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A word that was used to describe this, back in the 1960's, was "co-optable." To be co-opted was to be turned away from one's orginal, true and pure purpose. Usually this word was used to describe a political or social organization that had made some accomodation to "The System," and by this accomodation, had "sold out;" trading a paycheck, or a "place at the table" for revolutionary fervor and zeal.


This process, of renewal, invention, creativity, rejection of the mainstream social/political culture, and organization of a "new, original and completely different" subculture is as old as humankind itself, I think. The new, original and completely different subculture/style/music/art/etc. eventually attracts the attention of the very people that the creators of the new subculture were trying to screen out, and then in order to get in on it, they co-opt it, much to the dismay of the creators. Of course, part of the co-optation process involves PAYING the creators (who are often starving artist types who are getting pretty tired of being poor/disenfranchised) who are usually able to be persuaded pretty easily.


And so we wind up with "Revolution #9" as elevator Muzak, and elderly Republicans living in Sun City, AZ wearing tams and going to swinger's parties, and going on whitewater "x-treme sports" white water vacations.


To preserve one's dignity, it's important to protest at least a little that one is being co-opted, but in the end, I'd say it's unwise to hold out too long. The shelf life of some subculture like disco or "x-treme sports" or whatever is not very long. And getting a paycheck takes the sting out of being co-opted, at least it does after you turn thirty or so.


I know a lot of ex-hippies who are conservative Republicans. I know at least two or three former hawks who are now peaceniks. I know a former LSD dealer who is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. Shit happens, you know? Try not to stress about it.

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there will never be a sub-culture that is uncomercialized because really think about it, what sub culture doesnt use products? skating; you need to buy a board somewhere, raves; you need to buy glow sticks somewhere, graffiti; you need to buy t-shirts that tell the world you write somewhere, ect ect

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