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0 votes
Asking this here has been in the back of my mind for a while, and the recent "new to anarchism" question reminded me of it. People critisize crimethinc for being "romantic", "childish", "hipster", but i certainly don't have a problem with the first two. Like many other people it was the first anarchist stuff i ever read, and i have no problems with it personally, even though it didn't really stick.
does it make you think of crime?
of course not!

1 Answer

+3 votes

Okay, I'll bite.

My thoughts on crimethinc vary. They have been around a long time and their positions (and mine) have shifted over time.

As far as their books, I think they are great as an entry point to anarchism, but what they put out always seems to be stuff I've already thought about or like a confirmation of things I already know. And there was the whole Evasion thing and the traveler kids. That was rough.

Rolling Thunder is a mixed bag. It was what in many ways made crimethinc relevant to me again, and it continues to offer interesting articles, and what, I think, is a healthy mix of the the whimsical diy side of crimethinc (which I personally loathe) and the harder strugglismo analysis. My critique of RT at this point would be that a lot of the most interesting material has already been published online by the time each new issue comes out. But it's really pretty.

Some of crimethinc's propaganda seems hopelessly recruitment-oriented. I am thinking here of Fighting For Our Lives (which, when it came out I was stoked on, and distributed by the thousands)and To Change Everything. At this point I think both are focused on things I am not really interested in and don't personally see as worthwhile efforts. They seem to be seeking to paint anarchy in colors that appeal to the masses. I just don't care about making the masses like us (anarchists) anymore. And yet I do, and anyone who actually knows me knows that a lot of my energy is spent doing projects which often amount to outreach, so I can't fault them just because their outreach is different than my outreach, Theirs certainly reaches a wider audience.

Their specific campaigns (Steal Something From Work Day, Instead of Voting..., etc) are a mixed bag. I love the slick anti-election propaganda they have put out, even if I feel it oversimplifies things or is a little more activist-oriented than I'd be. Their stickers are pretty great too.

Lastly, I think it is important to recognize the impact that crimethinc has had on aestheitc and graphic design in (North American) anarchist circles. Before crimethinc, a lot of stuff looked very... boring. crimethinc challenged that and has constantly pushed the boundaries of how beautiful or visually appealing our artifacts can be, and that pushing has rippled out, I see crimethinc's aesthetic influence in lots of other projects.

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