Dissociation & Radical Consent
When you walk into a room full of like-minded radicals, do you feel safe? I would think you ought to feel safe amongst comrades, because we can not decide that another person is no longer a 'radical’. If we can not decide who is 'radical' and who isn’t, then we can expect all sorts of ‘radicals’ to fall in line with a well-meaning pocket of sabotage.
The inherent characteristic of self-proclaimation within ideology is dangerous; people remain radicals regardless of their actions or biases, because the nature of ideology allows anyone proclaim it for themselves without anyone else’s consent. And thus, we can expect radicals to harm others for as long as anyone can take stake in the title.
When I was dissociating heavily due to my depression, my therapist offered me a means of regaining bodily autonomy and awareness. She asked me two questions.
1.) What is autonomy why do we dissociate from it when we are uncomfortable?
As I lay flat on the floor of my bedroom , I would consider taking off my clothes to feel the cool carpet beneath me clutch my body liks a thousand breathy palms, relaxed and open. But we arent usually able, or even desire to do this in a room full of radicals. In a room full of 'radicals’ you may feel unsafe because, for example, one of them unclothed you without respecting your bodily autonomy, or may have attempted to do so. Or maybe they have done this to someone else.
But you remain in a room with this person, regardless. You do so for the sake of Leninism, Maoism, Anarchism, anto-racism or fascism, etc… You do so while dissociating from your freedom to change your surroundings, or at least take steps in doing so.
What can you change about that situation? Is it possible?
We have already accepted that you can not take away their self-proclamation of 'radical' identity, but you can decide that radicalism does not necessarily protect you, or others, from being molested (having your bodily or psychological autonomy be invalidated or unrecognized) — whether that be physically, emotionally, or both. You distinguish yourself from the ideology you prescribe yourself to, and establish boundaries between it and your sense of self. You can decide that this person is worth less than your autonomy, your politics, and therefore your well-being. And with these boundaries, you can wall in the source of discomfort causing you to dissociate from your goals for society until it until It changes, or until starves— it’s your choice.
It’s your chance to change the world for your own safety and sense of self-worth and love. And this is but one of an infinite amount of possibilities Change provides us. Change offers us a variety of ways to feel safe within our Selves, within our own ideas and our own, personal variations of an ideology. Therefore Change ought to be our nearest comrade where Change is consensual.
The second question was: What would change be feel, smell, taste, look, and sound like if Change were in a room with you right now?
I believe in you and your quest to find the answer.