A History of Soulism

Vi- Grail
8 min readDec 31, 2023


I don’t know when soulism was invented, but I suspect it was very shortly after reality was invented. Soulism is a very simple and good idea, and at the time that reality was created and exported to the rest of the world through colonisation, there were indigenous people living in communist structures fighting genocide from reality. It is very likely that some of them developed some form of soulism in their resistance. Realism and monarchy was killing them. Anarcho-antirealism is an intuitive antithesis to that, for someone whose mind has not already been colonised.

Soulism has likely been known to philosophers for almost as long, if not longer. To philosophers, the problem of solipsism is obvious, and has been well known since even before our current consensus reality was created and exported. Descartes began his foundation for reality (spoilers: it’s all based on christianity) by starting from a solipsist perspective. All philosophers who have seriously argued for solipsism, or indeed for philosophical idealism (the belief that reality is created by the mind) can be considered antirealists. The synthesis of antirealism with anarchist values is not a complicated idea, and though I can name no well-known philosophers who synthesised the two, I would not be surprised in the least if the people I learned it from are not the first.

Regardless of whether soulism was created in the first place by indigenous people, it was eventually picked up by mystics and cults. My introduction to soulism came from fractal, a member of the mystery cult that called itself Mystic SWIM Club. Mystic SWIM, or MSC, taught a doctrine that divisions between individuals are illusory, and practiced the ritualised integration of plural systems as part of this. While I was a worshipper of fractal and the ideas of MSC, I was subjected to this. I am unsure whether MSC specifically taught anarcho-antirealism, as My primary exposure to the cult was through fractal. However, these ideas fit into a broader pattern of mystic teachings that I saw practiced by many members of the cult.

I was the one who named the set of ideas fractal taught Me “Anarcho-Antirealism”, and have continued to refine them ever since being taught them. This began in late 2020, and has continued to the present day. As fractal has disavowed all philosophical connection between My ideas and theirs, it is difficult to name precise influences. I am certain no agreement between the two of us could be had today. For this reason, I have accepted the disavowal and generally treated the ideas I learned from fractal as My own, while acknowledging the history that stretches out behind Me. In terms of practical matters, though, I am the owner of the oldest self-described soulist community, and I will explain why that is.

The term “Soulism” was not invented by soulists. It was invented by Reddit users of r/politicalcompassmemes and r/polcompball, two meme subreddits focused on the division and characterisation of political ideologies. PCM, as the former is often called, is founded on the two-axis political compass model of ideologies. The community it attracted eventually developed a tradition of drawing comics of various ideologies interacting, as represented by polandball-style characters. This community created the character/ideology of “Soulism”, an “off-compass libleft ideology”. What this jargon means is that soulism exists outside the realm of political ideologies generally considered to even exist. It is more leftist, and more libertarian (anarchist) than most people are capable of imagining.

Soulism was characterised in these early memes as having the goal of abolishing all laws, including the laws of physics. Depictions diverged from this point between the more common image of a stoner who transcends reality through hallucinogen tripping and eastern spirituality, and between the rarer image of a futurist obsessed with creating perfect digital worlds for humanity to inhabit. Soulism was a rarely-seen comic relief character, used to joke about the outer limits of what politics a person could truly believe in.

Inevitably, though, people watching this joke of a character began to believe in it. There is someone who will believe in any political ideology, no matter how ridiculous. But Soulism was set aside by a juxtaposition of how ridiculous it was, with what a good idea it was. The only argument against soulism is an appeal to its ridiculousness. For someone who does not take seriousness seriously, there is no reason not to adopt soulism as a personal opinion. Thus, soulists truly began to emerge. I first heard of this in mid-2021, and quickly concluded that the anarcho-antirealism I had already been teaching matched this ideology with an uncanny closeness. The jokes and stereotypes weren’t necessarily accurate, but when the essence of this ideology was distilled down into something coherent that people actually believed in, it was what I already did. My community, The Outside, was a soulist server before I knew it. Eventually, I marked it as such on Disboard, the Discord server indexing service.

Upon combining the community I had already created with the self-identified “soulist” community, I was educated on the history of those people who had joined soulism not due to ancient tradition, but because of a meme. The central figure in this history is an individual called Azsula, who claims to have invented soulism. Azsula prefers not to be referred to by any pronoun, and that’s why almost everyone Azsula knows, Myself included, misgenders them. The reasoning for this is obvious. I would also like to take this chance to address a rumour that has circulated in the community, that I dated Azsula for a period of months. This is untrue. We were just friends, and only for a weekend. The magnitude of the disagreement between us has convinced some people that it’s personal for us. It may be for them, but it’s not for Me. They are someone I knew briefly, who tells transparent lies concerning Me. The biggest lie is the topic of this article — who invented soulism? They claim it is them. This is false. The Outside has existed and has contained an introduction to anarcho-antirealism for longer than Azsula has been in the community. And I am not the inventor of soulism either.

Azsula in fact learned of soulism from someone else, just as I did. This someone is a person named Rayne, who bears the title of first person to take the online meme of soulism seriously and start a community about it. According to screenshots provided by Anne Grail, Rayne claimed to have developed their ideas of soulism in November of 2021, and also that they invented it. Rayne introduced Azsula and several others to the idea of taking this joke as a genuine belief. Rayne was also Azsula’s partner around this time. I don’t know much else about the Rayne period of soulism, but I know how it ended.

Rayne was plagued by mental instability and deleted their discord server. They named Azsula their successor. Rayne no longer identifies as a soulist, because they believe that soulism has become what Azsula believes, and Azsula is an authoritarian. Rayne, being an anarchist, is opposed to this and therefore believes that they are opposed to soulism.

Azsula’s “server of soulism” is a bizarre place. About half of its channels are personal venting channels. Azsula uses various proxies through PluralKit, despite not identifying as plural. They do, however, identify as “blackpill” and a “loli”. The “black pill” is an extension of the “red pill” incel ideology which holds that getting a girlfriend is impossible, so you should give up. It has been linked with violence against women. “Loli” is a term from Japanese manga and anime, which refers to sexualised underage characters. It’s a shortening of the name and titular character of the novel Lolita. Lolita is the pet name of a 12-year-old girl as said by the point-of-view character, a pedophile. The book is a condemnation of pedophilia, but it received unexpected popularity in Japan, and the term now refers to pedophilic Japanese media tropes. Azsula has said that they do not believe in age, and made various other statements in this space.

Despite all this, the “server of soulism” is filled with people who nearly worship Azsula, and believe everything they say. I have spoken with several former partners and love interests of Azsula, who described them as abusive, and accused them of brainwashing. My own interactions with Azsula mainly centered on their belief that slurs are unacceptable in all contexts, and this belief extended to the idea that black communities do not deserve the right to self-determine whether they can use the N-word. When I suggested listening to black scholars on the issue, I was accused of racism against white people. Azsula believes their own intelligence is superior to the combined intelligence and lived experience of all black people regarding antiblack racism. They loathe that their opinions on racism are not taken seriously by others as a white person.

My intent in writing this article is to set the record straight. Azsula claims to be the inventor of soulism, and to own the “official website of soulism”. This is false. I do not believe the inventor of soulism is alive today. And if Azsula were the oldest living proponent of soulism, I would still not believe a person with such views can be an anarchist, or soulist.

On 28/04/2023, a member of the community named Jacob created a new soulist server. His intention was to “unify” the soulist community. Despite complaints from various people that the two sides of the community (anarchists and authoritarians) could never be unified, he persisted. His server was ostensibly run according to direct democracy, but it quickly fell apart. He permitted himself to make executive decisions, and excluded those acted against from the vote afterwards. His server was immediately raided by trolls related to Azsula’s side of the community, and spammed with fascist imagery. In 9 days, he gave up on the project, and handed ownership of the server to Azsula. Azsula immediately destroyed all channels and converted Jacob’s server into an advertisement for their own. Tensions between the two sides were elevated for quite some time afterward.

I mention all of these people and their views not because I think they are soulists, but because I think they are relevant to the history of the word soulism. They are relevant to its social meaning. Their actions have harmed the image of the word in the eyes of those who do not support racism, misogyny, or pedophilia. They claim ownership of the word, and that it agrees with their personal views. They are believed in this by most of the people who have an idea what soulism is. Those, at least, who are familiar with its existence beyond the joke.

Fascist corruption is dangerous. It requires constant effort to expose and to counter. Members of the anarchist side of soulism acted quickly, and deplatformed the authoritarians from ownership of the soulist communities on Reddit. But on Discord, centrists in the divide still seek unity, and do not counter the words of authoritarians. With so little resistance in such a small community, authoritarianism believes it has won, and perhaps it is right.

That said, My Soulist Manifesto is still the most well-regarded text describing soulism, and it is My hope that the pages to come in this history will be pages that do not involve the people described above.



Vi- Grail

Nonbinary Goddess explores philosophy, politics, and pop culture to find lessons that can improve people and help improve the world. http://soulism.net