2012 in Review

(Click to play)

I’ve considered writing a piece about 2012 for some time now. I’ve been waiting for adequate head room over the year itself, unlike most of these posts that are written five seconds after the year ends …

I link the 21 Convention cinematic trailer above for one reason above all else : that was my dream for this past year, perfectly visualized, and I achieved it. In fact, I fucking nailed it.

Of course, this type of achievement is usually mentioned via third party — it’s “bad manners” to talk about it yourself. But I don’t care. I’ll commit the ultimate “sin”.

I’ll state that what I set out to achieve, and then proceeded to achieve in 2012, was a clear expression of the closest thing to a “miracle” possible by man [miracle used in the spirit of the word miraculous here, nothing more or less].

Productive, creative, owner-operated, nose to the grind stone, high-risk, (and in my case) entirely uncharted entrepreneurship. The only kind of stuff that keeps the world spinning.

Was it flawless? No, nor did I expect it to be, nor do I care for it to be. Orchestrating consecutive live events thousands of miles a part is tough, complicated business. Overcoming challenges is part of the game, not a flaw or something to get upset about.

Truth be told, these were the smoothest running events yet, and I know I can run them even better in the future, in tandem with making them larger, even more powerful, and rewarding for everyone involved — myself included above all.

That’s why I keep my head in the banner for The 21 Convention, for those wondering. I want to make it remain clear over time that my own self is of the highest importance to me, and that I absolutely stand behind my work — that I walk my talk, and am not timid to incorporate that very philosophy into the platform it is being preached from.

As Greg Swann or Ayn Rand might say, there is a self in every action I take and decision I make. The 21 Convention is not faceless, or selfless.

My Favorite Event

I think most people would be hesitant to pick a favorite entity (event in this case) from the above three, because all three were so spectacular. But I won’t hesitate. My personal favorite from this past year was the Melbourne Australia convention.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this is, and I think it has a lot to do with difficulty. The Melbourne conference was the most challenging of the three by a long shot. It brought back many memories from the first convention in Europe. The one that nearly brought me down.

I couldn’t say the Australia convention was as physically demanding or anxiety ridden, but that was because I was stronger going in. By the time I landed in Australia I had nine 21 Conventions under my belt, and equally as important, my girlfriend, who had grown more encouraging by the minute attending the 2012 events, was with me step for step.

It’s been a while since I’ve trekked across the world to start a new series of events, but never before with someone to encourage and support me. That was neat, to say the least of her and of the experience.

In summary, The 21 Convention consistently challenges the best within me, and the Australia convention challenged the best within me, in that moment. And surprisingly, I wasn’t just able to meet that challenge, I was able to rise above it.

I think it’s also important to note here that my best presentation, by my own standards, was given at the Australia conference. I think this was because I felt most free to be and to express myself there — even more than usual.

This likely stems from the overall experience of the challenge, and the accumulation of convention experiences, distant and recent at the time.

For those of you that paid close attention, you may even notice I dressed a particular way each day for my own, deeply satisfying amusement.

What attendees may not have noticed is that during the event breaks, I played almost nothing but Fade to Black over the conference room speakers. That, truly brought a grin to my face, as it would any Bleach geek ;).

In the end, I’m really happy with how 2012 went. I was determined to achieve more than I ever had before, and I did, with less (acute) stress and anxiety than ever before. Paradoxically this marked “6 years on” for me running events, and zero years off, leading me to take a solid year off from doing any events.

In fact long term, I’m leaning towards one/two years on, one year off. This way the organization remains emotionally sustainable while at the same time being directly, owner-operated.

This intermittent-unpredictability also keeps long-term fans on their toes and motivated to attend, cutting the “I’ll attend next year” thought process in the bud.


On a more external note, there were some negatives right at the end of the year. My last grandparent (paternal grandmother) suddenly died, someone I had been trying to get to know better as an adult, with some limited success. This was important to me because I did not have particularly close relationships with any of my grandparents growing up. My maternal grandfather died before I was born, and my maternal grandmother never spoke English very well, nice and loving as she was.

And my paternal grandfather died my senior year of high school before I invested the time to get to know him as a young adult. (He also suffered a variety of health problems as I was growing up, so he was never exactly “out fishing” with my dad and I).

Days after my remaining grandmother died, the father of a 20 year close friend suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack, alone at 7 in the morning. I was probably closer with him than any other (elderly) adult male, my father included, having known him since the age of about 4.

My best friend died in 2008. This was tragic to the 10th degree, and yet, the experience of my friend’s father dying has been completely different. Unlike my best friend who I knew for ~7 years, I’ve known my friend’s father for right at 20. This is the entirety of my living memory, so him no longer being a part of life is difficult to even comprehend.

I have no reference for the loss of something so life-long, even if I do have the reference of something every bit as tragic.

For such an incredible year on a personal level, this was a sad ending, one that persists even months later.


Declarationism is still coming. The philosophy has been on my mind for a long, long time, and the structures are finally in place to begin the deep work. In spite of the delay, or perhaps because of it, I have never been more resolved to develop it.

And what is Declarationism? It’s as the title states, a politico-legal philosophy for life on earth. And I’m building it because I need it. Because nothing else like it exists. Just like The 21 Convention.

I built T21C and continue to refine it because nothing else like it exists, and it is utterly life-sustaining and promoting. As many of you can relate, life would not be the same without it, and the same will be true for Declarationism. Political philosophy everywhere is usually, fundamentally flawed, and at best, incomplete.

If a government can do anything, what good is what it ought to do? It’s no good at all. It’s like having 50% of the pieces to a puzzle.

I will end this section, and the post, with the added commentary that delivering a verbal  introduction to Declarationism was brutally hard (Austin Texas conference). While I’m happy with how the presentation went for a first attempt, it was definitely an intellectual self-ass-kicking for how explicit every word needs to be when discussing legal philosophy (which is why writing is most appropriate for developing the philosophy, although I will be podcasting about it as well from time to time via Youtube).

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

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10 Responses to 2012 in Review

  1. James Steele II March 21, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    Haven’t commented for ages man, but always reading with a big smile on my face when I look at your achievements.

    Always truly inspiring.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 21, 2013 at 11:18 am #

      Hey James


      Been visiting your blog more frequently lately, although obviously I can’t leave a comment ;). That’s actually a pretty good idea keeping them off. I’ve considered doing the same if the squat trolls left their designated comment graveyard on TDL.

      Was looking through your speech the other day btw. I’ll be scheduling it up soon.

      Thanks for checking in. (And, finally got my eco bottle, love it).

      – Anthony

      • James Steele II March 22, 2013 at 5:24 am #

        Yea, having comments off means I don’t let trolls show off. If they have genuine questions or disagreements then they can email me directly if so inclined.

        Looking forward to seeing the speech up and seeing how it looked and sounded. Feels like ages ago now.

        The eco bottle is great. I’m gonna pick one up for Emma soon as we have been doing a lot of long walks regularly along the River Itchen. Always great to jump in for a cold swim and to fill up the bottle knowing it will be safe.


  2. Free Woman March 22, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    “And what is Declarationism? It’s as the title states, a politico-legal philosophy for life on earth.”

    Is it an already existing philosophy or one that you are in the process of creating yourself? Being that it is political and legal do you envision it as one day becoming a possible political system, or party, for the USA? When you say “life on earth” do you envision this system spreading to other countries as well? If so, if it is based on an American idea/ideal then how do you envision other sovereign nations taking to it?

    One word of caution. It doesn’t appear that you are part of it but in your time online have you ever come across this thing called “The Manosphere”?

    Steer clear!

    These are men who are anti-freedom and anti-rational self interest.

    They claim that it is somehow embedded in the nature of women to be subservient and bound to mens’ wills. And if it is not embedded in the nature (which it is not, of course), then somehow it should be made to be so – through government and/or culture.

    At a blog erroneously titled “Return of Kings” the blogger Emmanuel Goldstein quotes the “thinker” (and doesn’t think?) Julius Evola;

    The Essence of Femininity: Selfless Dedication To Another

    “This occurs when the feminine principle, whose force is centrifugal, does not turn to fleeting objects but rather to a “virile” stability in which she finds a limit to her “restlessness.” Stability is then transmitted to the feminine principle to the point of intimately transfiguring all of its possibilities… What is needed therefore is a radical “conversion” of the feminine principle to the opposite principle; moreover, it is absolutely necessary for the masculine principle to remain wholly itself.

    …there are also two types available to the feminine nature. A woman realizes herself as such and even rises to the same level reached by a man as warrior and ascetic only as lover and mother… [the feminine is] totally giving of herself and being entirely for another being, whether he is the loved one or the son, finding in this dedication the meaning of her own life, her own joy, and her own justification.”

    Goldstein adds his own commentary;
    “In Evola’s philosophy, to be feminine is to dedicate yourself selflessly to an external cause; masculinity is pure virility – as in the action of the warrior or the pure detachment of the ascetic. “To realize oneself,” he writes, is “to reduce in a woman all that is masculine and in a man everything that is feminine.” Within every person is a mix of the masculine and the feminine, but excellence lies in being a paragon of one’s sex. While a man’s success comes from achieving self-sufficiency and independent action, a woman achieves order by cleaving to a masculine force. Even in the absence of a man, she will seek to submit herself to some greater force.”

    And I repeat with emphasis
    ” to be feminine is to dedicate yourself SELFLESSLY to an external cause”

    These men are anti-life, anti-human, anti-freedom and anti-happiness.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 26, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Hey Freewoman

      Declarationism was a term in use before I discovered it, however that use was extremely limited. Almost microscopic. Much like “libertarian” in the 19 … 40s. There was little to no development of the concept, hence, I have taken command of it, am developing it, and take responsibility for it’s future, fully realized meaning.

      I think soon it will be accurate to say the philosophy is my own.

      Ironically though, your first question is dramatically more accurate than you realized at its writing. Declarationism already exists, and the future is here, it’s just not widely distributed (or developed) yet.

      For example, you have a legal right to own a gun. This right exists independent of any document or opinion. The Declaration of Independence further reinforces this right, and explicitly prohibits its violation to be included in sub-documents (such as, the federal constitution of these United States).

      What this means is : it has always been illegal, for multiple reasons, to violate a person’s right to bear arms. What this further means is that the 2nd amendment is not even necessary (although still good in itself), it is merely yet another, reinforcement of your right to bear arms (in the form of an explicit restraint on government).

      What *this* means is that at no point in American history could, or can, the federal constitution be amended to make the ownership of guns, of any kind or quantity, illegal. Even more explicitly, any such constitution (past, current, or future) is impossible to amend in such a way as to make the bearing of arms illegal.

      In every day terms … if the congress and the states passed a new amendment to the constitution tomorrow, abolishing the 2nd amendment and further, violating an individual’s right to bear arms, said amendment would be instantaneously *illegal*, null, void, unenforceable, and of no effect.

      Which means : the federal constitution can only be amended in certain, limited ways. It is not an “unlimitedly” amendable document. This runs in philosophical opposition currently to even the most “strict” of constitutionalists, although I believe most of such will be easy to persuade into the correct direction.

      So not only can the federal government not do whatever it wants … many powers are impossible to delegate to it in the first place, at all, ever, at any time, for any reasons, or by any process imaginable.

      This is due to both the Declaration of Indpendence, as well as factors independent of it : namely, that it is absolutely and totally impossible to delegate unalienable rights. (The assertions made in the DOI are by consequence important, but not the linch pin of the philosophy : a powerful reinforcement of sorts, because the document literally declared the existence of the nation for the first, and only time in history : it gave birth to the country).

      I hope this helped clear things up. Admittedly, dealing in legal philosophy is complex as hell. Especially when one is entirely closing the gap between legal and political philosophy. (What a government can do and ought to do are one in the same : protect unalienable, individual rights, in a non-contradictory manner).

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Hey Freewoman

      That Return of Kings site is horrible (that post above all). I agree with your disagreements entirely. I do not believe the entire manosphere thinks like that though.

      I certainly don’t, and I am on the fringes of it, I would think.

  3. Anthony Dream Johnson March 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Reposting lost comment from the depths of techno-hell on behalf of MC :


    “When I look at your accomplishments, or just your understanding of the world, it does make me feel like Vegeta at times.”Damn you Anthony-Johnson. How is it that you have done, what I, the prince of all saiyans….

    “This intermittent-unpredictability also keeps long-term fans on their toes and motivated to attend, cutting the “I’ll attend next year” thought process in the bud.”

    Looking forward to actually attending 2014. I’ve known about your convention since 08/09, so about time. The year off did motivate me in that regard ;)”

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 28, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

      Hey MC

      (Assuming I reposted your comment correctly).

      Thanks for the kind words. I totally get the vegeta comment haha. Brings to mind “vegeta’s respect”, and what it means to continually not just meet new challenges … but actively seek them, and face them with enthusiasm.

      What it means to be a warrior in todays world.

      Look forward to having you in 2014. Will be great to meet! Please walk up and inform me as to who you are.

      • MC March 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

        Will do.


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