One may well ask. We believe that this is no easy question and any answer we can give will be far too simplistic for what is a very complex concept.
On one level the KLF was about a duo of music business veterans who initially used their knowledge and experience to utilise cheap sampling technology later leading to commercial success and acclaim (though not necessarily to a comfortably filled bank account).
JC: “We can play instruments and we can do other things. Nobody seems to be able to do more than one thing without not getting taken seriously; not that we mind not getting taken seriously. We just think, ‘that looks interesting’, so we do it.”Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty (Sound On Sound, Apr 1991)
BD: It’s highly unlikely that we’ll ever get rich. It costs a fortune making albums, even singles. And, unlike a major record company, we’ve no forward plan.Bill Drummond & Jimmy Cauty (Melody Maker, 16 Feb 1991)
But then they also conducted this part of their careers in such a way that it challenged the traditional models of the music-business, and even rebelled against them.
A lot of The KLF’s activites might look like situational pranks from the outside, yet they always insisted to be entirely serious about their activities.
I think with whatever we do, if we stopped to think about it, it’d be ‘What are we letting ourselves in for now?’ But we don’t. We think ‘Yeah! Let’s do that!’ And it’s a genuine excitement. Something that gives us a buzz. We’re not thinking ‘That’ll impress the bastards!’ Or ‘This’ll take the piss ouf of that!’Bill Drummond (NME, 12 Jan 1991)
To anyone wanting more, we can only suggest they read ALL the material in this FAQ, and examine ALL other related literature and material (including the music itself) and then come to their own conclusions.
While not given as a direct answer to the question the 2003 audio book release of The Manual features a foreword voiced by Bill Drummond giving the following advice:
… which certainly fits The KLF’s modus operandi.