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Fighting For Our Lives: new anarchist booklet

by Anarchist Sunday, Sep. 22, 2002 at 1:05 AM

Just completed: A glossy, accessible booklet about anarchism, designed for non-anarchists, called Fighting For Our Lives. In simple (but not condescending) language, it explains what is anarchist in everyday life, and how those spheres of cooperation can be expanded. It addresses common questions that often deter people from exploring anarchist ideas and approaches. We have 250,000 copies that we want to give away.

Today we returned from the printers with 250,000 copies of the 24-page pamphlet Fighting For Our Lives.

This free paper discusses, in simple language, what is anarchist in everyday life, and how those spheres of cooperation can be expanded. It addresses common questions that often deter people from exploring anarchist ideas and approaches, and endeavors to help introduce new terms and possibilities into the public consciousness -- as well as to celebrate the times when we've realized those possibilities, for those who have been consciously participating in the anarchist project for years or decades already.

Mass-produced material like this is no substitute for individual expression, decentralized activity, or cultivating community, but it can be used to initiate and encourage those beautiful things. We're not trying to speak for everyone, but to make it clear that everyone can speak; we're not trying to define anarchy for everyone, but to undermine misunderstandings so everyone can begin that conversation afresh.

To make this experiment work, of course, we need your participation. Please order a crate of these for your town, and put copies at every record store, farmers' market, bookshop, and high school -- or anyplace your fancy strikes. Put them out in the employee restroom, or at art openings, or in public parks. Best of all: physically give them to friends, fellow workers and students, and/or everybody else at the unemployment office. There is no substitute for face-to-face interaction!

The fact that we've been able to build up such an extensive and effective network for the free circulation of material like this is itself a testament to how well anarchy works, even in times of capitalist occupation. With this project, we hope to help expand that network, and the recognition of its value, a little deeper into surrounding society.

As you might imagine, we rely on donations, benefit events, and other kinds of assistance from you to make this possible, so do help out as much as you're able.

An online version of the paper is available here, although -- with the exception of those living outside the United States -- having the mass-produced copies shipped to you will probably be more resource-efficient than printing out your own. So please, do not fret about figuring out how to view PDF files or anything like that because the simplest thing to do is ask us to send you a box of free copies.

Of course, we welcome constructive criticism; however we also urge you to follow up on your critique with action of your own. Rather than get bogged down in mudslinging, wouldn't it be so much more inspiring and productive to back up a decent, thoughtful, comradely critique with a booklet, pamphlet, newsletter or magazine that puts ours to shame? We don't pretend to have all the answers, nor do we fruitlessly present ourselves as "pure" revolutionaries with the secret knowledge that will liberate the world, so we certainly welcome principled engagement!

Enough introduction: tell us how we can send you a box of Fighting For Our Lives right away!

Sample section titles:

  • Overture: A true story
  • Preface: A genealogy of force
  • Does anarchy work?
  • Is this what democracy looks like?
  • Civic hedonism
  • A fellowship of friends and lovers
  • All gods, all masters
  • Gross generalizations
  • Anarchism is a paradox
  • Create momentum!

Remember, the "we" used throughout this statement (and throughout the booklet itself) is the anarchist "we" -- it refers to all who would associate themselves with the statements in question, and to no others.


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