The entire nation is on tenterhooks with its collective heart in its mouth, waiting with bated breath. And for several reasons. This article won’t go into those reasons, but it will dive into how to swallow the red pill of our heart. It will go into ways to jumpstart our inert complacency into proactive, regime-toppling, courageous action. And it will double-dog dare you into ninjaneering the matrix by first ninjaneering your worldview.
Undermine the Belief Systems of Control
Revolution begins with a raging fire and ends with a resurrected Phoenix. But first things first – fire. Metaphorical and psychological fire is needed to burn down the outdated idea that we need a system of control to keep us in line.
This fire is sparked by courageous and moral individuals. It begins with a defiant “no!” in the face of authority.
When faced with corrupt power, a courageous and moral person undermines such power. They do not remain silent amid tyranny, racism, misogyny, ecocide , and greed. They speak up. They lead people toward freedom. They spark an idea that lights a fire under all entrenched power constructs grown corrupt and uncouth with the passage of time.
The question you must ask yourself is this: Am I one of these courageous and moral people? If the answer is yes, then get to work leading others toward freedom. If the answer is no, then get to work learning how to become free. You begin by leading yourself, and realizing that you do not, nor have you ever, needed permission to be free. You begin by realizing that you never needed a ruler or master to tell you what to do, and you have never needed petty laws made by fallible men to guide you toward morality. And you especially don’t need outdated laws based on parochial values to “keep you in line.”
As Plato wisely stated, “Good people don’t need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
Indeed. All you need is the golden rule, the non-aggression principle, and the courage to take responsibility for your own power.
Once you’ve learned how to lead yourself, then the real fun begins: learning how to teach others to lead themselves, and helping others become free. This undermines the system of control all by itself, because when people become authentically free they become free to question things.
Freedom begets courage, which begets further freedom. Suddenly the individual is questioning everything they’ve been taught: reconditioning their cultural conditioning, un-washing the brainwash , reverse engineering unhealthy programming enforced by years of propaganda. A ninjaneer emerges who is both courageous and moral enough to see through the illusion of authority and get the job done.
Inspire Solidarity by Planting the Seed of a Unifying Idea
Change is never easy, and regime change is almost impossible. But it is possible. We just need a common idea to rally around in mutual solidarity. We need to plant the seed of a unifying idea.
The three pillars of a unifying idea are: common interest, clear vision, and a plan of non-violent action. The keys are freedom, voluntary consent, and non-violence. Note: non-violence does not imply pacifism.
Self-defense is necessary when faced with the violence of others. Like Gandhi said,
“Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.” But I digress.
Our common interests are simple
Our clear vision should be based upon our common interests. If we want to leave the world a better place for our grandchildren, then we must begin the difficult task of living healthier lifestyles, now. That means drastically cutting pollution. If we want to be treated well by others, then we must stop being apathetic toward others. This means learning empathy and compassion. If we don’t wish violence upon ourselves, then we should not condone violence against others. This means getting rid of all systems based on violence and control. If we don’t want to be slaves, then we should neither seek to be ruled nor seek to rule others. This means no masters and no rulers, and fighting against any system that seeks to rule over others.
The tricky part is the conditioning. We’ve all been conditioned to believe that we need rules and regulations to keep us in line. We’ve all been conditioned to believe that we need an authority telling us what to do. It’s all psychological. Once we’re able to overcome the outdated notion that we need someone to rule over us, we can begin the difficult task of taking responsibility for our own power. With enough of us learning how to master ourselves, we can then begin the difficult task of dismantling the chain of obedience.
Erode the Legitimacy of the Chain of Obedience
Now that you’ve ninjaneered yourself and reprogrammed the unhealthy programming that’s been holding you back, it’s time to lead by courageous example. It’s time to reveal to others that the emperor has no clothes. It’s time to blow air up the queen’s haughty skirt. It’s time to make the precedent “No president!” It’s time to point at the elephant in the room and get power over power through high laughter and cosmic humor. It’s time to damage the ruling party’s image through strategic noncompliance .
You do this by interrupting the chain of obedience. Send ripples that cannot be ignored up the chain of command. Start at the lowest rung and work your way up. Put their honor to the test. Challenge them with moral questions: “Are you an unthinking pawn blindly following the immoral orders of authority, or are you a thinking warrior challenging all immoral orders despite authority?” Then teach them that they do not need a chain of command to do the moral and courageous thing. Teach them that it is precisely the chain of command that leads to immoral and cowardly acts.
Bring giant mirrors to the front line of protests. Point out how their full body armor and loaded-to-the-teeth arsenal is a symbol of failure and cowardice against peaceful, non-violent people. Force them to make moral decisions that will create cognitive dissonance within them, and then don’t let them off the hook. Rub that cognitive dissonance in their face. Pour salt in the open wound. Do it with ruthless mindfulness and tough love. Then throw this quote at them,
“When an honest man realizes that he is mistaken, he will either cease being mistaken or cease being honest.”
Indeed. When a courageous man realizes that he has been a coward, he will either cease being a coward or cease being courageous.
It is possible (though improbable) to achieve a peaceful and non-violent transition into horizontal democratic anarchy that’s void of centralized government. It’s just extremely difficult. But, as Spinoza said,
“All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”
Once the entrenched power of the centralized government is exposed as illusory and corrupt, once the chain of obedience crumbles under the weight of its own ineptness, and once enough members of the police and military realize that they would have to be violent toward non-violent citizens in order to “do their job” of maintaining “control” and keeping people “in line,” then a tipping point can be reached where the cops and military members will simply lay down their arms rather than kill their own brother.
Is it idealistic to imagine such a scenario unfolding? Sure. Is it giving humanity too much credit for potentially becoming courageous and moral despite their cowardly and immoral upbringing within a profoundly sick society? Perhaps. But it’s either we “shoot the moon” or we lose. Either we discover a decentralized non-hierarchical autonomous community unified by an idea or we perish in a centralized hierarchical chain of command obeying a ruler. We either attempt the arduously Herculean task of solidarity despite our differences or we continue destroying ourselves through blind worship and divisiveness. We either evolve past this dysfunctional phase of our existence as a species –this infantile phase that imagines it needs to be ruled over– or we die. It really is that simple.
I repeat: Revolution begins with a raging fire and ends with a resurrected Phoenix. But first things first –fire. As Joshua Graham said,
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”