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RECIPES FOR DISASTER an anarchist cookbook
by the Crimethinc Collective,
PO Box 1963/Olympia WA 98507/USA www.crimethinc.com
deftly produced manual from the Crimethinc Collective, this time
an A-Z (or A-W as it goes) guide to living the Good Lifestyle Anarchy.
This book gives you detailed information on everything from asphalt
mosaics (don't ask me, read the book), bike parades, coalition building,
graffiti, hijacking events (not planes), infiltration, non-monogamous
relationships, pie throwing, smoke bombs, think tanks and undermining
oppression. It's one of the most comprehensive such guides I've
come across and weighing in at over 600, albeit small, pages, so
it should be.
As with previous Crimethinc media, a slightly evangelical
tone runs through the book, but it's practical advice is sound and
is obviously written by experienced hands. Each chapter ends with
an account of an action related to the topic being covered. This
helps to ground the book in reality, though at times it feels like
reading a radical student lifestyle guide. It tends to jump wildly
from place to place - from helping women escape violent relationships
to the use of root vegetables in disabling vehicles. Still, it beats
reading Socialist Worker hands down and any book that contains advice
on making safe petrol bombs (tie the fuse around the bottleneck,
don't shove it in kids...) is worth producing in my view.
The chapters covering organising black bloc's and
street actions is particularly worth reading. Crimethinc avoid the
macho posturing of the likes of Class War/Green Anarchist and give
practical, solid advice on moving safely and effectively in big
street actions. A pragmatic view of violence, given the scale of
crisis we face, is a hallmark of Crimethinc and hopefully indicates
a maturing of the "movements" attitude to the issue.
Crimethinc do tend to promote a lifestyle anarchism that depends
on the material excesses of capitalism in order to survive. Tactically,
most of the stuff relies on the current relationship Western police
forces and Governments have with those they govern, and is more
rebellion than revolution. This isn't to criticise as such, just
to point out it's limits. For big-time sabotage, go to the likes
of "Ecodefence - a field guide to monkey wrenching" produced
by US EF! some years ago. Speaking about the US, Recipes
is US-centric, which limits it's relevance to a degree to readers
outside US borders.
Still, well laid out and accessible, it's a good
introduction to those new to the movement . Makes a good Christmas
gift for your angry teenage cousin. Just don't be around when he
gets to the "build your own rocketstove" bit.