Book review – "To Our Friends" – by The invisible Committee

MIT Press

One Rogers St.

Cambridge MA 02142-1209

Reviewed by dj dio

The Invisible Committee made a name for itself with it’s 2007 “The Coming Insurrection” and is something akin to a wordsmith’s Banksy…. faceless yet familiar and often suggesting what is on the tip of our collective tongues. This followup effort is less predictive and more prescriptive, offering a friendly hand and headlamp to radicals and activists attempting to wade thru the sad morass that is the post-modern capitalist landscape.

It opens with a quote from Jacques Mesrine “There is no other world. There’s just another way to live.” before jumping in with it’s first chapter entitled “Crisis is a mode of Government”. The invisible committee offers an analysis of how our modern societies function, the relationship of revolt/insurrection to institutional power structures and a compass of sorts for those interested in serious, wholesale social change. Adventuresome, intellectually complex and courageously skeptical of left/right sacred cows and stagnant ideologies: this writing suggests that it is every one of us that needs to change… not just “them”.

Primarily addressing the state of political/economic relations in the developed world, the writing leaps and soars, lands for some nifty bulldozing work, sneaks around the corner with a gasmask and a molotov cocktail and finally concludes with a “to-be list that is childishly straight forward…and therefore maybe even be-able!

Mixing french style standup comedy with occasionally ridiculous polemical excursion (and contradictory statements aplenty), it serves up an invigorating deep tissue massage to your radical brain structure. You don’t have to agree/disagree with it’s many insights and speculations because it’ll get your own thinking juices flowing and that is clearly the underlying raison d’être of this project. This is not a recipe book.

Anticipating the retreat and accompanying loss of vitality that a life of contemplation can bring and offering a friendly kick in the pants to get off the couch and into the soup pot, it boldly claims that we cannot lose unless we choose to. If you want a sky-is-falling bummer-athon, look elsewhere!

Read this book if you’ve tired of DOA leftist tropes, competitive victim posturing or the droning techno-chatter of the new world order.

It will put a smile on your face.