David Watson
Catching Fish in Chaotic Waters Empire and Mass Society


The following text is a speech given by Fifth Estate staff member David Watson at a conference on July 9, 1994 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, hosted by the New Jersey Greens. Entitled “A Radical Ecology Forum: Ecological and Communitarian Visions,” the gathering drew approximately one hundred people. For a report of the conference, and the introductory remarks made by Steve Welzer, see the latest edition of the Jersey Greens Journal, c/o Green World, P.O. Box 2029, Princeton NJ 08543. Please send $2 to cover costs.


Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

1994 saw a new wave of activism in support of imprisoned American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier including the following events: Leonard Peltier Freedom Weekend in Washington D.C. in June, a summer cross-country Walk for Justice, a twelve day “People’s Fast for Justice” and an International Walk for Justice in Washington State and British Columbia in October.


Fifth Estate Collective

Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate is a cooperative, non-profit project, published since 1965. The people who produce it are a group of friends who do so neither to secure wages nor as an investment in the newspaper industry, but to encourage resistance and rebellion to this society.

The Fifth Estate Newspaper (ISSN No. 0015) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave. Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; Phone (313) 831–6800. Our office hours vary, so please call before visiting.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
A Treatise on Electronic Anarchy & the Net Arguments for elimination of the information age

“Every year of her life...the Net had been growing more expansive and seamless. Computers did it. Computers melted other machines, fusing them together. Television-telephone-telex. Tape recorder-VCR-laser disk. Broadcast tower linked to microwave dish linked to satellite. Phone line, cable TV, fiber-optic cords hissing out words and pictures in torrents of pure light. All netted together in a web over the world, a global nervous system, an octopus of data. There’d been plenty of hype about it. It was easy to make it sound transcendentally incredible.


Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Welcome to the Winter 1995 Fifth Estate. This is only the second edition we’ve published this year, so you probably have not missed any issues. This issue also marks the 29th anniversary of continuous publication of the Fifth Estate. We probably should have a giant, wild celebration for our 30th next year, but if the 25th was any indication, the date may just slip by. However, if there is anyone in the Detroit area willing to organize a gathering/celebration event, let us know; we’re up for it.


Marie Mason
Carla Glidden (Dec. 11, 1964-June 28, 1994)

Carla Glidden (1964–1994)

It is very difficult for me to write about Carla in the past tense. When she died of a blood clot in June, I lost my best friend and the Detroit alternative community and the Fifth Estate lost an untiring participant and supporter. Carla embodied the philosophy of community and mutual aid more than anyone I’ve known. Carla spurned no task as too humble or dangerous.


Fifth Estate Collective
Michael William

Getting Nowhere Fast

Montreal Anarchist Candidates Off & Running

by Michael William

An anarchist running for mayor; anarchist candidates for city council—what did Montreal do to deserve this? Indeed, with seven anti- authoritarian identified people running for office and more cast in supporting roles, our town would seem to be experiencing a phenomenon: the coalescing of an organized anarcho-electoral pole in the anti-statist milieu.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Revenge of the Nerds The Republican Victory

“Consider the intelligence of the average man, then realize 50% are even stupider.”

—Mark Twain

“I am nothing, a cloak of skin with a mouth saying, Don’t kill everything so soon.”

—Mick Vranich and Wordban’d

Wouldn’t the headline, “61% of Electorate Avoid Polls; Conservative White Men Elect Right-Wing of Political Racket to Power,” after the Nov. 8 Republican sweep of Congressional seats have been more accurate than those in the media which trumpeted, “Americans Vote for Change?” Admittedly, mine is not exactly snappy, nor would it fit well as a banner headline, but it’s closer to the truth.


T. Fulano (David Watson)
Six Theses on Empire, Denial & Nuclearism


Nuclearism is inherently totalitarian. The apparent controversy over nuclear power is not really a matter for debate: it mirrors the underlying question of social power. Its history makes this clear.

First developed as a weapon of war under the veil of military secrecy, and then in coordinated efforts with enormous corporate interests, it was never publicly debated before the whole society was heavily committed to it. At its inception, public opposition would have brought charges of treason, and nuclear technology and materials are still considered a matter of strict state security.


Steve Welzer
Fusion Power The Other Nuclear Illusion

On December 11, 1993 The New York Times heralded that scientists at Princeton University had “plunged across a new physics frontier...with a series of experiments that may eventually lead to an inexhaustible source of energy.” After decades of effort, Princeton’s Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL) had produced a short, controlled burst of fusion energy.


Adam Baum
What’s Wrong With Nuclear Power? Cracked, Corrupt, Corroded

Nuclear power is a primary threat in the ongoing global environmental struggles at the end of the twentieth century. However, nuclear power is an issue many shy away from because of its complex and technical nature and the opaque power structures of gigantic corporations and government bureaucracy that perpetuates this dangerous, decaying technology.


Various Authors
Assaults on the Nuclear State Fermi, Watts Bar & Prairie Island

Fermi II

Over the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 2, activists from around the country descended on the town of Monroe, Michigan to protest the restart of Detroit Edison’s crippled nuclear reactor, Fermi II.

Built at the site where its predecessor, Fermi I, suffered a partial core-melt accident in 1966, Fermi II was completed 20 years behind schedule and more than 2000% over budget.


Peter Werbe
R. Relievo (Rob Blurton)

Hiroshima, First Shot of World War III

Introduction by R. Relievo

As E.B. Maple points out in the following article (which first appeared in FE #285, August 1977), the atomic bombings of civilians by the American Army Air Corps at the end of World War II was not the knockout punch that convinced an intransigent Japan to suddenly change its strategy and surrender.


T. Nachalo (Fredy Perlman)
Progress & Nuclear Power The Destruction of the Continent and Its Peoples

The following text first appeared in a special anti-nuclear issue of the Fifth Estate (FE #297, April 18, 1979). It was written earlier in that year just after an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in eastern Pennsylvania. As news of the accident spread, official messages insisted, “There is no need to overreact, the situation is stable, the leaders have everything under control,” but eventually people living near the plant had to be evacuated.


Fifth Estate Collective
Guy Debord Dead at 62

Guy Debord, the French author of Society of the Spectacle and a founder of the Situationist Internationale, took his own life on November 30, 1994. He was 62. His insights are valued and utilized by rebels and social critics.

Guy Debord (1932–1994)

In the past 20 years he lived largely in rural areas and this is where he died (at his home in Auvergne, a mountainous region in south-central France). He was born in Paris, however, and credits this city as well as other urban centers with furnishing him the elements to analyze contemporary society.


Neither East Nor West/NYC
On Gogol Boulevard

About This Section

On Gogol Boulevard is produced for the Fifth Estate by New York City/Neither East Nor West, which links alternative oppositions in the East and West, and prints news and documents unavailable in the corporate or left media. OGB sometimes involves Third and Fourth World activists in these efforts. A similar section also appears in Black Fist.


Fifth Estate Collective
Fifth Estate Books

Fifth Estate Books is located at 4632 Second Ave., just south of W. Forest, in Detroit, in the same space as the Fifth Estate Newspaper. Hours vary, so please call before coming by.


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

2) add 10% for mailing costs—not less than $1.05 U.S. or $1.60 foreign (minimum for 4th class book rate postage);


Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

England’s Green Anarchist magazine is now available as single issues or in bulk from Autonome Distribution, PO Box 79119, New Orleans LA 70179. In GA the Earth First! Journal meets Class War and puts forth an anti-civilization perspective as uncompromising as ours. Their long-range strategy is to support “Revolution on the Periphery,” Third World revolts that deprive mass society of the resources it exploits from the poorer regions. (They don’t support national liberation struggles!) They see this as creating the basis for “self-governing, self-sufficient communities” which will be “easier to establish as the State loses control of the rest of the planet.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Fifth Estate Letters Policy

The Fifth Estate always welcomes letters commenting on our articles, stating opinions, or giving reports of events in local areas. We don’t guarantee we will print everything we receive, but all letters are read by our staff and considered.

Typed letters or ones on disk are appreciated, but not required.


Fifth Estate Collective
May Day Celebrate Beltane and International Workers Day


Beltane is the high festival of Spring. Its origins are ancient Celt. In the old times, people celebrated the end of Winter and the turning of the Wheel to the greening of the land with dancing, feasting and lovemaking. They wove the Maypole, decorated themselves with garlands of flowers, looking forward to a new season of growth and abundance. In America, May 1st officially became Law Day to separate it from international May Day celebrations associated with communist nations and radical labor movements. U.S. Labor Day was established almost half a year away and is the occasion for civic, not labor, festivities.


The Trumbull Theater Collective
Save Detroit’s Permanent Autonomous Zone (PAZ)

The Trumbull Theater Collective brings together a diverse group of people for the radical project of creating an authentic egalitarian community. We offer low-cost, self-governed, cooperatively-owned, non-profit, communal housing for community activists, students & young families in two, deteriorating, 100-year-old mansions in Detroit’s inner city. Also, there is a theater and meeting space attached to one of the houses. We strive to embody the anarchist principles of voluntary association, mutual aid, & human liberation. We see the Trumbull as an anti-authoritarian center of art & activism based on anti-racist action, feminism, queer liberation, ecology and anarchy.


Hakim Bey
P.A.Z. Permanent Autonomous Zones

FE Note: In the following article, Hakim Bey moves beyond his idea of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ)—those moments when normally domesticated space is liberated for a limited time for festive and subversive “moments of happiness.” He discusses what happens when those moments become fixed in time and space.