Inhabit: Instructions for Autonomy started out as a zine, later republished as this cute little volume. The zine version is fantastic; however, this edition is both updated and visually cooler. There’s nothin’ wrong with the black-and-white photocopied zine aesthetic, but in book form it’s slicker and printed in orange and green monochrome images and text. It just looks really rad, okay?
That being said, the associated website is, in the most eloquent of terms, really fucking cool, and in fact, a visit to inhabit.global takes you straight to the digital version of the text, which is not, as many digital texts are, a shitty, grainy PDF with no attention to the fact that people are actually going to read this, but an interactive iteration of the text. It also carries the same visuals as the book and comes in Spanish and French!
Inhabit themselves are an anonymous network of all types of radicals involved in all types of projects across the country; their main goal is providing tools for autonomous living within, though eventually without, the structures already in place. Instructions for Autonomy, then, is exactly what it sounds like: a call to action, an idealistic manifesto, and, well, instructions for autonomy. What I like about the book, though, is that, unlike many tonally similar radical texts, it provides real, concrete starting places for personal revolutions. So you can’t kill every racist cop in your hometown, that’s okay. Start by creating a “hub,” to use their word, of people who support each other, and resolve disputes internally. Take care of each other. So we can’t tear the healthcare system apart insurance office by insurance office, well, educate yourselves and each other about our bodies and how to take care of them.
So, yeah. It’s idealistic but I needed it, and I think a lot of us do. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the good that’s out there, the fight that’s always taking place, and our part in it. I loved Instructions for Autonomy, because amidst all the fucked-up stuff that’s happening, it reminded me there’s a lot more that I can do besides sit at home and occasionally wear a lot of black and attend a protest. I can exist, at least in part, in ways that are directly antithetical to the system at large, and it’s a better life. –Jimmy Cooper (inhabit.global, for distribution, [email protected])