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Expect Resistance


September 20th, 2008 · post by anon · 1 Comment

ISBN number: No ISBN
Price: £8

Publisher: CrimethInc ex-workers collective

Review by: Dr Zoidberg

Six years after the seismic “Days of War, Nights of Love” was first published, Crimethinc are back with a third book, longer, deeper, higher and heavier. “Expect Resistance” is a collection of previous texts (most notably from “Harbinger”) – reedited, rearranged and expanded with great care and attention to detail – interwoven with personal accounts from the living, breathing world of radical political activists. The polemic is printed in black ink, the narrative in red; together, the two supposedly merge into a “third book,” something which I feel occurs successfully only in one chapter (“Failure / Crash and Burn”).

Crimethinc - Expect Resistance - book coverThe graphics are, as always, clean, emotive Image Bank photographs or bold, screaming bitmaps, deeply associative for dramatic effect. The overall quality of the book, from layout to binding to inks to image registration, could only be compared to that of heavy art tomes, and clearly reflects a love for the craft that measures on the Richter scale.
The subject matter is classic post-leftist radicalism, offering a “personal relationship” with Anarchism – much like Southern Baptists do with Christ. Freedom is an abstract enslaved to pathos, revolution is privatized and carried out on behalf of “beautiful moments.” Unfortunately, passionate yet vague, amorphous calls for tactile politics, laden with metaphors and superlatives, can be just as overbearing as Soviet shades of grey. If Bookchin threw out lifestyle’s baby with the bathwater, “Expect Resistance” adopts the bathwater with the baby. Furthermore, too often the obviously bright and well-meaning authors sacrifice concrete argumentation for the sake of jargonized pyrotechnics, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing: “Call this escapist – perhaps it is; but what class of people is most disturbed by the idea of escape? Jailers.” they write, as if they didn’t know how nonsensical such an assertion is once stripped of its artistic license. Hey, I’m disturbed by escapism too, fuckers.

The intrinsic tension defining Crimethinc – between immediatism and realpolitik – is not resolved in this book, though I suspect it’s as close as they’ll ever get. This is Crimethinc at their very best, crystallized; if you were looking for something different/more from them in “Expect Resistance,” I suggest you resist expectance.

All in all, criticism notwithstanding, this is an intelligent, incisive and beautiful book, to be read like “The Neverending Story”: with a flashlight on a stormy night, by a young daydreaming misfit hiding in some dusty, forgotten storage space.

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