Fifth Estate Collective
Bits of the World in Brief

The people at Back Room Anarchist Books in Minneapolis have announced a continental anarchist gathering to be held June 18–22 in that city. After the success of the May Day/Haymarket events in Chicago last year, most of our appetites have been whetted for closer and more frequent communication within the anti-authoritarian movement. The tentative agenda includes workshops, several actions, a banquet and a party.


Fifth Estate Collective

FIFTH ESTATE #325, Spring 1987, Vol. 21 No. 2

The Fifth Estate is a cooperative project, published by a group of friends who are in general, but not necessarily complete agreement with the articles herein. Each segment of the paper represents the collective effort of writing, typesetting, lay-out and proofreading.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Anarchy and the Left

In recent months, we have been critical of a number of anarchists, through correspondence and in person, on the question of working politically with marxist-leninists on specific projects of joint interest. Those we have been in contact with on these matters include an anarchist draft resister in California and several young people in Detroit working with the anti-war front group of an authoritarian communist party, an anarchist newspaper which supports Leftist political prisoners, and an anarchist activist joining with a small socialist group to co-sponsor meetings and demonstrations.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Where are the Bulgarians now that we need them department: Get ready Detroit! As the archbishop and the mayor slap each other on the back for bringing the pope himself into town in September, local entrepreneurs are geared up to produce all the exciting papal potpourri to be hawked in the wake of the holy parade as it cruises up Woodward Avenue and out to Pontiac’s Silverdome to pray that the roof doesn’t cave in. What will it be—tee shirts, buttons, pinwheel beanies, and, undoubtedly the classic style commemorative Popa Cola for a taste that refreshes. Rumor has it that the Pope plans to personally bless the site of the City’s world’s [as in print original] largest trash-to-dioxin municipal incinerator. Local fundamentalist christians are understandably horrified to see the antichrist and Whore of Babylon himself in these Yewnited States, and plan mass baptisms of born-again christians down at the Rouge River. Rumor also has it that there will be a huge pagan festival (more to our liking, though we’d enjoy seeing the born-agains fending off the bloated rats down at the Rouge as they go down for the third time) to coincide with the papal visit, to call up all the old Indian spirits of these lands to drive the blackrobes and their ilk away. Of course millions will be spent (and made) and security is going to be hard-core. Since, as Stalin once cynically but aptly pointed out, the pope has no military divisions, he’ll be relying on Detroit’s finest and lots of plainclothes pigs from every imaginable agency (and some we’ve never heard of, probably) to make sure the holy daddy-o doesn’t trip over his gown. Detroiters! Here’s your chance—a once-in-history opportunity: MOON THE POPE:


George Bradford (David Watson)
A “Culture-in-Action”

FE note: This is one of three responses to John Zerzan’s “The Case Against Art,” in FE #324, Fall 1986. The other two articles are: “Art, Life & Death” by Ratticus and “Journal Notes on Art” by George Bradford.

“Culture is dead. Create!”

—Paris graffito, 1968

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

—Emma Goldman


George Bradford (David Watson)
Journal Notes on Art

FE note: This is one of three responses to John Zerzan’s “The Case Against Art,” in FE #324, Fall 1986. The other two articles are: “A ‘Culture-in-Action’” by George Bradford and “Art, Life & Death” by Ratticus.

20 May: Art the enemy

Of course, while in Paris it is one’s duty to see the art and the many monuments. This is called “sightseeing.” You travel thousands of miles; peasants must be killed, perhaps, to get you there. Certainly whole estuaries have been fouled and species pushed over the critical edge toward extinction. But you cannot deny it: you are in Paris to see the sights and the sites. (Some sociologist has written a book describing tourism as paradigmatic of modernity. Without knowing the details of his argument, it is possible to agree that the rootlessness, the craving for authentic experience, and the pseudopraxis which is only another variant of commodity passivity, all of which characterize the modern traveler or tourist, do represent central elements in modern life. By criticizing it, we in no way escape its implications.)


Art, Life & Death

FE note: This is one of three responses to John Zerzan’s “The Case Against Art,” in FE #324, Fall 1986. The other two articles are: “A ‘Culture-in-Action’” by George Bradford and “Journal Notes on Art” by George Bradford.

Art, Life & Death

John Zerzan’s “Case Against Art” is an opus to the reality principle, Rationalist reaction, a puritanical attempt to reduce the multiverse into a limpid, linear, static version of nature and consciousness. Except for that, it is well-written and a masterly example of philosophical name-dropping.


Fifth Estate Collective
Note on plans for moving

The FE staff and friends have begun discussions again about moving to another building, one which would provide public access to our book shop, serve as a meeting space and perhaps a performance space, and which would encourage the participation of more people who have expressed an interest in working on the paper. For the last two years we have been located in a secluded warehouse with water problems, a very poor heating situation, and space barely large enough for five people. This is a major factor in our less frequent publication over the last two years. We are trying to stay in the same general area, since much of the activity which interests us goes on here and several of us have lived in this neighborhood for many years.

Mary Wildwood
An Other Storee


That breakup wuz a long time ago.

Wich breakup are you talking about? There bin so many and they keep getting more.

I’m talking about the first wun.

O. that wun. Yes. It wuz a long long time ago.

* * *

Wunce the people saw that Each Thing like Each rock or Each tree or Each bird or Each wind or Each fear or Each love wuz Diferent and hid its Name inside itself. If you looked inside it deep enuf or long enuf the Name wood come threw. If you did it with Each and Every thing and fit all the Names all together they wood make wun Name and that wood be the ansir. Wun Hole Thing. It wuz called Re Member.


William H. Koethke
Earth Diet, Earth Culture How Much of the Planet’s Life Does Your Cadillac Cost?

Fifth Estate Note: In “Earth Culture-Earth Diet” author William H. Koethke chronicles the life and culture of the inhabitants along New Mexico’s San Francisco River watershed over a millennium up to the present time. At the time he wrote the article William lived in the area described, but has since become a member of the consensus community of Breitenbush Hot Springs in Detroit, Oregon. He recently was arrested for blockading logging crews trying to cut the last remnant of undamaged old growth forest near his community.


Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
L’Encyclopedie des Nuisances

Aberration: The Automobile


It is said that the automobile industry created and brought life to the cities, but once again official history dangerously misrepresents and distorts the facts. In reality, it is responsible for the destruction of viable human communities and emblematic of death culture all over the world. The auto industry’s monopolistic power kept Detroit and the rest of the world from creating alternative urban environments and consciously built car cities and a car world, chopped up and destroyed by incredible expressway systems—cities and a world for cars, not for people.


l’Insécurité sociale
No Compromise with Nationalism

The following is a translation of the introduction to the French edition of Fredy Perlman’s The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism, which originally appeared in FE #319, Winter 1985. It has been published in France by the group l’Insécurité sociale, which previously published some material from the FE on technology called 1984: Pire Que Prévu (1984: Worse than Expected). For these texts in French and more information, write l’Insécurité Sociale, B.P. 243, 75564 Paris, France. This introduction to the pamphlet on nationalism was translated by Michael William and Lorraine Perlman.


John Zerzan
But It Doesn’t Move Book review

a review of

And Yet It Moves: The Realization and Suppression of Science & Technology, by Boy Igor, 1986, 120 pp., $5, Zamisdat Press, GPO Box 1255, Gracie Station, NY NY 10028.

Boy Igor’s provocatively titled text gets off to a start that suggests a real depth. It challenges modern science as inseparable from the development of capitalism and pronounces “proletarian” science as bourgeois as proletarian art or the proletarian state.


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

When Cienfuegos Press ceased publishing books several years ago, it left unfilled the anarchist movement’s need for regularly appearing quality titles. Their energetic efforts produced numerous volumes which ranged from the arcane and theoretical (Proudhonist Materialism & Revolutionary Doctrine) to the practical (Towards a Citizens’ Militia) with stops along the way for anthropology, criminology, history, several autobiographies, biographies, and assorted essays on anarchist themes. We thought most of the volumes unavailable, but fortunately they can be obtained through an American affiliate, Cienfuegos Distribution, c/o Soil of Liberty, Box 7056, Powderhorn Sta., Minneapolis, MN 55407. They have a catalog of their titles available, many of which the Fifth Estate Bookstore will soon be ordering.


Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookservice may be reached at the same address as the Fifth Estate Newspaper, P.O. Box 02548, Detroit MI 48202 USA, telephone (313) 831–6800. Visitors are welcome, but our hours vary so please call before dropping in.


1) List the title of the book, quantity wanted, and the price of each;


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Lions 1


You have won a place in my heart forever. The lions’ response to the letter, “Pretty Bad Taste” (FE Vol. 21 No. 1) was right on!

When I started reading the letter, I kind of slunk back, kind of anxiously awaiting the FE’s response. Then, when I read the lions’ response, a roar of laughter came out of me that took the roof off, strung my intestines out of my split gut, and kept me laughing my ass off two blocks down the street!