More than likely, you’ve heard the phrase before, “History repeats itself.” Ironically, history, itself, has proven that statement to be true. Whether it’s human nature, the alignment of the cosmos, God’s will or a simple pattern amidst the chaos, there are demonstrably certain rhythms throughout history when it comes to politics and economics as they relate to class systems and income inequality, around which over and over again numerous and various revolutions have inevitably taken place right here in America, let alone around the rest of the world. In the United States, one such revolutionary time period was the 1960s, and one such revolutionary group in that era was the Yippies of which the name, Abbie Hoffman, is certainly a centerpiece.
If you don’t know who the Yippies were, Hoffman would tell you:
A Yippie believes only what he sees with his own two eyes, he accepts the rest as bullsh*t. A Yippie should examine his eyes once a month.
You can read about the Yippies, here, or check out the video below to learn more:
Hoffman’s notoriety became so well known, a Hollywood bio flick was eventually made about his revolutionary years titled, Steal This Movie, playing off the popular book of the era by Hoffman, Steal This Book.
And Hoffman’s notoriety didn’t grow for nothing. Just take a look at some of the gems below pulled from just one of his books, Revolution For The Hell Of It, published under the pseudonym, “Free,” back in 1968 and dig how much of it is still relevant today.
Sh*t Abbie Hoffman Used To Say:
America lost its balls in the frontier and since then there have been no mighty myths and now we hunt for them in lonely balconies, watching Bonnie and Clyde.
America, let’s see your balls.
Our technology forces us to live mythically, but we continue to think fragmentarily, and on single, separate planes.
Reality is a subjective experience.
Environment is in your head.
Accept contradictions, that’s what life’s all about. Have a good time.
I am myth.
Extend all boundaries, blow your mind.
Only a system has boundaries.
We are all caught in a word box.
Revolution is in your head.
Do your thing
Do your thing
Do your thing
Do your thing
Do you thing
Be your thing
One practices by acting.
Never respond to criticism or else you’ll be doing everybody’s thing but your own.
You’re begging an America that won’t listen.
America has lost her children.
Whoever hesitates while waiting for ideas to triumph among the masses before initiating revolutionary action will never be a revolutionary.
Action is the only reality.
RAPE IDEAS NOT PEOPLE
You don’t use a gun on an IBM computer. You pull the plug out.
ME: Yes, I believe in total free speech.
INTERVIEWER: Well, surely you don’t believe in the right to cry ‘fire’ in a crowded theater?
Don’t rely on words. Words are the absolute in horseshit. Rely on doing – go all the way every time. Move fast.
Each morning, begin naked. Destroy your name, become unlisted, go underground. Find brothers. Soul brothers. Black people, Puerto Ricans, Dropouts, Bowery Bums. Find out where they’re at. Don’t fuck with their thing.
Really fuck with money. Burn it, smoke it to get high, trade with it, set up boxes of it in the streets marked ‘FREE MONEY,’ panhandle it, steal it, throw it away.
Political irrelevance is more effective than political relevance.
Media is free. Use it. Don’t pay for it. Don’t buy ads. Make news.
The myth is greater than the sum of its parts. Energy-centers that originate or gravitate to the center of the myth have to trust not only the myth, but also the vast numbers of participants who want to add their garbage to the pile. If it is bad garbage it will quickly rot, if it is good garbage it will help transform the pile into a shrine of holiness.
Fun. I think fun and leisure are great. I don’t like the concept of a movement built on sacrifice, dedication, responsibility, anger, frustration and guilt. All those down things. I would say, Look, you want to have more fun, you want to get laid more, you want to turn on with friends, you want an outlet for your creativity, then get out of school, quit your job. Stop trying to organize everybody but yourself. Begin to live your vision.
The revolution is wherever my boots hit the ground.
If you include an element of joy, people will be willing to show some interest in their community, and they will perform tasks the society considers menial, for free.
I am my own leader.
Knowing that I have a flower in my fist helps.
NEVER FORGET THAT OURS IS THE BATLE AGAINST A MACHINE NOT AGAINST PEOPLE. If, however, people behave like machines, treat them as such. If a machine slips on a banana peel we all laugh. If a person slips on a banana peel we help him off the ground. Our job is to line the streets of the country with banana peels.
NEVER EXPLAIN WHAT YOU ARE DOING. This wastes a good deal of time and rarely gets through. Show them through your action, if they don’t understand it, fuck ‘em, maybe you’ll hook them with the next action.
The ability to withstand frustration is what keeps us alive.
Do you know people were calling up the TV station in Detroit during the riots, asking if their neighborhood was being attacked. That’s where most of scared white America is. Afraid to even look out the window, so alienated they don’t even know where their neighborhood is anymore.
Paranoia is when you look in the future, see gloom, then run and hide in the past.
Poets don’t count in this country . . . that’s why they are so free of course.
Poet revolutionaries are the most dangerous of all.
And so you ask, ‘What about the innocent bystanders?’ But we are in a time of revolution. If you are a bystander, you are not innocent.
If people were forced to eat what they killed, there would be no more wars.
THE ONLY WAY TO SUPPORT A REVOLUTION IS TO MAKE YOUR OWN.
THE GROUND YOU ARE STANDING ON IS A LIBERATED ZONE, DEFEND IT.
Take it from the guy who thought to write “F*CK” across his forehead to keep the media from filming him, who helped levitate the Pentagon, who brought the MC5 to Chicago in ’68 and became part of the Chicago 8, who lived underground for six years and still kept organizing. Take it from a guy who lived, ate and slept revolution and ran a pig for president. Revolution for the hell of it should be the foundation of the American mind, and what that translate as is up to each of us to decide for ourselves — not start preaching it to others, but living it ourselves.
Abbie Hoffman was 52 when he took his own life on April 12, 1989. Let the revolution continue. Yippie!
Featured image via cdn.history.com