Survivalism (song)

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Album: Year Zero
Length: 4:23
Tempo: {{{BPM}}} BPM
Versions: Survivalism
Survivalism (Radio Edit)
Survivalism (Tardusted Mix)
Live: Year Zero Warm-Up Tour onward

"Survivalism" is the third track and the first single from the 2007 album Year Zero.

Survivalism is the belief that one must be prepared to survive a major catastrophe by stocking up on food and weapons. A survivalist therefore is a person who anticipates and prepares for a future disruption in local, regional or worldwide social or political order. Survivalists often prepare for this anticipated disruption by learning skills (e.g., emergency medical training), stockpiling food and water, or building structures that will help them to survive (e.g., an underground shelter).

On March 13, the source files for the song were released in GarageBand format at According to the site, the source files of all songs from Year Zero will be made available to download, free of charge. "Survivalism" is the third NIN song to be officially released as source files—"Only" and "The Hand That Feeds" were previously released.

Song Credits




  • Survivalism



Found on Year Zero as well as the Survivalism single and promo.

Survivalism (Radio Edit)

A radio-friendly edited version that is found on the Survivalism promo. The word "whore" is edited out.


Included on the Survivalism single, this remix was created by Saul Williams and Thavius Beck. More information coming soon.

Survivalism_Opalheartclinic_Niggy_Tardust! (Escaped...

Available on the UK 9" Vinyl Survivalism single. This remix, also by Williams, features him incorporating new lyrics into the verses and delivering them with more of a spoken word/hip-hop flow. Reznor's vocals become backing vocals on this track, allowing Williams to come to the front. The music is very different from the original as well, utilizing a hand-clap beat over pulsating beats. As a result, it isn't anywhere near as guitar-heavy as the original but it is still heavy in a percussion and noise sense.


Purchase this song on iTunes

Garage Band Files

On 3/13/07 Garage Band files for Survivalism were released on Along with Survivalism, there was another file called Survivalism Our End Trip with some weird sounds. After rearranging the file trough a spectogram, this was found. The following case number for Judson Ogram was found:

 Case number 6455da04

Music Video

One of the USB flash drives containing the "Survivalism" music video.
Layout of the video screens

Filming for the "Survivalism" video began on February 5, 2007. It was directed by Alex Lieu, Rob Sheridan, and Reznor, and produced by Susan Bonds. The video was "leaked" to the internet via flash drives found dotted around the venue by people attending the Nine Inch Nails concert in London on March 7, 2007.

A wall of surveillance monitors details the activities of several people in an apartment building. A group of rebels is creating stencils and spray-painting the "Art Is Resistance" logo on walls. In an apartment, a pair of gay lovers share an intimate moment. In another dwelling, a young asian woman stands topless at her mirror doing her hair and applying make-up. Elsewhere someone is high on drugs, while a couple just sits on their couch in their home. A man is seen on a computer with several photos and news clippingsbehind him. Another man is seen on camera eating his dinner. Seen on several monitors is Nine Inch Nails playing the song in what is assumed to be their practice space. Intercut with these scenes is footage of armed soldiers, dressed like SWAT members, moving in on the building and one of the spaces in the video.

At the end of the video the people in the other monitors seem to respond to an ado in one of the spaces seen on the monitor wall. The space where NIN was playing has its door busted in and a pool of blood leading out, while all of the other cameras trained on the band have gone to static. At the very end a body is seen being dragged around a corner, leaving a trail of blood. Presumably the body is that of Reznor, as it wears the same scarf that he is seen wearing throughout the video.

The Bureau Of Morality's censoring at work.

The video has aired on MTV2, but in a censored form. The screens with the woman at her mirror and the gay lovers have been replaced by a white screen bearing the seal of the U.S Bureau Of Morality and the phrase "CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTETCION." This is not unlike the use of SCENE MISSING screens in the "Closer" video. Interestingly enough, the word "whore" and the screen depicting the girl using opal are left intact. Even the ending scenes of the pool of blood in the band's space and the body getting dragged off are retained.


  • The graffiti wall has "Isaiah 15:9" written on it. The biblical verse for this is: "For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land."
  • The picture of Jesus in the "TV Room" has "John 19:34" written on it. The biblical verse for this is: "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."
  • "Exodus 7:21" is visible in the room with the man on the computer. The biblical verse for this is: "And the fish that [was] in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt."
  • "II Kings 3:22" is visible in the room with the man on the computer. The biblical verse for this is: "And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood."
  • The door knocked in has "Rev 18.3.4" painted on its exterior. The biblical verses Revelation 18:3 and 18:4 are: "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies," and "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
  • One room shows a couple injecting opal
  • The letters hidden in time counter at the monitors T H E T U R N E D T O lead to webside [ ]

Download Links

Low resolution (26MB)

High resolution (164MB)


"Survivalism was played live for the first time at the Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Spain, on February 19, 2007. [1]

Here is a video of the performance.

It was also played live at Volkshaus in Zurich, Switzerland, on April 2nd, 2007.


    I should have listened to her
    So hard to keep control
    We kept on eating but our
    Bloated bellies still not full
    She gave us all she had but
    We went and took some more
    Can't seem to shut her legs our
    Mother Nature is a whore
    I got my propaganda I got revisionism
    I got my violence in high def ultra-realism
    All a part of this great nation
    I got my fist I got my plan I got survivalism
    Hypnotic sound of sirens
    Echoing through the street
    The cocking of the rifles
    The marching of the feet
    You see your world on fire
    Don't try to act surprised
    We did just what you told us
    Lost our faith along the way and found ourselves believing your lies
    I got my propaganda I got revisionism
    I got my violence in high def ultra-realism
    All a part of this great nation
    I got my fist I got my plan I got survivalism
    All bruised and broken bleeding
    She asks to take my hand
    I turn just keep on walking
    What you'd do the same thing in the circumstance I'm sure you'll understand
    I got my propaganda I got revisionism
    I got my violence in high-def ultra-realism
    All a part of this great nation
    I got my fist I got my plan I got survivalism