Recipes for Disaster

Introdution III

"Plans are worthless, but planning is eveqthing-keep yourself steeped in the character of the problem you are called on to solve." -President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957

These are indeed recipes for disaster. Anyone with the shghtest experience in the field knows that nothing ever goes as planned, especially not the first time. Inevitably, at that tense, trembling moment you call in the bomb threat, the receptionist will hang up on you before your recording device plays it-and you'll realize you only brought one dean quarter.

This book can serve as a source of information, but it is meant at least as much as a source ofinspiration-it is an attempt to broaden the public toolbox, to encourage others to try out wild ideas of their own. It is indeed important that beginners around the world be armed with specific skills that are ubiquitous in some contexts but have never been applied in others, but the process of discove~yan d experimentation is always more valuable than the products thereof. Don't abide by any formula in here-improvise, improvise.

Many of the reapes we composed for this volume were test-driven in small towns. We selected such locations for our rigorous process of experimentation and analysis on the grounds that they were utterly unremarkable. Perhaps the importance of San Francisco and Barcelona in the struggle for freedom and adventure for all has been overestimated; not everyone can or should live in such places, and besides, many revolutionary dircsrded, the substance of life shall strategies which are now impossible in these cities are still tremendously dangerous everywhere else. Why risk arrest in the financial district to put up graffiti that will only remain for a few hours, when there are a thousand unguarded stop signs in the suburbs waiting to sing your song? Quite a few of these reapes are designed especially for the Middles-of-Nowhere of our world, the nondescript margins of history where Nothing Ever Happens. As they say, the quickest way to the top is to tun the world upside down. Revolution is, among other things, a reversal: the first becomes the last, the margin becomes the mainstream, the nameless convict becomes Nestor Makhno, commander of the anarchist armies of the Ukraine. The anonymous, inexperienced teenagers who get their hands on this book in Missoula, Montana could be the ones to make hip New York, and this book itself, totally obsolete. If you're one of them-wherever you live, however old you are--for everyone's sake, don't underestimate your own strength.

One more subject bears comment-the countless reapes left out of this book, especially the ones you think we should have included. Those, my friend, are the first recipes in your book, which you had better start writing as soon as possible.

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