George Bradford (David Watson)
These Are Not our Troops This Is Not Our Country

[three_fifth padding=“0 20px 0 0”]In George Orwell’s 1984, protagonist Winston Smith has acquired a copy of the arch-traitor Emmanuel Goldstein’s manual for totalitarian domination, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchic Collectivism, in which he reads that the ideal party member “should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation and orgiastic triumph. In other words it is necessary that he should have the mentality appropriate to a state of war.” The novel functions in great part through ironic reversals (the subversive conspiracy is contrived by the police, etc.); it should come as no surprise, then, that the reality it illuminates is not so much the otherness of the state socialist dictatorships that it originally resembled, but rather the oligarchic collectivism of modern corporate capital and its military-industrial garrison states—those states waging their brutal crusade against “Eurasia,” now that former enemies appear to be vanquished and incorporated into the empire.


Why the U.S. Destroyed Iraq

At 6:46 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 16, 1991, George Bush, Commander-in-Chief of the Empire’s armed forces, announced in Washington DC, “The liberation of Kuwait has begun.” And, at that moment half a world away in Iraq, the most furious air assault in history commenced against a nation which fit perfectly into the larger schemes of the United States.


Fifth Estate Collective

Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is a co-operative 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.

The Fifth Estate Newspaper (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $6.00 a year; $8.00 foreign including Canada. Second class postage paid at Detroit MI. No copyright. No paid advertisements.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Resists the War

Participants in the 400-person anarchist contingent carry banners from the New York-based Autonomous Anarchist Action group at the Jan. 26 Washington DC march. —photo/Mitch

The following is a brief summary of the many anti-war actions which occurred in the Detroit area since just before the January 16 U.S. air assault on Iraq. The numbers involved here were considerably lower than anti-war actions in other large metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago and New York, where tens, and even hundreds, of thousands participated. Reasons for the small numbers in Detroit are linked to racial, geographical and political patterns of our city (a story best told another time), but we did what we could with the people we had to impede the war machine and express the depth of our rage against the government.


Rob Recidivist
Marked Cards in the Middle East a short history

“Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Woodrow Wilson. Three old men shuffling the pack, dealing out the cards: The Rhineland, Danzig, the Polish Corridor, the Ruhr, self-determination of small nations, the Saar, League of Nations, mandates, the Mespot, Freedom of the Seas, Trans-Jordania, Shantung, Fiume, and the Island of Yap: machinegun fire and arson, starvation, lice, cholera, typhus, oil was trumps.”


George Bradford (David Watson)
Civilization in Bulk Empire & Ecological Destruction: Part I

Having had the privilege of living for a time among stone age peoples of Brazil, a very civilized European of considerable erudition wrote afterwards, “Civilization is no longer a fragile flower, to be carefully preserved and reared with great difficulty here and there in sheltered corners...All that is over: humanity has taken to monoculture, once and for all, and is preparing to produce civilization in bulk, as if it were sugar-beet. The same dish will be served to us every day.” [1]


Bill Blear
Battle of the Bullhorn

On Malcolm X Day, February 21, in Detroit, members of two rival leftist sects slugged it out for control of a microphone following an anti-war march organized as part of nationwide protests against the Gulf war.

The demonstration of 125 people was sponsored by a local anti-war coalition, but those calling the shots all seemed to be from the trotskyist Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The brawl occurred at the protest after-glow on the Wayne State University campus where about half the marchers gathered to discuss what to do next.


Fifth Estate Collective
Introduction to “The Myth of the Party”

The article appearing on the following two pages, “The Myth of the Party,” by Murray Bookchin (from his essay “Listen Marxist”) was first excerpted in FE #272, May 1976. We reprint it hoping it will be of interest to a new generation of anti-war and social activists who find themselves beset by the return of the living dead—marxist-leninist parties.


Fifth Estate Collective
On (don’t spell it backwards) Anarchist Organization

FE Note: There continues to be a sometimes rancorous debate within the anarchist movement about how best to combat the system. What follows is meant to be critical but comradely. We in no way doubt the spirit of those we criticize in this article, only their judgment.

Unfortunately, even for a small number of those who espouse the ideas of anarchy, the modern form of organization (which both the left and the right employ) holds an allure as a seemingly efficient manner in which to confront the state and capitalism. However, when adopted by anarchists, the formal organizational mode has been no more successful than it has for leninists.


Murray Bookchin
Myth of the Party Bolshevik Mystification and Counter-Revolution

See Fifth Estate introduction in this issue.

Social revolutions are not “made” by parties, groups, or cadres; they occur as a result of deep-seated historic forces and contradictions that activate large sections of the population. They occur not merely (as Trotsky argued) because the “masses” find the existing society intolerable, but also because of the tension between the actual and the possible, between “what is” and “what could be.”


Os Cangaceiros
French Radicals Sabotage Prison Project

[Translator’s note: Recently, a voluminous dossier began to circulate in France. The dossier, sent by Os Cangaceiros, included stolen prison plans and documents and a chronology outlining Os Cangaceiros’s campaign of sabotage against the “13,000 project” (new maximum security penitentiaries with room for 13,000 prisoners), as well as reproductions of communiques sent to those who were targeted. Interestingly, the police and companies which were attacked have been very discreet about this campaign, apparently wishing to give it as little publicity as possible. The following excerpts from the dossier have been translated from Mordicus, B.P. 11, 75622 Paris cedex 13, France, and Le Monde Libertaire, 145 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France].


The Lessons of Vietnam The government spat on Vietnam vets, not the anti-war movement

Although the phrase, “The first casualty in war is truth,” has been aptly realized in the media coverage of the Persian Gulf war, the truth is often the last casualty as well. In the case of America’s military adventure in Vietnam, numerous Big Lies about that conflict continue sixteen years after the U.S. defeat.


Fifth Estate Collective
FE Books

The FE Bookstore is located at 4632 Second Ave., just south of W. Forest, in Detroit. We share space with the Fifth Estate Newspaper and may be reached at the same phone number: (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;


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

We never could figure out which faction was responsible for the auto-destruction of New York City’s Sabotage Bookstore (the pamphlets published by either side casting blame are definitely not recommended reading), but we had the same sensation one does when watching a once loving couple rage at one another. Fortunately, people close to the excellent Shadow newspaper (PO Box 20298, New York NY 10009) have established the city’s only “underground anarchist bookstore” featuring publications, records, tapes and books, as well as pins, t-shirts, posters and the like. A-Central Books is located at 208 E. 7th St., phone (212) 674–0581, and also contains a People’s Switchboard with information on local, national and international anarchist events.


Primitivo Solis (David Watson)
Peering into the Abyss

discussed in this article:

Encyclopaedia of Nuisances: Dictionary of the irrational in the sciences, trades and industrial arts, April 1989, “Abyss.” Author anonymous, no price listed. Available from Boite postale 188, 75665 Paris Cedex 14 France

“It seems somewhat ridiculous to talk of revolution...But everything else is even more ridiculous, since it implies accepting the existing order in one way or another.”


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Operation Gender Blur Book review

a review of

Bisexuality: A Reader and Sourcebook edited by Thomas Geller (available for $10.95 from Times Change Press c/o Publishers Services, Box 2510, Novato, CA 94948 or the FE Bookstore)

We are sometimes afraid of the risks which must be taken when we integrate discussions of sexuality and gender into the life of our activist community. It’s rather dangerous to try to define a “politically correct” sexuality for anti-authoritarians. The gay vs. straight or monogamy vs. non-monogamy discussions (and a huge list of other related discussions) should be most familiar to those of us whose lives, identified with communities of resistance, transcend (or defy) a purely political involvement. Discussions of gender and sexuality do have serious implications for our politics (or anti-politics).


Fifth Estate Collective
Desert Storm A War Against the Earth

“Oil is industrial capitalism’s ‘crack.’”

—anti-war placard

In the late 1980s, it became increasingly and undeniably obvious that modern civilization was undermining the complex ecological web sustaining life on the planet. The earth’s “vital signs” were becoming seriously stressed by industrial activity, and global responses would be necessary to reverse some of the dangerous trends. Yet there was an inertia among the world powers capable of responding. As French President Francois Mitterand said at a summit on the environment in 1989, there seemed to be “no political authority capable of making decisions on a global scale.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Victor D. Schumacher January 27, 1922 — January 28, 1991
Victor D. Schumacher
January 27, 1922 — January 28, 1991

This issue of the FE is dedicated to Victor Schumacher, a mainstay of the Detroit antiwar movement and activist community, who was killed by a car late in January during his morning jog. Vic was a pacifist and a member of the War Resisters League whose resistance to militarism dated back to the time he spent in prison for refusing to serve in the U.S. armed forces during World War II. Vic refused to do alternative service as well. While working in a New York hospital tending many war victims, he saw wards cleared of war wounded for security reasons so that Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, the wife of the Chinese Nationalist dictator, could have cosmetic surgery. Seeing the soldiers lying in gurneys in the hallways to make room for the privileged, he vowed to resist the system of injustice in every way he could.


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Critique of Totality

Dear FE folks,

Congratulations on the 25th anniversary.

I found the four-person exchange [“Environmentalism and Revolution: A Challenge to the Fifth Estate and Responses,” FE #335, Winter, 1991] a good one, and I’d like to see more of that. Although at this time I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said. These issues are what I had in mind for a “rethinking anarchy.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Earth First! Split Final Yearly Gathering Set

Earth First! is dead! Long live Earth First!

The irreconcilable differences within the dispute-plagued, radical environmental group finally led to what one of its founders, Dave Foreman, who is often at the center of the controversies, has long called for—a “no-fault divorce.” Although there is much behind-the-scenes acrimony among the leading figures on all sides, the public stance has been that each should go in peace and continue defending the environment in their own way.


Mapping Distance

Lynne Clive

A stone’s throw away—

here, behind the pane, housed,

relatively safe.

But you, you draw me out,

outside my house, outside myself,

you, homeless one,

urban nomad.

I think some sleepless nights

to join you,

to close this box and break

my pane, to move, walk

away, walk about.


But I romanticize you with daydreams