|Author||Anonymous, Mac, Nigel Davis,|
|Subject||freeganism, unemployment, crime, zine, lifestyle, memoirs, travel, anti-work|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Off the Map|
|Followed by||Rusty String Quartet|
|Part of the Anarchism series on CrimethInc.
Anarchism Portal ·
Evasion is a book that spun off from a zine of the same name. It was published by CrimethInc. in 2003. The book comprises 108 pages of slightly revised text from the original zine (95% of which is retained) along with 162 pages of new material. The author is not named in the book, but is referred to elsewhere as "Mack", "the Evasion Kid", or "Mack Evasion." He later wrote a column in the zine heartattaCk .
Evasion is a first person account of the author's travels and means of survival. He survives by dumpster diving, shoplifting, return fraud, and various other "scams" he employs to get whatever money he needs. He travels by hitchhiking and train hopping, and relates adventures he has had such as gate crashing at music venues, attending hardcore punk concerts, and being employed as a professional shoplifter by a middle-class family, among other things.
The author criticizes the wastefulness of western society and frequently remarks on the ethics of work and industrial capitalism. He uses humor to make a mockery of what he believes is an unjust system, while at the same time relating his methods of survival and travel in enough detail to be useful to anyone attempting to replicate his schemes. The author chooses to find alternate means to support himself, rather than selling his time and labor to build profits for a corporation. Central to the book's theme is that human life is too precious to be sold away by the hour, and wage labor is inherently immoral.
Although Evasion expresses very few specific political statements, the author frequently makes reference to his vegan and straight-edge lifestyle. The author expresses situationist and anti-work leanings, leaving some to label him a lifestylist. Being published by an anarchist collective and widely read and reviewed by anarchists, many considered Evasion to be an unquestionably anarchist work, even though the author never labeled himself as such in the book. In his HeartattaCk column he elaborated on his political views in more detail, and responded to criticisms of Evasion:
My friends and I had long considered ourselves anarchists, if you forced us to put a name on it and temporally concern ourselves with the narrow issue of the political arrangement of one species on earth
- Mack Evasion, HeartattaCk #45.
Evasion received little coverage in the mainstream media, and received mixed reviews in anarchist and radical circles. Many were inspired by Evasion's promise of liberation from industrial capitalism through crime. Some criticized the author's "arrogance" and "white privilege." The Insurgent wrote, “The author of Evasion is a product of his time: an alienated high school dropout that refuses wage-slavery and commodity economic systems in the only way he can—by becoming an outlaw."
Evasion was originally a photocopied zine which was informally published and distributed by the author. According to the book's preface, under 100 copies were made by the author. One ended up in a stack of zines in the bathroom of a North Carolina house where the band Zegota was staying. Their guitarist happened across it and showed it to some of his friends and band members. They mailed it and passed it to other people, who in turn photocopied and distributed it, until over 5,000 copies were in circulation. Eventually, Crimethinc. Far East contacted the author via an email address in the back of the zine to discuss the possibility of publishing a paperback book version with additional material. He agreed, and the book was finally published in 2001. Throughout the next few years, the author gave several interviews and book tours and maintained a website, on which he stated that he was working on follow-up works to Evasion, such as a second book and a documentary. According to one interview, he briefly discussed creating a film version of the book with "a producer in New York City." Then, between the years of 2005 and 2011, "Mack Evasion" made no contact with anyone in the media and posted nothing on the internet under that moniker. His website went offline, and his works that were supposedly nearing completion were never released, though the Evasion paperback continued to be printed by Crimethinc. In May 2011, he surfaced to give an interview in an upcoming zine, called "A Riotous Disarray," in which he explains the reasons for his disappearance. He also mentions that he still has nearly completed material for an Evasion sequel and he is looking for a publisher. A preview of the interview has been posted online.
The book is licensed under the following terms: "Excluding all corporations, the text from this book may be reproduced without permission in any form and quantity, by any means necessary." Free PDF files of the book are available on the internet.
- A Brief History of Evasion by CrimethInc.
- "CWC Books : Evasion". Crimethinc.com. 2001-12-01. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- Evasion, Anonymous, 2001. ISBN 0-9709101-1-8
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2005-06-20. Archived from the original on June 20, 2005. Retrieved 2012-06-07.
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2006-02-08. Archived from the original on February 8, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-07.