There are two ways out of capitalism, revolution or death. Anybody who tells you otherwise is simply wrong. The US based sub-cultural cult “Crimethinc” (CWC) who mix anarchism with bohemian drop-out lifestyles and vague anti-civilisation sentiment would have you believe that capitalism is something from which you can merely remove yourself by quitting work, eating from bins and doing whatever “feels good”… They are anarchists by name only with little relevance to the rest of the anarchist milieu and no class analysis…
… The call to transform everyday is a call to smash the current exploitative system, to participate in the class struggle, an ongoing historical conflict between the proletariat and the ruling class. Crimethinc substitute this class struggle with a teenage individualistic rebellion based on having fun now. Shoplifting, dumpster diving, quitting work are all put forward as revolutionary ways to live outside the system but amount to nothing more than a parasitic way of life which depends on capitalism without providing any real challenge. The arrogance of middle class kids (just like the hippies) supposing to change by world by roughing it as “poor” people for a few years is captured perfectly in the quote on the back cover of their book evasion.
“Poverty, unemployment, homelessness - if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right!”
Condescending, privileged, middle class crap. The only people who could think that poverty is in any way fun are wealthy kids playing at being poor for a few years, the daily reality of poverty, unemployment and homelessness for the average person is very serious and something anarchists should always organise against rather than mock.
The reality of the situation is that you can’t boycott your way out of capitalism, dropping out of the system is never going to bring it down if anything you just re-enforce the system by recuperating people’s alienation and desire for revolution by selling them a new lifestyle under the same system. Capitalism is a system of coercion and control, we don’t work to support the system, we work because we need food and shelter and healthcare and the only way to get that under capitalism is with money. The only way we can get money is by selling our labour - the alternative is to rot, that’s Capitalism. I don’t want to feed my kids out of a dumpster or have to scam free healthcare if I get cancer, it’s not appealing or practical. There’s nothing revolutionary about using your white, middle-class, western privilege to remove yourself from the system at the expense of those who remain trapped in it. None of us are free until we all are.
W - Rethinking CrimethInc: “Your politics are bourgeois as fuck”
An analysis of (mid 2000s) CrimethInc lifestyle politics by an actual anarchist.