Various Authors
Letters Our readers respond.

Send letters via email to fe<AT>fifthestate<DOT>org or Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 201016, Ferndale MI 48220. All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten. Letters may be edited for length.

Pieing God 1

I had just thought about Pat Halley yesterday. (See “FE Staffer Puts a Pie in God’s Face,” FE Spring 2015)


Fifth Estate Collective
Our 50th! Issue intro

Welcome to our Spring 2015 issue, with the murderous U.S. war against Vietnam as its main theme. The essays and fiction describe the conflict itself, while next issue will feature accounts of the resistance from the anti-war movement, mutinous GIs, and the Vietnamese.

The Fall edition will mark our 50th anniversary of radical publishing and will include essays commemorating the paper’s history. Plans for a celebration, a staff reunion, and museum exhibits in Detroit are on the next and back pages.


Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of print edition

COVER: “St. Mary of the Machines”--Stephen Goodfellow BACK: Joey Salamon

3 AnarchoShorts & Other tales from the planet

3 Letters

4 Fifth Estate celebrates 50th year

5 The Rojava Revolution

Andrew Flood

6 All Organizing is Science Fiction

adrienne maree brown

7 When the War Comes Home

Marieke Bivar


Fifth Estate Collective
AnarchoShorts ...& Other Tales of the Planet

The MC5 from promotion photo for their debut album, “Kick Out the Jams.” (photo: Leni Sinclair)

It was fifty years ago this summer that the lead singer of a band from a working class Detroit suburb screamed into a mic, “Kick out the jams, motherfucker,” inaugurating a wild ride into rock history.

The music of the MC5, whose combination of rock and roll power, attitude, and connection to the revolutionary White Panther Party, made them, and their poet, marijuana advocate manager, John Sinclair, frequent targets for police suppression, arrest, and violence.


Fifth Estate Collective
Fifth Estate celebrates 50th year with exhibits & festivities


September 19, <strong>MOCAD

3-5pm, The Fifth Estate’s 50 Years of Radical Journalism, Commentary & Critique: A Panel & Conversation

5-7pm, FE staff reunion

8:30–10:00pm at HopCat (Canfield at Woodward), dance/party/concert celebration featuring Detroit’s Layabouts. Full menu for dinner before is available.



Andrew Flood
The Rojava Revolution Worth fighting for; a fight worth being in solidarity with

On May 17, military forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) captured Ramadi, Iraq, and with it another huge stock of US-supplied modern weaponry. Six thousand US-trained Iraqi soldiers fled the city without putting up much of a fight. The ISIS force was considerably smaller and reliant on waves of suicide car bombs for its final attack. It’s not hard to see why ISIS has been successful in establishing the idea that it is an unstoppable force carrying out their god’s will.


D. Sands
All Organizing is Science Fiction An interview with adrienne maree brown

adrienne maree brown speaks with the Fifth Estate about Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, Co-edited with Walidah Imarisha, AK Press, 2015, $18.00, akPress.org.

How do we strategize to create a world without war, without violence, without prisons, without capitalism? For author and activist, adrienne maree brown, the answer is science fiction. She’s a strong believer that sci-fi and other literature can be a force for transformative social change.


Fifth Estate Collective
Call for Submissions

Fifth Estate Fall 2015 (Issue 395)
Our 50th Anniversary Edition!

Deadline: September 15

Publication date: October 15



* FE — Celebrating fifty years of promoting revolution everywhere

* Resistance to the U.S. Vietnam War

Before contacting us, please read our Writers’ Guidelines.

<strong>Submit manuscripts for short pieces and proposals for longer essays, along with graphics and photographs, to:


Marieke Bivar
When the War Comes Home Cara Hoffman’s new novel examines the consequences of war when a damaged soldier returns home to a small town & she’s still in battle-ready mode

a review of

Be Safe I Love You by Cara Hoffman. Simon & Schuster, paper edition 2015, 289 pp. $26

What sacred thing could pass through her lips now? What choir could shield her from the sound of her own voice?

“I did terrible things,” she said.

“Of course you did, Troy said calmly. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”


David Watson
Federico Arcos A Stalwart of the Spanish Revolution Passes

As we go to print, it is with great sadness that we report the passing of our compañero, amigo, padre, and abuelo, Federico Arcos, in Windsor, Ontario, at the age of 94. The last several months were very difficult for him, but all in all he lived long, fully, and admirably. He stood for lasting and noble human values. He cared about human beings and the Earth. He believed in justice and freedom and human solidarity and compassion. He had a powerful and permanent effect on us.


Feral Sage
Storm Warnings The personal is political... & historical

a review of

We are the Birds of the Coming Storm by Lola Lafon. Seagull Books, 2014, translated from the French by David and Nicole Ball

Originally published in 2011 as Nous sommes les oiseaux de la tempête qui s’annonce

We are the Birds of the Coming Storm is French author Lola Lafond’s third novel, and the first to be translated into English. It is the story of three women whose lives converge and intertwine during a time of personal and political upheaval.


Fifth Estate Collective
Technological Biteback Theme intro

While many of us dream of green forests and a restored natural world, there are others who embrace the machine to the extent of desiring to become one. Echoing the horrors of dystopian sci-fi novels, transhumanism and singularity advocates celebrate the merging of the human brain with computers. But, this grotesque movement comes at a time when there is growing apprehension of what technological Frankensteins have created.


John Zerzan

To many, it seems there will be no escape from the dominant reality, no alternative to an irredeemably darkened modernity as civilization’s final, lasting mode. We are indeed currently trapped, and the nature of our imprisonment is not subject to scrutiny. Its very existence is off-limits to discourse.


Bellamy Fitzpatrick
Transhumanism vs. Primitivism Zoltan Istvan & John Zerzan

“Come and hear the views of two thinkers who arguably have defined the two polar opposite views on the effects of technology” blared the invitation to a November 15 debate between Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan and Anarcho-Primitivist John Zerzan at California’s Stanford University.

Grimacing at the clash-of-the-titans-esque rhetoric that epitomized the debaters, I nonetheless made my way eagerly to the college, just south of San Francisco, to watch the spectacle unfold.


Jason Rodgers
The Control of Computerized Television Predicted by Fifth Estate 30 years ago, but it arrived in an unexpected form (except by Dick Tracy)

In another age, in a different lifetime, David Watson (under the name, George Bradford) wrote in the Spring 1984 Fifth Estate:

“While there may be reason for concern about computer threats to privacy, it is generally overlooked that deepening privatization, with a computerized television in every room as its apotheosis, is itself at least as great a threat—a threat which makes the police almost superfluous.”


Ian Erik Smith
Cybernetic Revolutionaries Salvador Allende planned to run Chile’s state socialism from this room


a review of

Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile by Eden Medina. MIT Press, 2014, 344 pp., $20

Eden Medina’s Cybernetic Revolutionaries provides an account which is sympathetic to Chile’s Project Cybersyn. She uncovers and details the largely forgotten and extraordinarily fascinating history of how information and communication technology was seized upon as a way to realize President Salvador Allende’s socialist aspirations.


Bill Boyer
The Passing of an anarchist Prankster Linus J. O’Leary, 1956–2015

Detroit lost a unique anarchist prankster, mechanical genius, underground musician and reluctant sage, Linus J. O’Leary, after a two month battle with multiple complications from a brain aneurysm on February 25, 2015. He was 58.

Linus grew up during the 1960s in a large working class Catholic family (with proud Irish roots) in Dearborn, Michigan, exposing him to one of metro Detroit’s most infamous examples of bitter segregation, while developing a radical political consciousness against racial injustice and other forms of oppression.


Lorraine Perlman
Judith Malina (1926–2015) Co-founder of The Living Theatre


Conversations with Judith Malina rarely ended without her advocating “the beautiful nonviolent anarchist revolution.” Strategy to realize it always followed. Her efforts to achieve this ideal resulted in her arrest for civil disobedience in twelve different countries.

She and her husband Julian Beck established The Living Theatre in New York City in 1947 when they were in their 20s. Cultural foundations offering support were non-existent. Despite the constant shortage of physical space to rehearse and perform, they produced plays by radical playwrights like William Carlos Williams, Antonin Artaud, Paul Goodman and Tennessee Williams.


Jim Tull
Out of Love

Romantic love so often doesn’t work because it isn’t rooted in human traditions.

In the long course of our culture’s evolution, romantic love has become the primary post-pubescent source of affection in our world. But it has not always occupied this special position. It may be a universal in human experience, but in our globalizing monoculture, romance has intensified over the millennia into a distorted caricature of versions common in tribal and Neolithic village societies.


Quincy B. Thorn
Anarchists Confront the Marxist State in Cuba Whee! Airbnb announces 2000 available Cuban listings; The New York Times has full page ads for travel to the island. Isn’t it all grand? Well, no.

The recent loosening of restrictions on economic transactions between citizens and companies in the U.S. and those in Cuba has been greeted by many liberals and leftists as a promise of what they designate as “prosperity” for the island.

They are hopeful that Congress will eliminate remaining trade restrictions, thereby helping to promote economic growth. However, given past examples of such liberalization, we can only realistically expect it to promote further integration of the Cuban economy into global capitalism.


Fifth Estate Collective
Looking Back on the Vietnam War A special section of essays which bring light to the Vietnam War’s continuing mystification

The war’s legacy of lies continues in an official commemoration that stands history on its head. 2015 marks the third year of a fifteen year, congressionally designated commemoration of the U.S. empire’s monstrous war in Vietnam.

It is also the fortieth anniversary of the final defeat and withdrawal of U.S. military forces.


David Watson
The Vietnam War History & Forgetting


When this essay first appeared in the Fifth Estate in Spring 1985, the Vietnam War already seemed to be receding into ancient history. Central America was at that time being battered with money and proxies, rather than with “American boys,” who tend to get themselves unceremoniously killed while smashing up other people’s neighborhoods. A few hundred thousand deaths and mutilations later, we still await the tearful retrospectives with their admixture of regret and denial.


Jerry Lembcke
Nobody Spat on American GIs! The Mythical Imagery of the American “Great Betrayal” Narrative

Stories of spat-on veterans began proliferating in the U.S. media in 1990 as the country ramped up for the first Persian Gulf War. Anti-war activists had spat on troops returning from Vietnam, or so the stories went, and to make sure that did not happen again, Americans were urged to rally around the men and women dispatched to the Gulf. Within weeks, the nation was awash with yellow ribbons, symbols of support for troops, and by inference, the mission on which they had been sent.


Penelope Rosemont
Make Love; Not War! ...& the Spirit of the Times

Words embody, embrace, define an era. Make Love, Not War, a slogan 1960s rebels created fifty years ago in March 1965 is still around today, often echoed, modified, mocked, transformed. (A wonderful Berkeley Bakery, for instance, boasts, “Make Bread, Not War,” on its banner.)


The original saying was created at Chicago’s Solidarity Bookshop, a “do-it-yourself-revolution project” of Roosevelt University anarchists and IWW members who decided to make an anti-war button. What came to mind was the old Fellowship of Reconciliation slogan “Make Peace, Not War,” but this didn’t reflect our thinking; it was too tame.


C.W. Boles

It doesn’t take long before you fall in love with a helicopter.

The ponderous, heavy, and wholly improbable flight of a cargo plane, or the enclosed cocoon of a commercial airliner are too similar to driving in a delivery truck rather than tearing down the highway in a four-seat convertible.

The chopper has its own rhythm, and moves impossibly in all directions—or none at all; still as a kite, if not quite as silent.


Nhi (Nancy) Chung
The Pool at the Sak Woi Club

1. Saigon, 1967

The wind in a room. Often, though the club would be a hive of activity, with waiters, sunners, diners by the food counter, and children bounding through the wading area, the main indoor pool would be empty. A current of air would undulate along its placid surface, raising a single wavelet that glittered outstandingly like one flounce on a plain dress.


How Anarchist Culture Sustains a Movement Book review

a review of

Underground Passages: Anarchist Resistance Culture 1848–2011 by Jesse Cohn. AK Press, 2014, 421 pp., akpress.org, $22.95

In Underground Passages, Jesse Cohn begins with the apt metaphor of anarchist resistance culture as a tunnel: it is “a way of living in transit through” this world. Resistance culture is “not mainly defined by its end; it is a middle, a means.” Anarchist cultural production is a way of making sense of the world, a figurative place inhabited temporarily in the time between the present and the future of anarchy.


Fifth Estate Collective
Montreal Anarchist Theatre Festival 2015


Audiences at the 10th Annual Montreal Anarchist Theatre Festival, May 19–20, saw excellent anarchist theatre performed by professional and amateur participants, troupes and monologues from Quebec and elsewhere including Belgium, France and the US.

The 2016 festival deadline is Oct. 31. Information is at festivaltheatreanarchiste — AT — yahoo — DOT — ca. Application form is at anarchistetheatrefestival.com.