Various Authors

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

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Letters may be edited for length.

Fifth Estate note: We usually don’t print letters of this length, but thought this encapsulated the sexual immiseration suffered by many. We don’t offer advice in this matter, but invite others to suggest how best to navigate sex and partnering.


Fifth Estate Collective
About this Issue


As opposed to the mechanistic, cold, pseudo-scientific dogma of Marxists and others, we know that the urge for revolution has to come from a deeper place in our lives. The Spanish anarchists said they had “a new world in their hearts,” which provided a vision for their struggles. The idea of re-enchantment of the world mirrors that longing as a prefiguring of what we want. We dedicate this issue to those in the past who have fought for a new world and to those today who continue in their footsteps.


Dana Williams
Hope Springs Forth From Fire Mutual Aid & Disaster Response to California’s Deadliest Wild Fire

The Camp Fire was also a health and environmental disaster. Smoke from the deadly fire resulted in widespread air pollution throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley.

On November 8, 2018, a deadly wildfire—called the Camp Fire because it began on Camp Creek Road—swept the western Sierra Nevada foothills in northern California. The fire’s spark originated with Pacific Gas & Electric power transmission lines that ignited dry vegetation on a particularly windy day.


Frank Joyce
1492, 1513, 1619, 2019 It’s all connected: On the Origins of the So-called United States of America

Many are marking 2019 as the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first captured Africans in Jamestown. So, even more than usual, we will hear chattel slavery referred to as the nation’s original sin.

It isn’t.

That framing is itself a window into the white way of thinking. It’s meant to perpetuate the mythologies of Christianity That doctrine incorporates the belief that humans are flawed, weak and often badly behaved. And, since that’s God given, it will always be true.


Barbara Henning
We Wait

—and wait—for the wild power of nature—Om nama Shivaya—anything—could happen—to turn around—scream our lungs out—protesters in Gaza—under the burning—midday sun—Om Nama Shivaya—gun shots into the crowd—turn it off—turn it on—social programs slashed—corporate greed—protections for the environment—eliminated—the EPA rolls back—and David Buckel—self-immolates—in the meadow—in the park—Om Nama Shivaya—this winter—the coldest—since 1961—everyday when I hit—the sidewalk—I think—it will never end—and yet—slowly and surely—the temperature will rise—and the might and mystery—of the cold wind—will surely spread—Shiva—Brahma—Narayana—their seeds everywhere—Shiva—Brahma—Om nama Narayanaya—


Finn Black
Berkeley Free Clinic at 50 Mutual Aid Meets Health Care

Volunteers and trainees in front of the Berkeley Free Clinic.

The Berkeley Free Clinic (BFC) is an all-volunteer, worker-owned collective that provides free medical and dental care, peer counseling, and information in Berkeley, Calif. We were founded in May 1969 on the ideas that healthcare is a human right, that professional licensing is not required to provide good medical care, and that medicine should not alienate people from their bodies. [See “Berkeley USA, 1969,” FE 81, June 12–25, 1969]


Fifth Estate Collective
Fifth Estate Archive Thousands of articles & graphics are accessible dating back to 1965 on the Web


Some readers have wondered why a print publication with such a strong, longtime criticism of modern technology would bother with a website.

We are certainly not counting on it for building the social cooperation and solidarity we so desperately need to go beyond the current doomsday destination of modern societies. For this it will be necessary to create and nurture the direct bonds between living beings so vital for re-enchanting the world.


Rich Dana (Ricardo Feral)
The Politics of Fandom Science Fiction’s Historic Struggle over the Future

A dedicated band of idealistic working-class teenagers crash a meeting of techno-fascists at a New York hotel, confronting the group’s dictatorial leaders.

It sounds like an Antifa adventure plucked from today’s headlines—but in fact, this plot unfolded at the first ever World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Despite its reputation for campy story-telling and escapist plots, science fiction (SF) has always been highly political at its core, and this story began when Dave Kyle, a member of a fan club known as The Futurians, attempted to distribute a pamphlet criticizing the convention organizers.


Bernard Marszalek
Fifty Years Ago The Origins of Berkeley’s Ohlone Park

Working on what was called, People’s Park Annex, 1969.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), in the late 1960s, demolished 200 Berkeley homes to trench and submerge their rail system. BART then filled in tons of dirt on top of the tube it built and in this way “reclaimed” the land that it bulldozed.

It strip-mined Berkeley to submerge the trains and above left four blocks along Hearst Avenue a barren, ugly field of dust in summer and mud in winter. An eyesore. BART officials said that they didn’t have funds (or mental bandwidth?) to develop it, that is, monetize it.


Fifth Estate Collective
Re-Enchantment of the World Theme intro

“La Jeunesse de Bacchus” William Bouguereau 1884

Our call for the re-enchantment of the world isn’t a collapse into New Age dreaming, but rather a different, or perhaps more accurate description of what this publication has always stood for—revolution against capitalism, the state, patriarchy, and the forms of misery they generate.


Dave Hanson
Sing Your Song

Allowed freedom, we are enchanted beings. The enchantment begins with our human, personal song, which discovered, cracks open a window into the cosmos, enabling us to experience reality with fewer boundaries.

The song, first personally and then communally, is the primary tool that unlocks our apprehension of deeper reality, and allows us to act from that vision. This process is deeply connected, integrated and anarchistic.


Ron Sakolsky
Toward A Surrealist Re-Enchantment of the World

Anarchy and surrealism have had many enchanting encounters over the years, and the convivial nature of their ongoing interplay is easy to understand. Much like anarchists, surrealists are dissatisfied with the impoverished version of reality that governs our relationship to the world and to one another.


John Clark
The Dialectic of Enchantment What Enchantment do we Seek?

According to a certain conventional wisdom, there has been an unfortunate disenchantment of the world, and what is desperately needed is that we rediscover and recreate an enchanted world. This is, however, at best a half truth, and perhaps even a dangerous one.

True, there is a battle between disenchantment and re-enchantment in which we must rally to the aid of enchantment. But there is also a war between contending forms of enchantment that already exist, here and now This is the ultimate world-historical conflict that must engage our creative energies.


Peter Lamborn Wilson
Fool’s Day

Since the anti-wizard who disenchanted the world was Capitalism, we must assume that Capitalism will have to vanish by evolutionary necessity in order for re-enchantment to triumph.

Is it really possible to embrace such optimism? Let’s try.

An April 1, 2019 article in The Nation, “Warning: The Plastics Crisis is About to Get Worse,” begins with a “midrange” estimate of the amount of plastic garbage that is dumped in the ocean every year—eight million tons.


Rick London
Marie’s Song

Your fingers twitch in your sleep

for a moment before you open

your eyes and roll onto your back

You brush a small critter from your face

and pull a twig from your hair

A pink grey sky envelopes the landscape

as you make your way along an outcrop

of shale thru a field

of wet greens and browns


Giving Back Wild A Guerilla Guide to Re-wilding Earth

Consensus is boiling that humans have become hyper-exploiters, impacting and taking so much from nature that remaining ecosystems are entering death spirals. Is it possible for human’s bred-in exploiter culture to shift from a taking lifeway from the wild to a way of giving?

Just as humans can turn civilization’s wrenches against logging machines to halt destruction, they can turn their civilized brains and bodies to recovering earth’s wild.


Cuba: Independent Self-Activity vs. the State Pride & Anarchism Against All Odds

This May was a very exciting time for anarchists in Cuba, full of both inspiration and anxiety. On the positive side, the Anarchist Social Center and Library (ABRA: Centro Social y Biblioteca Libertaria) hosted the Fourth Libertarian Spring Conference in Havana, from May 4 to 11.

Cuba Pride March, May 11, despite being banned by authorities.


Bryan Tucker
Sanity & Identity Repressive Society’s Sleight of Hand

A tentative existence is what society’s current trajectory offers us: alienation from others simultaneous with chronic concern about perception by others. Futile attempts to persist in these conditions takes the form of claiming an identity, espousing sanctioned banalities, and various other nonsense that renders us drained and pained.


Quincy B. Thorn
Evoking Spirit The Anarchist Art of Robert Henri

The inflated effigy of a head of state, dressed in nothing but a diaper, floats over a joyous crowd of protesters on a sunny day. Beneath the surface description, two spirits can be perceived, the vile spirit of a deranged despot and the angry but hopeful and playful spirit of collective refusal.

Images such as this appear in current protests against the rule of racketeers like Trump. They are artistic weapons wielded against repressive reality, a part of radical history we are privileged to experience directly. In opposing authority, it is important to explore many cultural expressions of revolt, their past as well as present incarnations.


Steve Kirk
The Continuing Colonialism of Climate Change Solutions Radical Slogans, Militant Actions, but Their Solution is the Market

Climate change, global warming, the undeniable and irreversible global-scale reconfiguration of global chemistry, from the land, to the water, to the sky, we are awash in a multitude of changes. Each one compounds and codevelops with the other crises of civilization. Loss of ecosystems, extinction of species, obliteration of the land that runs in tandem with production weaves with the consequences of hydrocarbon use.


John Zerzan
From Red Anarchism to Green Anarchy

From its Eat the Rich Gang incarnation in the 1970s, Fifth Estate has been an unparalleled source of new ideas. Thinkers like Fredy Perlman, Jacques Ellul, and Jacques Camatte were introduced and moved anti-authoritarian perspectives forward very significantly.

I was happy to be a part of an exciting opening, as many of us pondered the limitations and defeat of the 1960s. Foundational critiques of technology and civilization emerged.


Rikki Santer
Curate This

How dreary—to be—Somebody!

How public—like a Frog—

To tell one’s name—the livelong June—

To an admiring bog!

—Emily Dickinson

Dogwoods swathed in delicate white, gently clear their winter throats as cable news updates crawl and grovel for her attention. But she doesn’t blog, pin, Snapchat, Instagram or—God No!—tweet, and her dumb phone shortcomings are just fine. She the freak in the waiting room without an umbilical glow in her palm, just a paperback copy of something she fills with marginalia.


Mike Wold
The Failure of Resource Nationalism in Bolivia

a review of

Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia by Kevin A. Young, 2017, University of Texas Press

Kevin Young’s Blood of the Earth examines the period of Bolivian history after the country’s 1952 revolution, in which the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement (MNR) was able to overthrow the ruling military government with the help of popular militias led by factory workers and miners.


Fifth Estate Collective
Marius Mason painting

“Helmeted Hornbill” Marius Mason 2019

MARIUS MASON, AN ANARCHIST TRANS PRISONER serving 22-years for environmental sabotage, has been moved to a low security prison in Danbury, Conn.

The painting above will be one of two dozen as part of an exhibit of Marius’s work at the Maine Film Center in Waterville, Maine on Sept. 20. Fifth Estate staff member, Peter Werbe, will speak and singer/songwriter, David Rovics will perform. Check the Fifth Estate web site and Facebook page for more info.

Ann Hansen
A Woman Against the Mega-Machine Film review

a review of

Woman at War

Director: Benedikt Erlingsson

104 min. (2018)

You might be surprised to find the protagonist in this action-packed movie about a saboteur, Woman at War, is not a buxom blonde nor a dark-skinned foreign terrorist, but a white, middle-aged woman with a few visible wrinkles that appear around the eyes.


Peter Werbe
Comics, Graphic Novels, & the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

a review of

1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike. Graphic History Collective and David Lester. Between The Lines (2019)

Although the term graphic novel may seem used simply to gussie up what many would call a comic book, the phrase generally describes a publication with more serious content than what you find in Marvel’s superhero tales of Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and the rest.


Eric Thomas Chester
The Winnipeg General Strike of 1919

On May Day 1919, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, a general strike began that shut down all economic activity in Winnipeg, Canada. The general strikes that took place in Glasgow, Scotland in January 1919, in Seattle in February 1919, along with the Winnipeg strike remain some of the high watermarks in North American working class history.


Andrew Mehall
Interest v. Principal A brief review of a book about Banksy

a review of

This Is Not a Photo Opportunity: The Street Art of Banksy

Artist: Banksy, Photographs by Martin Bull. PM Press, 2014 pmpress.org

Anonymous England-based vandal Banksy, most known for graffiti-like works across the planet recently made news with his latest prank, by destroying it, or rather by it destroying itself. Upon selling at Sotheby’s, an art auction in London, Girl with Red Balloon, autonomously shredded itself before bidders. This was a departure from previous works, which are displayed in Martin Bull’s 2014 book, This Is Not a Photo Opportunity. There is a problem with Bull’s book. You discover the issue when you approach the text more critically than you would a coffee table book, which might be all that this is.


Peter Werbe
But It All Falls Apart A Leftist Guide for Seizing the Power of the State

a review of

Seizure of State Power, Part 3 of Manual for Revolutionary Leaders by Michael Velli. Sources of Velli’s thought annotated by Fredy Perlman. Black & Red (2019) BlackandRed.org

Spoiler alert: This text is not well-intentioned advice for those seeking to lead the working class and seize the power of the state. Quite the opposite. It is a polemic against those who seek such a role.


Connor Stevens
How Pleasure is Revolutionary

a review of

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, adrienne maree brown, Editor. AK Press, 2019 AKpress.org

This book is about creation, the act of re-creating the world; about a new world, a new language, a new flesh. Politics based around healing and happiness. adrienne maree brown and her fellow contributors offer a gift of unspeakable value by way of this sturdy, hilarious, tragic book. By helping to reinvigorate the world with magick and remembrance of the ancestors, it is more revolutionary than any text I can recall reading in years.


Jim Feast
Feminism & the Politics of the Commons

a review of

Re-enchanting the World: Feminism and the Politics of the Commons by Silvia Federici, Foreword by Peter Linebaugh. PM Press, 2019

Silvia Federici was born in Italy, taught for years in Nigeria, made many visits to South America, and now lives and teaches in the U.S. This broad experience, along with extensive scholarship, provides the wide angle lens which enables the perspective on view in her new book, Re-Enchanting the World.


Jesús Sepúlveda
Anti-authoritarian Portugal Germinating Anarchy

Last June, I was invited by the anarchist publisher, Textos Subterraneos, to speak about the newly-published Portuguese edition of my book, The Garden of Peculiarities, in Lisbon and Oporto. Of interest to FE readers, TS has also put out an anthology of Fredy Perlman’s work, A Reprodugio da Vida Quotidian e Outros Escritos.


David Watson
Detroit trash incinerator closing —eco-apocalypse continues

The news in March 2019 that, due to “financial and community concerns,” the Detroit trash incinerator was to be closed was weirdly reminiscent of news back in the spring of 1986 that it was going to be built: It came as a surprise to almost everyone in the city. This time, obviously, it came as good news; people who had been working to shut it for decades naturally celebrated the closing as “a glorious day for the city and its residents,” as Sandra Turner-Handy, a long-term environmental justice activist, member of the Michigan Environmental Council, co-supervisor of Zero Waste Detroit, put it. [1]


Fifth Estate Collective
Hong Kong

Our banner in the marches, which is usually found at the front of our drum squad. It reads “There are no ‘good citizens’, only potential criminals.” This banner was made in response to propaganda circulated by pro-Beijing establishmentarian political groups in Hong Kong, assuring “good citizens” everywhere that extradition measures do not threaten those with a sound conscience who are quietly minding their own business. Photo by WWS from Tak Cheong Lane Collective.
Source: Hong Kong: Anarchists in the Resistance to the Extradition Bill (CrimethInc, June 22, 2019)