From Do or Die #8
The monster of enclosure applies not just to land, but equally to knowledge. Every day we become increasingly dependant on specialists and experts - whether it be to produce our food, cure our illnesses or mend our tools. This division of labour is central to the maintenance of a hierarchical system where we are all alienated from ourselves, each other and the world around us. To continue, advance and intensify the domination of our lives these people jealously guard and mystify the skills they have. This creates a culture of dependence - one where we're scared to try and take control of our lives because we feel we don't have the knowledge necessary to do so. So, if we are ever to transcend this fucked system, part of what we need to do is to re-learn many of these skills that have been forgotten, destroyed or stolen from us.
To try and help this process along we have emptied our shelves, perused through dusty bookshops, and waded through various catalogues to compile this list of practical skills books and pamphlets. When using this list remember that no book is ever a replacement for practice and experience and reading a book listed here is not intended to be a substitute for that. Many of the publications have a strong USA bias (particularly those in the Blags and Scams, Things That Go Bang and Hacktivism sections) - or, worse than this, some may contain out-of-date information. Despite this we have listed these when no other suitable UK or recently written alternative has been found. The inclusion of a book or pamphlet in this list does not mean we agree with the politics of its writer, editor or publisher - and it doesn't necessarily mean we suggest you try what is suggested in it.
Having said all this, the books below can hopefully act as a starting point for people who want to find out more about a particular skill or field of interest. We find the fact that there is this huge diversity of skills out there - as well as many more we haven't even touched upon - incredibly exciting, despite never having the desire nor ability to try our hand at all of them. Hopefully you'll find this section inspiring and informative - and we await your comments on it with glee! (The code in brackets after each review relates to a key at the end of the whole section. To find out where you can get a copy of the publication reviewed refer to this on page 324.)