My Journey To Anarchy

When did I become an anarchist? It wasn’t an overnight revelation. It wasn’t even over a period of a few months. This evolution of thought came over the course of a few years, to be honest. In high school I was friends with the “conspiracy theorists”. We believed all sorts of weird things, like Paul McCartney not being the “original” Paul because that Paul actually died in a car accident, blahblahblah. As kids, we were intrigued, maybe obsessed with the idea that there is information out there being hidden from us. We wanted to know about all of it. What was it? Why were they hiding? It was like a treasure hunt. We talked about 9/11 conspiracies and the New World Order. We knew about the Federal Reserve and the consistent corruption being played out by the government entities across the globe. Although, I knew about these things, my brain had only begun to churn for answers. I was searching and often I felt hopeless. I felt that nothing could be done.

Then Ron Paul came into the picture. Everyone I knew was raving about him. He was going to be our hero, our savior. He spoke a lot of truths and he really was different from everyone else. I still had this mentality that the government could be saved. We could fix the problem, but we needed the right guy to do it. We thought Ron Paul could be that guy. As we all know, he didn’t get nominated, but even if he had, would it have made that much of a difference? At this point it’s highly doubtful.

These high school days are what I consider to be the beginnings of my anarchistic journey. I didn’t know anything about anarchist philosophy or about the term anarchy itself. I had preconceived ideas about what anarchy was, just like the general public does. It was chaos. It was destruction. It was silly and naive, but my views on what an ideal world looked like continued to evolve and gradually merged with the philosophy of anarchy.

Over the course of the next few years I stopped thinking so critically about a lot of these ideas because I was a busy college student and then a busy wife and mother. I had a lot of events occur that took my focus off of finding freedom and truth. When I had my daughter in 2011, I truly began to awaken. Around 2012 I began looking for solutions. I became obsessed with the current condition of our food supply. I realized that my daughter would be eating this food filled with poisons and that those foods could be the source of diseases and cancers that she could develop later in life. It could hinder her thought process, her body, her well being, and I couldn’t sit by and continue to accept that fact. I had to change. So I started learning about food and how important it was to sustaining our bodies, minds, and even spirits. I became a vegan and started feeding my daughter accordingly. I then began attending protests against Monsanto and their GM crops. To the best of my ability, I was trying to fight for change.

The problem was my way of enacting change. I was begging for the government to help me. I was pleading that they would see my sign and realize how important this issue was to me, but they didn’t. They continued on their daily paths without so much as a wave in my direction. Today, the battle against GMO’s is still as relevant as it was a few years ago. People are expending vast amounts of energy on this one single issue. There are literally HUNDREDS of issues that need solving, but because of the way the system is set up we have to ask and ask and ask for what we want until one person decides it might be beneficial to them to help us and even then there is no guarantee that what we want will ever actually make it as a bill to be discussed in congress.

I started feeling overwhelmed. I was thinking about all of the problems I saw with our government. I hated it. I hated that things were out of my control and that I would forever be a slave to their dogmatic ways. How could I ever create a path of freedom for my daughter? How could I ever insure her safety from their chemicals and brainwashing mechanisms? It was all too much and there were many nights where I cried thinking about these issues.

The fight against GMO’s was kind of the beginning of my fight. Although I had already known about a lot of the issues I hadn’t done much to find solutions. Through the eye opening moment of “what can I feed my daughter” I started looking and that led me to the Houston Free Thinkers.

The Houston Free Thinkers (HFT) had been around for a few years before I got involved. I didn’t become consistently involved until the past year or so, but I had taken the initial steps of showing my face around the group and learning what they were about. HFT was (and is) a group based on solutions. They discuss problems and then discuss solutions to fix these problems. It is not a know-all source of information. It is a group of individuals who come together and brainstorm. If we don’t like something then we must do something about it. Not sit and wait until the next round of elections occurs. We have to BE THE CHANGE, like Ghandi once stated.

At this point I still didn’t consider myself an anarchist. I was just someone trying to figure out how to secure the future of my family. I still hadn’t even deeply dived into the subject of anarchy yet. I met with HFT when I could (which was very seldomly at first). That was the most I could do at that moment until one day I decided I needed to make time for this. If I want it to happen now then I need to make time now, not later, now.

So, like a big tumbling ball of chaos, I dropped out of college, left my ex husband (weird), and went on to find this solution for myself and my daughter. I started writing music that expressed my opinions on the war or on the government. I found my voice. I started singing, often. I started writing music, often. I started reading about Voltarine de Cleyre and Emma Goldman. They were saying things I supported! Ideas I agreed with! And they weren’t calling on the State to help them. They were calling on the people. They were raising awareness. They were speaking about the problems. They were trying to get people to hear them and people like Josiah Warren were executing plans to peacefully exit the system. It was amazing. I had been looking for the right answers and here it was! The whole time! No one had ever talked to me about any of these people. No teachers, no friends, no parents, no one! It was as if these people had been mostly hidden from the general public and only those truly looking would find them. But why? Were their ideas too radical? Were they going to cause a disruption of chaos? Violence? Or were they just simply going to put the State out of business by quietly leaving?

From that point on I decided that is what I need to be doing. I need to be active in my words. I need to talk about the issues openly. I want people to hear the other side of things. I want to make people look at the world differently. I want them to question the norm. This is something that I do in my daily interactions with people, in my writings, and in my songs. I speak. The first step to change is making people aware and I realized that is a very simple and easy step to take.

I only recently decided I can accept the label anarchist. For a long while I did not accept it because I was worried of the negative connotations behind the word. Being labeled a conspiracy theorist from the time I was in high school I have always had to deal with preconceived ideas of what I am about. It was only a natural defense for me to reject any other form of negative labels. Anarchy was, in my mind, negative. It stood for violence erupting in the streets. People looting stores. No schools, no roads, no firemen, no police force, no standing military. It stood for criminals running free and raping and murdering innocent civilians. At least, that’s what I was taught it meant by the mainstream media. The more I read about Voltairine, Goldman, Warren, and Konkin, the more I realized that was all a bunch of bullshit fed to me over my entire lifetime to keep me scared of pursuing a different path.

These people were not advocating destruction. They were not advocates of rape, murder, theft, arson, etc. The more I realized this the more I came to accept the label as it was. I am an anarchist. I believe in the freedom to govern yourself as you see fit. I believe in sovereignty of the individual. My goal is to be an example of what anarchy really is, not was it is believed to be. I want to show you what it can look like and that it can be a reality for all of us. We do not have to sit in the matrix. We can exit it. We can liberate ourselves and those around us. It is possible. We can do this without more war. Violence does not need to be involved. I want to show you that it is possible and it can be peaceful. It will be a challenge. It won’t be easy to carve out a new path that diverges from the current one, but I truly believe it will be worth it and I, the anarchist, will be the change I wish to see and I hope that you all will come with me.

 

-Cristina Urquieta

My Journey To Anarchy