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(en) Crimethinc releases 'Recipes for Disaster' - the real "anarchist cook book"

From Worker <a-infos-sv@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 18 Dec 2004 18:29:34 +0100 (CET)


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Three years in the making, Recipes for Disaster is the long-awaited follow-up to
the CrimethInc. collective’s notorious first book, Days of War, Nights of Love.
This 624-page manual complements the romance and idealism of that earlier work
with practical information and instruction. Over thirty collectives collaborated
in testing, composing, and editing the book’s 62 sections, which range from
Affinity Groups, Coalition Building, and Mental Health to Sabotage, Squatting,
and Wheatpasting. These are illustrated with extensive technical diagrams and
first-hand accounts, and prefaced with a thorough discussion of the diverse
roles direct action can play in social transformation. If you’re looking for
a tactical handbook for revolutionary action, look no further. $12ppd.

http://www.crimethinc.com/a/cookbook/order(point)html

CrimethInc. Declassifies Top Secret Anarchist Tactics
“Why give away our secrets? Because if they stay secrets, we’re
fucked.”

For ten long years, our operatives have honed their skills,
testing their wits and mettle against the global capitalist empire, the
most formidable adversary in the history of life on earth. We have
learned how to redecorate the walls of cities occupied by
armies of riot police, to transform random groups of damaged, isolated
individuals into loving communities capable of supporting one
another through the most severe bouts of repression and
depression, to shut down corporate summits and franchises armed with
little more than plastic piping or eyedroppers of glue. Now, the
notorious CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective has compiled many of the
techniques that made these feats possible into a 624-page manual
entitled Recipes for Disaster.

For those who have been bewildered by our earlier publications,
wondering what purpose it could possibly serve for us to tantalize the
beleaguered masses with utopian dreams of life unfettered by state,
moral, or economic laws, it may come as a surprise that we’ve had a plan
all along: offer visions of other possible worlds, then share concrete
means for departing from this one. For those who gambled that
CrimethInc. was nothing more than a joke, a fad or fantasy that could be
shrugged off, we hope now it will turn out that it is a practical joke.

So what’s in this book, and how was the content selected?
The sixty-two recipes run the gamut from Affinity Groups to
Wheatpasting, stopping along the way at topics as disparate as
Hitchhiking, Sabotage, and Supporting Survivors of Domestic
Violence. Each recipe is illustrated as necessary with
photographs, technical diagrams, and firsthand accounts—culled, of
course, from anonymous sources—of times the particular method or tactic
was applied.

Choosing and editing the content for such a work is a
difficult challenge, and it took an assembly of more than
thirty collectives nearly three years to complete Recipes for
Disaster. Content was selected and perfected according to
three basic criteria. First, for the sake of safety and
precision, subject matter was limited to methods with which
the authors had extensive experience. Second, submissions were
given preference according to how much material was already
available on the subject: Recipes for Disaster includes very
little on herbal remedies, as extensive literature has already
been published about them, but features a full thirty-five
pages on organizing black blocs and similar forms of anonymous
mass action, since little resource material exists for those
who would apply this potentially dangerous yet often useful
strategy. Finally, as much as possible, the recipes are
presented from a nonpartisan angle, with an emphasis on
sharing concrete skills rather than spreading any ideological
agenda, so the book might be of use to the widest possible
range of readers working towards liberation in all its forms.

Inevitably, as we’ve learned all too well from experience,
those who take on ambitious, public projects are subjected to
the twin scourges of fan worship and vindictive,
unconstructive criticism. As before, we urge admirers to
nurture in themselves whatever worthy qualities they mistake
us for having, and critics to complement our efforts with
efforts of their own rather than passive disparagement. No one
work on the subject of direct action can possibly be complete,
but this book might serve a useful purpose if others
supplement it with the projects they think we should have
undertaken. In publishing this incomplete, imperfect book, we
hope to provoke others into undertaking more projects of their
own, not freeze them into adulating or offended spectatorship
of our activities.

One might ask of the publishers of this new anarchist
cookbook, as Emmett Grogan demanded of Abbie Hoffman upon the
publication of Steal This Book!, whether it has occurred to us
that making all these secret methods public knowledge might
hurry them into obsolescence. In limited cases, this might be
true, though we’ve made an effort to slant the content towards
long-term skills, such as stencil-making, that never go out of
date. At any rate, our answer to this charge is that these
skills and the struggle for which they are useful must both be
extended to much broader circles, or else they are doomed to
obsolescence anyway. The narrow, comparatively small
explicitly anarchist community of today is a poor match for
the assembled power of the global empire; for massive change
to be possible, anarchist skills and approaches need to be
generalized to a much broader social spectrum. In limited
cases, yes, the powers that be will be able to use our book to
prepare themselves for our efforts to contest their control,
but we hope that this drawback will be outweighed by the ways
in which this work can help equip new generations to strike
blows for freedom from unexpected directions and in
unpredictable ways.

In short, why give away our secrets? Because if they stay
secrets, we’re fucked. If you associate yourself with the
struggle for a better world, consider how you can do your part
to get these tools into unlikely hands. And lest we miss this chance to
make a challenge of our own, we ask certain paragons of the anarchist
community, so pleased with themselves for perfecting their abilities in
rhetoric and disputation while others have been quietly working on
actually changing the world, to come over to our side of the
barricades. It matters little how insightful a critique is if
it is not put into practice, and by the same token a critique
not born of practice is not likely to contain much insight.
Talk without action only sets a precedent for more of the
same; actions themselves can be eloquent, on the other hand,
in ways that words rarely can. Some anarchists seem to
conceive of the process of anarchist organizing as consisting
of a long phase of debate over what constitutes effective
tactics, followed by agreement upon and application of one
approach, but such loquacious deferral of action is pointless:
one need only demonstrate an effective tactic, and share the
skills it requires, for others to see its worth and adopt it
for themselves. As a dadaist wrote long ago, one is only
entitled to those ideas which one puts into practice. You
don’t become wise by having a lot of ideas, but from trying
them out.

Ultimately, as usual, the important question is how you can
make use of an inert commodity like this in your own efforts
to live with passion and dignity, and that is something none
of us could help you with from this distance. Hopefully,
however, the legions of aspiring adventurers who have written
us over the past five years asking how they can join the
CrimethInc. collective will finally have their answer, in the
form of this book: if you want to be a part of this crazy
undertaking, just pick a recipe, or come up with an idea of
your own, and try it out. As the folk singer croons, to fight
for something is to make it your own.

All the best in all the beautiful, dangerous ventures you’re
involved in already, friends. May your every dream come true,

—CrimethInc. Agents Provocateurs, chilly December 2004
============================================
Anarchist Cookbook FAQ - Interview with The Guardian, September 2004

"Mon, 27 Sep 2004 12:56:49 -0400
Subject: Re: anarchist cookbooks
To: craig.taylor@guardian.co.uk

What kind of relationship does this anarchist cookbook have with the
original version released in the late 60s?
Essentially, the name is all they hold in common. A minimal amount of
research will reveal that the original "Anarchist Cookbook" was not at all
anarchist—not composed or released by anarchists, not derived from
anarchist practice, not intended to promote freedom and autonomy or
challenge repressive power--and was barely a cookbook, as the recipes in it
are notoriously unreliable. At best, it was a fraud, a spoof; at worst, an
attempt to undermine the legitimacy of anarchist practice, and cause
readers to injure themselves. The recent movie by the same name is
equally embarrassing, not so much to anarchists as to the industry that
produced it.

Why is it being released?
All the history aside, the idea of an anarchist cookbook, if never before
really realized, is a good one. In an increasingly repressive world, it's more
important than ever than people share skills for reclaiming life and liberty.

What are the biggest changes in this latest edition?
This book will not feature recipes for food or for bombs; rather, it provides
information such as how to form a cooperative bike maintenance
collective, how to make use of creative media such as posters and
spraypaint for free expression, and how to resist the attempts of police to
break up demonstrations. I'd be happy to send you the table of contents.

Who is writing it?
Anarchists have written this anarchist cookbook, coming together in a
loose, voluntary association of friends and acquaintances from around the
world for the composing and editing process.

Is there going to be any event to launch the book that the Guardian could
cover?
It looks like the book will not be finished quite in time for this year's UK
Anarchist Bookfair. It's well over 600 pages, and the last of the detail work
is taking a long time. However, it's entirely possible that once it comes
out, there will be a myriad of post-release events the Guardian might
cover, as readers develop new skills.

How is it being published? What kind of printers are eager to get involved
in a project like this?
The publisher is the CrimethInc. Ex-Workers' Collective, an established
mouthpiece of anarchist thought and poetry.

Some would say this isn't the best climate to release a book giving people
instructions on how to commit acts of terrorism. What's your reply?
This book does not provide any information on how to commit acts of
terrorism. It does not offer any advice on how to gun down civilians, nor
how to blow them up with smart bombs; it includes no information about
how to destroy the ozone layer or clearcut forests; it doesn't even give any
insight into how one might brainwash children in schools, exploit blue
collar workers, or bore white collar workers to death. It does, however,
offer a humble starting place from which those acts of terrorism can be
contested. I would say that this is exactly the climate in which such a book
is needed.

Direct any further questions here:
hello@crimethinc.com
Thanks and all the best."


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