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(en) US, Minneapolis, DAYBREAK #6 - Books: The Anarchists Cookbook: Recipes for Disaster by Crimethinc

Date Sat, 11 Jun 2005 12:57:21 +0300

Those wily kids at Crimethinc are at it again. They’re the
diaper rash in the pants of all these working class academics that
they just can’t cure. This ambitious book is packed with
dozens of, as they call them, ‘recipes for disaster.’ But
that’s subjective; one system’s disaster is another
person’s liberation, right? This book is a must have for every
single person no matter how hopeless or jaded. (Peligro)

Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs by the Curious George Brigade

There has been so much good anarchist theory coming out of late!
It seems that in the past 10 years that we’ve been airing out the
stench of 100 year old orthodoxies (Kropotkin, Bakunin, Bookchin,
Bob Black etc.) and that only in the last few years have we finally
started to see all the infighting give way to original thought. This
book is an important step in the anarchist movement if we choose
to heed it. If you are a leftist or a liberal (still in the closet?) then
you will be offended. It refers to the left, and for that matter to the
right, as dinosaurs. Extinct. What it proposes is that anarchy can be
the new mammals, darting between the feet of the dinosaurs until
they collapse from their own overweight and we mammals, and all
our anti-authoritarian forms of self-organization, are all that’s
left. The solution is called folk anarchy. "Folk Anarchy is the name
we have given to the arrow aimed at the heart of every dinosaur.
We are replacing the mass movement with a scrappy multitude of
mutineers, gypsies, sprawling shanties, thieves in the knight and
mad scientists. Anarchy is not an end, anarchy is a beginning!"
What they are saying is that anarchy is the process, the now, and
not just a future possibility. As Bonnano said, anarchy is a tension
and not an alternate heaven that never will exist. AITAOD is
saying that we need to focus on the tension and not on the utopia.
In any case, pick up this book and read it. After you’ve sat on
its ideas for awhile read it again, then write your own
motherfucking book. (Peligro)

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology by David Graeber

This is one of the best introductions to anarchism that I’ve ever
read. Somehow we’ve gained an advocate in the hallowed halls
of Yale who can not only call his school, department, and career to
heed for not being more sympathetic to anarchists but can also add
to our understanding of our own anarchist theory. Graeber explains
why academics prefer Marxism to anarchism at the same time as
he dips his fingers in every anarchist tradition from primitivism to
syndicalism to chart out where we’re headed as a movement.
The most important ideas he brings up resonate with other things
going on right now, like zeitgeist, the autonomist idea that we
don’t need to fight the state directly as long as we’re
building and maintaining social institutions that are based in
opposition to authority as well as questioning our outdated view of
‘revolution.’ This book is tiny but inspiring. The part that
sent a chill up my spine was his suggestion that anarchists start a
campaign for a 16 hour work week, four days a week and four
hours a day. Give me 24 extra hours a week and this capitalist
system will be sorry. (Peligro)

Inside Out: A Memoir of Entering and Breaking Out of a
Minneapolis Political Cult by Alexandra Stein

This book is a little bit old but who cares? It’s still relevant. It
tells the story of one woman’s journey as a member of the
Minneapolis socialist/communist cult known as the C.O. or the O.
This is the group whose brainwashed members destroyed the
cooperative movement in the Twin Cities in the 1970’s. They
busted it up with paranoia and violence, including blowing up cars
and beating people up. That’s not the point of this book
though. She enters the O only after they’ve destroyed the
co-ops in Minneapolis. The author paints a picture of innocent
people taken advantage of by a charismatic leader. But their
complete obedience to a leader figure seems typical of guilt
wracked leftists who will do anything to prove that they’ve
distanced themselves from their backgrounds of economic or race
privilege. The funny thing is that it’s the feminist impulse of
the author that wakes her up to the bullshit going on in the O, and
is probably the reason she left. The author talks about the weird
terminology that the group uses to confuse its membership as well
as the leader -worship, infiltration, subversion of democratic
processes, and unquestioning discipline that is imposed at the cost
of free thought. As I read this book it struck me that every socialist
fringe group is a cult. I looked on the internet for some that I know
to be evil, by experience, and found a website at
reds.linefeed.org/groups that reaffirms this idea. We could
probably expand it to include all authoritarian groups (like the
campus Greens) but it seems to me that these socialist groups are
the most dangerous because they prey on young idealistic people
and then spits them out. It’s been decades since socialism was
discredited by the people who lived under it so why is it still
acceptable for authoritarians to be spouting this bullshit without
anyone talking back? The O is still around, it may take different
forms, or at least acronyms, but in spirit it is still haunting us.

Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness by the
Icarus Project - $5-$100, PO Box 18, Spring Glen, NY 12483

I initially heard of the Icarus Project as they toured through
Minneapolis to promote this book. They weren't here only to sell
books but to spark discussion about mental health in communities
like ours. Since purchasing this book, I've lent it to countless
people who've always returned it to me (sometimes under duress)
but who were always inspired by the art, ideas, and passion that is
contained. I don't identify as mentally ill, but throughout my life
I've suffered from depression, anxiety, alchoholism, and drug
abuse. Over the last few years I've started to realize that not only do
we need to take care of our bodies so we can outrun the cops, but
that we also need to remember to take care of our brains.
Remember kids, our brains are the only thing separating us from
pro-lifers so we better take care of them. (Nilz)

Open Eyes Unlock Doors by Robnoxious - $14, PO Box 7434,
Minneapolis, MN 55407, for bulk copies, e-mail

I'd like to title this review, 'how Robnoxious saved winter.' We had
less snow than goddamn Indiana, winter was slow and cold and I
had the creeping suspicion that I hated everyone around me. Just
before I started pushing old people and kicking puppies I went out
to a show in a space that routinely runs out of beer. I was sorely
unprepared. So sober as a judge I wandered around, feeling out the
corners of the room for extra alchohol. My senses directed me to a
corner where Robnoxious was peering lovingly at a stack of books
wrapped lovingly with bows of recycled bike tubes. My curiosity
piqued I asked, “What are you drinking?” “All the
banana wine you want comes free with book purchase,” he
answered. I took the book and downed the first glass of noxious
wine. After I got home that night and the splotches had left my
face, and my breathing had regulated I began to read. Hours passed
like minutes as my discontent and hope intertwined in the political
rants, fiction, and scathing radical artsy bullshit: the best writing
I've gotten my hands on in years. Each cover is individually
stenciled on recycled cardboard. The 300 pages are firmly bound
and it was printed independently. Best of all, this book proves that
more than heartburn comes out the Hard Times Cafe. (Nilz)

Rocket to Riyadh by Jason Galore

It is subtitled ‘Tales From the Terror Age’ and includes a
number of short stories, reviews, and rants from the life of this
local guy named Jason. It’s not half bad but it’s not really
my thing. The feel on the earlier stories is just preachy and
predictable but later on the author drops some pretension and starts
to get interesting. It’s too bad that happens just as we start to
phase into the weird blog and comic book reviews. In any case
I’d suggest that local people check this out. (Peligro)
Daybreak is an anarchist tabloid put out from Minneapolis.

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