Public Secrets: Collected Skirmishes of Ken Knabb, 1970-1997

Ken Knabb's collected writings, zines, comics, broadsides, and a hand full of translations.

Submitted by dendrite303 on January 1, 2020

The first half of the book consists of two new texts. "The Joy of Revolution" is a series of observations on the problems and possibilities of a global antihierarchical revolution. Beginning with a brief overview of the failure of Bolshevism and the inadequacy of reformism, it examines the pros and cons of a wide range of radical tactics, then concludes with some speculations on what a liberated society might be like. "Confessions of a Mild-Mannered Enemy of the State" is largely concerned with Knabb's situationist activities, but it also includes reminiscences of the sixties counterculture and accounts of his Zen practice and other later ventures.

The second half of the book contains virtually all of Knabb's previous publications. Beginning with his 1970 disruption of a Gary Snyder poetry reading, it includes critiques of the New Left and the counterculture; accounts of situationist groups, tactics and scandals;translations of several French texts; an appreciation of the great writer and social critic, Kenneth Rexroth; pamphlets, posters, comics and articles on Wilhelm Reich, radical Buddhists, Japanese anarchists, Chinese dissidents, the 1970 Polish revolt, the 1979 Iranian uprising; and the widely reproduced Gulf war tract, "The War and the Spectacle." The aim throughout is to bring the real choices into the open and to incite people to make their own radical experiments.

Libcom also hosts an Aufheben review of this book here.



  1. Some Facts of Life
  2. Foreplay
  3. Climaxes
  4. Rebirth



  • Do We Need Snyder for Poet-Priest?
  • In This Theater...
  • Ode on the Absence of Real Poetry Here This Afternoon: A Poem in Dialectical Prose
  • Bureaucratic Comix
  • Critique of the New Left Movement
  • On the Poverty of Hip Life
  • Remarks on Contradiction and Its Failure
  • Reich: How to Use (Comic)
  • Reich: How to Use by Jean-Pierre Voyer
  • Discretion Is the Better Part of Value (Addendum. to "Reich: How To Use") by Jean-Pierre Voyer
  • Double-Reflection: Preface to a Phenomenology of the Subjective Aspect of Practical-Critical Activity
  • Theory of Misery, Misery of Theory: A Report on the New Conditions of Revolutionary Theory by Daniel Denevert
  • To Clarify Some Aspects of the Moment by Daniel Denevert
  • Declaration: Concerning the Center for Research on the Social Question by Francoise Bloch, Jeanne
  • Charles, Joel Cornuault, and Daniel Denevert
  • Notice: Concerning the Reigning Society and Those Who Contest It
  • The Blind Men and the Elephant
  • Bureau of Public Secrets #1:
    1. The Society of Situationism by Ken Knabb
    2. Arms and the Woman by Jeanne Charles
    3. From 'End of Science' by Jean-Louise Moinet
    4. Trouble Is My Business
    5. Affective Detournement: A Case Study by Ken Knabb
  • The Realization and Supression of Religion
  • Open Letter to the Tokyo "Libertaire" Group by Ken Knabb
  • A Radical Group in Hong Kong by Bureau of Public Secrets
  • The Opening in Iran by Bureau of Public Secrets
  • Banalities by Bureau of Public Secrets
  • The Relevance of Rexroth
  • The War and the Spectacle
  • On Vienet's Film "Can Dialectics Break Bricks?"
  • Los Angeles 1965/1992 by Situationist International
  • Watts 1965: The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy by Situationist International
  • Strong Lessons for Engaged Buddhists
  • On Debord's Film "The Society of the Spectacle"