Expect Reistance a captivating read
When I first discovered Expect Resistance, the third and latest book released by the CrimethInc Ex-Workers Collective, I chose to read the black ink only and skipped over the portions of the book printed in red. Then I read only the red ink. Then I re-read the entire book backwards, then starting from the middle and working my way simultaneously to both the beginning and end. And although I've read every word, I continue reading and discovering Expect Resistance in new lights from different angles.
This is the beauty of Expect Resistance; it resists expectations of order and literary structure, while also warning those who've imposed order and structure to expect resistance everywhere else. There is as many different books as there are readers, for each reader chooses where to begin, what to skip and how to progress, and each reading experience is itself a different book.
For some it is simply one book, to be read like all others then put on the shelf as another inert possession. Officially, Crimethinc. claims it is three books. The first book, written in black ink, is a collection of radical essays, and could accurately be described as a sequel to CrimethInc.'s first book Days of War, Nights of Love.
The Second book, in red ink is the account of three narrators' adventures attempting to put ideas in the black ink into practice in the “real” world. And according to their website, “together these comprise a third book, an exploration of the complex relationship between ideals and reality.
Expect Resistance is a field manual for a field on which all manuals are useless, a meditation on individual transformation and collective resistance in disastrous times, and a masterpiece that raises the bar for radical publishing.” Expect Resistance has indeed raised the bar in both design and content. Never before have I read a book that has so thoroughly and passionately critiqued mainstream society, while simultaneously providing accessible, logical and easy to apply alternatives for readers. The ideas are presented in a way that encourages readers to test them out in their own lives, which is why this book is labeled a “field manual.”
Not ones to shy away from self-criticism the anonymous collective authors of Expect Resistance also showcase some of the pitfalls and negative consequences of engaging in subversive activity and radical activism, and hint at where we could all be improving.