Recently, Mask Magazine published an interesting interview with Crimethinc. Much of the interview focuses broadly on the history of Crimethinc, its recent announcement of the outreach project “To Change Everything,” and the ways in which the collective has tried to expand the reach of anarchist ideas. Its always worthwhile to take the opportunity to reflect on how projects function and what lessons can be learned from how they unfold.
In terms of this interview, much of the discussion focuses on how Crimethinc’s new project differs from their old anarchist primer, Fighting for Our Lives. Much of the discussion seems relevant to the current moment, as there might be some parallels between the decline in anarchist activity in 2002 and the decline that has happened since Occupy. From the interview:
F**ighting for Our Lives was written very rapidly, as an outpouring of a particular moment. The year 2002 was a very grim year in a lot of ways. The do-it-yourself underground was collapsing, which coincided with the end of the anti-globalization movement. The Bush presidency was getting off the ground. Fighting for Our Lives appeared at that juncture, when the old subcultural networks were ceasing to have the vibrance and appeal that previously had made them such exciting spaces for creativity and experimentation. In response, we published Fighting for Our Lives, as a dramatic and ambitious attempt to engage a much broader range of people than we had ever done before.
After 9/11 there was a lot of dismay and paralysis. A lot of anarchists were pulling back in fear of repression, in fear of many of the things that have come to pass since then. But in the midst of this there were CrimethInc. networks, groups that had entered the anti-globalization movement somewhat late in the game, that still expressed the sort of youthful enthusiasm of those who had never been through a global upheaval before. Despite everything, we retained considerable enthusiasm and optimism; Fighting for Our Lives reads as a historical document of that.