Larken Rose will be a speaker at Anarchapulco 2020!
If you are anything like me, you have imagined having a time machine to witness key historical moments. My favorites are the social revolutions… when peoples’ views evolved significantly – and in a short span of time.
It turns out I do not need a time machine; I am actually getting a chance to witness a revolution as we speak. So are you. And one of its most significant voices is that of Larken Rose.
A revolution is not necessarily violent. In fact, the root of the word is simply the act of “turning”. A true social revolution means that peoples’ minds are turned in a different direction. New ideas replace older ideas.
But the truest of revolutions is even simpler. The truest form of revolution does not force new ideas. Instead, obsolete or superstitious ideas are dismantled. The blinders are removed from peoples’ eyes so they can think for themselves. Simple clarity remains; people look back and wonder how they can ever have been so self-deceived.
Larken Rose has that unique talent for communicating the liberty message. He speaks the plain language of the common person. He is simple and direct. The appeal is clear common sense that speaks directly to the “inner anarchist” that lives within us all.
He does not tell you what to think. He points out that you already know what is right, and what is right should be applied consistently.
Larken’s presentations keep the mind focused on the basic morality and practicality of freedom. His book “The Most Dangerous Superstition” has changed countless minds and continues to do so. His eye-opening videos such as “The Tiny Dot” and “The Jones Plantation,” similarly spark a revolution within each individual, helping them see their own indoctrination. He hosts the daily “Unbound Podcast” with his ten-to-fifteen minute thoughts on a variety of topics.
But can basic principles be powerful enough to change the world in our lifetimes?
The power of simple truths is easily overlooked. And even if we appreciate their importance, we may feel they cannot work their way through the culture any time soon. This is the source of great discouragement among Anarchists.
We are indeed a true minority. But we can take heart in the lessons of two powerful historical examples, where we can see those simple truths can change the world, and quickly.
Larken will often use Slavery as a classic example of how clear thinking can quickly change things for the better. Slavery, one of humanity’s oldest and most horrid institutions, persisted into the mid-1800s. In 1850 America, slavery was part of the common background of life and generally unquestioned. Most advocates for abolition were seen as radicals arguing on the fringes of accepted thought, as it is today for Anarchist speakers such as Larken. Moreover, debates for abolition centered on utilitarian arguments: “how would the cotton get picked?” or “can’t we give slaves better conditions?”
Those who would have predicted the coming end of slavery would have been viewed as crackpots.
Yet that very social revolution did indeed occur. Slavery was abolished because within a few decades its legitimacy was abolished in the minds of enough people. The end of its legitimacy required no replacement. It only needed the effective communication of the simple truth:
Men may not own men.
In 1854, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison put it so eloquently in his speech “No Compromise With The Evils Of Slavery”:
The elegantly simple morality in the message “Men may not own men” swept away the cobwebs and fog of millennia of indoctrination. People of that very generation looked back and could not understand how they could have permitted it. The veil was lifted.
The lesson is this: slavery had to first be understood as wrong before it could be abolished in practice.
The American Revolution
Do not mistake the American Revolution with the War for Independence. The true Revolution was a revolution in thought, and necessarily came first. Only then could independence be attempted. This led to the war of 1776, which culminated in the formal separation of the Colonies from Britain.
The revolution in thought targeted an indoctrinated idea – that men should be ruled by Kings – and simply declared that they should not. It made obsolete the idea that some men, as royalty, have different rights than others. It declared instead that all men are created equal.
This was indeed a revolution in thinking. The particular form it took was political: the realization that the 13 Colonies should not be subjects of Britain.
Like abolition, the idea of political independence was a fringe idea, even as late as January 1776. Colonial loyalty to the British Crown was almost unquestioned. The common man was not alone in this belief; the indoctrination was passively accepted by virtually all luminaries of the time, such as Washington, Jefferson and Adams.
Yet in six short months, the Colonies unanimously declared their independence.
How did this revolution in thinking happen so quickly?
The Larken Rose of his day, Thomas Paine, was the spark. He had the unique ability to convey ideas in plain but forceful language. He understood the power of mass media (in essence the Internet of his day, whereby ideas were communicated to the people by way of newspapers and pamphlets). And he understood the tactics of communication: how, when and to whom ideas are best communicated.
Paine published his pamphlet “Common Sense” in January 1776. His forceful and compelling arguments expressed the simple idea and reasons that the people of America need not be British subjects. As with abolition, there was no “new” idea being promoted. Instead, it asked people to see the absurdity of a King having power over men. It asked simply that people lift the veil of that indoctrination.
This modest writer lit the fuse that demolished the indoctrination of the Colonists. Indeed, it is arguable that the Founding Fathers were highly influenced by the clarity of Paine’s writing.
The explosion of awareness culminated on July 4th with the Declaration of Independence. Centuries upon centuries of the indoctrinated idea that Kings should rule men… ended in 6 months.
We are fortunate that the liberty message is interdisciplinary; it is highly researched in scholarly works across philosophy, economics, ethics, etc.
But an idea can only succeed if it can connect to the basic morality and common sense of the people. The message we want to send — the message of all advocates of a free society — is for each person to evolve past the centuries-old myth that men need rulers.
The historical examples above demonstrate how right ideas have quickly changed our world for the better.
In exactly the same way, the liberty message is spreading today and changing the world as we speak.
Anarchapulco 2020 is fortunate to be hosting speakers who are part of that revolution… including Larken Rose, a Thomas Paine for our time.
Wouldn’t you love to watch history being made?
Here are several Anarchast episodes with Larken:
and one from Dollar Vigilante:
More from Anarchapulco: