Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

$pliterates’ Reality

To The Fifth Estate:

There you go again: the $pliterates attacking TV! (See FE #292, June 19, 1978).

1. Literacy produced modern technology, including capitalism and industrialism. 1, 2, 3 = a, b, c; that’s why men invented it.

2. What about the “dehumanized aspects of the centralized $pliteracy source: left brained publishers—depressed, repressed presses?


Fifth Estate Collective
Staff and Contributors

Michael Betzold

Alan Franklin

Ralph Franklin

E.B. Maple

Tina Nachalo

Mike Neiswonger


Mr. Venom

Marilyn Werbe

Peter Werbe

Dennis Rosenblum

The Fifth Estate Newspaper, a non-profit Michigan corporation, is published bi-monthly at 4403 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours are sporadic, so call before coming down. Subscriptions are $4.00 for 12 issues; $6 for foreign. Call 259–1888 for retail sales outlets. Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright: No commercial advertising accepted.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

As you may have noticed in our staff box this issue, the Fifth Estate is now officially designated as a bimonthly. A reduced staff and the availability of those remaining has dictated this change and will also allow us to conform more closely to postal regulations governing the second class mail rate which demands specific publication schedules. Ah, another of the great FE contradictions. The Fifth Estate has mailed at this controlled rate for a decade, long before the paper too was explicitly anti-State. The decision to be immersed in the postal bureaucracy is based on our ability to mail an entire issue including bulk orders to bookstores for under $20. Fred Woodworth, editor of the now defunct Match, steadfastly refused to involve his paper with any government agency and would spend over six times our figure to mail each of his issues. Of course, if we took that course we would still be using U.S. postage stamps....


Fifth Estate Collective
FBI Disruptions of Detroit New Left Exposed

After sifting through even a small portion of the recently released FBI Cointelpro documents detailing the government’s activity in attempting to disrupt the Left in the Detroit area during the ‘60s and early ‘70s, one is alternately struck with tedium and fascination.

Tedium because of the 53,000 pages of records that describe the endless meetings, the lengthy lists of license plate numbers observed outside of those meetings, the inept descriptions of political differences, and the almost sub-literate stabs at personal profiles of those under surveillance.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchy in Memphis

The standard rationalization for the existence of the State is that supposedly without an external restraining element, such as a heavily armed police force, the nature of humans is such-that all of us would prey so wickedly upon one another that life would become intolerable. Forgetting that the State is a somewhat recent development in human affairs and permanent police forces an even newer innovation, many people believe that at least under capitalism the police are a necessary evil as long as this society creates such a potential for disorder.


Mr. Venom
Easy come easy go Show Business

Big Boost for Gas

“Tan me ‘ide when I’m dead, Fred,

“Tan me ‘ide when I’m dead.

“So we tanned ‘is ‘ide when ‘e died, Clyde,

“An’ that’s it ‘angin’ on the shed.”

—Bela Kun

Closing In on an Elusive Enemy

They’re dropping like flies! A devil of a run of luck! First Paul, then “Smiley” Albino, Pope John Paul. Now another gets ready to float belly up: full name, Pope John Paul George and Ringo...And he’ll undoubtedly croak within a few weeks. And no warranty!


Caw! Magazine
The Battle of France: May ’68

FE Introduction

During the months of May and June 1968, the mass strikes and uprisings that occurred in France shook the foundations of an unsuspecting world. This crisis for capital appeared at a time when newspapers like The New York Times and le Monde were describing the French people as bored and lethargic and they weren’t completely inaccurate—the French were bored with their lives under capitalism and their boredom exploded onto the streets of Paris on May 18th creating a new reality for several weeks.


Jacques Camatte
May-June 1968: The exposure

In the text which follows, May-June 1968 is considered as a moment of fundamental rupture: the emergence of the revolution but not the revolution itself. This approach involves defining, demarcating and predicting what the communist revolution would be in the phase of the real domination of capital [1] over society—the earlier proletarian revolutions having taken place in the phase of the formal domination of capital. May-June 1968 is considered as a prologue to a vast historic drama which now, several years later, ought to be aware of its characteristic acts. The principal actors are no longer the same.


Carlos Semprún Maura
The CNT in Modern Spain The Weight of the Dead and Dead Weight

Note: The following article was translated from the readers’ soapbox page of the June 1, 1978 issue of Solidaridad Obrera (C/. Princesa, 56, entlo, 1a, Barcelona, Spain), organ of the C.N.T. of Catalonia.

Since last May, Solidaridad Obrera seems to have gone through quite a change in its content and has found itself in conflict with the C.N.T. nationally. In a recent issue of the bulletin Echanges (no. 16, July 1978), they state: “...this is an official paper of the C.N.T. it appears that the editorial staff of this paper has undergone changes incorporating elements who do not support any union including the C.N.T. It remains to be seen how long they will keep the editorship of the paper, for it is clear now that the C.N.T. nationally (headquarters Madrid) is pursuing a more and more strictly syndicalist line, expelling or criticising sections or groups considered to be ‘assemblyist” i.e. for the power of the mass meeting.”


Michael Betzold
Vice Squad Harassment of Gays Continues

Two summers ago all we heard on the news were stories about the gangs that were terrorizing the citizens of Detroit—vicious, sadistic teen-agers who beat people up during rapes or robberies. People on the East side were afraid to come out of their homes. (See FE #276, September 1976). All the publicity about the gangs has died down what with the “Renaissance City” hype and all, but there is one gang that was operating then and that is still at large today. The members of this brutal gang are employed by the City of Detroit.


Fifth Estate Collective
MOVE Background

It’s difficult for a newspaper to admit ignorance, but in the MOVE situation in Philadelphia—we admit it. After MOVE’s shoot-out with the police in that city on Aug. 8 to protect their home (see “Police Attack MOVE,” FE #293–294, August 21, 1978), stories about the group, which dotted the major newsweeklies ever since Mayor Frank Rizzo began a blockade of the MOVE dwelling earlier in the year, have disappeared. We spoke to a friend in Philadelphia who sent us a great deal of background material, but confessed that he, like most of the rest of us, didn’t know what had developed with the legal charges facing the arrested MOVE members or whether there are any defense preparations being made. MOVE seems to be a very bizarre group which traces its origins to the anti-technology, pro-revolutionary writings of a man known to his followers as John Africa. The integrated group began living in an area adjacent to a University district, but soon developed a reputation for hostility to their neighbors with many claiming they had been threatened with violence by members of the group. When Rizzo moved into the picture with his blockade, the issue exploded into a citywide radical vs. pig issues MOVE suddenly experiencing support from many civil rights groups. Internally, the MOVE group seems to make a good critique of modern capitalism, but its almost religious adulation of the word of John Africa and other authoritarian trappings has made most of the left as well as local libertarians back away from any active defense of MOVE. At this point, it would seem foolish for us (given our lack of information on the subject) to make any pronouncement on the matter. We would appreciate hearing from anyone with greater access to the situation to inform us and our readers about developments.

Fifth Estate Collective
Ammunition Books

Ammunition Books shares space with the Fifth Estate Newspaper(?) [question mark in original] and can be found at 4403 Second Ave, (telephone (313) 831–6800. Our hours vary quite a bit, so it’s always best to give us a telephone call before coming down.


1) List the title of the book(s), amount wanted and price of each;


Let’s Eat! A Column of Gourmet Vitriol

Ford Surgery Fails

Inside sources have reported that Betty Ford, formerly of state furniture capital Grand Rapids, Michigan, has fallen into a deep depression since her celebrated plastic surgery at a laetrile clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. Unknown to most people, her surgery was a complete failure! She had intended to resemble the late Elvis Presley, and had planned a career as an Elvis impersonator! “I’m tired of Jerry being the only breadwinner in this family,” she said shortly before entering Dr. Ramon Cabron’s Clinica Veterinaria. “I too have talents and ambitions. I want to make something of myself.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Art Attack


Art Attack


Do You Know the Symptoms?

1. Glazed Eyes

2. Shallow Breathing

3. Clammy Skin

4. Nausea

5. Victim May Smell of Linseed Oil and Formaldehyde

Art Attack victims will usually be found in museums, galleries and Art schools. (Art students have been found to have a propensity for attacks.) The fatal attack may be preceded by the onset of general studio malaise, and an occasional incidence of gallery narcolepsy. When the victim becomes aware of the division between his mundane life and his sanctified Art, he may attempt a self-cure through conceptual Art, punk, or other popular forms of “Anti-Art.” A more effective treatment involves the artist revolutionizing his relationship to the Art World. A simple case may be alleviated with the smashing of a particular work of Art. More advanced cases may require the destruction of entire galleries, museums and Art schools.

Fifth Estate Collective
Free readers’ ads

Though we do not accept commercial advertising, this Unclassified ad space is free for our readers’ use. We do not accept ads over the telephone, so please send your ads in writing to our office at: 4403 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201.

THE Prisoner Literature Project aims to supply Canadian prisoners with radical literature, preferbly from an anti-authoritarian stance. If you have any new or used, and feel like exposing prisoners to its worth, please send it along to us care of Alternative Bookshop, 2033 St Laurent, Montreal PQ H2X 2T3 Canada. This type of function already exists for American prisoners, whereas Canadian prisoners have little or no civil rights while incarcerated.


Fifth Estate Collective
A Second (& More Honest) Mao Tsetung Memorial Meeting

Hold high the banner of Mao Tsetung’s immoral contributions and the achievements and lessons of the Cultural Revolution!

COMRADES! Fellow Marxist-Leninists of the Revolutionary Proletarian Vanguard!

Let us be open and honest, using the revolutionary method of criticism-self-criticism to sum up the experience of the Mao-Tse-Tung Memorial Meetings we called for September. Quite frankly, they were a flop! Although we blighted every city and college campus with our large, garish signs (much like this one) virtually no one showed up to pay $3.50 to hear us praise the Great Helmsman for his revolutionary virtues. No one seems to take our praise of this great revolutionary seriously anymore.