I’m moving after living in the same apartment for six years. The thing is that we have a lot of books. Currently, we’re at six Chiquita Banana boxes full, plus another box that I can barely carry. I recently brought MOST of last year’s “Friends of AK Press” goods to Spartacus Books, mostly because I didn’t bother to read them. They were either too Academic, or about obscure topics that I’m not going to read about. (i.e. The History of the French Anarchist Movement). However, when I got to near the bottom of the pile, I found this publication</a>.
Some people may say some nonsense about how they were always Anarchists, and how they always read Emma Goldman,Bookchin, Kropotkin, Bakunin or these days with Primitivism being cool people like Zerzan and Jensen. (Note: The people who read Zerzan are the only people who take Zerzan seriously. Not even John Zerzan takes Zerzan seriously!) To be honest, I was a giant nerd growing up in Northern BC, where being different was frowned upon, and where being a hippie was a way to be harassed for your whole life due to the fact that every town is a resource town with either people who work in Copper or Gold Mines or people who work in Lumber and Pulp Mills.
Anyway, I remember going to the youth center because they had an Open Mic, and being friends with other people who liked to listen to music, and just didn’t quite fit in. This one kid had quaker parents who decided to send him back east for school, since they thought the local schools just generated business drones. Anyway, this kid handed us copies of “Fighting for our Lives”. Sure, the font of the words “Fighting for our lives” was different, but it was free ten years ago, just like it is today.
The inside was black and white back then, and there was more grainy art, because it was the late-90s, early 2000s, but it was basically the same thing. There were less publications, and Crimethinc was just starting, however given the fact that until that moment, I wasn’t aware that there was such a thing as modern Anarchism. I’ve read text files, but most of it was bullshit nonsense created by the Cult of the Dead Cow when they were bored teenagers wasting time in Lubbock, TX and other middle-of-nowhere places that populate the entire North American continent.
These days, most people in major urban centers will discount what Crimethinc says, because it’s “flowery language that describes the problem, but doesn’t indicate a solution beyond dumpster diving”. However, given the fact that it exposed the fact that Anarchism was alive and well. Not simple, boring Anti-Capitalism where you have to know what an alphabet soup of acronyms like MAI, GATT and WTO are, but real Anarchism, and the idea that you don’t need leaders and that you can take charge of your own life. That’s an idea that’s important and needs to be spread, which is why I like what Crimethinc is doing far more than another boring ass book about the Spanish Civil War that’s 750 pages that’s difficult to read, or people buying Foucault or some other boring ass theory shit that they won’t read because they want to seem fucking cool to hipsters.
I can’t say that “Fighting for our lives” really changed my life. I still went to friends Communist meetings for a couple of years, and bounced around various leftist groups before realizing that most of them were full of shit and were just clubhouses for people to hang out and talk about how bad ass we are without actually being bad ass or really doing anything. It’s not like these groups chased the fucking Olympic Torch off Commercial Drive, or exposed how the RCMP was cracking down on activists, or even squatted a building and made demands for social hosing in the community by the use of Direct Action (note: I never squatted a building, but have respect for people who have). These activites aren’t exclusively Anarchist, but in Anarchism, once you get past the poseur bullshit that boils itself off on Anarchist News, Anokchan, Anarchy Mall and other places, you find that the Talk/Action ratio is a lot higher than elsewhere.
I know this post is kind of self-indulgent, and isn’t quite up to the quality that we would normally expect on this blog, but we’ll have something awesome to announce later this week that may blow your mind. I promise!