System Crash

Published by Resistance Books and the International Institute for Research and Education.

System Crash: An activist guide to making revolution

By Neil Faulkner, Phil Hearse, Nina Fortune, Rowan Fortune, and Simon Hannah.

RRP: £10, €12, $14 (print)

126pages; 140x216mm.

You can read chapters of the book on the Anti*Capitalist Resistance website.


System Crash is an urgent indictment of the juggernaut of a global capitalism that is destroying the planet and unleashing untold suffering on billions of people. A rapacious ruling class knows no limits to its drive to accumulate profits while masses endure savage inequalities, widespread poverty, environmental devastation, unemployment, exploitation, repression and the threat of fascism. The authors show that in all of their diversity the mass movements breaking out everywhere have a common underlying denominator: an aggressive global capitalism in crisis that is pushing to expand on the backs of the global working class and the oppressed who can tolerate no more hardship and deprivation. They warn that the contradictions of this crisis-ridden system have reached the breaking point, placing our very survival at risk.  The stakes could not be higher. System Crash makes clear: reform is not enough. Only a revolutionary politics can pull us back from the brink. The choice, affirm the authors, is between revolution and extinction.  Here is our wake-up call. This book must be read by every social movement activist.” – William I Robinson, is Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies, at the University of California-Santa Barbara and author of The Global Police State (2020) and Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity (2014)

“Our collective future demands we start listening to people who can imagine a system other than globalised capitalism. This book is a blueprint for the world we must build together.” – Tansy Hoskins, author of Stitched-up: the anti-capitalist book of fashion (2014) and Foot Work: what your shoes tell you about globalisation (2020).

“System Crash is a very useful clear and concise ‘activist guide’ to the many and various reasons for which it is urgent to get rid of capitalism, and the pitfalls to be avoided in the pursuit of radical social change.” – Gilbert Achcar. His books include  Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising, Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism.

It is the greatest crisis in human history. We are hurtling towards an abyss. The system is terminally diseased. Pandemic, climate crisis, endless war, mega-slums, police repression, creeping fascism, economic stagnation: these shape our world. On one side, grotesque greed and rampaging corporate power.

On the other, poverty, oppression, and despair.

Capitalism came into the world, Marx wrote, ‘dripping from head to toe, from every pore, with blood and dirt’. Now, the ageing system is putrescent and gangrenous. But the last decade has seen explosions of revolt from below, fire cracking across the globe, toppling dictators, resisting austerity, protesting racism, defending abortion rights, fighting for democracy. Here is the embryo of an alternative future.

Revolution – ending the rule of capital and the state – has become an existential necessity. This book is a call to arms.


  1. Introduction: World on Fire
  2. Pandemic
  3. Burning Planet
  4. Social Crisis and Social Class
  5. Mega-Slums
  6. Police States and Warfare States
  7. The New Fascism
  8. The Economics of Disaster Capitalism
  9. Can the System Be Reformed?
  10. The Working Class and the Oppressed
  11. From Anti-Capitalist Resistance to Post-Capitalist Transformation
  12. Conclusion: The Revolutionary Imperative


Neil Faulkner is an archaeologist, historian, and political activist. His books include Rome: empire of the eagles, A Radical History of the World, A People’s History of the Russian Revolution, and Creeping Fascism: what it is and how to fight it. He is currently working on A People’s History of the Spanish Civil War. His books have been translated into a dozen foreign languages. He played a leading role in Brick Lane Debates and is now active in Anti*Capitalist Resistance.

Phil Hearse is a veteran socialist activist. One of the authors of Creeping Fascism, he taught Communication and Culture at a London college until his retirement in 2016. Many of his articles appear on the Socialist Resistance, International Viewpoint, and Mutiny websites. He is a supporter of Anti*Capitalist Resistance.

Rowan Fortune is a socialist, the editor of the utopian short story anthology Citizens of Nowhere, and author of the nonfiction ebook Writing Nowhere.

Simon Hannah is a local government worker and a socialist and trade union activist. He is the author of A Party with Socialists in it: a history of the Labour Left, Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay: the fight to stop the Poll Tax, and Radical Lambeth.

Nina Fortune is an activist with a focus on oppression. She has contributed essays to Mutiny about Black Lives Matter in the US and the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on BAME people in the UK.

The book can be purchased from Resistance Books here.

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