Fifth Estate Collective
About this issue An Anarchist Review of Books


It’s been said that a revolutionary’s first weapon is a book.

When the Fifth Estate occupied a physical office in its first thirty years of existence, it always had a bookstore space where texts supporting ideas we published and stimulated us lined the shelves. The last one, in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, carried the name of Ammunition Books and in one listing of our titles used a photo of a .357 magnum pistol as an illustration.


Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead, Call for Submissions

Fifth Estate #401, Summer 2018, Vol. 53 No. 2

Fifth Estate: Radical Publishing since 1965

The Fifth Estate is an anti-profit, anarchist project published by a volunteer collective of friends and comrades.

No ads. No copyright. Kopimi — reprint freely.


Call for Submissions

Fall 2018 Fifth Estate


Paul Walker (Peter Werbe)
Anarchists & Guns

“Workingmen: Arm yourselves and appear in full force!”

—1886 Haymarket leaflet

The initial clamor about controlling gun violence following the horrible mass shooting at Parkland, Fla. high school this February mostly subsided following huge demonstrations of students across the country in March and April. Young students appeared everywhere in the media advocating reforms, but no legislation has passed that will staunch the blood flow, and probably none will be forthcoming.


J20 Trials Continue to Drag on Support still needed for those arrested at Trump’ s 2017 Inauguration

By the time this is published, the J20 trials, the prosecutions of protesters mass arrested at Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, will likely be in full swing.

Despite having charges dismissed against 129 of the 230 people indicted and the first trial resulting in unanimous acquittals for six defendants in January, the US Attorney’s office has doubled down on its year and a half long legal effort to prosecute the 59 remaining defendants.


Bill Weinberg
Red-Brown Politics Anarchists Must Not Take the Bait

Fascists are seeking to exploit and co-opt anti-war forces in the US, and build support for war criminals like Assad and Putin. Anarchists have a responsibility to reject such overtures and offer solidarity to those resisting in Syria.

Following the chemical gas attack on the rebel-held Syrian city of Douma in April, Trump staged retaliatory air-strikes, and a protest against the U.S. military actions was held in Los Angeles.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchism Returns to Cuba

The Anarchist Social Center and Library (Abra: Centro Social y Biblioteca Libertaria) was inaugurated in Havana on May 5. The first word in the Spanish name, Abra, means a place or action through which possibilities can be opened up, which is what the center hopes to be.

Anarchists have been present in Cuba since the 1870s, suffering periodic repression under several different authoritarian regimes. From 1959 on, the Castro government persecuted, imprisoned, and killed anarchists, forcing large numbers into exile or silence-something neither the Spanish colonialists nor the earlier Cuban dictators could accomplish.


Benjamin Olson
Breaking the Cycle of Trauma Creating a New Lineage of Healing

Trauma is a subtle dominator of experience. Totalizing yet imperceptible, the massive mental shock re-contextualizes life so fully, one forgets what life was like before it.

Indeed, one forgets that there ever was a before. War, mass shootings, rape, famine, can all cause trauma. In fact, sometimes just hearing about these things (living with a loved one or being raised by a parent who once experienced them), creates its own trauma in the listener, causing a cycle that can intensify over generations.


Peter Cole
IWW Marine Transport Workers Local 8 Black lives mattered in this long-forgotten interracial union

Among the greatest obstacles to a working class revolution in the United States (and beyond) has been, and remains, white supremacy Far too many white people, past and present, have put their racial identity above their class interests.

A great many white people understand that racism, xenophobia, and other prejudices only divide workers to the benefit of bosses. But the sad truth for the United States is that, before the rise of industrial unions belonging to the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s, few unions treated African American workers equally.


On a MOVE In Maine Ramona Africa speaks in rural, small towns

“MOVE’s work is to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil. And, to put an end to the enslavement of life—people, animals, any form of Life.”

—MOVE Statement

I am driving south on Interstate-295 in a freezing April rain toward Portland, Maine. In the car with me are Ramona Africa and Fred Riley of the black liberation organization, MOVE. We pass an SUV that has slid off the highway into the ditch.


Cody Constructor
Alt-right on the Run After East Lansing Antifa Action But antifascist comrades need our help!

Fighting got serious as antifa stopped white power in East Lansing, Mich. in March.
Above, neo-Nazi Matthew Heimbach of the Traditional Workers Party (rt) looks worried.

For those curious whether Antifa tactics can actually deliver the goods when it comes to disrupting fascist organizing efforts, the activity surrounding white supremacist Richard Spencer’s early March visit to Michigan should serve as a resounding, “Yes!” The alt-right leader, who heads the racist National Policy Institute and wants to turn the U.S. into an exclusively white ethno-state, canceled the remaining dates of a college campus speaking tour after being confronted by a militant antifascist presence during a stop at Michigan State University in East Lansing.


Fifth Estate Collective
Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons Meet & Rally in Pittsburgh


The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons held its third annual conference in Pittsburgh, June 8–10. It included lectures, workshops, and discussions about the Prison/Industrial Complex’s mass incarceration and its links to erosion of environmental health both inside and out.

Workshops ranged from toxic conditions in prisons (such as unsafe drinking water and air), to political repression and resistance inside and solidarity outside, to fighting white supremacy in prisons, support for those with disabilities, queer and trans prisoners, as well as support for undocumented detainees.


Fifth Estate Collective
What are you reading this summer? Section intro: Here are some suggestions among the many books available we found interesting

We put great emphasis on the phrase “the many books available” in our headline since the extent of titles that reflect the anarchist world view are so numerous that even if we were to publish a regularly appearing Anarchist Review of Books, it is doubtful if we could come close to noting them all.

There are many publishers of specifically anarchist literature, but as is mentioned in our article on anarchist fiction in this issue, the desire for freedom without the constraints of the bureaucratic administration of life, and the repression, exploitation, and discrimination inherent in capitalist society, expresses itself in literature internationally.


Hitler’s American Model Review

a review of

Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman. Princeton University Press 2017 press.princeton.eduititles/10925.html

The United States and Germany shared an important characteristic in the 1930s. Both were determined to cement white supremacy into Law. Racist statutes in the US were then state of the art. The Nazis sought to catch up after taking power in 1933.


A Thriller That Might Make You Throw Away Your SmartPhone Review

a review of

Darlingtonia by Alba Roja. Left Bank Books, 2017 akpress.org; albaroja.noblogs.org

Darlingtonia begins with a juxtaposition characteristic of the times we live in. Anton works in the service industry in San Francisco, commuting each day into the city because he can’t afford to live there and providing concierge services for well-off hotel guests.


Coco Bonobo
Writings by Emile Armand Review

a review of

Individualist Anarchism/Revolutionary Sexualism: Writings by Emile Armand. Pallaksch Press 2012 littleblackcart.com/books

This is a nice selected edition of mostly shorter tracts by the French sexpol individualist, Emile Armand (1872–1963). Alejandro De Acosta’s translations are excellent. Most informative are the essays “Life as Experiment,” “The Sexual Fantasists,” and “Revolutionary Sexualism.”


Steve Izma
Explaining Anarchism to a Parent Can Be Tough! Review

a review of

Anarchy Explained to My Father by Francis Dupuis-Deri and Thomas Deri; Translated from the French by John Gilmore. New Star Books, Vancouver, 2017

Any set of ideas whose name defines it in terms of negativity has a lot of explaining to do when it speaks about the future. Proponents of anarchism—in plain English, “against authority”—tend to be adamantly against formulae or against determinism and quite legitimately refuse to describe the perfect, future anarchist society. Nonetheless, anarchism’s critique of oppression leads logically to a set of ideas that explicitly lay down principles for moving forward.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchy on the Air!

The Final Straw Radio

Want to learn how to turn off GPS on your phone? Hear the latest from the pipeline blockade? Or, how to support pipeline resisters near you? The Final Straw Radio (TFSR) is a weekly anarchist radio show and podcast based in Asheville, N.C. TFSR has produced programs since 2010, airing on stations across the country, and offering free downloads at thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org.


Margaret Killjoy
A Brief History of Anarchist Fiction Eccerpts

Excerpted and reprinted from Fifth Estate #385, Fall, 2011.

Without even knowing it, you’ve read anarchist fiction. There are literary greats like Leo Tolstoy (“The Anarchists are right in everything ... They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by revolution.” [“On Anarchy,” 1900]), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Henry Miller (”[An anarchist] is exactly what I am. Have been all my life.” [Conversations With Henry Miller, 1994]), Dambudzo Marechera (“If you are a writer for a specific nation or a specific race, then fuck you.”), Ba Jin, Carolyn Chute, J.M. Coetzee (“What is wrong with politics is power itself.” [Diary of a Bad Year, 2007]), Jorge Luis Borges, and William Blake, and other popular fiction authors like Alan Moore, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, Robert Shea, Norman Spinrad, B. Traven, Kurt Vonnegut, Ethel Mannin, and Edward Abbey.


Eric Laursen
Repression & Resistance From RNC 2000 to Trump

a review of

Crashing the Party: Legacies and Lessons from the RNC 2000 by Kris Hermes. PM Press, 2015 pmpress.org

Crashing the Party was published three years ago, but it couldn’t be more timely in the age of Trump and Sessions. Kris Hermes’s book is an in-depth account of the legal saga that began with the repression and mass arrests of activists at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia.


Looking Back at France, May 1968 The Basic Story

Fifty years ago France was on the verge of social revolution, with millions of workers on strike, factories occupied, and students striking and occupying universities and high schools all over the country. Anarchists and anti-authoritarians were deeply involved in this massive movement which took many, but not all, by surprise.


Barry Pateman
Thoughts on the Significance of France, May 1968

Paris, May 1968: Taking to the streets is more than building barricades and fighting the police. Perhaps more importantly, it’s also a time for many hours of discussing ideas and passions that escape the mundane.

One of the most important things May ’68 achieved was to make rebellion feel exciting, thrilling, and urgent. People took to the streets of France for a variety of reasons but they took to the streets.


Fifth Estate Collective
Intro to May ’68 We’ll Always Have Paris


It’s been fifty years since the exciting events of May 1968 in France that shook the country to its foundations. It is still inspiring to remember the widespread revolt of high school and university students, and then workers, that erupted throughout the country, leading to the largest general strike in French history. These events brought society to a stop, temporarily transforming daily life, and posing the possibility of a complete social revolution. The 1968 turmoil in France was part of a worldwide upsurge.


Jesús Sepúlveda
The Animal Hungers

The animal hungers

for light and strength

He hungers


Killing himself while hunting


fatally and the last


Hunger springs



There are beasts without burden

that dance / grow fiery

They warily drink water


Famine distorts

Tea or sugar or bread

or fuel

or a tender hand?


The animal hungers

for goodness


The famished grow fat

leaving scraps for neither him

nor her

who remained with her cubs


The animal hungers

Tramps through trenches


up slopes

Sets out


He rears up on both paws and ransacks a beehive

Spreads his wings and throws himself from a cliff


The animal hungers

when he moves with the flock

or sells his lungs, his eyes

his goodness, his fury

hangs from meat hooks


There is no slaughterer without slaughterhouses

there is a journal. a story. a bus


and the barrio where he who writes grew up


There are massacres


Slaughterers dressed as generals in plastic aprons

or doctors in white coats

the chemists the priests enrobed


Or gold buttons / stripes

or suits


or sweaty


When the animal hungers

Everything trembles

Books crumble

The earth quakes


Autumn flowers bloom in the garden

In the gazebo unreal and necessary

the breeze rushes

people stroll by


Home is one

who smokes sitting in the patio of his house

or in a hotel

or silently waits in the corner of his


or lingers outside

until they open the door


Hunger squeezes through crevices

Cuts grooves


Climbs fences



But the animal doesn’t wait

grows weak or devours

He is hungry

and cold


He doesn’t know how to live

with pain and anguish

but tries


He prepares tea / bathes

or doesn’t


He has had enough



Dips his bread


Sits still a moment


Matthew Lucas
Black Panther Breakthrough or More Hollywood Marketing?

a review of

Black Panther; Director: Ryan Coogler 134 min.

On the list of watershed films of 2018 will be Black Panther, Marvel Studios’ astronomically budgeted blockbuster, which raked in critical plaudits as well as ticket sales on an unprecedented scale. The film has struck a chord with both black and white audiences.


Tom Schulte
Life Among the Piutes Review

a review of

Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims by Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1883; Kindle edition, 2017. Also, free online

This is an amazing autobiography and first-hand account from Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins (born Thocmentony, meaning “Shell Flower;” c. 1844—1891) the grand-daughter of Chief Truckee (d. 1860), medicine chief of the Northern Paiute.


Carrie Laben
The People’s Republic of Everything Review

a review of

The People’s Republic of Everything by Nick Mamatas. Tachyon Publications 2018, tachyonpublications.com

Nick Mamatas, who first entered the radical literary scene two decades ago as one of the translators of Jae-Eui Lee’s Kwangju Diary, has been a consistent yet consistently surprising voice since.


Rui Preti
Exploring the Past & Present of Anarchists in New York City

A review of

Radical Gotham: Anarchism in New York City from Schwab’s Saloon to Occupy Wall Street, Tom Goyens, ed. University of Illinois Press, 2017

New York City is well known for its radicals, past and present. The lives and deeds of some noteworthy anarchists who have lived there (including Emma Goldman, Paul Goodman and Murray Bookchin), and the high points of local movement history have been discussed extensively in articles and books. Yet there is a shortage of bottom up histories describing and exploring the lives of non-famous anarchists of earlier times or currently.


Bill Weinberg
True Stories Review

a review of

True Stories: Tales from the Generation of a New World Culture by Garrick Beck. iUniverse, 2017

Garrick Beck spans a personal journey through radical bohemia in the 1950s, hippie utopianism in the 1960s, back-to-the-land communalism in the 1970s, to applying those ethics today through community work and urban Land-reclamation back in the New York City of his youth.


Peter Werbe
The Way of the Passenger Pigeon Review: John Zerzan on the End of Civilization

a review of

A People’s History of Civilization by John Zerzan. Feral House, 2018 feralhouse.com

Beginning with John Zerzan’s 1970s jeremiads in this publication, his predictions of social collapse and later of civilization’s were best summed up by the title of his FE #276, January, 1976 article, “The Decline and Fall of Everything.”


Bill Weinberg
Impossible Revolution Review

a review of

Impossible Revolution: Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy by Yassin al-Haj Saleh. Haymarket Books 2017

This book is a necessary corrective to the dominant perception—left, right and center—that the opposition in Syria are all jihadists and dictator Bashar Assad the best bet for stability.


Craig O’Hara
PM Press Ten Years of Literary Molotovs

Bay Area-based PM Press celebrated its tenth anniversary of publishing in May with a bang-up party in Oakland, Calif., where staff, authors, and well-wishers howled at political sketch comedy, smashed a captured Amazon delivery drone, and danced the night away to punk rock.

PM was founded at the end of 2007 by a small group of people with decades of publishing, media, and organizing experience. At the outset we strived to create and distribute radical audio, video, and text releases through every available channel in all possible formats. True to one expanded variation of our name, “Print Matters,” however, we’re biased in favor of hardcopy books as the best format in which to communicate ideas for social change.


Jason Rodgers
What does it mean to be human or transhuman?

a review of

The Transhuman Future: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. Tor Books, 2003

Cory Doctorow has a clear vision of the future. In a way, I hate him for that, because it is not a future in which I want to live. But he is probably right.

He extrapolates current situations and trends to create a realistic vision of the future. Often these include business trends, making them even more fleshed out visions. However, he is not a world builder. He writes humanistic stories, but about transhumanism, the idea that people can evolve beyond our current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.


Steven Cline
The Trials & Tribulations of Mrs. Whale Head Fiction

During Whale Head’s sleep, her organs grew very impatient and bored since they had become hyper intelligent. In order to amuse themselves, they read all the books in a twenty-seven-mile radius by spatial osmosis, and also managed to solve the paradox of the radial ostrich, which had been plaguing the King’s court philosophers for many decades now.


Gracie Forest
Against the State; Against the Grain

a review of

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States by James C. Scott. Yale University Press, 2017 yalebooks.yale.edu

In his latest book, James Scott continues his exploration of the relationship between domestication and the development of hierarchies of power in pre-modern and modern societies. He is particularly interested in examining the situations of people who resisted being incorporated into states. Against the Grain rejects the view that human history is a story of linear progression leading to the conveniences of contemporary civilization.


Quincy B. Thorn
Becoming Masterless A Myth for Our Time

a review of

In Search of the Masterless Men of Newfoundland by Seaweed & Ron Sakolsky. Ardent Press, 2017 ardentpress.com

Seaweed and Ron Sakolsky have put together a book to inspire current and future rebels. Much more than history, it relates a myth with the potential to nurture hope for freer ways of life.


Rui Preti
May Made Me (review) May ’68 Participants Look Back on the Events that Changed Their Lives Forever and Almost Changed France Completely

a review of

May Made Me: An Oral History of the 1968 Uprising in France by Mitchell Abidor. AK Press, 2018 akpress.org

May Made Me joins thousands of other books published over the past fifty years dealing with the insurrectionary events in France during May and June 1968. Unfortunately, most of them are quite superficial, inaccurate and often highly distorted by authoritarian presuppositions.


Fifth Estate Collective
Montreal Anarchist Theatre Festival Seeks Plays

The 14th annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival, the world’s only event dedicated to anarchist theatre, seeks plays, monologues, dance-theatre, puppet shows, mime, in English and French, on the theme of anarchism or related themes such as opposition to all forms of oppression including the State, capitalism, war, and patriarchy. Also, pieces exploring ecological, social and economic justice, racism, feminism, poverty, class and gender oppression from an anarchist perspective. We welcome work from anarchist and non-anarchist writers.


Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchist & Anti-authoritarian Publishers

[one_half padding=“0 0 0 30px”]AK Press

370 Ryan Ave. #100 Chico, CA 95973 USA

(510) 208–1700



AK Press (AKUK)

33 Tower St., Edinburgh EH6 7BN, UK

+44 131 555 5165





Black & Red

P.O. Box 02374, Detroit MI 48202


S. Laplage
Novels of Michael Ondaatje Review

a review of

In the Skin of a Lion (1987); The English Patient (1993) by Michael Ondaatje

Some people read novels solely for a good story. Others also want quality writing that flows well and doesn’t distract from the story line. For me, if the novel reflects my values, all the better, but this is not a criterion.


E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
George Bradford (David Watson)

Blood and Soil Ideologies Excerpt-Reprint

The following is an excerpt from an article commenting on the 1993 Palestine Liberation Organization/Israel peace agreement, “The PLO/Israeli Treaty: Another Defeat for the Palestinians,” from Fifth Estate #343, Fall/Winter 1993.

Eew realize that in the 45 years of Israeli existence, fewer than 700 Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian guerrillas. In the same period, Israel has slaughtered tens of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians (including scores of children whose “crime” was throwing stones), wiped out 400 villages, imprisoned thousands without trial, dynamited houses, cut down thousands of trees in orchards, and engaged in collective punishment in an attempt to terrorize the “natives” into submission.


Various Authors

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

All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten. Letters may be edited for length.

Voting I

Thank you for finally calling out your fellow privileged white lefties for their, “I choose not to vote,” bullshit. (See “In Defense of Tactical Voting,” by Bill Weinberg, FE #400, Spring 2018.)