Antiauthoritarianism: Illustration via Juxtaposition.

If the above vid is not the perfect illustration of concept I don’t know what is.  This is the most recent YouTube upload by Royalty Soaps, what used to be a one-woman soapmaking business that has grown over several years into something else.  The backstory here seems to be that at some point, the eldest yet still teenaged daughter in some freakishly large Quiverfull-type family consisting of a mother, a father and a dozen(ish) Irish twins* started making soap and with the help and support of that family has become very successful and has now delegated some of her substantial duties to others.

As described in this vid, this woman’s business recently experienced an unexpected and frightening setback and she relied heavily on her family to correct the situation and save the day, which they did in spades.  They also had the time, energy, material resources and desire to throw her an Insta-worthy backyard 25th birthday party in the midst of this family project.  The party was beautiful and the familial love and care given and received there, as documented in this vid…well watch it for yourself and see what you think.  For me, the experience of watching this was somewhat complicated.  I enjoyed it, was moved by it but it made me deeply uncomfortable and thinky…and hungry for salad, cake and sun tea.

What was so deeply disturbing to me about this footage was the backdrop against which it was shot and I’m not referring to her (albeit somewhat disturbing) home state of Texas, or a photo prop.  The backdrop here, as it is most everywhere, is the social context of capitalism and patriarchy and what that means is that, in order for this situation and this footage to exist, this woman has had to comply, comply, comply in order to reap what must be conditional rewards of love; affection; physical presence and caretaking; emotional care and concern; and finally, material things that, under the current system, really only money can buy.  Doesn’t it?  In her case, she has had to buy into the religious, political and social traditions of her family including the patriarchal authority of her parents, the heterosexual and mommy mandates and more in order to have what she has.  Of course, the traditions of her family mirror the traditions of her culture more or less exactly.

Luckily for her there does not seem to be any obvious conflict between her own values, conscience etc. and that of her family (or culture) but what if there was?  What would happen to her if she woke up one day with, say, environmental concerns implicating overpopulation and natalism, or economic concerns implicating capitalism and the money system and the ethics of making and selling soap (or doing anything) for profit?  What if, God forbid, this Quiverfull (or whatever) daughter woke up one day with feminist concerns which implicate all of that plus the destablization of the patriarchal authority of her father/parents, her husband, her church and the State?

Let’s talk about anitauthoritarianism for a bit.  Antiauthoritarians, as far as I understand, do not normally stand around trying to sip lemonade through twigs, pissing in the wind or paddling swamped canoes sideways upstream; antiauthoritarians accept some authority in other words, like natural authority/natural law including the laws of physics.  As described in this article from the Mad In America blog, antiauthoritarians just flatly reject illegitimate authority, or authority that appears to be illegitimate to them:

Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.

People who do not or cannot accept what they see as illegitimate authority commonly become socially and financially disenfranchised leading to isolation and chronic poverty, homelessness and physical injury and disease.**  Contributing to their disenfranchisement, antiauthoritarians are also often diagnosed, by capitalistic patriarchal medical authority no less, as being mentally ill.  Which is exactly what authoritarian medical providers would tend to think of — and do to — anti-authoritarians innit.

In the case of the founder of Royalty Soaps, she seems to be doing quite well for herself, as far as we know is happy, healthy, and (therefore implicitly) socially, mentally, emotionally, intellectually and materially well-supported.  But what did it take for her to get there?  Under the current system of capitalism and patriarchy, since she is not particularly disenfranchised I think we can infer at least that either she is an authoritarian or that she is an antiauthoritarian who has decided that capitalistic and patriarchal authority is legitimate.  Can’t we?  I suspect that she is an authoritarian but even if she isn’t, in either case, she has been willing and able to take direction and correction from (for example) a serial impregnator (her father), a domesticated/patriarchal woman (her mother), an entitled male child (her young husband) and others with such dubious credentials and she seems to be fine with this.  To be fair, her parents and family do seem to be nice people.

Funnily enough, in this vid we also see her taking direction and correction directly from the capitalistic patriarchal State by way of the town’s Fire Marshall who evicted her noncompliant workspace from her property, but if she ever wakes up with antiauthoritarian tendencies and an anticapitalist or pro-feminist bent the Fire Marshall — or even the State — will be the least of her problems.

The concept of antiauthoritarianism under conditions of capitalism and patriarchy has given me much food for thought and insights into my own life and struggles as a feminist woman in a capitalist patriarchy: I am pretty obviously an antiauthoritarian myself and have been unable to consistently take direction and correction from patriarchal authority which I have deemed illegitimate on its face.  Of course, under a more or less global social system founded on patriarchy ALL social authority is rather inherently patriarchal isn’t it.  That explains a lot.

I simply cannot take impregnators and oppressors of women or their authority seriously, I cannot take patriarchal handmaidens and/or domesticated women and their authority seriously.  If some fucking porn addicted greasy manager/patriarchal enforcer/capitalist/prick says or implies that I have to do thus and so or else I will become homeless and raped (disenfranchised in other words) I have always had a serious problem with that.***  I don’t know why more people don’t, except that they are either authoritarians, or antiauthoritarians who think the authority of porn addicted greasy pricks is rooted in something legitimate.  Some people probably do think that, yes.  But I don’t.  And “authoritarian” is not that great of a thing to be.

au·thor·i·tar·i·an
adjective
favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of the government, at the expense of personal freedom.

“the transition from an authoritarian to a democratic regime”

synonyms:  autocratic, dictatorial, totalitarian, despotic, tyrannical, autarchic, draconian, absolute, arbitrary, oppressive, repressive, illiberal, undemocratic, antidemocratic

noun
an authoritarian person.
synonyms:  autocrat, despot, dictator, tyrant, absolutist.

*The youngest sibling, a toddler girl, was born with Down’s Syndrome and has leukemia for which the parents are subjecting her to chemo and radiation treatment. 😦 On that basis alone some people would start to seriously question the values and customs of this family and this culture but this woman doesn’t.  Not yet anyway.

**The author of the article to which I cite describes antiauthoritarians “worrying” that these negative outcomes will materialize for them due to their noncompliance.  He does not seem to imply that their fears are unfounded, and I suspect that their fears are quite founded indeed.

***I don’t have any problem avoiding homelessness by, say, not playing with fire, not living on a flood plain if I can help it (learned that one the hard way) or not disassembling my home with a screwdriver and selling the pieces for scrap.  That means something.  And the sicker I get, not-doing things — as opposed to doing things — is about the best I can do anyway.

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29 thoughts on “Antiauthoritarianism: Illustration via Juxtaposition.

  1. I’ve never understood why more people don’t have a problem with all this forced compliance either. I feel more and more alien to other people all the time, like most are living in some fantasy world actually unable to see reality. I’m so confused all the time what anything really means or what anyone should be doing and all I can really say for sure is that all of these things we were taught are wrong and we need to do anything other than this. It’s like most people aren’t confused because they just automatically accept anything and everything they are told. It’s a totally foreign concept to me that is beyond comprehension to not question everything and decide for yourself what you believe, regardless of what that may be.

    Sometimes I wish I could just accept it all. I’m jealous of people like this girl who have all this help. But like you said there’s the price of compliance she has to pay for this nice life she has. I wouldn’t be able to pay it and would probably just be deemed mentally ill anyways if I had some big family like that with all the expectations to conform to a religion and society at large.

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  2. “Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.”

    This quote from that article sums up so much. Either way is some kind of death.

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  3. Yes that quote really does sum it up. The quote you mention was what lead me to this article in the first place and was posted as a blurb on Tumblr. I hadn’t read anything that rang so true in awhile. The fact that licensed shrinks are making principled statements like this (if not taking principled stands) is evidence of how bad things really are within that profession and this culture. If you aren’t born a dick worshipping corporate stooge you are in serious trouble. And if you reject specifically patriarchal authority, where under patriarchy, patriarchal authority = authority, well you are literally a born criminal aren’t you. Because you reject ALL authority, but only by default. Now there’s something to think about.

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  4. Yeah.. criminal thought is definitely a thing in society that doesn’t allow you to think freely. You can only control how you think so much and can’t help how you are, so essentially yeah if you aren’t just born a dick worshiping corporate stooge you are a criminal and can’t help it no matter what you actually do.

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  5. From the article:

    “Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities.”

    This “mental health professional” believes it’s naturally occurring in some people. So yes, seems like some people are just born this way and there’s very little we can do about it. I would like to know more about that part.

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  6. Do they still lobotomize people? I know I’ve read that women were still being lobotomized in the 80s. I thought that was the end of it.

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  7. I’m not sure they are using icepicks through the eyeballs anymore (wouldn’t surprise me if they were) but they still do electroshock afaik. I recently saw this and my heart sank. There are many ways to dispatch dissenters tho. Psych meds have terrible side effects for example, one of which being suicide.

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  8. I’m sure a lot of antiauthoritarians end up in jail too. Even if it’s “just” from being sick and/or refusing medical care. Intractable pain makes people do crazy things that will land them in the hospital or jail or both. I would count psychiatric or criminal incarceration as physical dispatching of dissenters.

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  9. Would u say that midwives’re a legit authority? given that they carried status of Wise Women since dawn of time until Witch-craze. & that they earnt that status thru gathering knowledge about womens’ health the non-male way?

    I can’t think of any other example here. perhaps Jane Goodall, since she overturned male zoology & is revered as THE primate specialist? Or Temple Grandin for autie women & her original animal welfare effort?

    Both those women HAD to co-operate somewhat to get those positions, but is what they offer in their skills for female zoologists & ASD women ~equivalent to Wise Woman?..

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  10. I hadn’t thought about midwives, that could be. Not in the current state of the profession in the USA tho where it is currently under siege by liberal trans insanity to call vaginas “front holes” and breastfeeding “chestfeeding.” It’s a whole thing here rn apparently. Midwives also have to be licensed here and are highly regulated including criminal and civil exposures which is a compliance problem. If someone rejects patriarchal authority on it’s face that is a serious problem within patriarchy. Midwifery has serious problems within patriarchy. Everything does. I imagine and hope that there are underground networks of widwives who still have all that “lost” female knowledge and who do not accept oversight from males or male values but there may not be. Everyone is too afraid of ending up in jail or homeless. I can’t say I blame them, but it’s so depressing that they have us in such a death grip of fear. Human cowardice really disgusts me honestly and that includes myself.

    The article suggests legitimacy is judged by the antiauthoritarian and generally comes from knowing what you are talking about, being honest, and caring about the people that take direction and correction from you. Honesty is a serious problem within patriarchy, as is knowledge (the 2 are related) even if someone deeply cares. And pretty much NO ONE deeply cares about women, not even other women. It’s very hard for me to imagine any legit authority under this system esp as applied to females and things that affect women and girls.

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  11. Even “caring deeply” under this system is suspect bc then we have people who are deeply personally and emotionally invested in “helping” but their “help” takes the form of enforcing patriarchal mandates bc people think patriarchal mandates are “true” and they honestly believe your compliance will be for your own good! This applies particularly in the case of access to Western medical treatment I think. People “deeply care” about various individuals and populations so they think “helping” means getting them access to things like mainstream/Big Pharma cancer treatment and psych drugs (or event tranny surgery and treatment for that matter). Which sounds all well and good except they don’t think to offer an alternative, or that the people they are helping don’t really want it or will ultimately be quite harmed by it. I would rather be surrounded by people who don’t give a fuck honestly bc that shit is terrifying beyond words.

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  12. And I wonder where on the scale of “caring” does anyone care about antiauthoritarians dying one or many existential deaths for having to comply with illegitimate authority. It’s laughable isn’t it, to think about anyone caring about that except us.

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  13. Considering most people don’t seem to give a shit about massive amounts of people dying literal deaths from all the many consequences of poverty, I definitely don’t think they really care about existential death either and it wouldn’t even occur to them. It’s very strange how it seems there are so many who are not troubled by anything and just happy to follow. I’m sure there are people who are conflicted inside and will still go along and not say anything out of fear, but I don’t know how many that really is compared to how many will just blindly follow what they are told without thinking about it.

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  14. Well that seems true enough (that literal death is more important and they don’t care about that either). But I do wonder whether the author of that article got it quite right when he said that antiauthoritarians “fear” existential death “if” they comply. He seems to imply there that it’s a choice they can make if they wanted to and I’m not entirely sure that’s true. How many antiauthoritarians die literal deaths because they literally can’t comply? Is existential death so unimportant that you can just decide to commit existential suicide and still physically (or mentally) survive? It’s something to think about, first bc the only antiauthoritarians he probably knows about are the ones who are willing to be examined by a fucking psychologist in the first place. Second bc I am interested in issues faced by the chronically ill, and not all chronically ill people are authoritarian. Can an antiauthoritarian even hope to physically improve by accepting the authority of illegitimate Western medicine? Trusting chemistry and biology is one thing (like taking meds that actually work to heal things where we know what went wrong) but what about ritualistic medically futile care, experimental medications, or things that are known not to work or which create “side effects” that are worse than or just as bad as the original disease? It seems like this would be physical but also existential poison to sick antiauthoritarians who need everything in their arsenal to be healing, where bowing to illegitimate authority is known to on at least one level (but maybe more) damage and kill us.

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  15. Dishonesty is really at the root of everything because people have to be thoroughly lied to to get this where they will just believe everything. Most people never develop real critical thinking skills to begin with because we’re basically taught not to question anything actually important while distracting us with questioning minor things. I believe that though people are very genetically predisposed to be one way or the other and followers are likely to follow whatever, serious teaching can overcome a lot and if it was genuinely encouraged for everyone to analyze what they see around them and trust their perception of the world, I think that most would.

    With things as they are, if you do and try to figure things out for yourself you are faced with sorting through so many outright lies floating around that it gets to be overwhelming to accept anything as truth. Once you understand how deeply you have been indoctrinated, how can you really believe anything? Knowing the foundations of our reality are not just an incomplete understanding as you thought growing up, but actually outright lies meant to oppress you is a mind shattering experience. I certainly understand why someone would want to reject horrible truths for comforting lies, but I don’t get at all how they can deny what’s right in front of them. So much of it now is all right out in the open too, the environmental degradation and sickness it is causing is so right in our faces now yet many still deny anything is wrong at all.

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  16. Yes I think that is true that many people don’t have a choice to comply. I’ve never been able to just “go along” with things no matter what it does to me and I’ve been that way all my life with no one teaching me to be like that. I didn’t have any exceptionally oppressive additional forces on me (family, religion, and whatnot) like a lot of people have so it was easier to think for myself without that additional pressure but there was no one really saying be different from everyone else either.

    I’ve always had friends and people who liked me but I’ve still always been an outcast from being too different and have never been able to help that. I think that’s true for a lot of people that we don’t have much choice in who we are and can’t just “kill ourselves” to fit it no matter what other damage it may cause.

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  17. It terms of the medical system I really think it is pretty much all “experimental” because I don’t trust them and we know of so much outright lies and cruelty. Even if the medicine is something effective, I know I probably need half the “regular” dose that is based on an average man but I’m not really sure and dividing it up might make it ineffective. Like I will take antibiotics for a serious infection and that is really the only medicine I am willing to take because infections are so serious and I think it’s something they’ve sort of got figured out, but I probably need half the amount since I get violently ill from it. I am also deathly allergic to a certain antibiotic that almost killed me before and I know they will not listen to me and still prescribe related medicines unless I make sure with the pharmacist.

    I think they’ve generally gotten a lot figured out in terms of surgery and other physical means to fix stuff. They can generally sew ripped parts together and all that to help you heal and I regard that as a totally different thing than the chemical “healing.” I desperately want to find out if surgery or something can help my knees and shoulders, but I don’t trust men I don’t know and the thought of just submitting my body to some strange man makes me feel ill in itself even if the system has figured out how to do it I still have to find a specific person, who will likely be a man due to lack of women, that I am able to trust. Which all seems overwhelming.

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  18. I actually think antibiotics are awful and probably cause more problems than they solve, but the only alternative is to boost your immune system and that seems to require good food, rest, peace, and probably long term marijuana use. Aint no one got time for that! It’s all about getting people back to work as soon as possible without ever actually fixing the problem. Who cares if it takes you YEARS to rebuild your gut flora after a course of antibiotics, just take more experimental meds for your ensuing immunity related issues, digestive problems and suicidal depression lol. As long as you don’t miss work for it it’s just fine.

    Anyway, that’s a very good point about ALL drugs being experimental for women since they don’t usually test drugs on women. If a woman accepts chemo for Crohn’s how would she even know it was effective on female Crohn’s let alone a female with comorbid autism, or depression, or endometriosis, or Lyme or any of the things women also have on top of their main problem. I did take chemo for acne and guess what my main complaints were in the following years? Chronic treatment resistant vaginal infections. Guess the MEN they tested Accutane on failed to mention that as a side effect. Altho we already know that chemo causes opportunistic infections, and we could theoretically extrapolate that to imagine what will likely happen to a female body but we never do. Of course, no one ever told me Accutane was chemo, just that it causes horrific birth defects if I happened to get pregnant so I had to also go on the Pill. I wonder what the MEN in the Accutane study reported when they simultaneously took Accutane and the Pill (which is the only way its ever prescribed for females)? Both Accutane and the Pill are also known to cause the “side effect” of IBD including Crohn’s and I took both because they made me. Ugh.

    Re surgery, prevention of the need for surgery will be anyone’s best bet especially females, but pain/inflammation relief is difficult to come by and requires good food, rest, peace and probably long term marijuana use. The recovery will be brutal and requires caretaking of others, which women do not normally have. I hope you can figure it out and that you can avoid surgery even though you think it’s the lesser of the evil Western medicine has to offer. I’m starting to think they rely on side effects and complications to keep the system going, so even if you think surgery itself is relatively unproblematic, there are other things to consider. I’m sure you know that. It’s all so horrifying I don’t even know why I bother thinking or talking about it, especially knowing now that most people are just authoritarians at base and therefore, simply don’t care. Honestly I’m not sure how I missed that before. Most people are authoritarians and they just don’t care. Wow.

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  19. I definitely don’t think that surgery is relatively unproblematic, just that a lot of it is a more straightforward thing than just giving a bunch of chemicals and hoping for the best basically and the medical industry has figured it out a lot more at least in terms of the basic stuff. Like if you need something sewn up in some way or something removed you’ll probably get a lot better help than if you have anything at all that you’re given chemicals for. Physical trauma is much better dealt with then illness essentially. And if I have an injury, then yes I’m definitely going to get them to fix me up, but if it’s something where they are just going to throw pills at me I’m probably not going to take them.

    I’m really desperate at this point to do something with my knees especially as it’s been years since I’ve been dealing with them getting better then worse over and over and having to spend so much time barely able to walk. I think there are some soft tissue tears that are not able to heal as I’ve gotten xrays already and my bones are apparently fine, then I had a laser treatment done to promote healing but it wasn’t enough obviously. Something has been wrong with my shoulder for like half my life at least and got worse over time so yeah, that sucks too.

    Antibiotics are really awful too, like they are literally anti life. lol But infections are so serious and can be so deadly so quickly I think it’s worth the risk in that case to take them for like a week or so. I had a tooth infection before that progressed so rapidly and so severely it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It was like being in another dimension of pain.

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  20. Yeah so many of the pills necessitate the need for other pills like the Accutane and BC thing so they keep people in a pill loop with constant new things to prescribe more stuff to treat.

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  21. Yes if you already have tears and things, they kind of have you over a barrel. All you can realistically do is hope they don’t make you worse with their tinkering. I can feel my joints getting all boggy and inflamed when I can’t medicate properly, which since I can’t afford my MMJ patches anymore is all the time now again. Tissue in that boggy state comes apart like wet bread apparently. If you can’t get rid of the inflammation you are going to end up with tears. Some people get them anyway from trauma of course. It’s really something how everyone is so inflamed and Western medicine is impotent to treat that specifically. Inflammation and pain are their Achilles’ heel, or so they want us to believe. Pot works very well for both and it won’t make you worse, but let’s pretend we haven’t known that for thousands of years. I’m sorry you are in pain and I hope you find relief soon. I hope that for us all.

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  22. I didn’t know inflammation causes tears.. I know tears cause inflammation so I guess it sounds like an endless cycle then. I got an injury in my knee from moving years ago and carrying a bunch of things when I was already in a bad condition and it just was never able to heal. I first thought it would just heal on its own and it seemed like it was but then any time I would start to do stuff again it would get bad again, after a while I realized it wasn’t going to heal on its own. As soon as I got enough money I went and got xrays of my knees and my neck/back/shoulders to deal with both lingering problems. Apparently my bones are fine, I had chiropractic treatment on my spine and fixed it to some degree and laser treatment on my knees and I could at least walk after that. But neither problem is fixed and so it must be soft tissue that I need another doctor for now and I’m assuming they will say surgery because I don’t know of anything else that would help. I have so much inflammation in the injured parts it always feels hot to the touch and like I’m burning alive.

    What do you mean about your joints feeling boggy and coming apart? You mean the boggy is an extreme swollen feeling and it feels like it’s tearing? I hope you can mange to find some better relief too. This is hell feeling such inflammation constantly.

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  23. I guess that is why they aren’t able to heal once it gets inflamed then. It’s a never ending cycle where injury causes inflammation then the inflammation causes more more injury. I don’t know how to make it stop. The only thing I know is there is that laser treatment I had already that only helped a little, then there’s a shot of your own blood platelets that they filter out, or if you have specific tears they can sew them up. So maybe the shot could help but I don’t know. No matter what it’s all something expensive and awful.

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