President Trump: Countdown to Apocalypse

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Move the doomsday clock forward another click.

We were right about the direction things are heading, but wrong about the timeframe. We thought Clinton would win the election, and would then be discredited by new scandals and the challenges of preserving an increasingly unpopular status quo, producing a reactionary surge like the one that recently toppled Dilma in Brazil. Instead, the scandal broke before the election, with the announcement of further FBI inquiries into emails associated with Clinton. And, as with the Brexit vote, everyone underestimated just how desperate and reactionary the general public has become—at least the ones who still identify with the ruling order enough to vote at all. It’s later than you think.

It’s significant that the news event that rescued Trump’s presidential bid was essentially an intervention by the FBI. This tells us a lot about the era we are entering: it is the security apparatus of the state that will be calling the shots, not the aspects of government that purport to improve the lives of citizens. Capitalism, long stabilized in the so-called First World by the compromises that produced the middle class, will henceforth be imposed by force. The surplus of the 20th century has run out; the velvet glove is coming off the iron fist. Sure, demagogues like Trump and Sanders will continue to promise us the moon every four years or so, but it won’t be peace treaties that will preserve the prevailing order—it will be police.

News like this is bound to induce despair, but we must not let this election cause us to lose faith in humanity as a whole. Elections serve to represent us to each other at our worst, distilling the most offensive, cowardly, and servile aspects of the species. Many people who would never personally wrest a mother from her children are capable of endorsing deportation from the privacy of a voting booth, just as most people who eat meat could never work at a slaughterhouse. Were it not for the alienation that characterizes government itself, most of the ugly policies comprising the Trump agenda could never be implemented.

Presidential campaigns are calculated to promote apathy, giving the impression that all the important decisions in the world are out of our hands. That’s the point of state politics: to immobilize us outside the halls of power, distrusting each other and ourselves.

Today, even the most law-abiding liberal must realize that we cannot continue to watch from the sidelines. Against the spectacle of powerlessness, we must counterpose our own agency. But to what purpose? Surely not to prop up yet another political campaign. We have to think bigger.

The fundamental problem is that power is structured into such vertical concentrations in the first place. If the President of the United States did not wield such disproportionate influence over the fate of humanity—if the free market did not enable businessmen to accumulate so much leverage over society—then Donald Trump could not be so dangerous, however despicable a person he is.

Those on the Left who have persisted in the naïve belief that the right government could solve the problems generated by global capitalism are partly to blame for this situation. The Democratic Party was foolish to back an establishment candidate at a time when so many people are desperate, angry, and rebellious. In legitimizing the idea that America is or should be great in the first place, Democrats smoothed the way for Trump to promise to make it great once more. Every tax dollar good liberals paid to the government hoping it would care for the poor, sick, elderly, and underprivileged has built the juggernaut that will now roll across their civil liberties. Every law they continue to obey will aid and abet that process. And if the media outlets and politicians that decried Trump as the candidate of the apocalypse accept him now in the name of the democratic process, this only confirms their complicity.

The problem is democracy itself: the form of government that brought Adolf Hitler into office. In response to the polls, we assert that no one should have the right to rule over anyone else. Neither Donald Trump, nor Barack Obama, nor Mother Theresa could ever use such power for good. We have to create horizontal structures and autonomous movements that can meet our needs directly, rather than continuing to feed resources into structures that will be used against us for the benefit of a few.

Let us look for silver linings in this cloud of oncoming tear gas. Perhaps it is for the best that someone like Trump is coming to power now, rather than four years hence. Let the right wing demonstrate that their solutions are just as inadequate as those proposed from the Left. In a time of economic crises, ecological collapse, and spreading war, the state is a hot potato: no one will be able to hold it long. Those who voted for Trump will be disappointed indeed if they actually believe he will bring back the heyday of Fordist capitalism in a globalized world.

Of course, disillusioned Trump voters will not necessarily join our ranks. They are more likely to move further to the right, just as Sanders supporters may simply entrench themselves deeper in futile and antiquated fantasies of 20th century socialism. We should set out to debunk the arguments from both sides, keeping dialogue open with everyone we can while preparing for open conflict with those who are determined to bring about a more totalitarian world.

We must not let the outrage that people feel today shift into a hopelessness that could become the new normal. Only in taking action, however small, can we come into a sense of our collective agency. This is the time to strengthen ties between communities in struggle and those who will be most affected by Trump’s policies. This is the time to dispense once and for all with hope for any solutions from above, any brighter future apart from the actions we take on a day-to-day basis in our immediate surroundings. This is the time to learn and practice proper online security—who knows how far the repressive operations of the state will go, or how fast.

There will be new social movements, new uprisings, new fights ahead. This is the time to find each other and prepare to go resolutely forward into them.

Cradle the seed, even in the volcano’s mouth. Good luck out there, comrades.

Work Speaking Tour on the Iberian Peninsula

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We published Work at the beginning of 2011, at the onset of the social movements precipitated by the economic crisis of 2008. The idea was to update the critique of capitalism for the 21st century, starting from lived experience rather than dusty theory. Over the following years, the authors traveled throughout the Americas and Europe, comparing notes with other participants in the demonstrations, riots, and revolutions that ensued.

The book has since appeared in German, Russian, Serbo-Croat, Korean, and most recently, Lithuanian. Congratulations to our Baltic comrades!

Now, to mark the publication of the Spanish edition of Work, our comrades there have organized a speaking tour visiting ten cities around the Iberian peninsula. What is really new about capitalism today, and how should this inform the ways we organize to stand up for ourselves? What can we learn from the limits that previous movements have reached? Could we really do away with work, profit, and property, or at least make it possible to imagine a world without them? Join us for a lively discussion.

Tour dates and announcement en español after the jump.

A Fitting End: The Death of John Timoney

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John Timoney is dead. “The world has lost a great man and a law enforcement giant,” says the Police Chief of Ferguson, Missouri, who learned his trade under Timoney in Miami. Well, that’s one perspective. For myself and many others across the world, his death is a relief. It would have been better if he had never been born.

Timoney held positions in the upper echelon of the law enforcement world for nearly thirty years. He was First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, Police Commissioner of Philadelphia, Police Chief of Miami, and finally, private consultant to the kingdom of Bahrain. He played a major role in the repression of social movements in the United States during the summit protest era of the late nineties and early aughts, and a significant role in the suppression of the Arab Spring nearly ten years later. Those of us who were active in these movements came to know his methods well.

I am one of the countless people who suffered at the hands of John Timoney and the police he commanded. Although sixteen years have passed, I still prefer to tell this story anonymously.

Read on.

Steal Something from Work Day 2016

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Today we take a break from our ongoing series about the anarchist critique of democracy to observe an annual day of action, Steal Something from Work Day.

Today is April 15—in the US, the day that taxes are usually due to the federal government. Ironically, this time tax day has been moved back to Monday so the IRS can celebrate Emancipation Day—which the rest of us have no opportunity to celebrate, chained as we are to the grindstone. Slavery has been abolished, but wage slavery persists.

The government steals a part of our labor in the form of taxes. Our employers steal a part of our labor in the form of profit. And the necessity of working steals our lives, one day after another—it steals us from each other, forcing us to toil to keep the bills paid rather than being creative together or spending time with our children.

We can build towards a worldwide movement to abolish the imposed scarcities and controls that force this situation on us. But in the meantime, we have to be pragmatic, to do the best we can with the opportunities available to us. That’s why people all around the world celebrate April 15 as Steal Something from Work Day.

For this year’s heartening account of workplace theft and a selection of Steal Something from Work Day resources, read on.

The Secret World of Terijian zine

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To warm the hearts of children and enivironmentalists everywhere, we present an imposed pdf of our children’s book, The Secret World of Terijian, ready for grassroots printing and distribution. The Secret World of Terijian tells the story of two children who set out to defend the wilderness in their back yards, and the comrades they meet along the way.

The best review of The Secret World of Terijian is still probably the one penned by Kirk Engdall, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, in his response to Daniel McGowan‘s Motion for Amended Judgment: “The story line of this children’s book romanticizes the criminal activities of the Earth Liberation Front and encourages children to become involved in similar criminal conduct…” We hope this zine version will be useful to everyone who is organizing events for the June 11 day of solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners. Print some copies to raise donations for Marius and everyone else behind bars in the struggle for a better world.

Imposed PDFs for print reproduction (4.7MB): B&W : Color

Standard PDF for reading on screens (2.2MB)

This is at least the fifth edition of The Secret World of Terijian since it appeared a decade ago. It features the illustrations by Ingi Jensson that were originally published in the Icelandic translation, Hulduheimur Heiðarlands, in 2010. The photo above shows the Slovakian version, published earlier this year.

April Is Anarchist Book Fair Month

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On April 17, a CrimethInc. agent will present at the Base in New York City about To Change Everything, exploring its most provocative themes and tying it into struggles taking place around the world. The next day, on April 18, we will table at the New York City Anarchist Book Fair. The following weekend, on April 25, we will be tabling for our fifteenth consecutive year at the Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair in Oakland. Come to any of these events for a heaping helping of free anarchist literature.

‘This Phone is Tapped’ Stickers Retired

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After eleven years in service with nearly half a million copies deployed by CrimethInc. agents around the world, we are sad to announce the retiring of our This Phone is Tapped stickers. Sad, because we had hoped to retire them after defeating the rule of ubiquitous surveillance on every form of remote communication, but unfortunately the only thing that has been defeated are payphones. As payphones have disappeared, so has demand for these stickers and as we sent out the last copies this week, we decided not to reprint them—partly because we have a more than capable replacement already in action.

Thanks to everyone who helped cover payphones across the globe over the last decade, as well as achieving placement on the Wikipedia Phone Tapping page and helping out hapless blog editors forced to find images to go with unending stories of mass surveillance.

Read hilarious threats from payphone owners after the break.

Rolling Thunder #11 Shipping Soon

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We are elated to announce that in just a couple short weeks we’ll be shipping out Rolling Thunder #11 to subscribers—we received the unbound, printed samples last week (pictured above) and they were absolutely perfect. Issue #11 begins what we consider to be the second series of Rolling Thunder and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the small improvements we’ve made.

Rolling Thunder subscribers: If you have moved, now is the time to send us your new address, if you haven’t already; shoot an email to rtsubs@crimethinc.com with your new address and we’ll take care of it. Also, if you are a subscriber and didn’t get our new issue notification email two weeks ago, it means either your email service marked it as spam, or the email address we have on record for you is no longer valid—if the later is the case, drop us a line and lets us know your preferred contact email. Our most sincere thanks for subscribing, it’s what makes Rolling Thunder possible.

If you are NOT a Rolling Thunder subscriber: Now is a great time to subscribe—you’ll be sent the new issue the second it’s available (and weeks before it’s available to non-subscribers), and it’ll save you a ton of money (see below) compared to buying the issues one at a time. Subscriptions are essential to Rolling Thunder’s continued survival; if you believe Rolling Thunder to be a project worth supporting, please subscribe.

Subscription Cost Per Issue vs. Single Issue Cost:

  • In the US, to order a single issue costs $11.37 ($8 + $3.37 Media Mail Shipping), versus subscribing which costs just $25 total for four issues ($6.25 per issue).
  • Outside the US, to order a single issue costs $32 ($8 + $24 Global Priority Mail), versus subscribing which costs just $35 total for four issues ($8.75 per issue).

CrimethInc. Gift Pack Experiment

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For us, this week started with a flurry of bulk book orders from people getting them as gifts for the holiday. It reminded us that outreach takes many forms—and giving books to close friends and family might be one of the most efficient and effective methods there is. Reflecting on it, we decided to try a little experiment this year: our first ever sale, with books 27%-50% off.

We’ve made three simple gift packs designed for different types of recipients: Contradictionary, our most broadly appealing book, suitable for everyone, but an especially delightful Trojan horse for fans of the printed word; Work, an excellent introduction to anti-capitalist ideas for curious folks questioning the forces that shape our world; and Rolling Thunder, perfect for immersing radicals and free-thinkers alike in the contemporary anarchist milieu, providing an excellent base from which to begin exploring real-world projects and actions.

So, if you find yourself caving to the gift-giving pressures of this time of year, or you simply want to share the ideas that are important to you with the people who matter most in your life, these could be a great place to start:

Contradictionary: 5 copies for $20, 27% off regular wholesale price. All five books come with special release bookmark and pencil (usually limited to one per order). Add Contradictionary Gift Pack to cart.

Work: 3 copies for $15, 50% off regular price. All three books come with a copy of the bulk capitalist pyramid poster (usually just one per order). Add Work Gift Pack to cart.

Rolling Thunder Bundle: 3 bundles for $15, 35% off regular price. Each bundle contains the 3 most recent issues of Rolling Thunder (#10, #9, #8); well over 300 pages per bundle. Add Rolling Thunder Bundle Gift Pack to cart.

Each pack comes with 10 PRISM stickers (which make excellent stocking stuffers), and are limited to three of each pack per person. Sale ends January 1st.

More photos after the jump.

CrimethInc. in Hebrew

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To accompany our in-depth interview on the history and context of Israeli anarchism, here are some of the CrimethInc. materials that have appeared in Hebrew, including translations of Dear Occupiers and Eight Simple Steps towards Revolution. A full translation of Fighting for Our Lives is available at mevakerhamedina.blogspot.com along with other texts.

PDFs and photos after the jump.