Once, flipping through a book on child psychology, I came across a chapter about adolescent rebellion. It suggested that in the first phase of a child’s youthful rebellion against her parents, she may attempt to distinguish herself from them by accusing them of not living up to their own values.For example, if they taught her that kindness and consideration are important, she will accuse them of not being compassionate enough. In this case the child has not yet defined herself or her own values; she still accepts the values and ideas that her parents passed on to her, and she is only able to assert her identity inside of that framework. It is only later, when she questions the very beliefs and morals that were presented to her as gospel, that she can become a free-standing individual.
I often think that we have not gotten beyond that first stage of rebellion. We criticize the actions of those in the mainstream and the effects of their society upon people and animals, we attack the ignorance and cruelty of their system, but we rarely stop to question the nature of what we all accept as “morality.” Could it be that this “morality,” by which we think we can judge their actions, is itself something that should be criticized?
When we claim that the exploitation of animals is “morally wrong,” what does that mean? Are we perhaps just accepting their values and turning these values against them, rather than creating moral standards of our own? Maybe right now you’re saying to yourself “what do you mean, create moral standards of our own? Something is either morally right or it isn’t-morality isn’t something you can make up, it’s not a matter of mere opinion.” Right there, you’re accepting one of the most basic tenets of the society that raised you: that right and wrong are not individual valuations, but fundamental laws of the world. This idea, a holdover from a deceased Christianity, is at the center of our civilization.
If you are going to question the establishment, you should question it first! There is no such thing as good or evil. There is no universal right or wrong. There is only you… and the values you choose for yourself.
WHERE DOES THE IDEA OF “MORAL LAW” COME FROM?
Once upon a time, almost everyone believed in the existence of God. This God ruled over the world, He had absolute power over everything in it; and He had set down laws which all human beings had to obey. If they did not, they would suffer the most terrible of punishments at His hands. Naturally, most people obeyed the laws as well as they could, their fear of eternal suffering being stronger than their desire for anything forbidden. Because everyone lived according to the same laws, they could agree upon what “morality” was: it was the set of values decreed by God’s laws. Thus, good and evil, right and wrong, were decided by the authority of God, which everyone accepted out of fear. One day, people began to wake up and realize that there was no such thing as God after all. There was no scientific evidence to demonstrate his existence, and few people could see any point in having faith in the irrational any longer. God pretty much disappeared from the world; nobody feared him or his punishments anymore. But a strange thing happened. Though these people had the courage to question God’s existence, and even deny it to the ones who still believed in it, they didn’t dare to question the morality that His laws had mandated. Perhaps it just didn’t occur to them; everyone had been raised to hold the same beliefs about what was moral, and had come to speak about right and wrong in the same way, so maybe they just assumed it was obvious what was good and what was evil whether God was there to enforce it or not. Or perhaps people had become to used to living under these laws that they were afraid to even consider the possibility that the laws didn’t exist any more than God did. This left humanity in an unusual position: though there was no longer an authority to decree certain things absolutely right or wrong, they still accepted the idea that some things were right or wrong by nature. Though they no longer had faith in a deity, they still had faith in a universal moral code that everyone had to follow. Though they no longer believed in God, they were not yet courageous enough to stop obeying His orders; they had abolished the idea of a divine ruler, but not the divinity of His code of ethics. This unquestioning submission to the laws of a long-departed heavenly master has been a long nightmare from which the human race is only just now beginning to awaken.
GOD IS DEAD – AND WITH HIM, MORAL LAW.
Without God, there is no longer any objective standard by which to judge good and evil. This realization was very troubling to philosophers a few decades ago, but it hasn’t really had much of an effect in other circles. Most people still seem to think that a universal morality can be grounded in something other than God’s laws: in what is good for people, in what is good for society, in what we feel called upon to do. But explanations of why these standards necessarily constitute “universal moral law” are hard to come by. Usually, the arguments for the existence of moral law are emotional rather than rational: “But don’t you think rape is wrong?” moralists ask, as if a shared opinion were a proof of universal truth. “But don’t you think people need to believe in something greater than themselves?” they appeal, as if needing to believe in something can make it true. Occasionally, they even resort to threats: “but what would happen if everyone decided that there is no good or evil? Wouldn’t we all kill each other?” The real problem with the idea of universal moral law is that it asserts the existence of something that we have no way to know anything about. Believers in good and evil would have us believe that there are “moral truths”-that is, there are things that are morally true of this world, in the same way that it is true that the sky is blue. They claim that it is true of this world that murder is morally wrong just as it is true that water freezes at thirty two degrees. But we can investigate the freezing temperature of water scientifically: we can measure it and agree together that we have arrived at some kind of objective truth [that is, insofar as it is possible to speak of objective truth, for you postmodernist motherfuckers!]. On the other hand, what do we observe if we want to investigate whether it is true that murder is evil? There is no tablet of moral law on a mountaintop for us to consult, there are no commandments carved into the sky above us; all we have to go on are our own instincts and the words of a bunch of priests and other self-appointed moral experts, many of whom don’t even agree. As for the words of the priests and moralists, if they can’t offer any hard evidence from this world, why should we believe their claims? And regarding our instincts-if we feel that something is right or wrong, that may make it right or wrong for us, but that’s not proof that it is universally good or evil. Thus, the idea that there are universal moral laws is mere superstition: it is a claim that things exist in this world which we can never actually experience or learn anything about. And we would do well not to waste our time wondering about things we can never know anything about. When two people fundamentally disagree over what is right or wrong, there is no way to resolve the debate. There is nothing in this world to which they can refer to see which one is correct-because there really are no universal moral laws, just personal evaluations. So the only important question is where your values come from: do you create them yourself, according to your own desires, or do you accept them from someone else… someone else who has disguised their opinions as “universal truths”? Haven’t you always been a little suspicious of the idea of universal moral truths, anyway? This world is filled with groups and individuals who want to convert you to their religions, their dogmas, their political agendas, their opinions. Of course they will tell you that one set of values is true for everybody, and of course they will tell you that their values are the correct ones. Once you’re convinced that there is only one standard of right and wrong, they’re only a step away from convincing you that their standard is the right one. How carefully we should approach those who would sell us the idea of “universal moral law,” then! Their claim that morality is a matter of universal law is probably just a sneaky way to get us to accept their values rather than forging our own, which might conflict with theirs. So, to protect ourselves from the superstitions of the moralists and the trickery of the evangelists, let us be done with the idea of moral law. Let us step forward into a new era, in which we will make values of our own rather than accepting moral laws out of fear and obedience. Let this be our new creed: There is no universal moral code that should dictate human behavior. There is no such thing as good or evil, there is no universal standard of right and wrong. Our values and morals come from us and belong to us, whether we like it or not; so we should claim them proudly for ourselves, as our own creations, rather than seeking some external justification for them. But if there’s no good or evil, if nothing has any intrinsic moral value, how do we know what to do? Make your own good and evil. If there is no moral law standing over us, that means we’re free-free to do whatever we want, free to be whatever we want, free to pursue our desires without feeling any guilt or shame about them. Figure out what it is you want in your life, and go for it; create whatever values are right for you, and live by them. It won’t be easy, by any means; desires pull in different directions, they come and go without warning, so keeping up with them and choosing among them is a difficult task-of course obeying instructions is easier, less complicated. But if we just live our lives as we have been instructed to, the chances are very slim that we will get what we want out of life: each of us is different and has different needs, so how could one set of “moral truths” work for each of us? If we take responsibility for ourselves and each carve our own table of values, then we will have a fighting chance of attaining some measure of happiness. The old moral laws are left over from days when we lived in fearful submission to a nonexistent God, anyway; with their departure, we can rid ourselves of all the cowardice, submission, and superstition that has characterized our past. Some misunderstand the claim that we should pursue our own desires to be mere hedonism. But it is not the fleeting, insubstantial desires of the typical libertine that we are speaking about here. It is the strongest, deepest, most lasting desires and inclinations of the individual: it is her most fundamental loves and hates that should shape her values. And the fact that there is no God to demand that we love one another or act virtuously does not mean that we should not do these things for our own sake, if we find them rewarding, which almost all of us do. But let us do what we do for our own sake, not out of obedience to some deity or moral code! But how can we justify acting on our ethics, if we can’t base them on universal moral truths? Morality has been something justified externally for so long that today we hardly know how to conceive of it in any other way. We have always had to claim that our values proceeded from something external to us, because basing values on our own desires was (not surprisingly!) branded evil by the preachers of moral law. Today we still feel instinctively that our actions must be justified by something outside of ourselves, something “greater” than ourselves-if not by God, then by moral law, state law, public opinion, justice, “love of man,” etc. We have been so conditioned by centuries of asking permission to feel things and do things, of being forbidden to base any decisions on our own needs, that we still want to think we are obeying some higher power even when we act on our own desires and beliefs; somehow, it seems more defensible to act out of submission to some kind of authority than in the service of our own inclinations. We feel so ashamed of our own aspirations and desires that we would rather attribute our actions to something “higher” than them. But what could be greater than our own desires, what could possibly provide better justification for our actions? Should we be serving something external without consulting our desires, perhaps even against our desires? This question of justification is where so many hardcore bands have gone wrong. They attack what they see as injustice not on the grounds that they don’t want to see such things happen, but on the grounds that it is “morally wrong.” By doing so, they seek the support of everyone who still believes in the fable of moral law, and they get to see themselves as servants of the Truth. These hardcore bands should not be taking advantage of popular delusions to make their points, but should be challenging assumptions and questioning traditions in everything they do. An improvement in, for example, animal rights, which is achieved in the name of justice and morality, is a step forward at the cost of two steps back: it solves one problem while reproducing and reinforcing another. Certainly such improvements could be fought for and attained on the grounds that they are desirable (nobody who truly considered it would really want to needlessly slaughter and mistreat animals, would they?), rather than with tactics leftover from Christian superstition. Unfortunately, because of centuries of conditioning, it feels so good to feel justified by some “higher force,” to be obeying “moral law,” to be enforcing “justice” and fighting “evil” that these bands get caught up in their role as moral enforcers and forget to question whether the idea of moral law makes sense in the first place. There is a sensation of power that comes from believing that one is serving a higher authority, the same one that attracts people to fascism. It’s always tempting to paint any struggle as good against evil, right against wrong; but that is not just an oversimplification, it is a falsification: for no such things exist. We can act compassionately towards each other because we want to, not just because “morality dictates,” you know! We don’t need any justification from above to care about animals and humans, or to act to protect them. We need only to feel in our hearts that it is right, that it is right for us, to have all the reason we need. Thus we can justify acting on our ethics without basing them on moral truths simply by not being ashamed of our desires: by being proud enough of them to accept them for what they are, as the forces that drive us as individuals. And our own values might not be right for everyone, it’s true; but they are all each of us has to go on, so we should dare to act on them rather than wishing for some impossible greater justification. But what would happen if everyone decided that there is no good or evil? Wouldn’t we all kill each other? This question presupposes that people refrain from killing each other only because they have been taught that it is evil to do so. Is humanity really so absolutely bloodthirsty and vicious that we would all rape and kill each other if we weren’t restrained by superstition? It seems more likely to me that we desire to get along with each other at least as much as we desire to be destructive-don’t you usually enjoy helping others more than you enjoy hurting them? Today, most people claim to believe that compassion and fairness are morally right, but this has done little to make the world into a compassionate and fair place. Might it not be true that we would act upon our natural inclinations to human decency more, rather than less, if we did not feel that charity and justice were obligatory? What would it really be worth, anyway, if we did all fulfill our “duty” to be good to each other, if it was only because we were obeying moral imperatives? Wouldn’t it mean a lot more for us to treat each other with consideration because we want to, rather than because we feel required to? And if the abolition of the myth of moral law somehow causes more strife between human beings, won’t that still be better than living as slaves to superstitions? If we make our own minds up about what our values are and how we will live according to them, we at least will have the chance to pursue our desires and perhaps enjoy life, even if we have to struggle against each other. But if we choose to live according to rules set for us by others, we sacrifice the chance to choose our destinies and pursue our dreams. No matter how smoothly we might get along in the shackles of moral law, is it worth the abdication of our self determination? I wouldn’t have the heart to lie to a fellow human being and tell him he had to conform to some ethical mandate whether it was in his best interest or not, even if that lie would prevent a conflict between us. Because I care about human beings, I want them to be free to do what is right for them. Isn’t that more important than mere peace on earth? Isn’t freedom, even dangerous freedom, preferable to the safest slavery, to peace bought with ignorance, cowardice, and submission? Besides, look back at our history. So much bloodshed, deception, and oppression has already been perpetrated in the name of right and wrong. The bloodiest wars have been fought between opponents who each thought they were fighting on the side of moral truth. The idea of moral law doesn’t help us get along, it turns us against each other, to contend over whose moral law is the “true” one. There can be no real progress in human relations until everyone’s perspectives on ethics and values are acknowledged; then we can finally begin to work out our differences and learn to live together, without fighting over the absolutely stupid question of whose values and desires are “right.” For your own sake, for the sake of humanity, cast away the antiquated notions of good and evil and create your values for yourself!
If you liked school, you’ll love work. The cruel, absurd abuses of power, the self-satisfied authority that the teachers and principals lorded over you, the intimidation and ridicule of your classmates don’t end at graduation. Those things are all present in the adult world, only more so. If you thought you lacked freedom before, wait until you have to answer to shift leaders, managers, owners, landlords, creditors, tax collectors, city councils, draft boards, law courts, and police. When you get out of school you may escape the jurisdiction of some authorities, but you enter the control of even more domineering ones. Do you enjoy being controlled by others who don’t understand or care about your wants and needs? Do you get anything out of obeying the instructions of employers, the restrictions of landlords, the laws of magistrates, people who have powers over you that you would never have given them willingly? And how is it that they get all this power? The answer is hierarchy. Hierarchy is a value system in which your worth measured by the number of people and things you control, and how well you obey those above you. Weight is exerted downward through the power structure: everyone is forced to accept and conform to this system by everyone else. You’re afraid to disobey those above you because they can bring to bear against you the power of everyone and everything under them. You’re afraid to abdicate your power over those below you because they might end up above you. In our hierarchical system, we’re all so busy trying to protect ourselves from each other that we never have a chance to stop and think if this is really the best way our society could be organized. If we could think about it, we’d probably agree that it isn’t; for we all know happiness comes from control over our own lives, not other people’s lives. And as long as we’re busy competing for control over others, we’re bound to be the victims of control ourselves. Even the ones at the very top of the ladder are controlled by their position: they have to work around the clock to maintain it. One false move, and they could end up at the bottom. It is our hierarchical system that teaches us from childhood to accept the power of any authority figure, regardless of whether it is in our best interest or not. We learn to bow instinctively before anyone who claims to be more important than we are. It is hierarchy that makes homophobia common among poor people in the U.S.A.?they’re desperate to feel more valuable, more significant than somebody. It is hierarchy at work when two hundred hardcore kids go to a rock club (already a mistake, but that’s a subject for another article) to see a band, and for some stupid reason the clubowner won’t let them perform: there are two hundred and six people at the club, two hundred and five of whom want the band to play, but they all accept the decision of the clubowner just because he is older and owns the place (i.e. has more financial clout, and thus more legal clout). It is hierarchical values that are responsible for racism (“white people are better than black people”), classism (“rich people are better than poor people”), sexism (“men are better than women”), and a thousand other prejudices that are deeply ingrained in our society. It is hierarchy that makes rich people look at poor people as if they aren’t even human, and vice versa. It pits employer against employee, manager against worker, teacher against student, making people struggle against each other rather than work together to help each other; separated this way, they can’t benefit from each other’s skills and ideas and abilities, but must live in jealousy and fear of them. It is hierarchy at work when your boss insults you or makes sexual advances at you and you can’t do anything about it, just as it is when police flaunt their power over you. For power does make people cruel and heartless, and submission does make people cowardly and stupid: and most people in a hierarchical system partake in both. Hierarchical values are responsible for our destruction of the natural environment and the exploitation of animals: led by the capitalist West, our species seeks control over anything we can get our claws on, at any cost to ourselves or others. And it is hierarchical values that send us to war, fighting for power over each other, inventing more and more powerful weapons until finally the whole world teeters on the edge of nuclear annihilation. But what can we do about hierarchy? Isn’t that just the way the world works? Or are there other ways that people could interact, other values we could live by?
Hierarchy . . . and Anarchy
Resurrecting anarchism as a personal approach to life.
Stop thinking of anarchism as just another “world order,” just another social system. From where we all stand, in this very dominated, very controlled world, it is impossible to imagine living without any authorities, without laws or governments. No wonder anarchism isn’t usually taken seriously as a large-scale political or social program: no one can imagine what it would really be like, let alone how to achieve it?not even the anarchists themselves.
Instead, think of anarchism as an individual orientation to yourself and others, as a personal approach to life. That isn’t impossible to imagine. Conceived in these terms, what would anarchism be? It would be a decision to think for yourself rather than following blindly. It would be a rejection of hierarchy, a refusal to accept the “god given” authority of any nation, law, or other force as being more significant than your own authority over yourself. It would be an instinctive distrust of those who claim to have some sort of rank or status above the others around them, and an unwillingness to claim such status over others for yourself. Most of all, it would be a refusal to place responsibility for yourself in the hands of others: it would be the demand that each of us be able to choose our own destiny.
According to this definition, there are a great deal more anarchists than it seemed, though most wouldn’t refer to themselves as such. For most people, when they think about it, want to have the right to live their own lives, to think and act as they see fit. Most people trust themselves to figure out what they should do more than they trust any authority to dictate it to them. Almost everyone is frustrated when they find themselves pushing against faceless, impersonal power.
You don’t want to be at the mercy of governments, bureaucracies, police, or other outside forces, do you? Surely you don’t let them dictate your entire life. Don’t you do what you want to, what you believe in, at least whenever you can get away with it? In our everyday lives, we all are anarchists. Whenever we make decisions for ourselves, whenever we take responsibility for our own actions rather than deferring to some higher power, we are putting anarchism into practice. So if we are all anarchists by nature, why do we always end up accepting the domination of others, even creating forces to rule over us? Wouldn’t you rather figure out how to coexist with your fellow human beings by working it out directly between yourselves, rather than depending on some external set of rules? Remember, the system they accept is the one you must live under: if you want your freedom, you can’t afford to not be concerned about whether those around you demand control of their lives or not.
Do we really need masters to command and control us? In the West, for thousands of years, we have been sold centralized state power and hierarchy in general on the premise that we do. We’ve all been taught that without police, we would all kill each other; that without bosses, no work would ever get done; that without governments, civilization itself would fall to pieces. Is all this true? Certainly, it’s true that today little work gets done when the boss isn’t watching, chaos ensues when governments fall, and violence sometimes occurs when the police aren’t around. But are these really indications that there is no other way we could organize society? Isn’t it possible that workers won’t get anything done unless they are under observation because they are used to not doing anything without being prodded?more than that, because they resent being inspected, instructed, condescended to by their managers, and don’t want to do anything for them that they don’t have to? Perhaps if they were working together for a common goal, rather than being paid to take orders, working towards objectives that they have no say in and that don’t interest them much, they would be more proactive. Not to say that everyone is ready or able to do such a thing today; but our laziness is conditioned rather than natural, and in a different environment, we might find that people don’t need bosses to get things done. And as for police being necessary to maintain the peace: we won’t discuss the ways in which the role of “law enforcer” brings out the most brutal aspects of human beings, and how police brutality doesn’t exactly contribute to peace. How about the effects on civilians living in a police-protected state? Once the police are no longer a direct manifestation of the desires of the community they serve (and that happens quickly, whenever a police force is established: they become a force external to the rest of society, an outside authority), they are a force acting coercively on the people of that society. Violence isn’t just limited to physical harm: any relationship that is established by force, such as the one between police and civilians, is a violent relationship. When you are acted upon violently, you learn to act violently back. Isn’t it possible, then, that the implicit threat of police on every street corner?of the near omnipresence of uniformed, impersonal representatives of state power?contributes to tension and violence, rather than dispelling them? If that doesn’t seem likely to you, and you are middle class and/or white, ask a poor black or Hispanic man how the presence of police makes him feel. When the standard forms of human interaction all revolve around hierarchical power, when human intercourse so often comes down to giving and receiving orders (at work, at school, in the family, in legal courts), how can we expect to have no violence in our system? People are used to using force against each other in their daily lives, the force of authoritarian power; of course using physical force cannot be far behind in such a system. Perhaps if we were more used to treating each other as equals, to creating relationships based upon equal concern for each other’s needs, we wouldn’t see so many people resort to physical violence against each other. And what about government control? Without it, would our society fall into pieces, and our lives with it? Certainly, things would be a great deal different without governments than they are now?but is that necessarily a bad thing? Is our modern society really the best of all possible worlds? Is it worth it to grant masters and rulers so much control over our lives, out of fear of trying anything different? Besides, we can’t claim that we need government control to prevent mass bloodshed, because it is governments that have perpetrated the greatest slaughters of all: in wars, in holocausts, in the centrally organized enslaving and obliteration of entire peoples and cultures. And it may be that when governments break down, many people lose their lives in the resulting chaos and infighting. But this fighting is almost always between other power-hungry hierarchical groups, other would-be governors and rulers. If we were to reject hierarchy absolutely, and refuse to serve any force above ourselves, there would no longer be any large scale wars or holocausts. That would be a responsibility each of us would have to take on equally, to collectively refuse to recognize any power as worth serving, to swear allegiance to nothing but ourselves and our fellow human beings. But if we all were to do it, we would never see another world war again.
Of course, even if a world entirely without hierarchy is possible, we should not have any illusions that any of us will live to see it realized. That should not even be our concern: for it is foolish to arrange your life so that it revolves around something that you will never be able to experience. We should, rather, recognize the patterns of submission and domination in our own lives, and, to the best of our ability, break free of them. We should put the anarchist ideal (no masters, no slaves) into effect in our daily lives however we can. Every time one of us remembers not to accept the authority of the powers that be at face value, each time one of us is able to escape the system of domination for a moment (whether it is by getting away with something forbidden by a teacher or boss, relating to a member of a different social stratum as an equal, etc.), that is a victory for the individual and a blow against hierarchy.
Do you still believe that a hierarchy-free society is impossible? There are plenty of examples throughout human history: the bushmen of the Kalahari desert still live together without authorities, never trying to force or command each other to do things, but working together and granting each other freedom and autonomy. Sure, their society is being destroyed by our more warlike one?but that isn’t to say that an egalitarian society could not exist that was extremely hostile to, and well-defended against, the encroachments of external power! William Burroughs writes about an anarchist pirates’ stronghold a hundred years ago that was just that.
If you need an example closer to your daily life, remember the last time you gathered with your friends to relax on a Friday night. Some of you brought food, some of you brought entertainment, some provided other things, but nobody kept track of who owed what to whom. You did things as a group and enjoyed yourselves; things actually got done, but nobody was forced to do anything, and nobody assumed the position of chief. We have these moments of non-capitalist, non-coercive, non-hierarchical interaction in our lives constantly, and these are the times when we most enjoy the company of others, when we get the most out of other people; but somehow it doesn’t occur to us to demand that our society work this way, as well as our friendships and love affairs. Sure, it’s a lofty goal to ask that it does?but let’s dare to reach for high goals, let’s not fucking settle for anything less than the best in our lives! Each of us only gets a few years on this planet to enjoy life; let’s try to work together to do it, rather than fighting amongst each other for miserable prizes like status and power.
“Anarchism” is the revolutionary idea that no one is more qualified than you are to decide what your life will be.
It means trying to figure out how to work together to meet our individual needs, how to work with each other rather than “for” or against each other. And when this is impossible, it means preferring strife to submission and domination.
It means not valuing any system or ideology above the people it purports to serve, not valuing anything theoretical above the real things in this world. It means being faithful to real human beings (and animals, etc.), fighting for ourselves and for each other, not out of “responsibility,” not for “causes” or other intangible concepts.
It means not forcing your desires into a hierarchical order, either, but accepting and embracing all of them, accepting yourself. It means not trying to force the self to abide by any external laws, not trying to restrict your emotions to the predictable or the practical, not pushing your instincts and desires into boxes: for there is no cage large enough to accommodate the human soul in all its flights, all its heights and depths.
It means refusing to put the responsibility for your happiness in anyone else’s hands, whether that be parents, lovers, employers, or society itself. It means taking the pursuit of meaning and joy in your life upon your own shoulders.
For what else should we pursue, if not happiness? If something isn’t valuable because we find meaning and joy in it, then what could possibly make it important? How could abstractions like “responsibility,” “order,” or “propriety” possibly be more important than the real needs of the people who invented them? Should we serve employers, parents, the State, God, capitalism, moral law before ourselves? Who was it that taught you we should, anyway?
Invitation to the CrimethInc. “Inner Circle”
WANTED: Creative, independent men and women, tired of being exhausted by the trivial details of modern survival, fed up with being bored by modern entertainment, no longer confused by the distractions of the mass media… not content with limiting their freedom, their lives, to their “free time.” People who prefer idealism to realism, and reality to ideology. To become full-time revolutionaries. NOT armchair revolutionaries, not lunch break revolutionaries, not leisure-time revolutionaries. And not “professional” revolutionaries: rather than making a business out of “revolution.,” they must make revolution their business. Men and women who will not allow their efforts to win back their freedom to become just another job, who are ready to live according to their desires around the clock.
Punk Rockers? don’t be content with living in a world of your own making once a week, when a band plays. Demand that excitement every day, demand that self-determination every morning when you wake up.
Musicians, Artists?seek not to “make a living from your art,” as any worker who sells his labor (and thus his creativity) for money does. Seek to make art your way of living?or, even better, make living your art. For life is contagious: if you want to make others feel it, you must live it to the fullest yourself, so that it will call out to them through you. If you would make art to share with them, you must first share yourself, give yourself to your art and your life.
Human Beings? Look at the world around us; it is a world that we have created. We transformed the old world into this one?but why this one? Is this the world we would have chosen, if we had considered in advance the question of what the best of all possible worlds might be? But before you despair, think?we created this world, it is we who make it up. Could we not make another world out of it, then, if we chose?