“The Empire is the institution, the codification of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.
To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.” PKD VALIS p. 235
What PKD calls “The Empire” I have always dubbed “The Machine”. But my beliefs on it have matched PKD’s even before I read the passages. It’s true though. If we look throughout history at all of the uprisings, revolts and revolutions that started out with such noble and pure intentions, those rebels who came to power afterward soon turned out like the very despots they overthrew. This is part of the Machine. It eats everything around it and turns it into a lifeless extension of itself. This can be very clearly seen in the arts. Every artistic movement that has arisen has been assimilated into the Machine and turned into a mass-produced mockery of itself. The same can be said for social movements. The Beats, the Hippies, the Punks, the Occupy Movement, the Tea Party, etc. The Machine swallowed them all. Infiltrated them, labeled them and neutered their influence. Thus, in order to defeat the Empire we must leave it behind.