Crimethinc, and thinking critically about itinerant recovering-middle-class twenty-somethings

recipes for disasterBurningman has written an eloquent and spot-on review of the newest Crimethinc tome, Recipes For Disaster: An anarchist cookbook for Clamor magazine.

For those not aware of Crimethinc, it’s an anarchist publishing collective–they call themselves an “Ex-Workers’ Collective”–that puts out radical books and zines that tend to espouse and promote dropping out of mainstream capitalist culture, living off its efflusive waste stream, towards a freer self-determined existence.

I generally enjoy Crimethinc publications; they especially have an attractive and well-developed aesthetic. The writing is more variable, though it always provokes thought. The new “anarchist cookbook” provides recipes and advice for living the Crimethinc lifestyle, which I’ve often found to be more fantastic than real, and rather impractical for most people other than itinerant recovering-middle-class twenty-somethings.

So Burningman’s review respectfully hits it on the nose when he writes,

It’s easy to hit the road when you know you have a home to return to, to refuse basic hygiene (as bourgeois) when you only associate with the equally dirty (and bourgeois). …

It’s a whole lot easier to like Crimethinc when you don’t take them too seriously. Like Adbusters in a ski mask, they confuse the very real oppression of a working class (they pretend doesn’t exist) with the terminal boredom of consumer culture.

Nevertheless, I’m glad Crimethinc keeps putting this stuff out there. I wish such a book had dropped into my hands when I was 16, if only to make me question some things a lot earlier.







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