A Guerrilla Guide to Refusal

2022
Author:

Andrew Culp

A field guide to a nonfascist life at the end of the world as we know it

This book is an unexpected approach to philosophy from a guerrilla-logic point of view. Harnessing critical theory to reimagine counterinsurgency, guerrilla warfare, and interventions beyond the political mainstream, it takes us on a journey through anarchist infowar, queer outlaws, and black insurgency, providing powerful new insight into contemporary political movements that pose no demands, refuse labels, and offer no solutions.

A Guerrilla Guide to Refusal is an unexpected approach to philosophy from a guerrilla-logic point of view. Harnessing critical theory to creatively reimagine counterinsurgency, guerrilla warfare, and interventions beyond the political mainstream, it takes us on a journey through anarchist infowar, queer outlaws, and black insurgency—through a subterranean network of communiques, military documents, contemporary art, political slogans, adversarial blogs, and captive media. In doing so, it provides powerful new insight into contemporary political movements that pose no demands, refuse labels, and offer no solutions.

Written to both inspire and provoke, A Guerrilla Guide to Refusal urges us to think through the refusal to participate in politics as usual. Author Andrew Culp demonstrates how evasion can combatively deny the existing order its power. Focusing on punk cinema, anarchist pamphlets, feminist art projects, hacker manifestos, and guerrilla manuals, he foregrounds invisibility as a novel force of disruption. He draws on concepts of criminality, fugitivity, and anonymity to bring a more nuanced understanding of how power makes things—and people—visible.

The book’s unique format is that of a theoretical manual, comprising freestanding segments instead of blueprints. Poised to reach beyond the academy into activist circles, this potent theory-in-action intervention forces us to reconsider the terrain upon which our struggles against patriarchy, anti-Blackness, capitalism, and the state operate.

Andrew Culp is professor of media history and theory in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. He is author of Dark Deleuze (Minnesota, 2016).

Contents

Introduction: Underground Philosophy

I. Anonymity

1. The Force of Liberation

2. Propaganda of the Deed

3. The Voice of Bullets and Bombs

4. Messages without a Sender

5. The Sprawl

6. The Politics of Asymmetry

II. Criminality

7. Society with Sexual Characteristics

8. Excitement and Exposure

9. A Heart That Burns and Burns

10. We Are Bad, but We Could Be Worse

11. We Don’t

12. Making Illness into a Weapon

III. Fugitivity

13. Uprising

14. Self-Abolition

15. Searing Flesh

16 Captive Media

17. Black Out

18. Trapped between Withdrawal and Hypervisibility

Conclusion: Communism at the End of the World

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index