Various Authors

Letters to Fifth Estate



You are to be commended for surviving despite the premature reports of your publication’s demise coupled with the other difficulties the Fifth Estate has faced recently.

I was greatly pleased to find your September issue on the newsstands. What a great issue. Your politics are a breath of fresh, fresh air--especially when compared to the drivel in The Sun and the so-called Michigan Free Press.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

What with all the straight media from TV-2 to the Ann Arbor Sun declaring us dead, we thought it was about time to bring out some proof to the contrary. On the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be so cocky about it since this is only our third paper in four months, pretty well giving the lie to our proposed monthly schedule. But a fatal combination of laziness and a desire not to be bound by externally imposed deadlines has probably allowed us to become self-indulgent (like this column). Also, this is an explanation, not a promise for more frequent issue.


Fifth Estate Collective
Staff & Contributors

Staff and contributors for this issue

Millard Berry

Porter Canfield

A. Shady Character

Dan Dickerhoff

B. Durrutti

Alan Franklin

Ralph Franklin

Dan Gordon

Kathy Horak

Algirdas Ratnikas

Marilyn Werbe

Peter Werbe

Dennis Witkowski

Cover photo: Millard Berry

The Fifth Estate Newspaper, a non-profit Michigan corporation is published monthly at 4403 Second Avenue, Detroit MI; phone: (313) 831–6800. Office hours are 1:00–5:00pm Tuesdays through Fridays and 1:00–4:00pm on Saturdays. Subscriptions are $3.00 (12 issues). Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. Call 842–8888 for retail sales outlets. No copyright. No commercial advertising accepted.

B. Durrutti
Unions & the Nature of Work New James Boggs pamphlet misses the point about work and workers today

a review of

“But What About the Workers?,” a pamphlet by James Boggs and James Hocker, available from the Advocators, Box 07249, Gratiot Sta., Detroit MI 48207; $0.75, 43 pp.

James Boggs and James Hocker, like so many other revolutionaries, desire a unified working class capable of a socialist revolution and set out in their pamphlet to examine the state of unions today and why so many workers employ “individualistic” solutions to their problems.


Spain: The continuing revolution

For the first time since I got here, people are openly and seriously comparing this to the pre-Civil War situation in 1936.

--Basque Diplomat, October 1975

For 36 years now, Generalisimo Francisco Franco has been ruling Spain through iron-fisted repression and the executions of thousands of Spanish workers and peasants. But last month the senile dictator may have signed his regime’s death warrant with the executions of five revolutionaries.


Tom Panzenhagen
Gullen Quits Cushman New WSU President

(Page 1 of The South End insert)

President George Gullen took a late-night meeting of the WSU Board of Governors by surprise Tuesday with the announcement of his resignation from the University’s highest post effective immediately.

Citing what he called the “massive dehumanization” which distinguishes “this and every other university,” the 57-year-old administrator said he could no longer justify “a single day more” at the helm of the State’s third largest university.


Today 10/30/75

(page 1 of The South End insert)

Crystal Balling

The South End Political Affairs advisor has thrown his hat into the ring. No, he’s not running, but has gone out on a limb to predict the 1976 Republican candidate for president. Nelson Rockefeller is his name, ruling class, go-getting is his game. SEPA’s theory is that Rocky just ain’t acting like a submissive VP for nothing and that just as Ford arranged to pardon Nixon in advance, he also only planned to be Pres for the duration of Nixon’s term. Betty’s health, among other things, will give Jerry an out. What will Jerry do after his time is up? Return to Michigan and act as official target for the Michigan Police Pistol Team, a source has told the South End.


Jan Harald
Exposé: Press Biggies Rake Media Hearst, Knight Shock Hundreds Here

(Page 2 of The South End insert)

Two of the nation’s biggest media barons shocked hundreds of student and professional journalists yesterday when they delivered a searing attack on the American news industry and exposed themselves as “mass manipulators.”

John S. Knight, Editorial Chairman of Knight-Ridder newspapers, and William Randolph Hearst Jr., Chairman of the Hearst Corporation, told a Journalism Day crowd in WSU’s Alumni Lounge that long-held assumptions about newspapers being “objective” and “independent” were nothing but illusions and myths.


Fifth Estate Collective

(Page 3 of The South End insert)

Classified deadline is noon of the day before publication. Rates are $2 a day (non-student) and $1 a day (students with ID), for the first 15 words or less. Classified ads must be pre-paid by check, money Order, or receipt from the WSU Cashier Office. No cash accepted at the South End Office.


Strike & Sabotage at Wash. Post

If the publishing of a sympathetic account of a union struggle seems inconsistent with our perspective, which views unions as auxiliary organs of Capital, let us clarify the matter. As people who have spent our adult lives as wage workers and members of several different trade unions, we have always supported the struggles of our fellow workers to improve their lot within Capital. What we are adamant about is that union struggles have absolutely nothing to do with the revolutionary struggle for a communist society.


Lording in the Corridor Save Your Rent


Corridor Lording

Ten years ago, the number of residents in the Cass Corridor, bounded by Adams, Cass, Penn Central RR, and the John Lodge X-Way, numbered well over two hundred thousand. Today that number has dwindled to under ninety thousand. Most of the people have relocated in other parts of Detroit, buying up property abandoned by the flight of middle and low income whites to the suburbs. This relocation, usually accounted for along the lines of racial prejudice, stems as much from the nature of real estate values as simple racial realignment.


Army Crumbling in Portugal Crisis of authority for bourgeoisie

Radical troops demonstrate in Lisbon

The rule of Capital continues to erode in Portugal as the increased activity of rank-and-file soldiers, workers and peasants comes into increasing conflict with the Sixth Provisional military government.

Perhaps the most dramatic example of the growing instability is the rebelliousness of the army troops and lower ranking officers. As has been well reported in the capitalist press, example after example of troops leading and taking part in mass demonstrations, giving arms to workers and “left” parties, and their refusal to obey government orders has precipitated the latest crisis for the moderate government of Premier Pinheiro Azevedo.


Dennis Witkowski
The Torch Drive Say No to United Fraud

The Fifth Estate has published information exposing the Torch Drive hustle for the past several years. In keeping with this tradition, the following article presents an up-to-date account of what the Torch Drive is really about; how they initially get their money, who they eventually give it to and why.


Dennis Witkowski
Vandals Hit Sexist Ads


Mohawk and the other booze peddlers hit by anti-sexist vandals moved quickly to restore their insults to women. Further action against them has been promised.

Billboards are so plentiful in and around Detroit that they could almost be taken for granted as part of the natural environment. Indeed, in a society where profit outweighs everything else, billboards fit-in quite naturally. They are the “Au-natural” voice of capital, and their mimicry of the population’s repressed desires flaunts the consumer only with the ideal of escape via sex, liquor and flights far away.