Shout it over the rooftops: Culture can belong to us. We can make our own music, mythology, science, technology, tradition, psychology, literature, history, ethics, political power. Until we do, we’re stuck buying mass-produced movies and compact discs made by corporate mercenaries, sitting faceless and immobilized at arena rock performances and sports events, struggling with other people’s inventions and programs and theories that make less sense to us than sorcery did to our ancestors, shamefacedly accepting the judgments of priests and agony columnists and radio talk show hosts, berating ourselves for not living up to the standards set by college entrance exams and glamour magazines, listening to parents and counselors and psychiatrists and managers tell us we are the ones with the problems, buying our whole .

If we are to transform ourselves, we must transform the world — but to begin reconstructing the world, we must reconstruct ourselves. Today all of us are occupied territory. Our appetites and attitudes and roles have all been molded by this world that turns us against ourselves and each other. How can we take and share control of our lives, and neither fear nor falter, when we’ve spent those lives being conditioned to do the opposite?

Whatever you do, don’t blame yourself for the fragments of the old order that remain within you. You can’t sever yourself from the chain of cause and effect that produced you — not with any amount of willpower. The trick is to find ways to indulge your programming that simultaneously subvert it — that create, in the process of satisfying those desires, conditions which foster new ones. If you need to follow leaders, find leaders who will depose themselves from the thrones in your head; if you need to “lead” others, find equals who will help you dethrone yourself; if you have to fight against others, find wars you can wage for everyone’s benefit. When it comes to dodging the imperatives of your conditioning, you’ll find that indulge and undermine is a far more effective program than the old heritage of “renounce and struggle” passed down from a humorless Christianity.

Harbinger, CrimethINC collective

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