The book is divided into two parts. The first attempts a complete diagnosis of the totality of modern capitalist civilization, moving through what the Invisible Committee identify as the "seven circles" of alienation: "self, social relations, work, the economy, urbanity, the environment, and to close civilization". The latter part of the book begins to offer a prescription for revolutionary struggle based on the formation of communes, oraffinity group-style units, in an underground network that will build its forces outside of mainstream politics, and attack in moments of crisis – political, social, environmental – to push towards anti-capitalist revolution. The insurrection envisioned by the Invisible Committee will revolve around "the local appropriation of power by the people, of the physical blocking of the economy and of the annihilation of police forces".
The book points to the late 2000s financial crisis, and environmental degradation as symptoms of capitalism‘s decline. Also discussed are theArgentine economic crisis (1999-2002) and the piquetero movement which emerged from it, the 2005 riots and 2006 student protests in France, the 2006 Oaxaca protests and the grassroots relief work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as examples of breakdown in the modern social order which can give rise to partial insurrectionary situations.