book review: beyond survival28 Jan 2021
What are the main ideas?
- transformative justice and community accountability are contemporary names for practices that people have had for centuries and beyond.
- mistakes will be made. as long as we learn and repair the harm we’ve caused, we’re moving in the right direction.
- don’t go it alone. learning and practicing in groups is critical.
- tj is (contrary to popular belief) not the antidote to the prison industrial complex. positioning it as such puts it under too much pressure. tj is one part (and maybe even a transitional part) of a world that exists on the road from carceral states to liberated worlds.
If I implemented one idea from this book right now, which one would it be?
- although tj/ca (under that title) is about 30 years old, there is SO. MUCH. SPACE. for people to try things out. mistakes are how we get better at it. we have to not let perfectionism and fear of mmessing up stop us from practicing and trying. purity politics has no place in this work. the state has been fucking it up for 200+ years (and with lots of resources during that time!). of course we aren’t going to be perfect in 30 years. that doesn’t mean we should stop trying.
How would I describe the book to a friend?
this edited volume is wide-ranging and epically constructed. the four sections split the book into (imo) visions, practices/tools, theory, and lessons. each contribution, whether one or many voices, adds fantastic new colors and angles to the kaleidoscope of this volume. this book feels like it will be really useful (well, it’s already useful now but will be even more so) when tj/ca gets big, seems to fail, and then people will want to come for folks’ heads. this book is a shield, a guide, medicine, and hope all wrapped into one.
reminder: book review structure