Various Authors

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Your Winter 2019 issue [FE #405] is full of fine writing and provocative thinking, particularly so in the review of Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief by Peter Werbe. The final section, beginning with “Let’s devise a spiritual belief system...” is a beautiful manifesto worth sharing. I wish I’d written it!


Fifth Estate Collective

Fifth Estate

Radical Publishing since 1965

Vol. 55, No. 2, #406, Spring 2020 — Follows our Winter 2020 issue.

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


Fifth Estate Collective
About This Issue


Welcome to our Spring 2020 edition. Its theme is Justice. Since the political state arose thousands of years ago and began replacing communal societies, justice has meant “Just Us.” That is, the construction of legal systems solely benefiting the top of the social pyramid designed to protect the property of the ruling class and to thwart attempts to alter the repressive power and wealth arrangements. Our writers look at the history of justice, how it is used for class rule, and what would be an equitable solution. We know it as anarchism.


S. Flynn
Dispatch from Exarchia “Calling all comrades!”

Athens Neighborhood is Home to Anarchy

ATHENS — In February, The National Herald, a right-wing Greek newspaper based in the U.S., boasted, “Exarchia Anarchists will be Wiped Out.” For nearly fifty years, Exarchia, a neighborhood in central Athens, Greece has been an example of autonomous living.

The neighborhood, which is the site of a number of uprisings has achieved what anarchists long believed possible; a self-organized city within a city. For decades, police who entered would be immediately attacked and pushed out.


Kim A. Broadie
Google’s Utopia: Our Nightmare SidewalkToronto—A City Redesigned

The Internet wasn’t supposed to be like this. John Perry Barlow, Internet pioneer and friend of the Grateful Dead and contributor to their very early virtual community, The Well (or Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link), wrote this in his 1996 A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace:

“Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.”


Clayton J. Pyke
Seeing is Obeying Authoritarian Aesthetics & the Afterlife of Fascism in Neoliberal Democracy

Faces covered with white masks, carrying a banner reading “Reclaim America,” chanting re-worked Nazi slogans, and waving stylized U.S. flags, 150 members of the white nationalist Patriot Front marched through Washington D.C. in early February.

Antifascist protesters blocking white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and fascist sympathizers from entering Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017


Peter Werbe
The 2020 Election What to do while waiting for the Revolution

The 2020 Michigan presidential primary on March 10 marked the end of the progressive fantasy that the American political landscape could be altered by supporting U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Party nominee.

Instead, it was bye-bye, Bernie, as Joe Biden swept every county in the state as voters overwhelmingly went for a candidate they thought had the best chance of defeating the execrable Trump in November.


John Zerzan
Withdrawal & Re-Entry Alone in Mass Society

Maybe the best single word that describes things today is withdrawal.

From less sexual intimacy to NASCAR attendance, there’s just little interest. Clubs are closing as people retreat further into their little screens. When people go out, they are so very likely to be at their tables on their phones. Might as well be at home on the couch. (As obesity rates shoot up in an ever more sedentary culture.)


Fifth Estate Collective
Is the government ready to say Fuck The Draft?


Since its origin 55 years ago, the Fifth Estate has always supported draft refusal and mutinies among the troops as the best tactics along with anti-war mass demonstrations for stopping the empire’s endless wars.

However, a bipartisan bill is currently before the U.S. Congress that would abolish the requirement for draft registration and related penalties. This is welcome, but the impetus for it isn’t a sudden commitment to peace or a realization that conscription is slavery.


Jason Rodgers
Why Zines Refuse to Die Samizdat & Xerography

Why would someone continue to read and publish xeroxed zines two decades into the 21st century? Didn’t the technocracy announce that this variety of underground publishing was superseded by the hyper-mediated cybernetic dream web?

Yet people still cut up words and images and glue them on paper. They stand in front of xerox machines to copy them, and then staple the pages together.


Cara Hoffman
This is What Domestic Terrorism Looks Like Home is Where the Hatred Is

More than a decade ago I worked as a newspaper reporter in a rural New York State town. For a time, I covered the police beat, and was tasked with picking up the crime blotter each morning to see if there were noteworthy crimes.

On my first day of work in a town with a population of 1,800, the chief of police told me he wouldn’t release the blotter. “We got no crimes to report,” he said. “only domestics.”


Robin Dellabough
Mercalli scale

For every child born craving and abandoned

every child whose belly bulged with emptiness

every child who cried alone in a bare white room

every child wounded by a father, uncle, grandfather

every child told to pick up guns against other children

every child who worked below dank ground

every child shaken, burned, bruised:


Bruce Trigg
Anarchists and Vaccines Anarchists & Anti-Vaxxers Share a Distrust of the Medical Establishment & the State

A four year old from Colorado recently died from influenza. According to news accounts, the child’s mother frequented Facebook sites run by groups promoting conspiracy theories about the dangers of vaccines and conventional medical treatments; so-called anti-vaxxers.

Instead of giving the anti-viral medication prescribed by the child’s pediatrician, the mother followed online advice she received and treated her child with home remedies involving placing cucumbers and potatoes on his head.


Rob Blurton
Anarchy in the Midwest What the European Invaders Discovered

When 17th century Europeans arrived in the Great Lakes region, they discovered Native Americans living in what today we would call an anarchist society. These Lake natives had horizontal social relationships governed by kin obligations and employed consensus decision-making.

A frustrated missionary called them “strangers to civil power and authority:” Another observer noted that “no chief dared to rule over the people, as in that case he would immediately be forsaken, and by the whole tribe, and his counselors would refuse to assist him.”


Steven Cline
The Liberation of the Word

The liberation of the word & the liberation of the world are codependent. Revolutionary writing should not be grammatically pure, disinterested or unpoetic. It should not be written from the cold vantage point of an absent silent god.

Anarchists we call ourselves—and yet we still gaze out towards Papa/Mama Syntax for permission, still we coo. We control & we deny. We hold back the shy yet flickering wet orifice of imagination’s best trickster—Wildness.


John Clark
Anarchic Justice at the End of History Anarchy and the Law of Nature

It has been said that self-preservation is the first law of nature, and that the basis of justice lies in protecting ourselves from one another. This is a perennial lie of the system of domination.

In reality, the flourishing of the community is the primary aim of nature, and mutual aid and solidarity in pursuit of this aim is the primal, originating law of nature. Nurture is the first law of nature. All justice flows from this source.


Ron Sakolsky
The Parable of the Horseshoe Crab & the Seagull

“What have you got in your pockets, Apple Hat?” asked Mr. Anthill pulling at them. “Guts? Electric trains? Horseshoe crabs?”

—W.A. Davison and Sherri Higgins, La Chasse A L’Objet Du Desir

Once, while in my teens, my girlfriend and I were walking along the shores of Plum Beach in Brooklyn on a sultry summer evening to get a breath of fresh air under a full moon. As we walked along the shoreline, we spotted lots of horseshoe crabs that had been overturned on their backs when the tide had gone out.


Fifth Estate Collective
Unrepentant! Anarchists at Sentencing

Jacob and Workers of the Night breaking into the cathedral at
Tours, France, 1903, to steal the church’s riches (drawing by Flavio Costantini)

The excerpts on these pages are shortened versions of ones published in Defiance: Anarchist Statements Before Judge and Jury, a new title from Detritus Books in Olympia, Wash. detritusbooks.com. During the last 150 years, people identifying with the anarchist tradition have employed direct action many times against the state bringing repression and punishment upon them from the apparatus they seek to dismantle. This anthology chronicles 27 unrepentant voices of those facing courts and juries after apprehension and conviction.


Bryan Tucker
Counteractivity, Counterculture & Alternate Encounters

The nexus linking resistance and protest movements with underground artistic practices is distinct, with significant overlap existing between the participants and qualities of both. It’s no surprise that overt resistance to existing circumstances intersects naturally with activities that are radically discontinuous with production/consumption-based existence.


Anne Babson
Dispatch From New Orleans

The only time it’s legal to mask in town these days is Mardi Gras. In fact, an old law on the books predating this regime says it’s illegal to be in a parade and not mask. Meanwhile, the Icemen arrest anybody on a non-parade day who dares even to wear a head scarf like those Yemeni women I saw in my neighborhood until they fell under the ban and got shipped offshore.


We Support Anarchist Prisoners

Supporting our imprisoned comrades should be a top priority for all anarchists. We need to raise funds for material aid. Prisoners need money for books, stamps, food, phone calls, Internet use, and legal fees. We need to establish steady relationships with our imprisoned comrades. There are too many to list here. For this go around, we focus on the five anarchist prisoners the Bloomington ABC war fund supports. To learn more, visit bloomingtonabc.noblogs.org .


Tom Martin
Justice: Not Conditioned in Heaven Humans are born with an innate sense of justice

The cornerstone of traditional anarchism has always been a revolutionary critique of the concept of justice in all its variations, particularly as it relates to the state’s repressive apparatus and the oppressive nature of capitalism. Today, that has been extended even further to issues such as restorative and ecological justice. The insights of classical anarchist philosophers remain relevant, particularly when we add to them social-psychological observations of human behavior.


Jaime Huenún Villa
Our Endless Grief

Catrillanca, Wounded Jewel,

your spirit rides through the ravaged

fields of Temucuicui.

Your head destroyed,

your spirit crushed

by the fickle language

of the powerful.

Tear gas whistles, flying

in your funeral procession.

Children, mothers, old people moan

no longer able to harvest

the Mapuzugun of their dreams.


Jesús Sepúlveda
They Gave their Eyes for Chile to Wake Up An Unending Insurrection

In 1970, Chileans elected a social-democratic government headed by Salvador Allende. On September 11, 1973 it was overthrown by a CIA-sponsored military coup, ushering in the brutal dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. The new regime instituted draconian free market policies resulting in low salaries and poor pensions, high prices and big debts, deficient public healthcare and education systems, and ecological depletion.


Rich Dana (Ricardo Feral)
Nisi Shawl shows that Science Fiction can still challenge conventions

a review of

Nisi Shawl, Talk like a Man. PM Press/Outspoken Authors series, 2019 pmpress.org

“My hair was not my own. My blood was not my own. My life was not my own. I am not free. I am a political prisoner on a North American game preserve.”

Thus began the 1989 science fiction story, “I Was a Teenage Genetic Engineer,” by an unknown author in an anthology by a little known indie publisher. The book was Autonomedia’s Semiotext(e) SF, and the author was Denise Angela Shaw.


Steve Kirk
Murder, Psychedelics & The Primal Anarchist

a review of

The Cull of Personality: Ayahuasca, Colonialism, and the Death of a Healer by Kevin Tucker. Black and Green Press, Blackandgreenpress.org, 2019

For those familiar with Kevin Tucker’s essay writing since the start of Black and Green Review, now Wild Resistance, there is a familiar structure to the book, reading much like an expanded essay that might appear in those journals. Divided into six sections, Cull delivers colonial history through the lens of its contemporary manifestations.


Fifth Estate Collective
Recently paroled MOVE9 political prisoners


Recently paroled MOVE9 political prisoners Debbie and Michael Africa, and their son Michael Africa Jr., delivering the keynote talk at the 2019 Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP) Convergence in Gainesville, Fla, in June.

After surviving a police siege on their Philadelphia home and forty years in prison on frame-up charges, Mike and Debbie were released from prison in 2018. They were imprisoned along with seven other members of MOVE, a revolutionary environmental Black liberation organization, in 1978.


David Rovics
Luigi Galleani The Most Dangerous Anarchist In America

a review of

Luigi Galleani: the Most Dangerous Anarchist In America by Antonio Senta. AK Press, 2019 akpress.org

Sacco and Vanzetti, the Italian-American anarchists executed in Massachusetts in 1927 for a robbery and murder they probably had nothing to do with, had a favorite newspaper. They regularly visited its editor and his family on their farm outside of Boston.


Mike Wold
“Reparations “ Theatre Review What can repair the trauma we all suffer?

Brandon Jones Mooney, Tracy Michelle Hughes and Aishe Keita in “Reparations.”—photo: Aaron Jin

a review of


Darren Canady, Playwright,

Jay O’Leary, Director

World Premiere, Sound Theatre Company, Seattle, Jan. 10, 2020

Reparations examines inherited historical trauma, whether that trauma can be healed, and, if so, how.


Fifth Estate Collective
Art in the Fifth Estate

P. 6 Greg Giegucz is a multimedia artist living and working in New Orleans. He moved to New Orleans from New York to draw its devastated landscape, still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. giegucz.com

P. 9 John Gruntfest is a saxophonist and artist. His free form jazz draws upon western and eastern radical artistic and philosophical traditions Ives to Coltrane, Buddha to Marx, Goldman to Debord, Whitman to Artaud.


C.M. Wode
Coup des Lumières

a tree shivers shade

to protect the thief, the wolf

from the prying sun


it is no coincidence that

the gods of the forest

are the patrons


are the patrons of

witches, slaves, outcasts,

are the patrons of outlaws


for the earth was a sanctuary

before a mortar-mediated sky

imposed survival on the living