It’s no secret that humans have an unhealthy and unnatural obsession with naming everything. Names are a remnant of an obsolete social model, carried over because no one ever stopped to question why we really need them. However, though they’re not required, they’re not without their usefulness. They can help us define and categorise things and people.
Even through all that, society indoctrinates children, beginning at birth, with a state-sanctioned name. As far as the law is concerned, this is your name, even though you never asked for it and are too young to know whether you want it. Before you’re old enough to protest, it’s in government records, only changeable through hacking. By the time you get old enough, you’ve been indoctrinated to think your name is yours whether you want it or not, that changing it requires paying lots of money to the state and, worse of all, that it defines who you are.
So, it’s no surprise that Zinnia Jones thinks changing your name is a big deal what with changing who you are. I told her that it’s easier than she’s making it. That your name doesn’t define you. On the contrary, it’s the other way around. You define your name.
In a society so filled with aggression against people who want to define their own names, indoctrinating people from birth about what a name is, and how it needs to be on a government record, it’s not surprising. Facebook has a policy that requires what they call, “real names,” but the definition in print remains ambiguous. In private, however, they demand a government issued identification card as “evidence” of your “real name.” If you think that makes sense, then you probably think the Bible is proof that Yahweh exists. Governments and lawyers make lots of money off “official” name change processes and rules. Mind you, this is just for getting rid of a name that you didn’t ask for and, as your changing it would suggest, don’t want.
What if I gave you an apple you didn’t want but charged you lots of money to give you another fruit instead? What if just taking the apple back wasn’t even an option? You’d be against that, right? But, if you replace me with government and apple with name, suddenly you’re right behind it.
I often get a lot of people accusing me of lying when I say my real name is The Ceej. I’m sorry that you think that I’m lying, but my real name really is The Ceej. You won’t find it on a government record anywhere because I never granted them the authority to define my name. And, if I decide to change it, you won’t find the new name on a government document either.
Sometimes people accuse me of changing my name, but my name has been The Ceej as long as I’ve had a name. They want to know what it says on my “birth certificate,” and I demand to know why that’s relevant. I can’t possibly have consented to a name at birth, so any document that says I did is obviously a forgery.
Another problem people have is that they think calling me by my name (as opposed to what they were calling me before) means who I am has changed. On the contrary, a name can’t change who I am, but who I am can change my name. There was a time period after I rejected the “name” that was forced upon me at gunpoint at birth but before I gave myself a name. People were so confused by that because they’ve been indoctrinated with state perception of name for so long. They wanted to know what to call me, and ended up calling me, “The artist formerly known as (the ‘name’ on my ‘birth certificate’).” They just couldn’t accept I didn’t have a name or figure out proper etiquette for that. I can’t blame them for their indoctrination. As far as I know, I’m one of only two people who have questioned the state definition of names. I wonder how the rest of the anarchists reconcile that exception they’ve given to the non-aggression principle.
In the end, your name is your possession. Nobody has a right to take it from you or give you one without your consent. Badge or no, it’s your name to create. Your name to lose. It’s not hard to change it. The hard part is deciding what you want it to be.