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Willful Disobedience‎ > ‎Volume 1‎ > ‎

STEAL BACK YOUR LIFE

    Economy—the domination of survival over life—is essential for the maintenance of all other forms of domination. Without the threat of scarcity, it would be difficult to coerce people into obedience to the daily routine of work and pay. We were born into an economized world. The social institution of sacred property has made scarcity a daily threat. Sacred, or economic, property, whether private or communal, separates the individual from the world, creating a situation in which, rather than simply taking what one wants or needs, one is supposed to ask permission, a permission generally only granted in the form of economic exchange. In this way, different levels of poverty are guaranteed to everyone, even the rich, because under the rule of social property what one is not permitted to have far exceeds what one is permitted to have. The domination of survival over life is maintained.

   Those of us who desire to create our lives as our own recognize that this domination, so essential to the maintenance of society, is an enemy we must attack and destroy. With this understanding, theft and squatting can take on significance as part of an insurgent life project. Welfare scamming, eating at charity feeds, dumpster diving and begging may allow one to survive without a regular job, but they do not in any way attack the economy; they are within the economy. Theft and squatting are also often merely survival tactics. Squatters who demand the “right to a home” or try to legalize their squats, thieves who work their “jobs” like any other worker, only in order to accumulate more worthless commodities—these people have no interest in destroying the economy...they merely want a fair share of its goods. But those who squat and steal as part of an insurgent life do so in defiance of the logic of economic property. Refusing to accept the scarcity imposed by this logic or to bow to the demands of a world they did not create, such insurgents take what they desire without asking anyone’s permission whenever the possibility arises. In this defiance of society’s economic rule, one takes back the abundance of the world as one’s own—and this is an act of insurrection. In order to maintain social control, the lives of individuals have to be stolen away. In their place, we received economic survival, the tedious existence of work and pay. We cannot buy our lives back, nor can we beg them back. Our lives will only be our own when we steal them back—and that means taking what we want without asking permission.
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