Discordian Wiki
Penrose triangle

Penrose triangle paradox.

The Anti-Establishment Paradox is a concept where an anti-establishment group or idea can, over time, become associated with or part of the establishment. Essentially, the anti-establishment can become the establishment.

A related concept is one where a counterculture can, in time, become the mainstream culture. The paradox can be seen in politics, religion, art, music, literature, film, clothing, or any other aspect of society.

The phrase "anti-establishment paradox" was coined by Alden Loveshade but the concept was developed by others.


"It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea." -- Robert Anton Wilson

“It only takes 25 years for an anti-establishment gang to become its own establishment.” -- Michael Arthur Quinn

“Here's the thing, though: pretending to be a Discordian and actually being a Discordian are not all that different. Some would probably tell you that there's no difference there at all.” -- Cainad

"The paradox of anti-establishment fiction is that in a changing political landscape the anti-establishment novel or film of today is the pro-establishment piece of yesterday or tomorrow." -- Steve Powell

"Voters supporting so-called populist politicians in government do not necessarily share the antiestablishment, anti-elitist position of their respective parties—as they have now become the establishment themselves." -- Peter Kreko