E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Ed Clark

On Organization Two Reviews of The Camatte/Collu Pamphlet

Within the small circles that constitute the libertarian movement in the United States, the question of whether to combine in organizations, associations, federations, etc., has become a subject of some debate and much interest Many feel that the only obstacle to organization is the relative weakness of the small numbers of persons who identify with a libertarian perspective, while still others (probably a smaller number) feel organizations in and of themselves are bureaucratic and are incapable of producing the desired goal.

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

FE & the Anti-nuke War Movement Where we’ve been

Contrary to the impression the accompanying photo may give, we have not been lying down on the job. Rather, since our last issue we have been quite heavily involved in holding several anti-nuclear war conferences (including the one announced in our January 19 issue), as well as various anti-war, anti-draft activities, and on-going discussions concerning our activities and our relationship to the momentum against nuclear war now taking shape throughout the country.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
A Reply on Poland

In response to “The Collapse in Poland” by Rudy Perkins in this issue (FE #309, June 19, 1982).

A Movement Which is “Represented” is Unfree.

When I hear the term “seizure of power,” my flesh crawls. It is a hideous term originating in the Marxist-Leninist movement and produces images of police round-ups and the gulag; it is the code word for counterrevolution. It is a thoroughly inappropriate concept for those who believe in human freedom and one best left to those whose only program is the elevation of the police to complete political power, i.e., socialists and communists.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Book Review

A review of

Powerline: The First Battle of America’s Energy War, Barry M. Casper and Paul David Wellstone, The University of Massachusetts Press, 1981, 314 pp.

In many ways this is a hard book to get a handle on. It would be easy to dismiss the protagonists as middle-income, conservative, small-landholding farmers pitted against a giant power company and only squawking when their ox is suddenly gored. But it’s more than that. The farmers who tried to stop a 430 mile long direct powerline from trespassing across their property in the middle ‘70s were propelled along by the deceit of politicians and corporations until most of them had experienced a profound transformation in how they viewed their isolated rural world of western Minnesota.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Rudy Perkins

On Poland and Power Coordination & Electricity

Thanks again for running my article on Poland, and for E.B. Maple’s reply. (See FE #309, June 19, 1982, “The Collapse in Poland”) Maple seems a little over-anxious for a dispute on the questions raised, in some cases going out of his way to misinterpret what I say, and to ignore parts of the article in which I clearly distinguish the revolutionary movement from the organizations which speak for it, and from the capitalist state which cannot be reformed or seized. Still, there are several points on which we genuinely disagree.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
How Do You Spell Relief? R-E-V-O-L-T

Mass murder, random killings and the like are nothing new in this country; Bruce Springsteen, in his ballad about a killing spree in the late 1950s by Charlie Starkweather, sings, “It’s just a meanness in this land, sir.”

It seems someone blows their top, flips their lid almost daily. So, reports of a homophobic minister’s son in New York City shooting into a crowd of gays, or a driver ramming her car into pedestrians packed onto a Las Vegas sidewalk, or a disgruntled client tossing gasoline bombs before him as he shoots his way through a crowded Detroit law office, or a bored Southern California school girl who calmly fires round after round into her school yard, become almost mundane, ordinary, such is their frequency. They are the small percentage of flip-outs, those whose rage has gotten out of control.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
L.S.D.

Book Reviews

B. Traven, The White Rose, Lawrence Hill & Co., Westport, CT, 1979, 209 pages, ($5.95, available from Fifth Estate Bookstore)

reviewed by L.S.D.

The White Rose by B. Traven is the story of the destruction of the pearl that was the most beautiful of all, the Rosa-Blanca, The White Rose, and its transformation into an industrial wasteland. This Mexican hacienda was almost entirely surrounded by land rich in oil owned by the Condor Oil Co., where rich wells poured forth thick streams of black gold. The richest of these wells bordered Rosa Blanca where Jacinto Yanez, owner of the hacienda, and sixty Totonac Indian families lived and had lived in almost the same manner for generations past, for Rosa Blanca was their ancestral home.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Turn It Off!

The call to turn off television or even to lessen viewing hours certainly should not be interpreted as an inherently radical suggestion, since it emanates constantly from educators, parents, psychologists and others professing concern for the health and morals of the nation. Laying aside the fact that these well-meaning guardians undoubtedly are as hooked into extensive TV viewing as any other American, their pleas and advice should be seen as consistent with the continuing criticism television has experienced since its emergence as a mass medium 30 years ago.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Anarchy and the Left

In recent months, we have been critical of a number of anarchists, through correspondence and in person, on the question of working politically with marxist-leninists on specific projects of joint interest. Those we have been in contact with on these matters include an anarchist draft resister in California and several young people in Detroit working with the anti-war front group of an authoritarian communist party, an anarchist newspaper which supports Leftist political prisoners, and an anarchist activist joining with a small socialist group to co-sponsor meetings and demonstrations.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Ideology as Material Force Earth First! and the Problem of Language

“When you’re taking on a bulldozer, you don’t worry about the flies buzzing around your head.”

—Dave Foreman, editor, Earth First!, Yule 1987 edition

Words have consequences and, knowing their power, Dave Foreman uses them skillfully and manipulatively.

The Fifth Estate is one of the flies, along with Murray Bookchin and the social ecologists, Ynestra King and the eco-feminists, Alien-Nation—anyone who has criticized the deep ecology philosophy and its most militant exponent, the Earth First! (EF!) group. They’re “warriors” on a sacred mission to defend the Wilderness, with barely time to “squabble” with “anarchists-leftists-marxists,” who are “academics,” “anthropocentric” and “wimps” given to “whining.”

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John Zerzan
E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)

Objections to Councilism In response to “More Minneapolis Anarchy”

FE Note: This is a response to “More Minneapolis Anarchy,” the letters beginning on page 15 of this issue.

The desire to maintain the technology developed under Capital’s reign after a libertarian revolution demands that it continue to be administered. The very scope of the productive process means that a similarly large deliberative and decision-making apparatus would exist to coordinate its functions. Those within the anti-authoritarian milieu, usually anarcho-syndicalists or councilists, advocate worker self-management through a system of councils as the best way to democratically and non-bureaucratically administer the capitalist means of production in a manner consistent with a revolutionary vision.

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Various Authors
E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)

Even More Minneapolis Anarchy In response to “More Minneapolis Anarchy”

FE Note: This is a response to “More Minneapolis Anarchy,” the letters beginning on page 15 of this issue.

Well, even more Minneapolis Anarchy has come our way since our introduction and page layout was begun.

First, a letter from “Some Chicago Anarchists,” the conveners of the 1986 Haymarket Centennial, who question the necessity of multiple national meetings for the anarchist movement and in particular the January 16 planning meeting in Atlanta for the July Toronto Gathering. This is an abridged version of a much longer letter; the complete text is available from the above folks at: Box 163, 1340 W. Irving Pk. Rd., Chicago IL 60613.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
300,000 at Pro-choice Demo—Plus Us

On Sunday, November 12, approximately 300,000 pro-choice demonstrators, participating in a “Mobilization for Women’s Lives,” filled the lawn beside the reflecting pool facing the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.

At one point during the four hour rally, the folk group, Peter, Paul and Mary sweetly sang choruses from Holly Near’s, “We Are A Gentle, Angry People,” but it was clear that the main sponsor of the event, the National Organization for Women (NOW), wanted the emphasis on “gentle” and not “angry.”

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Goodbye, Cleveland

When I was a kid, the guys in my crowd used to view changing the oil in our cars as sort of a manly rite of passage on the way to adulthood. We’d dump the used oil down the nearest sewer laughingly, saying, “Hello Cleveland,” knowing that it would travel through the Great Lakes waterways to the cities downstream. That was before the age of ecological awareness, but we still had the realization the oil was going somewhere.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
George Bradford (David Watson)
Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)

Fifth Estate/Earth First! The Twain Meet in New Mexico

It already seems like a long time ago, but this past June three of us from the Fifth Estate staff headed out by train to New Mexico for our first Earth First! (EF!) Round River Rendezvous (RRR). This was the tenth annual RRR, which EF! describes as its yearly “tribal celebration.”

Needless to say, after the past couple of years of argument, discussion and heated exchange between Fifth Estate writers and people in EF! (see FE’s Fall 1987 through Spring 1989), we undertook the journey with excitement and a bit of trepidation. We were anxious to meet more of the faces behind the words, and though we had received warm invitations from several EF! individuals, we also received a few not so warm challenges to attend, and we weren’t sure we’d be welcomed by all.

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

The War on the Poor Plenitude and Penury in Detroit

Capitalism is never good to all of its subjects. Regardless of its carefully honed mythology of democratic access to success and class mobility, capitalist society is a system of looting whereby a few at the top and a small substratum below them hog the vast majority of wealth.

Looting, the forcible extraction of wealth by a powerful minority from a defenseless or passive majority, is the keystone of capitalism and has been since its inception. This hemisphere was looted from its original inhabitants, its minerals, forests soil and animals looted to finance the empires of Europe. Slaves were looted from Africa to create the original capital accumulation and industrialization through slave labor. And through looting and exploitation of the poor and working classes of this country and the world, a colossal empire of capital has been established.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
The Real Welfare Cheats Review

a review of

Waste of the West: Public Lands Ranching, Lynn Jacobs, 1991, P.O. Box 5784, Tucson, AZ 85703, 8-1/2 x 11, 602 pp, $28.

It is a cross between mean-spiritedness and stupidity for people to blame those on welfare for the current economic recession (or depression, depending on where you are situated in the pyramid). The real drain on the economy comes from the big money boys looting ever larger sums from the national treasury, through scams like the S&L bailout and from the classes below them. There is a welfare system which should be despised; it is the one which aids the rich.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
France ’68: A Society Explodes

a review of

Worker-Student Action Committees: France ’68, R. Gregoire & F. Perlman, Black & Red, PO Box 02374, Detroit MI 48202, 1969 (reprinted 1991). Available from B & R or FE Books, $3 plus postage.

This is a pamphlet written almost a generation ago when revolution not only seemed possible, but imminent. The enthusiasm generated from the authors’ direct participation in the 1968 events almost leaps from the pages as they pen lively critiques of the successes and failures of the movement which almost toppled French society.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Isn’t All Money Fake?

a review of

Counterfeit Currency: How To Really Make Money, M. Thomas Collins, Loompanics Unlimited, P.O. Box 1197, Port Townsend WA 98368, $15; $3 shipping.

Money is a fairly curious substance. Its official function is to represent value, but once said, you can immediately challenge all the assumptions inherent in such a formulation: Value?; its representation? Since value itself is a representation of abstract worth, money operates within economies as a representation of a representation! No wonder its properties seem so inscrutable.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Detroit Summer A new city or paint-up, fix-up?

At their National Gathering last August, the U.S. Greens decided to embark upon a project they called “Detroit Summer” as one of their three major campaigns for 1992.

The idea was to express an urban consciousness for ecological issues through the establishment of a “Green alternative” for an economically and socially disintegrating urban environment. Part of this ambitious project involved the recruitment of Youth Greens, many of whom constitute the most radical and even anarchist wing of the Greens, to come to this city for the summer.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Mad Bombers & Anarchy? Oklahoma City and the Unabomber

3-s-346-summer-1995-mad-bombers-anarchy-1.png
Michigan militiamen at a gun rights rally, Lansing, Mich., Sept. 25, 1994. Photo/Bruce Giffin

We live in a world where television announces what is important and solemnly pronounces how loyal citizens are to respond—patriotism: the Gulf War; mourning: the death of the war criminal Nixon; joy: the Olympics; or indignation: the Oklahoma City bombing. The public is inundated with carefully selected images, which are dropped as soon as they fulfill their function of affirming the ruling scheme of things.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
I’m Sticking with the Union? The battle of Detroit

“Hey! What are you guys doing here? You hate unions!”

—A strike supporter

The labor militant who aimed this question at us was surprised, almost shocked, to see a group whom she considers anarchists critical of unions, shoulder-to-shoulder with striking Teamsters and newspaper reporters, squaring off against the cops at a suburban Detroit printing plant late one night last summer.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Detroit Paper Strike Continues Despite Big Labor March & Court Ruling

I’m writing this on Labor Day 1997, the third such holiday since five newspaper unions began their strike against the Detroit News and Free Press in July 1995. The spirits of many of the strikers remain high, their weekly paper continues to publish, and a national AFL-CIO-sponsored march brought out tens of thousands of supporters, yet victory or even a return to work appears more and more distant.

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

Blood and Soil Ideologies Reprint

In our effort to bring readers important reprints from the FE archive, we offer the following excerpt from an article by George Bradford and E.B. Maple regarding the 1993 Palestine Liberation Organization/Israel peace agreement, “The PLO/Israeli Treaty: Another Defeat for the Palestinians.” This is the last section of the article.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
I’m Sticking With The Union? reprint from FE #347, Spring, 1996

THE BATTLE OF DETROIT

“Hey! What are you guys doing here? You hate unions!”

--A strike supporter

The labor militant who aimed this question at us was surprised, almost shocked, to see a group whom she considers anarchists critical of unions, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with striking Teamsters and newspaper reporters, squaring off against the cops at a suburban Detroit printing plant late one night last summer.

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Fifth Estate Collective
John Zerzan
Paula Zerzan
E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Bob Brubaker

Examining Zerzan Excerpts from Fifth Estate history

Much of primitivist theorist John Zerzan’s early work appeared in the Fifth Estate. His Cassandra-like predictions of imminent collapse of modern society began in 1976 with his FE article, “The Decline and Fall of Everything”--a compendium of statistics of social dislocation.

With the FE, he explained the human dilemma as rooted in the institutions of civilization itself. He indicted not only agriculture, but also music, art, numbers, and even language itself as being the agents of human alienation. His provocative and often maddening articles that appeared in these pages were always answered by counter-critiques from our staff and led to feisty exchanges of letters. Eventually, we parted company with him.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Seaweed

Both Sides Now an exchange

FE Note: A spin-off from our letters section, “Both Sides Now” presents two distinct views on a controversial topic, side by side. On the left [in print edition], FE reader Seaweed elaborates points first raised in his “Land And Liberty” (FE #367, p. 22–23). His views might be shared by many Fifth Estate readers and writers, but by no means all, as clearly evidenced by EB Maple’s response (see “Guns again?” in Letters, FE #370, p. 52). Hence, on the right [in print edition], we present Maples’s elaboration of an “opposing” view.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Isn’t All Money Fake?

a review of

Counterfeit Currency: How To Really Make Money, M. Thomas Collins. Loompanics Unlimited, 1990 (out-of-print). Reprint from Fifth Estate, Fall, 1991.

Money is a fairly curious substance. Its official function is to represent value, but once said, you can immediately challenge all the assumptions inherent in such a formulation: Value; its representation? Since value itself is a representation of abstract worth, money operates within economies as a representation of a representation. No wonder its properties seem so inscrutable.

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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.

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