you have to be ready to die to be ready to live

Globalization has swept the entire population of the planet into one labor pool that competes for the same jobs; mechanization is replacing those jobs, rendering us more and more disposable. In this context, those who set out merely to defend their positions in the economy are doomed. Look at the student movement of 2009-2010, or the protests in Wisconsin last spring: these rearguard struggles to preserve the privileges of a particular demographic could only fail. Today we can neither found our strategy on incremental victories — we are in no more of a position to win them than our rulers are to grant them — nor on our shared vulnerability: not on the basis of what we are, but of what we will not be.

The only thing that can bind us in this is our willingness to renounce, to defect, to fight to abolish the system that created us. This means altering our lives beyond recognition There are no guarantees in this undertaking; it will take self-destructive abandon. We must not celebrate this, but there is no getting around it.

Nothing is more terrifying than departing from what we know. It may take more courage to do this without killing oneself than it does to light oneself on fire. Such courage is easier to find in company: there is so much we can do together that we cannot do as individuals.

But imagine if people lived as though they might die at any moment, so every day it was as if they were born again! Imagine if no one let life become a job for them or anyone else in the first place! Then how many people would kill themselves? People commit suicide when it is harder for them to picture breaking off their commitments than ceasing to exist – here again are our customs and investments, become cancerous and inorganic, riding us to early graves.

If we were brave or reckless enough for it, our despair could afford us supernatural powers.

Imagine being able to act without fear of the repercussions, to choose the unknown over the intolerably familiar, to withdraw from unhealthy obligations and relationships the moment you recognize them for what they are. It takes a ruthless mercy to discard sentimentality and remember all the things that never happened and still might never happen, all the dreams that never came true – to acknowledge that we can’t wait forever, there’s not enough time for that.

Let go of the past – all of the old battles and defense mechanisms, all the addictions and inertia you’ve accumulated and all the fears that bind you to them. This is going to be the hardest thing you ever live through– but let them go, let them die, have courage through the silent moments in the void as you wait, trembling, for your new life to be born. It will be.

images from “the books of magic,” words from crimethinc.


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