Various Authors

Send letters to fe — AT — fifthestate.org or Fifth Estate, POB 201016, Ferndale MI 48220

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten; letters may be edited for length

Creative Commons glitch

As a fellow traveler/indie film maker, I have had the chance to learn about copyrighting from posting and also utilizing other people’s videos. [ See Fall 2011 FE, “Copyright or Wrong.”]


Bernard Marszalek
Happy Birthday, King Ludd! The Luddites’ 200th birthday

In the waning moonlight, three bands of sullen men with ash-blackened faces stealthed through the woods and dales of central Yorkshire, one of the first counties in England to industrialize.

Quietly, the three groups, each traveling from different villages, picked themselves through paths they traversed since childhood and assembled in a clearing near their target. Though they passed outlying cottages, no dogs betrayed them.


Fifth Estate Collective
About this issue Revolution!

Just when the corporate bosses thought their world-racket was secure (give or take a few economic crises), the old mole of revolution has suddenly poked her furry head above ground and has put the question of power and wealth on everyone’s lips. Hence, this issue could not have appeared at a better time.


Lisiunia (Lisa) A. Romanienko
Revolution Begins at Home Developing Subversive Style & Substance. Is body modification personal vanity or does it open pathways to a subversive style that challenges modernity?

There has been an unnecessarily divisive debate distinguishing what the late Murray Bookchin designated as lifestyle anarchy from that of traditional ideological anarchy.

Yet under conditions of modernity, anarchist lifestyle centering upon the body and the intimate private sphere is often a necessary precursor to the development of more public articulation of systemic anarchist revolutionary sentiments.


Fifth Estate Collective
Call for submissions for next issue Summer 2012, Vol. 47, #2, #387

Deadline: April 1,

Publication date: May 5

For the past several years, each edition of the Fifth Estate has had a specific theme. Maybe it’s the excitement of the era which has just opened up, but we have decided not to have a particular theme for our Summer edition, and simply let the imagination of writers get as wild as the times demand.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Back to 1911 Temporal Autonomous Zones

Reversion to 1911 would constitute a perfect first step for a 21st century neo-Luddite movement. Living in 1911 means using technology and culture only up to that point and no further, or as little as possible.

For example, you can have a player-piano and phonograph, but no radio or TV; an ice-box, but not a refrigerator; an ocean liner, but not an aeroplane, electric fans, but no air conditioner.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
The Empire Exits Iraq

When President Barack Obama announced on October 21 that the nine year U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq was ending, it didn’t even make first spot on many news reports. Another imperial slaughter had ground to an end, with many liberal publications, such as The Nation, declaring it an “ignominious end to a shameful debacle.”


J.E. Hamilton
Biting the Apple (or not) iPhones, iPads, & MacBooks are a narcissist’s dream, but can they also be an organizer’s tool?

It seems apt now, a few months after Steve Jobs passed away, to turn a skeptical eye to the energetic display of grief that followed the news of his demise on October 5. For a few weeks thereafter, one could hardly turn on the radio, open the newspaper, or cue up the blogs on one’s iPhone without encountering another paean to the creative genius of Apple’s creator, another toast to the brave new world incubated by his products. Quibbles about the advisability of transferring our social and cultural lives to screens were shrugged off as misanthropy, or worse, Luddism.


Ron Sakolsky
Imagine Global Revolution

What I love about

the occupy movement

is that it makes

no demands.


a space

in which possibility


An opening

for imaginations

to upset

the applecart

of acquiescent



clearing the slate

opening the gate


the horrors

of industrial civ



Fifth Estate Collective
Successful Detroit Benefit Concert for Marie Mason Marie’s long sentence compared to that of an anti-apartheid revolutionary

Movement troubadour David Rovics performed a benefit concert in Detroit, October 27, for singer/songwriter/environmental activist, Marie Mason, the Green Scare prisoner serving the longest sentence for eco-sabotage.

Generous attendees at the benefit contributed over $1,000 to support Marie’s prison and legal needs.


Victoria Law
Not Helpless Victims Women in Prison

Poster from a 1938 grade-B movie where the heroine joins a jail-break that turns into a riot

In July 2011, women at California’s Valley State Prison launched a hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners on a four-week hunger strike at Pelican Bay State Prison and also to protest their own Secure Housing Unit (an extreme solitary confinement unit).


Jenny from Sacramento Prisoner Support
The Myth of Entrapment The Eric McDavid case as a model for government misconduct in Green Scare prosecutions

The word entrapment conjures images of agent provocateurs, phone taps, and men in suits listening to fuzzy conversations in white vans down the street. But most of all, it feeds into the myth of justice in a system that is hell-bent on pursuing the malicious prosecution of any and all movements that dare to oppose it.


Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
Occupy Confronts the Power of Money The encampments as anarchy in action

A specter is haunting [the world]--the specter of [the Occupy movement]. All the powers of [the world] have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter.

-- The Communist Manifesto--1848, Karl Marx & Fredrick Engels [altered to reflect current reality]

One hundred and sixty-three years after the original words were written, the specter the rulers of Europe so feared (communism, the word altered in the above quote) appeared to have been successfully vanquished. But suddenly the Occupy movement went from 0 to a 100 mph in a few weeks placing the question of the rule of money on the political agenda across the world, and, in the U.S. for the first time in a hundred years. Inspired by the Arab Spring, the Greek, Spanish, and English opposition to shifting the cost of repairing capitalism from bankers to the people, almost overnight, Occupy sites sprouted up in over a thousand U.S. cities.


Patrick Dunn
Against Negation... Or, Positively Revolting Has anarchy trapped itself in a vortex of negativity, or can a call for love rescue it from itself?

By its own lights, the history of modernity has been a history of resentment, despair, and annihilation. God is dead, and nothing is permitted. The echo, in every cell of our dark prison, is a resounding “No!” Hegel, an early and influential theorist of modernity, found a starting point for modern philosophy in the spirit of absolute negation. This negative path, he averred, was necessitated by the very form of modern subjectivity. Through a series of dialectical movements, thought could bring itself into reconciliation with the positive order of the day. But the task of relentlessly overcoming its alienation by seeking to fill the void inherent in self-consciousness could not be ignored by the modern subject.


Penelope Rosemont
Disobedience: The antidote for miserablism It’s our world; let’s take it!

Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue.

-- Oscar Wilde

...and then we go out and seize a square of singular symbolic significance and put our asses on the line to make it happen. The time has come to deploy this emerging stratagem against the greatest corrupter of our democracy: Wall Street, the financial Gomorrah of America.

-- From Adbusters (September/October 2011 issue)

We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commoded, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy, real estate portfolios and police ‘protection.’ Hold on to these spaces, nurture them and let the boundaries of your occupations grow.

-- Egyptian (Tahrir Square) Comrades


Paul J. Comeau
Redrawing The Line The Anarchist Writings of Paul Goodman


a review of

Drawing The Line Once Again: Paul Goodman’s Anarchist Writings, PM Press, 2010, 122 pages, trade paperback, $14.95

While relatively unknown today, Paul Goodman was one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. In books like Growing Up Absurd, published in 1960, Goodman captured the zeitgeist of his era, catapulting himself to the forefront of American intellectual life as one of the leading dissident thinkers inspiring the burgeoning New Left.


Rick London
Declaration by the Ghost of Emma Goldman

EG speaking in New York City’s Union Square, 1914

I had come to believe capitalism is just the tip of the iceberg of human stupidity. Altogether there is no injustice without complicity. And truly the sight of a brooding wage slave beguiled by some vapid ideologue of privilege is pitiful. So certainly I knew if you drift into complicity with the world in its ever rude war against you, you lose the world within, but by then I was dying and in need of quiet so was tempted to simply tell them all what they wanted to hear, by then it already seemed idiotic to have much conversation at all, we so readily scoff at any workable proposal for our common survival. And our fetishes abound, as if it were more comforting to obsess about some conspiracy than to face up to the elemental stupidity of our breed.


Jonathan Swift
Peter Kuper

A Modest Proposal For Preventing The Children of Poor People from Being A Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.

Essay by Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), Illustrations by Peter Kuper (1958-)

It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets crowded with beggars. Having turned my thoughts upon this important subject, I fortunately fell upon this proposal, which is wholly new, and of no expense. I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.


Dan Georgakas
Three Anarchist Rebellions on Film

Hundreds of films take on anarchist themes in some manner, but only a handful deal with anarchist governance. Three of the most interesting of these are, Alexander the Great (Megalexandros, 1980, Greek), Viva Zapata! (1952, United States), and Rebellion in Patagonia (La Patagonia Rebelde, 1974, Argentina).


Mark R. Seely
The Revolutionary Posture of Anarcho-Primitivism In Defense of Anarchy’s Redheaded Stepchild

Painting, Michelle Waters, “Luddites,” acrylics. www.michellewatersart.com

Anarcho-primitivism comes in several flavors. In fact, there are probably as many varieties of anarcho-primitivism (AP) as there are anarcho-primitivists.

Some varieties focus more on primitivism, and emphasize the negative impact of industrial technology and the positive benefits of a return to a technological state better aligned with our evolutionary roots.


Fifth Estate Collective
The Aftermath of Toronto’s Anti-G20 Demos A legal circus and the criminalization of dissent

Militarized police attack unarmed demonstrators at a protest against the G20 meeting in Toronto, June 2010

In a packed Toronto courtroom, November 23, the prosecution dropped all conspiracy charges against the so-called “Main G20 Conspiracy Group,” 17 organizers from Southern Ontario and Quebec.

The G20 Summit, a meeting of international finance ministers held in Toronto in June 2010, was met with huge protests, followed by unprecedented mass arrests: 1105 people detained, and over 300 charged. Countless others were targets of police brutality and violations of fundamental human rights. Of those charged, almost 200 had charges dropped.


Fifth Estate Collective
Ten Years of Montreal’s Mauvaise Herbe

The Montreal zine and distro, Mauvaise Herbe (MH; The Weed), celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2011. The journal, with its green and anarchist insurrectionist influences, prints articles in French and English, was first to publish this perspective in French in Quebec.

Since 2002, Mauvaise regularly presents workshops at the annual Montreal Anarchist Bookfair and at other events including the city’s Eco-radical festival. The topics include anarchism and the anti-civ critique, the question of organization, the concept of autonomy, and on the challenges to Quebec’s eco-radical movement.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchist Book Fairs Around the World in 2012 FE at NYC, Montreal, and SF

Many anarchist book fairs are scheduled for 2012, and the Fifth Estate will make an appearance at some of them.

We will have a booth for our magazine at the 6th annual New York City Anarchist Book Fair, which we will share with the Support Marie Mason Committee as we’ve done in past years.

We will also will share tables at the Montreal and San Francisco events.


Marieke Bivar
What Silence Can’t Hide

a review of

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman. Simon & Schuster, 2011, 304 pages

I wrote So Much Pretty because I wanted to talk about family and community and the ways in which things that have become familiar to us are often not what they seem, are rife with meanings that elude our selective senses, that turn us into unwitting accomplices, secret sharers of observable but unspeakable things. Our desires for security, or belonging or freedom suddenly becoming the weight that sinks us...I wanted to discuss how well meaning people are often complicit in destroying the things they most want to preserve.

--Cara Hoffman

from www.carahoffman.com


Paul J. Comeau
New Releases from the DIY Bandits Collective

The DIY Bandits collective are many things: a record label, a distro, a booking agency, and a bunch of cool people from many walks of life who are tired of the status quo.

The Bandits do not see themselves as anarchists, as they say on their website, “DIY Bandits do not belong to the anarchist scene, punk scene, underground scene, or mainstream scene. Bandits are not interested in being seen as a scene but rather in dismantling all scenes.”


David Porter
Spain: model for anarchist organizing

Milicia women at the Madrid front, 1936

a review of

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution, Volume I

by Jose Peirats, Edited and Introduced by Chris Ealham; Translated by Paul Sharkey

PM Press / Christie Books; 432pp, 628; www.pmpress.org

The Spanish anarchist movement and revolution of the late 1930s are undoubtedly the historical force and context most praised by Western anarchists. In absolute numbers, in proportion of the overall population they were part of, and in the radical transformation they accomplished in much of Spanish society, the reputation is well deserved.


Fifth Estate Collective
Books that should have been reviewed in this issue

Most publications receive more books for review than they can possibly do. What’s needed is an Anarchist Review of Books [now, there’s a project waiting to happen]. We are often disappointed, to say nothing of the authors, when we cannot find reviewers for excellent titles that are sent to us. Here are a selection of books we’ve gotten recently, and this isn’t a complete list.