Behind the smiling faces of cashiers, wait staff, and workers of all sorts, a war is going on, usually without the knowledge of official political and labor organizations. Guerrillas of Desire begins with a provocation: The Left is wrong. It’s historical and current strategies are too-often based on the assumption that working and poor people are unorganized, acquiescent to systems of domination, or simply uninterested in building a new world. The fact is, as C.L.R. James has noted, they “are rebelling every day in ways of their own invention”: pilfering, sabotaging, faking illnesses, squatting, fleeing, and counter-strategizing. Kevin Van Meter maps these undercurrents, documenting the history of everyday resistance under slavery, in peasant life, and throughout modern capitalism, while showing that it remains an important factor in revolution and something radicals of all stripes must understand.
“An ambitious work of theory and history that places autonomist Marxist ideas in direct conversation with contemporary anarchist practice, suggesting ways in which concepts such as class composition and everyday resistance, originally developed to analyze slave, peasant, and factory revolts, might aid modern day radicals operating within a bewildering political terrain marked by service work, toothless unions, insular affinity groups, and professional ‘change agents.’” —Andrew Cornell, author of Unruly Equality
"Few have approached radical theory with the rigor and skill of Kevin Van Meter. Empowering, lucid, and inspiring, Guerrillas of Desire provides an exhaustive (and much needed) retooling of anarchism that will align the dreams of 'becoming revolutionaries' with the reality of everyday resistance." —Alexander Reid Ross, author of Against the Fascist Creep
Guerrillas of Desire: Notes on Everyday Resistance and Organizing...
AK Press 2017