are... problematic for me (the idea that getting arrested has anything to do with direct action, for example, or that getting arrested has anything to do with revolution). but i will try to ignore that for the moment.

c) caring about people who disagree with you about what world you want to live in is a common problem (you can search family on this site, even). no one can negotiate that for you (although presumably it will become easier when you've hit legal maturity).
by (53.1k points)
+2 votes
You have to weigh your risks by situation. Many @s discourage the notion of sacrificing yourself for a cause. This might be because it is seen as defeating the purpose, because If you aren't free to decide for yourself whether you are willing to take those risks or face consequences for doing something YOU want to do as opposed feeling obligated to or that it is "necessary". In a single sentence it may be worth considering next time how strongly you feel about what you are doing because in my own experience when you feel strong enough about something it's almost like I don't care or atleast feel it was worth standing up for myself and showing others they can do the same. You may want to search for a recent question something like," what is the average length of time people identify as anarchists". It makes mention of how you may become burnt out quickly fighting for a cause ideology future revolution or other abstractions as opposed to fighting for yourself and things that YOU care about.
by (890 points)
0 votes
It is normal to feel traumatized by violence, especially the sort inflicted by police in such situations. I suspect part of this is that as much as we know that the cops aren't our friends, most of us have grown up with a mixed bag of signals about this. Combine that with the reality that the cops essentially have carte blanche to deal with people during demos, and it is a recipe for terror.

I really like dot's suggestions for ways to hopefully preempt feelings of fear in the future, and agree with her critiques conflating arrest and cd type non-compliance with direct action.

I also think clodbuster's answer rings true to me. there are times I have risked a lot because it didn't matter or seemed worth it based on my own internal balance sheet, and there are times I hung around too long because I felt like I ought to, and regretted it. Frankly, when I went with my gut and risked more I've come away better off than when I went with  my internalized spooks of morality, which mostly left me feeling pissed at the other folks I was with and disempowered, even if the latter was seen as a "victory" and the former a "loss" by my peers.

Trust your gut on this. That doesn't mean don't take risks, it means do it when it is right to do it. Also, the opposite is true - it is okay to dip out if things start to feel to hectic (just be smart - cops like to pick off individuals).
by (22.1k points)
–6 votes
Arm yourself with righteousness.

The more certain you are that you are right and knowing that they are wrong will give you strength when you need it.'

They are criminals that use violence to control others and you are seeking to end that matrix.

Look to people that are taking the struggle to them for examples, here are two.

He will show you how to get out of jail free, never again will you have to fear arrest when you understand that they don't have jurisdiction to rule over you, all you have to do is challenge it properly.

Eric Whoru

He will explain to you how they never had jurisdiction over you and why.

When you understand that morality is on your side you will not have to fear anything except trigger happy thugs, nothing is going to stop the bullets when they fire into the crowd.
by (320 points)
FBA - what makes your moral certitude different from that of the christian crusaders killing infidels? or the spanish inquisition?
why on earth would anarchists have a problem with criminals or criminality?
why are you accepting the concept of jurisdiction (and only challenging whether a body of people has it or not)?
Wow, dot, really??
How do you compare an anarchist with crusaders and inquisitors?
That is a conflation that is egregious.

I'm going to presume that by 'having a problem with criminals' you mean that they would be absent under anarchy and agree with you, criminals would not be a problem under anarchy.

I am not accepting jurisdiction, but if you don't know how to properly challenge it, or just give them a pass on it, you are going to stay in jail as long as they want you there.

Would you like to expand on what you are trying to say?
And while I have your ear, can we get a bigger comment box?
FBA, when you say "understand that morality is on your side", it sounds to me just like the stuff coming from the followers of religion and law, and i downvoted for that reason.

also, "knowing how to properly challenge jurisdiction" to me means that you accept the terminology (and the terms) of the state, rather than finding your own way to challenge the state, police, etc.
"can we get a bigger comment box?"

why beg for one when you can enlarge it yourself by 'grabbing' the bottom right-hand corner and dragging your mouse.

oh, and while i have your ear, 'crime' and 'jurisdiction' are conceptually statist (static) ways of dealing with one person or group of people doing shit which another person or group of people may not like and holds power. this is one of the methods used to hold power and demarcate that power. plenty of peoples have lived together without such reified concepts.

and i downvoted this answer simply 'cuz i didn't like it. no need for mediating spooks such as 'crime' or 'justice' or even 'reason' required.
AmorFati, my box is not expanding,....

Let's reexamine the topic, how to overcome fear of cops,...knowing that you have a get out of jail free card would help with that, huh?
I have given the young person just that, if she/he studies and learns the magic words.

I agree that anarchy is the preferred society, but we don't have that and overcoming cops and cop mindsets is the struggle we are in.

BAA, I almost missed you there, you were quick on the draw,...

So, you reject the use of powerful terms because the other side has co-opted them.  I used the words for their power, perhaps the followers of religion and law have too much sway in the minds of most to accept the words in defense of anarchism, ok, my bad.

I don't accept the terms of the state, but when you are in the cell and want to get out saying please is not going to be nearly as effective as asking what facts the prosecution relies upon to prove jurisdiction.

You can ignore the paradigm we live under but if you come under it's grasp you need to know how to get out of it without giving money or time that makes them stronger.

I gave access to the information that does that.
FBA, you'd have to give me another definition of "morality" to see if i desire it, but i've not yet heard one that i do.

i don't think knowing about some potential "get out jail free card" would in any way lessen my fear if a cop came at me with clubs, guns, or whatever.
I agree, BAA, as long as the other side uses guns and clubs we will have to endure them at our own peril, but the fear of being imprisoned can be overcome by preparing before hand, and the names I referenced are people that are trying help us in the struggle, Marc is an avowed anarchists, and Eric is a crotchety old man that hates being ruled by others.

Morality is just right and wrong and how you choose to define those parameters.  
I would define that as anarchism good and using force to control others bad.
so...basically to overcome 'fear of cops' it is necessary to be as morally self-righteous as a cop? ol' righteous luke skywalker found his dad in his enemy and hand-to-the-devil, so we might too. awesome.

another option may be to realize 'fear' is understandable, perhaps describable as 'natural' when faced with threat of violence. rather than wishing for the blue light-sabre of moral rectitude, maybe coming to own your fear, learning to use it while not creating yet another stupid moral moment in the world, may indicate a healthier direction for anarchist investigation and experimentation. fuck morality and fuck spreading morality. i have no desire to be like a cop any more than i am at present and have no desire to teach young people to spread that disease.
"AF: i have no desire to be like a cop any more than i am at present"

same here. the conditioning we experience from the earliest years of our lives makes it difficult to escape the cop mentality. all too often i see a 5 year old "policing" a 3 year old, or find myself thinking what a young person "should" do. but the impulse you described (to say fuck all that morality) thankfully keeps coming back to me. these conversations also help.
I don't know about 'as morally self-righteous as a cop' as they use violence to control others, they may think themselves righteous, but the facts don't support that position.
Whereas, anarchists and anarchism ARE the morally correct choice.  
We don't force anybody to do anything.

You have to be certain in your belief that the cops have no jurisdiction over you to overcome the fear instilled by their forcing you to comply.
Once you know that you are right, and can prove it in their courts, you have no fear of arrest.
That doesn't stop them from beating you to death,....

Morality is simply right and wrong, right being the moral choice.
How you choose to define right is up to you.
Religion does not enter into morality unless you choose to define your morality along religious lines.
Morality exists separate from religion, though maybe not in the minds of some.
FBA, your further definitions of morality, right and wrong, righteousness...don't appeal to me. nor does proving anything in court.

yes, if i ended up in jail, i'd probably want to get out and i wouldn't rule out any possible way of doing that, but a concept of "knowing that i am right" would have nothing to do with it for me.
FBA: morality is reification and an appeal to some objective authority, like your 'right or wrong' spooks. 'right' only comes into the picture after might, not prior, whichever 'side of the law' i may be at any given moment.

if i don't have the might to overcome the cop beating me directly, it may behoove me to quit resisting physically in order to perhaps fight another day, another way. morality has nothing to do with it. 'right and wrong' have nothing to do with it. and your notions of jurisdiction, courts, etc., have nothing to do with it. owning my fear, learning to overcome some, work with and within other fears, has a great deal to do with it.
Confidence is key to overcoming fear.
If the young person can be confident in securing release there is no fear of arrest.
The question was how to overcome the fear of cops, well, nothing is going to help if they open fire, but arrest can be overcome, if you know the proper words to use.
I guess if you end up in court, BAA, you can take your distaste for proving things there and curl up on your bunk.
I offered something very powerful for all anarchists and was immediately rebuffed, just one more day in the struggle, I guess, it's sad when I have to struggle with people claiming to be on my side.
ba@, my dad was a cop and has essentially remained a cop in his retirement. I hate cops, though i do enjoy aspects of my dad. we aren't close. our lives, our practices, our words, are simply too far apart to bridge. once in a while we're able to throw a rope to the other side of the chasm, though that's become increasingly rare. my hatred for authority has deep roots...and though not easy, those roots are a fount of my joy.
FBA, i might "curl up on my bunk" depending on the length of stay and what i felt compelled to experience. i might try some legal loophole to get out. i might raise bail and then bail. i might find some way to break out with the help of others. i might stand up in court and say this whole fucking place is out of order (if i felt like having a dramatic moment and staying in jail a little longer). i might use any tactic i could think of. i don't really know for sure until confronted with it.

but i know i would have the intention at some point to get the hell out....not to prove anything, or to stand on a "side of righteousness", or anything remotely like that. if your method would work, great, maybe i would try it. but the concepts of morality, righteousness, proof, and so on, do not appeal to me. they don't bolster my confidence in any way.
AF, thanks for sharing. hatred of authority serving as a fount for joy...i like that.
I disagree, AF, might has nothing to do with right.
Right is an objective standard that has nothing to do with law.
I agree that physical violence is not overcome by knowing you are right, but fear of arrest is.
If you know that you are going to prevail in court you have no fear of arrest.
My dad wasn't  cop, but he might as well have been.
I have a real aversion to being controlled, as well.
FBA, you never know if you will prevail in court.

what if you changed your statement (in the comment above to AF) from "fear of arrest is overcome by knowing you are right" to " you can overcome your fear of arrest by knowing you can get out" ? do you think it changes the meaning significantly?
I don't think it changes it much.
Knowing you are right gives strength in times of adversity.

And you are correct, the criminals don't have to follow their own rules, and often don't.
when i think "i know i'm right", i generally end up frustrated.

when faced with adversity, i feel strengthened by thinking i can mentally and emotionally handle whatever comes my way regardless of the outcome, and by knowing i have others in my life who will help me if needed.
Lol, frustration in the face of being right is the domain of the anarchist, for sure.

I'm just glad that the interwebz have expanded the population and their ability to communicate.
I feel soooo much less alone today.
FBA: "I disagree, AF, might has nothing to do with right.
Right is an objective standard that has nothing to do with law."

right has everything to do with might. the capacity to do, might, is the only room where 'rights' talk has any meaning at all, if it even does then. and no, i'm not sayin' that might is right, or even that might makes right. read carefully.

'A path is formed by walking on it.' -zhuangzi

there is no such thing as a right, much less an 'objective' right. but by all means, draw a picture of one for me in all its 'objective' glory.

'objective standards'! LOL, indeed. Contradict yourself much? Or just simply misplace that concreteness unwittingly?
I didn't say rights, as in I know my constitutional rights, I said right, as in what you and the karmic consciousness will judge your life on.

It is not right to violently control others, it is right to use violence to counter those that use violence to take control of your life from you.

If the former win, their superior might will have no influence on the karmic consciousness who will rightly judge their use of violence to control others as a negative in the universe.

You don't have to have the ability to objectively judge the 'rightness' of your actions, the universe will do it for you.
FBA: "in what you and the karmic consciousness will judge your life on."

this is getting *spookier* by the moment.

"It is not right to violently control others it is right to use violence to counter..."

i have no desire to control others and strong desire for living, my (basic?) might. most actual flesh and blood people i know and interact with do as well.'right' has nothing to do with anything. a useless, though highfalutin, abstract mediation. nothing more.
FBA - my point was that moral certitude can feel nice (which seems to be one of your points), but that it frequently leads to quite messed up behavior. so encouraging people to rely on it has limited usefulness, and a variety of drawbacks, such as a general unwillingness to think critically about things we've been taught (like, for example, "morality is a good thing", and "criminals are bad").
which brings me to...
criminals have been labelled such because they have broken laws that were created by people and institutions to control other people. i would certainly expect that anarchists would not take seriously the word "criminal" as meaning someone did something we don't like.
i believe the issue of jurisdiction has been adequately addressed earlier (above).
and fwiw, i would definitely not lump confidence in with morality, no matter how much they *might* go together in some people's heads. it is certainly possible to be confident without being moralistic and to be moralist without being confident, so...
dot:"i would certainly expect that anarchists would not take seriously the word "criminal" as meaning someone did something we don't like"

dot, i respect you, but this is a bit odd to me from what i've gathered of your critical capacity.

who's doing the 'sieving' and by what standards; by what gauge? such 'sieving' is exactly our own and it can only be taken seriously as an 'anarchist.' i most definitely take this 'seriously,'...within this context. like and dislike have been taken as 'mere' and 'barely worth' our consideration for so long as to devalue our own lives in favor of---?
AF not sure what your point is, but perhaps my writing was unclear?
i am saying that "criminal" is a distraction word, since all it says is that someone broke a law (or was convicted of doing so). and anarchists are breaking laws all the time (and perhaps should be even more); and whose are these laws, etc (all basic points for most of us, if not apparently for FBA).
so your point is...? about me using the word "like"? that seems odd.

but also AF, your posts come at the conversation with FBA like they should be familiar with anti-morality terminology and ideas. for many people morality is not something they have examined as an external to themselves, and this conversation would be quite bewildering. (i know my tendency is to go too fast here... not a good example to follow :) )
perhaps it was the writing, perhaps my interpretation, perhaps both both. it just came across to me as saying that an anarchist wouldn't take a def of 'criminal' equating to a dislike seriously. i do, although i don't tend to think of 'crime' solely in that manner. however, our likes and dislikes are serious matters, although moralists simply obfuscate their own with highfalutin terminology.

as to FBA, their posts came across (to me, anyway) as a bit pretentious, in this thread and others. in my experience, this is a common trait among moralists, presumably due to the belief that they are speaking from a viewpoint 'higher' than themselves.

but, perhaps i too spoke too quickly here...and come across as pretentious in my own way as well?
ok, AF,....and dot,....

Everything we do, or don't do, falls on a line between absolute good and absolute evil.

Every life that has ever lived is marked somewhere on this line.

You have to make your choices for you and you will be graded on those choices by the reality/karmic consciousness which will assign you a place on this line.
You don't have to accept this paradigm as reality, but logically I don't think you can refute it.

The existence of absolute good, and right, is just a fact of life, somebody is the absolute most evil person that ever breathed air, and therefore the epitome of wrong, and somebody is the absolute most good.
Everybody else falls in between those two extremes.

This logic is my base for my moral certainty.

Can I be absolutely sure that my choices are right?  
I don't know which butterfly flapped it's wings and began the turbulence that created the hurricane that led to the deaths of hundreds, but the reality/karmic consciousness knows and scores us accordingly.

My moral certainty flows from my anarchism in that I don't use violence to control others, nor do I create negativity in the lives of others, and haven't for almost 15 years.
If that makes me sound like the religious zealots then I can't help that, they can be easily refuted by observing if they create negativity in the lives of others.

If they create negativity in the world then they are certainly to the left of people that don't, if we put evil on the left end of the line and good on the right.

Perhaps my moral certitude is justified,...??!!

You can only observe and judge for yourself.

I think that when you use this gradient scale one can have moral certainty that is not based on faith or belief in some ephemeral higher power.
My god is the absolute good in the universe and any act contrary to being that destroys a god's ability to be that.
To wit, the gods worshipped by the organized religions.
Each has rules that have nothing to do with whether a person is good or bad, they are about control of the converts and enriching the holy men.
And should be rejected for the fallacious creations that they are.

Criminal can be easily defined as someone that creates negativity in the lives of others.
The criminals I have referenced to this point have been those that gird themselves in the trappings of office, ie, robes, uniforms, titles, etc,...
But the common rapist or thief also fits the definition.

The definition of criminal I use has nothing to do with laws, which are just the dogma of the ruling class, and should be properly classified as religion for the lawyers and discredited by that.

The only true measure of criminality is the creation of negativity in the lives of others.
Are the lives you come into contact with better, or worse, for having met you?

If they are better then you are not a criminal.

Better can be measured on the gradient scale as well.

If we put neutral at the center, the too ends stretch to the infinity of the unattainable and all acts exist somewhere on this scale.
Perhaps the evil you do is a one, perhaps it approaches a quadrillion.
The good you do for others can be equally scored.

We can examine AF's impatience and combativeness just as we can my arrogance.
I can only try to be humble, but if I am right, then why would I be?

However, impatience and combativeness would certainly fall on the negative side of the line and should be avoided as negativity created in the lives of others, and therefore defined as criminal behavior.

I truly don't know how to be any other way than I am, I may have found the map that leads us to nirvana, it is only a matter of getting enough people to follow the logic that I have laid out.

If people only made their choices from the right side of the line then we would have utopia, negativity would cease to be a choice chosen,....

But perhaps I dream toooo large,....the consensus seems to be that people will always choose to do evil, perpetually choose to create negativity in the lives of others,....

I think that properly schooled they will choose to good, to only create positivity in the lives of others.

But I AM a dreamer,....

Now, about that larger comment box,...???
FBA: "The existence of absolute good, and right, is just a fact of life"

according to you.

" impatience and combativeness would certainly fall on the negative side of the line"

according to you. and your definition of an imaginary line.
FBA: I can only hear 'absolute' as a self-contradictory, nonsense word, particularly placed in moral terminology. this may be of some help.
oh my motherfucking god.
"You don't have to accept this paradigm as reality, but logically I don't think you can refute it."

i no longer think that there is enough common ground for me to know how to talk to you, FBA. but i do appreciate that you are a thinker of a different sort, one who has brought delighted laughter into my life.

maybe when i've had a chance to recover, some excellent, epiphanic metaphor will occur to me.
after a night's sleep: ok, how about this FBA.
i consider your belief that your way is best, that you might have found the way to utopia (if only other people would figure out how correct you are), to be dangerously grandiose, and exactly like the christian crusaders who you claim to reject... (which, by the way, you did not address, since merely saying the comparison is wrong is not addressing it. crusaders and inquisitors both certainly said the things that you're saying, "i know the way to heaven" "other people must understand the correct way is the way that is irrefutable (and the way that I understand the world to work)", etc)
part of the similarity is in the lack of respect you show for other people's lives and ideas (not on this site, but theoretically, in the idea that everything is as simple and clear cut as you claim it is). the idea that your way is (or should be) The Way for All is the reasoning of dictators of multiple sorts. not saying you're a dictator, because that would require guns (or whatever), but when i talked about the state being something that is not just outside of us (on this thread ) the kind of thinking you're expressing is absolutely part of what i consider an internal "stateness".

ps:  your idea that it is possible/likely to argue one's way out of a prison term is assuming that the courts/prison system is open to rationality/jurisdiction arguments. this is clearly and blatantly false for many (probably most) people. if i had it together i'd have links for any of the plethora of court cases ON RECORD (never mind the ones not) of people convicted and serving time for crimes they could not have committed because they were in different states at the time (for example). surely things like PHYSICAL IMPOSSIBILITY would trump something as politically loaded (and hence more liable to be manipulated) as "jurisdiction."
but my point (before i got distracted) was that showing any faith in the likelihood (much less what you claim to be certainty) of getting out of a prison term is expecting a kind of behavior from the state far from the wariness and suspicion that anarchists should have.
dot: "the lack of respect you show for other people's lives and ideas (not on this site, but theoretically, in the idea that everything is as simple and clear cut as you claim it is)."

this was apparent to me when FBA refused to engage the desires of living, pulsing, people much less offer any kind of 'rebuttal.' there really is no rebuttal, logically speaking, and in my experience with moral/religious perspectives, any attempt to rebut nearly always results in an army of straw-men, evasion, emotional & snob appeals, insults, etc. the generalities of which logic builds (and bills) itself, simply fall apart in every unique, fleshy, instance.
Ok, dot, glad to cause some positivity in your life,....I'm glad that I can cause you to laugh, it fits in with my grand delusion.

I notice that you didn't refute my proposal, merely ridiculed it, albeit in a way that made you feel good for a minute.

If you accept right and wrong and good and evil as concepts, and as evidenced by your responses you do, then how do you not accept the gradient scale that such judgments exist on?
And the absolute nature of it's gradient.
If something is right then it is more, less, or equally right with other concepts/actions/choices.
The choice to be an anarchist and not rule violently over others IS a moral choice, whether you accept the concept of morality or not.
Perhaps you don't choose to use that term, but that doesn't negate the existence of it.

I can't help it if the Christians used the same words as I do, until you refute my proposal then I have proven where I differ with the religious sects, I deliver on my promise of nirvana.

I don't see where I lack respect for others, I don't aim a gun at you and tell you get in line and I don't tell you that your soul will burn in hell unless you line my pockets.
You are free to be you, we don't have to associate, it is a big world, plenty of room for everybody that doesn't aggress against others.

As for arguing jurisdiction, check out and eric whoru, they both have proof of their claims, marc posts his on his page and you can see it by merely clicking on it.
The state will always act in it's best interest.
If you can make it in the state's best interest to leave you alone they will.
Arming yourself with the tools that makes that possible is wise.
Eric hasn't paid tax since he won in tax court in the early 70's.
Marc helps people out of the tax mess as his job.
If you have non-violent charges, ie, things likely to occur at a demonstration then you have a very good chance of them following their own rules, if you know how to put them on the spot.
If you use a lawyer you will lose, lawyers are not going to cut their own gravy train to get you out of jail, you have to learn these tactics and use them yourself.

Allow me to address the comparison to crusaders and illustrate how I am different,......they kill people, they use violence to attain their goals, their main goal is to enrich themselves.
I want a communist utopia that doesn't involve any violence whatsoever.
I will not be killing people and Robocop will not be hired to keep you in line.

If you have somebody in prison right now learning what those two people have can get their release ordered at the first hearing on the matter.

Marc has truly found the monkeywrench, whether you want to accept that or not.
I think it disingenuous for you to argue against something that you have no data on.

About changing the coding on this page from a one inch comment box to a four inch comment box??
"If you accept right and wrong and good and evil as concepts"

i don't.

"do you not accept the gradient scale that such judgments exist on?
 And the absolute nature of it's gradient."

no, i don't.

"The choice to be an anarchist and not rule violently over others IS a moral choice, whether you accept the concept of morality or not."

according to you. i disagree.

if something "IS", who decides that? how do you have information as to what "IS" while others don't, putting yourself in a position to "properly school" others?

edited: to add thoughts
FBA: "The choice to be an anarchist and not rule violently over others IS a moral choice,"

First, I didn't make a choice 'to be an anarchist', only a choice to describe myself, that is, this unique living instance named (here at @101) as 'AmorFati,' as 'anarchist.'

I am not a concept, nor do I try to fit myself into any Procrustean bed of an identity, not even as 'anarchist.' I enjoy @101 in large part because there's far less enclosure foisted upon others as the bounds of perspective than so much of the interwebz, including those sites labeled as 'anarchist.'

Secondly, I choose only within the conditions of this, that is *my*, life and desires, so it's news to me to find out my desires are now 'absolute.'  I need not 'accept' the measurements others desire to heap upon the world, no matter how 'objective' they pretend/believe those measurements to be. At the end of the day, all this talk of 'lines' and 'gradients' and 'morals' is simply your desire to mediate your own existence with such abstractions. I have an ever-lessening desire to mediate my life, and I'm even less prone to 'accept' the mediations of others.
AF: "First, I didn't make a choice 'to be an anarchist', only a choice to describe anarchist."

same here.
ba@, i wonder sometimes if this subtle difference between 'anarchist' as goal-identity and 'anarchist' as description is one of the...dare i say?...ingredients, in older anarchists who've been around a while/those who describe them as such later in life; and younger kids who seek a 'radical' identity early on and whose fuze fizzles out...
i wonder, AF. i haven't met many people (in the flesh) of any age who describe themselves as anarchist.

in my younger years, i almost always felt my desire to reject and attack authority as an internal drive and i rarely found solace in considering an identity (radical or otherwise).

looking back, i sometimes feel disappointed that i didn't do more to keep that desire flamed as i entered my late twenties and early thirties....but perhaps that left some fuel in my tank for these later years. :)

I don't get it. Why do you all keep comparing Freeborn Angel's views to those of a religious zealot if you don't believe in right and wrong? Are you not trying to draw a comparison to views that you think are wrong? Meaning not just incorrect, but harmful, which is to say morally wrong.

Explain yourselves, moral nihilists.
oh, i don't see it as a 'good call-out' in the least. it's pretty feeble, actually.

frankly, i have no explaining to do whatsoever, particularly since FBA, and seemingly now sweater fish, have declined to offer anything in support of what FBA indicates by 'lines,' 'scales,' 'gradients,' 'crime,' 'rights' 'right/wrong' 'acceptance' etc. nor have either rebutted my very clear challenge to these notions as well as the pretense such notions are somehow 'objective'...yet another reification. instead, any challenge is met with labeling probably more fitting for the playground sandbox.

i think a question which hits closer to the mark may be; why do these moralists seek to make *their* reifications: false equivalencies (ie, identification), abstractions, and seeming hatred for embodied uniqueness and one's desires; applicable to all?

edit for further thoughts
"Why do you all keep comparing Freeborn Angel's views to those of a religious zealot if you don't believe in right and wrong?"

because they sound similar to me.

"Are you not trying to draw a comparison to views that you think are wrong? Meaning not just incorrect, but harmful, which is to say morally wrong."

no, not incorrect, or morally wrong. just undesirable by me.

harmful? what do you mean by that exactly? how, to whom, in what way?

"Explain yourselves, moral nihilists"

why would i need to explain your definition of me?
'why would i need to explain your definition of me?'

fucking, bingo!
while it's true that i don't think of most folks here as moralist nihilists (i meant it was good as a more general and theoretical call-out) there are definitely people who call themselves nihilist, or claim to be against moralism, who still operate with a code that they apply to others.
where is the difference between (for example) my mockery of FBA and their moral righteousness? how does someone who's never thought of these things before, distinguish between the two?

and i guess the continuing question of... how far out of our comfort zone are we interested in going, in order to communicate with people we don't know? is this site best as a street corner where we're waiting for a bus, or as a living room? if some of us want one and some the other... how well does that work?

internet communication is an oddness.

but also, i'm done with this thread now. yeesh.
dot, personally i wish you hadn't decided to leave the conversation. part of the problem i think we're all facing here is the reality of mass society and mass communication. but this is exactly what moralists have always desired, is it not? universal ideas, universal communication, through which universal rules of behavior will become reality, etc.

and perhaps another way of looking at moralists and moralism, is exactly the notion of one **extending their own comfort zone** whether others like it or not, usually by way of some authority; law, cops, logic. that was really the gist of my comments to FBA.
So, if we don't accept the dictionary definition of terms then all communication is pointless.
If you don't accept that some behaviors are bad, ie harming another, and that some behaviors are good, ie, assisting others in surviving better, then how do you get through the day?
Do you just willy nilly along until somebody hits you in the head for being a jerk, you of course don't think you are jerk because you refuse to characterize your jerkiness as such.

Honestly, I don't think my definitions are out of the normal range of definitions, hurting people is bad, helping people is good, and to arrange these matters on a scale is just good classification.

I mean you don't have to accept it, but when your neighbors attack you because they do classify your actions as bad is your rejection of moral relativism going to comfort your slipping into the cold darkness?

You can reject my classifications as you wish, but if you aggress on me I am going to repel your aggression and label it a moral act whether you reject such labels or not.
I would expect your neighbors to do the same.

I am with you sweater fish, they are making judgments based on their own morality while denouncing me for mine.
Double speaking through the ignorance of their own judgments.

Perhaps ya'll, ba and af, would do better to find reasons to agree and not disagree, creating more negativity in the world is not helping.
Finding common ground is going to bring anarchy much faster than disagreeing just to disagree.
You two act as if you don't make your own judgments based on your own parameters, when clearly the rejection of mine shows that you do.

I don't know why you would refuse to add your two cents, dot, preaching to the choir is not the stated mission of this page.
Dissention is the highest form of speech.
FBA wrote: "You two act as if you don't make your own judgments based on your own parameters, when clearly the rejection of mine shows that you do."

i was under the impression i'd already written: " I choose only within the conditions of this, that is *my*, life and desires"

i've made very clear that i reject morality in general, and your apologia for morality in particular, because of the claim morality is 'objective' (your 'lines,' and 'gradients' etc) and universal. that other people hurt due to my actitivity mostly feels shitty to me...note the qualifier...*mostly.* note also; *to me.* i require no mediation, abstraction, reification. my desires in no way constitute 'morality,' particularly as you've enunciated it here.

please read what you obviously haven't read before posting your 'rebuttals.'
Ok, AF, you can reject my morality by not accepting it as your own, that is absolute, but if I hit you with a brick would you classify that as a negative act, or you would you accept it as destiny?

What do you do with the misbehavior of others as defined by you?
i don't have any interest at this time to discuss any more of your judgments of me, FBA.
I don't imagine that you would, BA, it would require setting aside your judgments and opening your mind to ideas that are foreign to you.

If you wish to limit yourself to opinions that agree with your own, then feel free.
you have no idea what range of opinions i listen to or people i discuss thing with. unless you claim to know me in the flesh.

it just happens that i don't find your latest opinions on this thread all that provocative or entertaining. i hear them every day from people who have no desire whatsoever for anarchy. your arguments sound way too familiar to me - far from the "foreign" label you apply (as if you know what i've heard before and what i haven't).

AmorFati has written many things here that resonate strongly with me, something i find very rarely in daily life. so a little agreement from a cyberspace writer makes my day a little brighter - your assessment of that as "negative" resides with you.

edited to add:

not only do AF writings often resonate with me, they also have expressed things in ways that i don't, and expanded ideas in ways that i haven't heard before. so i don't just find agreement with them, i also feel challenged by AF's words in ways i desire - at least at this moment.
FBA: "Ok, AF, you can reject my morality by not accepting it as your own,"

i don't accept anyone in toto, perhaps excepting myself, and that's been a challenge and remains so sometimes. you see, the moral-cop is sneaky, likes to hide in the basement, pantry, wet-bar, and caves, springs and creeks i visit.

part of self-acceptance as i see it consists in concessions i make for others, simply being themselves as they appear to me in all their unique perfection, simply as they 'are.' i'm reminded here of Nietzsche's 'Ecce Homo: wie man wird; was man ist.' most cannot grasp this short, but very powerful moment.

sometimes the warmth of another,  their vibration, their melody sings to me in ways i cannot wrap the proverbial left-half of my head around. sometimes they may do shit they know will hurt me, and that is perfection, too.

what others do is very often unintelligible according to any abstract pyramid schemes...yet, it's no less real for it, since it actually happened. the desires of others are, in so many ways, unfathomable to me, but that goes for every one i've met. no amount of connecting the dots logically to find, justify, or apologize for, its 'truth' matters 'objectively.'

the sole passion i can find driving so many people toward this concern for bloodless 'truths' is this: only when we are so fragmented socially, so broken through incessant conceptualization (economics, morality, religion, etc) and reification, ' power relations and technologies based upon the same, as well as internalizing the violence, terror, and over-all silencing, and thus fragmenting each self from itself. this has manifested in, and as, mass society, the ideological wet-dream of every universalist/moralist since the beginning of civilization, even though they may not have intended all the consequences bearing this foul fruit of vague, bland, lifeless ideals. everything, from mass communication, to mass transit. ponder this a bit, o moralist.

"that is absolute,"

this has nothing to do with our stupid theologies (opinions) of 'absolutes,' but may be seen in every way based in the uniqueness of every sensuous body.

so...throw that rock and see what happens...

edit to add thoughts
af, i really liked this part...

"the sole passion i can find driving so many people toward this concern for bloodless 'truths' is this: only when we are so fragmented socially, so broken through incessant conceptualization (economics, morality, religion, etc) and reification, ' power relations and technologies based upon the same, as well as internalizing the violence, terror, and over-all silencing, and thus fragmenting each self from itself. this has manifested in, and as, mass society, the ideological wet-dream of every universalist/moralist since the beginning of civilization, even though they may not have intended all the consequences bearing this foul fruit of vague, bland, lifeless ideals. everything, from mass communication, to mass transit."

it also leads me to deeper questions, such as why has this process (social fragmentation, incessant conceptualization, etc.) become more and more dominant during my lifetime.

fear has something to do with it i think. but perhaps a cosmic game of hide and go seek does as well. i like to play a lot, and i think it helps me to enjoy life more by looking at things that way - seeing not only the fear behind the silence and fragmentation, but also the potential for joy by rediscovering something you lost.

edit: grammar, additional thoughts.
i tend to see the connection between technology and morality as very important. i thought it telling that Sweater Fish didn't answer the challenge i sent them regarding their notion that 'we all would' answer the question of right/wrong, by questioning as to how: by way of the internet?

dot has pointed out the theoretic jabbing, which is pretty easy in the case of SF and FBA precisely because they seem to separate theory from practice while making their attempts to bridge this (arbitrary and senseless) chasm through thought experiments (ex: 'What if someone threw a brick at you...').

it seems to me that fear does play a huge part in morality, technology, and the work insisted upon and practiced so voraciously in order to reproduce more of the same. all of it bespeaks, to me anyway, of a deep hatred of life and an inclination toward a sense of playful gratitude toward one's own totality...or however others wish to phrase it.

then again, i'm soooo negative. :-)