Fifth Estate Collective

Fifth Estate

North America’s Oldest Anti-Authoritarian Periodical

Promoting rebellion since 1965

FIFTH ESTATE #360, Spring, 2003, Vol. 38, No. 1

The Fifth Estate (ISSN 00-15-0800) is published quarterly.

Subscriptions are $10 for four issues; $20 for international including Canada and Mexico.

No copyright; no paid advertising


Fifth Estate Collective


Welcome to the first FE of 2003!

One year ago, when the Tennessee Collective stepped up to take over primary editorial responsibilities for the Fifth Estate, many of us were discouraged and disillusioned by the dreadful lack of public opposition to empire in the weeks and months following 9/11. One year ago, when we wrote about “the emergence of a mass-based movement...contesting the state and capital,” it was speculation. Today, the mass-based anti-war movement that boldly connects the dots between corporate tyranny and its bloodbaths is here.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
The World Says No to War Millions Join a Global Movement

World wide resistance to Bush II’s war of conquest and empire is growing. On February 15th, in the largest single day of protest ever, an estimated 10 to 30 million people took to the streets across the world to prevent the slaughter of thousands of Iraqis.

Major demonstrations occurred in almost every city on the planet. There was even an anti-war rally in Antarctica! Police brutality and suppression of dissent were reported in New York City, Colorado and Greece. In San Francisco, a sizable anarchist breakaway contingent targeted capitalists with spray paint and window trashing.


Alien Autonomists Claim Responsibility for Columbia Crash

New information sheds light on the recent “accidental” disaster that destroyed the space shuttle Columbia. In a secret communiqué from the Intergalactic Liberation Front (ILF), spokesperson Ivan Von Kropotkin from the planet Berkman warned NASA and all the governments of the globe: “Earthlings stay home! Your space program is a massive waste of resources for capitalist profit and military domination. Don’t even think of doing to outer space what you’ve already done to your own planet.”


john johnson
Tales From The Planet

Campesinos Attack the Mexican Congress

Hundreds of well organized campesinos (agricultural workers) stormed and broke into the Mexican Congress on December 10th, forcing many of the congressmen to run for their lives.

The campesinos are extremely desperate because of the worsening conditions in the agricultural sectors of Mexico and the lack of forthcoming solutions by the legislature. Thousands attended a protest at the Congressional building, parking 6 tractors in the front entrance to the building, spreading manure and throwing rotten vegetables against the walls. The group was accompanied by two pigs, named after President Vincente Fox and of Secretary of Foreign Relations Jorge C. Gutman.


Julie Herrada
Debs’ Speech Threatened the Rulers Much Like Today’s Anti-War Agitation

FE Note: As we write, the U.S. is in the final stages of preparation for its imperial invasion and occupation of Iraq, so the question posed in the upper right headline may be in the first stages of being answered.

A look into a past period of powerful resistance and radical agitation against imperialist war is instructive. Already, far-right-wing talk show hosts are advocating that the 1917 Sedition Act be used to silence anti-war demonstrators.


Fifth Estate Collective
Eugene V. Debs

A 1918 Anti-War Speech Sent Eugene V. Debs to Prison Do Today’s Activists Face the Same Threat?

On June 16, 1918, four months before World War One’s end, prominent labor organizer and political activist, Eugene V. Debs, delivered a speech at a Socialist Party convention in Canton, Ohio. The speech led to his prosecution under the Espionage Act for interfering with the draft. He received a 10-year prison sentence and was stripped of his US citizenship. He eventually served two years and eight months behind bars before President Harding commuted his sentence.


Statement from the Hole There’s an “A” under the circle, but if it showed, it would be banned from many prisons!

FE Note: The Fifth Estate has a long history of granting free subscriptions to prisoners of the state—inmates and GIs, but often their masters object to our content. No wonder since our ideas challenge the concept of rulers and ruled that the dominant institutions are built on.

Recently, we have had numerous penitentiaries reject our paper, denying our prison subscribers access to ideas. Typical is the rejection notice we received from several inmates in the Oregon “Corrections” system charging our paper “Contains material that threatens or is detrimental to the security, safety, health, good order, or discipline of the facility.” They specifically point out “Front Cover—Anarchist Symbols” as the offending item. To the morons doing the censoring, this symbol of human freedom is a “gang emblem.”


Don LaCoss
Anti-Anarchist Propaganda Reported as Historical Fact

An art historian announced recently that he had uncovered proof that anarchist artists had constructed secret psychological torture chambers in Barcelona for prisoners of war and political enemies during Spain’s civil war.

According to him, a team of anarchists led by Alphonse Laurencic had designed a warren of jail cells that utilized advanced principles of color, abstraction, and perception developed by Bauhaus artists and the surrealists. These rooms were meant to mentally destabilize and emotionally grind down inmates who fought on the side of the clerico-fascists or who were the left-wing rivals of the CNT anarchist labor federation.


Neither their war, nor their peace

WE HAVE NO WORDS FOR THE HORROR TO COME, for the screams and carnage of the first days of battle, the fear and brutality of the long night of occupation that will follow, the truck bombs and slit throats and unstoppable cycle of revenge, the puppets in the palaces chattering about “democracy,” the exultation of the anti-Crusaders, Baghdad descending into the shambles of a new, more dreadful Beirut, and the inevitable retreat (thousands of bodybags later) from the failed McJerusalem.


Neo Bonobo
Against the global godzilla

The deportations, detentions, and disappearances have begun. Matched only by mass denial among Babylon’s denizens, the brave new empire has struck back. The many-headed capitalist dragon is licking its lips for an Easter dinner of Iraqi children. No, it shouldn’t be news that someone’s stolen the century. Clearly, the global Godzilla of geopolitical, techno-industrial trauma has treated us all to a gory preview of hell.


john johnson
Anarchy, food and sustainability Theme Introduction

In this section:

Grow Food or Die! exclaims the headline from Live Wild or Die! (an eco-anarchist “breakaway” zine circulating in the Earth First! milieu in the ‘90s). The message rings true today. How will food be dealt with before, during, and after a potential catastrophe or our anarchist revolution? With farmers making up less than two percent of the US’s population and farmland giving way to generic subdivisions, we must wonder what and how we are going to eat after a crisis or in our future Utopia.


Witch Hazel
Against agriculture

Related: see “Anarchy, food and sustainability” (theme intro) in this issue.

It doesn’t take a health food nut to see that modern society has a dysfunctional relationship with food. As in almost every other arena of life, our priorities are elsewhere--if not in wage slavery and staying out of debt, then in escapist entertainment or self-numbing addictions. Even among radicals and anarchists, healthy and mindful dietary practices are often considered a luxury reserved for that mythical post-revolutionary era that we are supposedly laying the groundwork for, when our children’s children, or their children, can enjoy safe, pure, nutritious food. Sounds like a plan. Except for a few things...


James John Bell
The Hungry Sheep Look Up And Are Not Fed

Related: see “Anarchy, food and sustainability” (theme intro) in this issue.

“But what can they hope to gain by attacking the only company that devotes itself exclusively to pure foods?

“My guess...Maybe collect data on as many slip-ups as possible—in an operation that size, some stuff must leak through now and then which isn’t as good as the advertising claims—and use these as a pistol to hold to the company’s head.”


john johnson
Feral Forager #1 A guide to living off nature’s bounty in urban, rural and wilderness areas

Feral Forager is a wild 30-page zine coming out of the outskirts of the not-so-wild, hippie mecca of Asheville in the heart of the Southern Appalachian mountains in North Carolina.

It contains all sorts of very practical and easy to follow methods of gathering and eating wild foods. After a nice intro to scavenging and foraging ethics and a nod to anarchy, the zine dives into what will probably remain the most controversial section —Scavenging Roadkill! This section explores the authors’ philosophies and entry into the world of roadkill feasting and then gets into the nitty gritty details of skinning, cleaning, cooking and then using the leftovers. Included are great original and lifted illustrations.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Someday the power will die

“Someday the power will die

the lights will fade...

the stars will shine...


I recently sat down to a dinner of roadkill venison. As an ex-vegetarian who occasionally eats fish or poultry, I did not approach this culinary choice lightly. However, I love an adventure, and I savored each succulent morsel as it emanated wood-smoke and blood.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Grange Appeal

“The work we are going about is this, to dig up Georges Hill and the waste grounds thereabouts, and to sow corn, and to eat our bread together by the sweat of our brows.

“And the first reason is this, that we may work in righteousness, and lay the Foundation of making the Earth a Common Treasury for All, both Rich and Poor, that everyone That is born in the Land may be fed by the Earth his Mother that brought him forth, according to the Reason that rules in the Creation.”


David Watson
Two Ecological Fancies

The Miraculous Birth

Only later did some say that the first of what were to be many miraculous births was presaged in signs. Only much later did a long list of the omens appear. Some could not resist applying the veneer of old myths to circumstances that seemed entirely novel. Someone had reported a two-headed comet, but that was predictable. It had been done before. Different indeed and widely reported was the experience of being awakened from troubled sleep to the sound of a woman laughing, laughing, saying, “Oh my children, my beautiful children!”


William Manson

As techno-urbanism extends its dominion, imposing mechanized regimentation on all modes of experience, human nature with-as for want of living sustenance. Deprived of the life-enhancing conditions for expressive self-development, humans in the megamachine become self-alienated rather than self-actualized. The world as mechanized marketplace: calculable “market-values” almost entirely replace experiential values (revering, loving, wondering, feeling). The individual increasingly perceives herself as a commodity to-be trained and sold to the highest bidder.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchist Communitarian Network

The Anarchist Communitarian Network (ACN) is in its second year of existence. In that time, some changes within the network have greatly transformed the goals of the project. At this point, we wish to reintroduce the ACN and make a call for participation in our newsletter and in the network in general. Our hope is that a renewed level of communication of ideas and experience will help generate new connections and facilitate more projects consistent with the aims of anarchist communitarians.


Wasted, Indeed Anarchy and Alcohol

Excerpt from CrimethInc.

This is a painfully truncated version of a significantly longer text, which includes a thorough consideration of alcohol’s roles throughout the history of civilization, as well as several important disclaimers. The full version, in all its glory, can be obtained from the CrimethInc. chapter of Alcoholics Autonomous at 2695 Rangewood Drive, Atlanta, GA 30345 U.S.A. (cyberspace cadets: www.crimethinc.com)


Fifth Estate Collective
The Spectre of Terrorism Haunts the World poster text


CAUTION! There are terrorists among us.


THEY infest this planet from Washington to New York, from Baghdad to London, from Moscow to Jerusalem.

THEY detain millions of hostages every day and give them the ultimatum—become a slave to the state or an enemy.


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Fifth Estate Letters Policy

We welcome letters commenting on our articles or other topics, but can’t print every one we receive. Each, however, is read and considered for publication.

Letters via email or on disk are appreciated, but typewritten and legibly handwritten ones are acceptable. Length should not exceed two double-spaced pages. All submissions must have a name and return address, which will be withheld upon request.


Richard Tate
More Debate on the Balkans

Dear Citizens:

David Watson’s piece criticizing the Alternative Press Review’s (APR) coverage of the show trial of Slobodan Milosevic in FE #358, Fall 2002 [“The Sad Truth: Milosevic ‘Crucified’: Counter-Spin as Useful Idiocy”] should be rewarded with a job at Human Rights Watch.

It’s as if he’s trying to respond to the increasing ranks of its readers who say the Fifth Estate has become a liberal publication by saying, “Look—I’m not a liberal—I don’t even support the concept of innocent until proven guilty!” His only criticism of the NATO Tribunal in the Hague is that it appears to require the prosecution to prove its case.


David Watson
On Keeping Our Critical Faculties a response to an ultra-left critic

I wonder if anyone else feels the same nausea and despair I experience when reading missives like R. Tate’s [see in this issue “More Debate on the Balkans,” FE #360, Spring, 2003]. Apparently, such jumbled, simple-minded invective, with its breathless disregard for the requirement to present serious evidence to support an argument, is what now passes for debate, for reasoning, in the so-called anti-authoritarian milieu. Was it always like this? Do any of these people even bother to learn anything about a subject anymore before applying their one-size-fits-all template?


Tanya Z. Solomon
Are survivalists and anarchists distant cousins?

a review of Dancing at Armageddon by Richard G. Mitchell (University of Chicago Press, 2002)

In sociologist Richard G. Mitchell’s Dancing at Armageddon (University of Chicago Press, 2002) we meet Zillah, dressed in home-patched camouflage, who has come to a weekend retreat with a sheaf of photocopied fliers detailing her vision of localized radical democracy. Sound like a familiar character? Well, you’ll never find Zillah at an infoshop or an anti-WTO action. She’s on a different FBI list: not an “anarchist” but a “survivalist,” and hence a subject for Mitchell, whose book is subtitled Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times.


Fifth Estate Collective
Help the oldest anarchist ‘zine in America stay young!

The FE HQ in rural Tennessee seeks volunteers and interns for extended visits of one to three months.

Help maintain our Bistro. Participate in every aspect of magazine production. Learn new skills and meet interesting people. Live in a rural intentional community.

Applicants must be willing to live rustically, pay for own expenses, and share basic chores. Please submit letter of introduction with writing samples and activist references.


Fifth Estate Collective
Infoshop, Gallery, & Mail Order


(615) 536–5999

an hour east of Nashville; call, write, or email for directions


Read more


Dr. Ben Reitman, Sister of the Road: the Autobiography of Boxcar Bertha (2002) $15.00

Dark Star

Beneath the Paving Stones (2001) $15.00

Hakim Bey

Immediatism (1992) $10.00


Jesse McCloud
Slingshot Turns 15!

Slingshot, 3124 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705; 510-540-0751 slingshot@tao.ca

Slingshot’s 15th birthday makes me feel kind of old, because I was in on it from just about its beginning. I was an English grad student at Berkeley when I became “Experienced,” to use Jimi Hendrix’s term. I was working on my dissertation, serving as Coordinator of the ASUC Recycling Project, where I met members of the Slingshot Collective. Most of us were Berkeley students. At the time, U.C. Berkeley was hardly radical. Despite the university’s reputation as a hotbed of dissent, a legacy of the ‘60s, there was a need for a leftist voice, and Slingshot filled that need. Those first issues were printed on white paper, sometimes subversively copied on university copiers, and funded by the A.S.U.C.


Fifth Estate Collective
Police State America book review

a review of Police State America: U.S. Military ‘Civil Disturbance’ Planning, edited by Tom Burghardt. April 2002 Arm the Spirit/Solidarity: Toronto, Montreal, San Francisco. Contributions by Frank Morales, Michael Novick, Ron Ridenhour, Arthur Lubow, Mitzi Waltz, Douglas Valentine, and Tom Burghardt.


Dirt, passion, rage on spirituality, peace, & the politics of “NO!”

Editor’s note: Last issue, we printed a review of Starhawk’s new book Webs of Power in the context of our spirituality feature. [See “The Spirit of Global Justice,” FE #359, Winter, 2002–2003.] The following piece comes from a post Starhawk made to an e-mail list devoted to discussing issues raised by that book. It offers a compelling critique of those elements in the peace and justice movement that seek to censor anger and conflict.


Fifth Estate Collective
2003 Radical Calendar

Please send calendar events to the Fifth Estate, keeping in mind our quarterly schedule.

Deadline for the summer 2003 edition is May 1.


PO Box 6, Liberty, TN 37095

April 4–6—New Orleans, LA Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex: Critical Resistance South. Regional conference and Strategy Session.