Many, many, manifestos.
March 16, 2016 10:33 AM   Subscribe

I love manifestos of all type. Feminist manifestos. Communist manifestos. Murder manifestos. The more the merrier. Send me your most interesting manifestos.

I love reading manifestos - some of my favorite include:

S.C.U.M. Manifesto by Valerie Solanis
BLAST Manifesto by Windham Lewis
Feminist Manifesto by Mina Loy

But I'm also morbidly interested in the manifestos of evil and ill individuals - I poured over Elliot Rodger's manifesto looking for clues as to what went wrong, but also out of pure morbid curiosity: why was he so hateful? What drove him to do what he did?

And let's add some mentally ill manifestos as well for good measure.

So outside of the manifestos on Wikipedia, please send me your favorite/most interesting/most disturbing/most puzzling manifestos.
posted by Dressed to Kill to Writing & Language (59 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
Here's one from my field: The Elastic Manifesto, or Why Museums are Ripe for Experimental Projects. The PDF has the most current version but all the links are good.
posted by Miko at 10:37 AM on March 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Did you read the Unabomber's stuff? It's only loosely a "manifesto," but it meets many of your criteria. If nothing else you can see why they were willing to say he's mentally ill.
posted by SMPA at 10:51 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

The First Manifesto of Surrealism by Andre Breton is a favorite of mine.
posted by Pineapplicious at 11:05 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Ooooh! Also if anyone else is interested: Kyle Odom (the gentleman that recently was arrested outside the White House) has a fascinating reptilian driven manifesto. So Conspiracy manifestos are also very exciting.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:19 AM on March 16, 2016

Best answer: Kyle Odom shot a pastor in Idaho and was arrested two days later by the Secret Service when he was caught trying to toss this manifesto on to the White House lawn.

It contains hypersexual aliens.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:20 AM on March 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

Late 80's/early 90's punk rock band Nation of Ulysses often printed manifestos in their CD booklets and liner notes.
posted by Leontine at 11:20 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway is very much a personal favorite of mine.
posted by sc114 at 11:26 AM on March 16, 2016 [6 favorites]

Best answer: The New Blockaders' 1982 manifesto is a nice, absurd little Situationist/Futurist pastiche.
posted by remembrancer at 11:28 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not sure if this counts, but it immediately came to mind. It's short. From the Absolutely Fabulous episode POOR, when Edina must go in front of a judge to defend herself against a well deserved drunk driving charge. Video clip here.

Edina "Right - I, the proposed accused think that, well I mean, you know, well the day in question was not a good day for me, all right? But, I put it to you that I don't see how any day could have been good the way this bloody country's run. Well, you know, I was just trying to take control of my life, you know, only to find that actually it's controlled for me by petty rules and laws that just obstruct every tiny little action until you find you've committed a crime without even knowing it. I mean, you know, why can't life just be made a little easier for everybody, eh? Why can't it be more like the Continent, um? You know, where a man can just park his car on the pavement and then run down the street in front of charging bulls while letting fireworks off out his bloody nostrils without anyone blinking an eye? Uh? Because it's probably a local holiday and nobody's at work because they all want to have just a little bit of fun and they're not intimidated by some outdated work ethic. I mean, there has to be more to life than just being safe..."

Judge "Is there a point to all this?"

Edina. "Yes, Yes! Why, oh why, do we pay taxes, um? I mean, just to have bloody parking restrictions and buggery-ugly traffic wardens, and bollocky-pedestrian-bloody-crossings, and those bastard railings outside shops, so you can't even get in them? I mean, I know they are there to stop stupid people running into the street and killing themselves, but we're not all stupid, we don't all need nursemaiding. I mean, why not just have a 'Stupidity Tax', just tax the stupid people!"

Patsy "Let them die!"

Edina "Yes!

Judge "Any more of this ridiculous rant and I'll put you both away ..."
posted by jbenben at 11:39 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Along Pineapplicious's suggestion, a recent trip to the Gemeente Museum in Den Haag has renewed my interest in the de Stijl movement. If you read Dutch (or Flemmish or German) here are PDFs of every copy of the movement's magazine.
posted by Brittanie at 11:39 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Extraterrestrials and the New Cosmology by Steven Greer.

Sex and the Single Girl - Part II by Bernie Sanders.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:41 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Dogme 95 and its Manifesto.
posted by jedicus at 11:44 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Also in film, there's Werner Herzog's Minnesota Declaration.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:45 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

outside of the manifestos on Wikipedia

I didn't catch that criterion at first glance. For reference.
posted by jedicus at 11:48 AM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

The High Strangeness of Dimensions, Densities, and the Process of Alien Abduction by Laura Knight-Jadczyk. Review by Richard Dolan. (full text in pdf form hosted on
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:59 AM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Italian Modernists wrote a lot of manifestos. The first one by Marinetti was the most prominent one, published in 1909. It had a strong note of early Fascism, including points like these:

9. We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.

10. We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.

posted by Herr Zebrurka at 12:04 PM on March 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Here's the infamous FLQ manifesto, which played a big role in Canada's October Crisis. A related work, being a more expanded manifesto of sorts, is White N*ggers of America.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:12 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Didn't see the Wikipedia exception. As penance, I shall link to the Author Tract article on Wikipedia, and point out that there is no greater manifesto in literature than the last 100 pages of War and Peace.
posted by SMPA at 12:14 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The revolution will be typewritten.
posted by JanetLand at 12:17 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Anders Breivik is the Norwegian guy who killed 77 people. He's currently suing the Norwegian government for 'inhuman' treatment.

Here's his Manifesto (pdf). I haven't read it - it's 1515 pages.
posted by veedubya at 12:33 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Apologies, I also missed the Wikipedia exception. Some of the Futurist manifestos are there, though not all.

In the "evil and ill" category, you have the long manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, Norwegian terrorist with white-supremacy motives.
posted by Herr Zebrurka at 12:34 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The guerrilla open access manifesto by the late and great Adam Swartz.
posted by idlethink at 12:34 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Read the Merz Manifesto by Kurt Schwitters (innertubes are highly recommended).
posted by brookeb at 12:44 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

95Theses95 from Lake Woebegone Days by Garrison Keillor
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:52 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I’d call Federico García Lorca’s ars poetica about the duende a manifesto. Half of it sounds like an art history lecture and half of it sounds like [insert sound of my brain exploding].

English translation here.
posted by miles per flower at 1:01 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Leap Manifesto, A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another
posted by FallowKing at 1:12 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've always been weirdly fascinated with Adolf Loos' Ornament and Crime, which is often referred to as a manifesto.

"If I want to eat a piece of gingerbread I will choose one that is completely plain and not a piece which represents a baby in arms of a horserider, a piece which is covered over and over with decoration."

"But anyone who goes to the Ninth Symphony & then sits down & designs a wallpaper pattern is either a confidence trickster or a degenerate.

“If someone who is tattooed dies at liberty, it means he has died a few years before committing a murder.”

P.S. It's totally racist and classist.
posted by redsparkler at 1:42 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Futurist Manifesto
posted by Thorzdad at 2:20 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Port Huron Statement
posted by effluvia at 2:50 PM on March 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: 1000 Manifestos?
posted by BlueHorse at 3:54 PM on March 16, 2016

Best answer: Raver's Manifesto
posted by curtains at 4:10 PM on March 16, 2016

Best answer: Psychoceramics, a collection of manifesti from Usenet or the mailboxes of science professors, who pick up a lot of this kind of thing. The archive is eighteen years old at least by now.

I struggle with complicated, guilty feelings about my interest in this kind of thing.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:59 PM on March 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: How about the manifesto on women by the Al-Khannsaa Brigade of ISIS?
posted by foxjacket at 8:20 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

From the design lens there's Tom Sachs' 10 bullets (video) and Bruce Mau's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth.

Always be knolling is heard often around my workplace :)
posted by gillianr at 11:38 PM on March 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Taraka Larson of Prince Rama performs her Now Age Manifesto (advisories: glitter; startled audience; endless Enya loop).
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:39 AM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

It drives me absolutely bonkers when capitalist companies call their marketing screed a "manifesto", but Ello's "manifesto" was literally the main reason a zillion people signed up, so it may be worth a read.
posted by divabat at 2:08 AM on March 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

You might find this interesting: Julian Rosefeldt. Manifesto

The longing for manifestos continues uninterrupted today. This is shown by Rosefeldt's new film installation Manifesto: 13 films running in parallel bring angry, youthful, and amazingly current sounding words to the screen. In fact, Rosefeldt collaged historical original texts from numerous manifestos by artists, architects, choreographers, and filmmakers—including texts by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Tristan Tzara, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Reiner, Sturtevant, Adrian Piper, Sol LeWitt or Jim Jarmusch. Many of them reveal a surprisingly theatrical and literary power. The vitality and the fury of a young generation is inscribed in the thematic and performative energy of the proclamations. Rosefeldt has condensed this power in text collages.

posted by Yiggs at 3:57 AM on March 17, 2016

Response by poster: You do not disappoint! Thank you all!! I have lots of fun reading ahead of me. :)

Maybe I'll write one of my own!
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:05 AM on March 17, 2016

Best answer: As far as murder manifestos, the blog of Kevin Ray Underwood, who ended up murdering a 10 year old girl in Oklahoma in 2006, is a fairly chilling personal record of a mental descent into becoming a child killer. It's not exactly a manifesto as it took place over many years, but it certainly expresses his thoughts and opinions all the way until a couple days after the murder (before he was caught).
posted by banishedimmortal at 5:35 AM on March 17, 2016

gutai art manifesto
posted by blixapuff at 3:16 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I always think of Frank O'Hara's "Personism" when I think of manifestos.

This isn't part of your question, but I just wanted to add that there's a large critique to be made about the SCUM Manifesto, due to her really vile treatment of trans women.
posted by lilies.lilies at 4:32 PM on March 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Herewith The Logicians['] Liberation League Manifesto by The Maximum Leader.
posted by oluckyman at 7:08 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Manifesto by Roxy Music (the single, from 1979)
posted by Rash at 8:44 PM on March 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

Valerie Solanas's S.C.U.M. Manifesto
posted by at 4:38 AM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Gary Panter's Rozz Tox Manifesto (text). (A big influence on Matt Groening).
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

This was all the rage when it came out last summer: the XENOFEMINISM: A POLITICS FOR ALIENATION.
posted by lilies.lilies at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Chris Dorner's Manifesto (LAPD officer that went on shooting spree)
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 4:40 AM on March 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

FWIW, I remember begging my bosses to read The Cluetrain Manifesto. Entire original text is available here at no charge.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:54 PM on March 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

I know this is late but my favorite manifesto didn't seem to make it in! Tristan Tzara's Dada Manifesto.
posted by capricorn at 9:18 AM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hugo Ball wrote a Dada Manifesto two years before Tristan Tzara did.
Charles Manson "Your Children".
The Abolition of Work by Bob Black. See other essays on the left.
The Last Words of Dutch Schultz
Robert Degrimston - The Process Church of the Final Judgement. Full (?) texts. PDF file. "Humanity is the Devil" on Pg 86 is a good place to start.
The Conquest of the Irrational - Salvadore Dali
Thee Manifesto ov Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth
Situationists International Manifesto - Asger Jorn
Nick Zedd - The Cinema of Transgression Manifesto
...basically there's a lot of strange stuff to read here: More manifestos, more essays.
The Socialist Patients' Collective (Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv aka The SPK) Manifesto - "Some Velvet Morning"
posted by Zack_Replica at 7:16 PM on March 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Hakim Bey T.A.Z
Guy Debord Society of the Spectacle
Antonin Artaud The Theater of Cruelty
Black Panther's 10 Point Program
posted by nikoniko at 11:52 PM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

by why the lucky stiff. Here's a little background.
posted by aniola at 3:45 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ulysses Speaks from The Nation of Ulysses. RIDNOU
posted by OmieWise at 9:37 AM on May 6, 2016

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