SOCIAL REVOLUTION

Revolution is not something that is created by political elites, but rather by ordinary people when they change the way they think and live.

"When enough people lose faith in an institution and begin to act as if it did not exist, that institution disappears."

When the old institutions crumble, there is no guarantee that more human-centered structures will replace them. In fact, conservatives have their own ideas about how the new world should be organized, and it's not pretty.

That is why we all must participate in the transformation of society—to ensure that human values replace the values of the old elite. Because destruction is also creation, the methods we use to pull down the ruins will determine what kind of world arises from the rubble. Our struggle should not be completely political because political revolutions simply deliver concentrated power into new hands, rather than dispersing it. Furthermore, political thought is rarely innovative: political change usually originates from social conditions, rather than the other way around.

Instead of political revolution, our goal should be social revolution. Social revolution is nothing more than a change in the way we live our lives. It springs from changes in the way we think.

In today's context, revolution occurs when people stop believing one thing, and start believing something else; when people discard their old ways of living, and begin to live in new ways. When enough people lose faith in an institution and begin to act as if it did not exist, that institution disappears.

Values and institutions are social constructions. They were not handed down by God or created by nature. We invented them. And if they don't serve our needs, we have the power to eliminate them.

Everything we do can have revolutionary implications: how we make money, how we spend our leisure time, how we relate to our family, friends, co-workers, strangers. Every activity that asserts individuality and autonomy from corporate/government/religious control is in itself a profoundly revolutionary act, regardless of content.

When we make our own music (garage bands, self-produced records), produce our own food (home-brewed beer, collective gardens), or create our own forms of communication (graffiti, zines), we strike at the heart of mega-corporation hegemony. When we engage in "do-it-yourself" projects that express our unique personalities and deepest desires, we participate in the transformation of the world.

1996

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