Days of War, Nights of Love/Preface
What is crimethink?
Today, everything that can't be bought, sold, or faked is crimethink.
Preface: What is a "CrimethInc"?
A spectre is haunting the world today: the spectre of crimethink, and the underground front that heralds it. In every corporate washroom, on every street corner, under every roof from the ghettoes to the suburbs you can hear the whispers: "What is this CrimethInc.? Who are they? What do they want?"
These questions can be approached, if not answered. CrimethInc. is significant for what it is not: it is not a membership organization. It is not an elitist vanguard that purports to lead the masses out of darkness to salvation—experience has shown a thousand times that such parties are the social forces that create masses. And it is not a Movement, either: for such things exist only as a part of history, and as such are subject to its laws—gestation, ascendance, decline. As crimethink is a force that exists beneath the currents of history, outside the chain of events, CrimethInc. is the first stirrings of a revolt that will take us all out of history.
CrimethInc. is invincible because it is centerless, amoebic, invisible. Who is CrimethInc.? It could be anyone—the woman on the bus next to you may be one of us. Perhaps an autonomous CrimethInc. nucleus is at play in your town as you read this; perhaps you will form one when you're finished reading. Because CrimethInc. is an expression of longings that are in every heart, it could be just three travelers in an Italian hostel tonight and two hundred thousand independent cells in full blown insurrection next month.
As for what we want—you'd have to ask each of us, one by one, and hopefully you'll know better than to trust people when they answer that question.
It was said of one of our predecessors, a body of ex-artists and theorists active primarily in the 1960's, that their group was unique in that it represented a stance rather than an ideology ("not a position, but a proposition"). It would be tempting to say that CrimethInc. improves on their method in that it is founded on a shared desire, rather than a common critique; but this also misses the mark. CrimethInc. is a web of desires, all unique to the individuals who feel them; what sets CrimethInc. apart is that it is a means of interlocking these desires, of creating mutually beneficial relationships between people with different needs. This is why we have the bureaucrats and entrepreneurs, whose very existence depends on our isolation and frustration, shaking in their loafers. This is how we have come to be the ones to fire the first shots of the third and final world war, the war which will be fought for total liberation.
What is CrimethInc.?
CrimethInc. is the black market where brilliant schemes and wild abandon are traded for lives.
Crimethink for Yourself!
How To Use This Book.
It is crucial to point out that this book isn't designed to be used in any way a "normal" book is. Rather than reading it from one cover to the other, casting perfunctory votes of disapproval or agreement along the way (or even deciding to "buy in" to our ideas, in passive consumer fashion), and then putting it on the shelf as another inert possession, we hope you will use this as a tool in your own efforts—not just to think about the world, but also to change it. This book is composed of ideas and images we've remorselessly stolen and adjusted to our purposes, and we hope you'll do exactly the same with its contents. There's no need to even read it as one unit if it doesn't please you; such a thing might be too repetitive for the average bear, anyway. But please by all means use the images for posters, take sentences for your own writing, reinterpret ideas and claim them as your own inventions, turn in the articles as papers for your Sociology class—if you must turn those papers in, that is!
As for the contents themselves: we've limited ourselves for the most part here to criticism of the established order, because we trust you to do the rest. Heaven is a different place for everyone; hell, at least this particular one, we inhabit in common. This book is supposed to help you analyze and disassemble this world—what you build for yourself in its place is in your hands, although we've offered some general ideas of where to start. In our next book we'll provide some more detailed suggestions, and share some of our experiences exploring the alternatives to the structures and forces we assault in this one. In the meantime, remember: the destructive impulse is also a creative one... happy smashing!
- Nadia C.
Against practicality we therefore disdain the example and admonition of tradition in order to invent at any cost something which everyone considers crazy!