Various Authors

Related: See Comment from the Fifth Estate regarding Black Rose Books, Ltd. in this issue.

Fresh Air

Dear FE:

The economist-minded, techno-fascist remains of the situationists, the socialist corpses who whine about the need for federations in their “libertarian” mouthpiece, Synthesis, and the worshipers and arbiters of commodity relations (i.e. Black Rose Books and their business-is-business cohorts) ought to rumble with SRAFers assembling their conference on Wildcat Mountain this summer. It would make for a better ecology; I know I’d enjoy the breath of fresh air.


Fifth Estate Collective
Comment from the Fifth Estate ...regarding Black Rose Books, Ltd. (BRB) and concerning what constitutes a libertarian project

Related: see Letters in this issue.

The discussion regarding Black Rose Books, Ltd. (BRB) and concerning what constitutes a libertarian project has taken two distressing and, in our opinion, unproductive directions. The first is the absolute indignation on the part of BRB supporters that we would even question “the fine work BRB has done,” and that such an inquiry, which tries to assess the nature of their activity, is on the face of it objectionable. The other is the argument that all of us are compromised by living within capitalist society, that “pure” activity is impossible without a revolution, so why are we being so self-righteous when we, like BRB, exhibit numerous contradictions to libertarian ideals?


Peter Werbe
Hiroshima, First Shot of World War III

The barbarity of the nation-state since its emergence 8,000 years ago has only been limited in its intensity by a lack of the technological means needed to perpetrate horrors upon humanity. By the advent of World War II, science and industry, joined together in wedlock by Capital, achieved the breakthrough in destructive methodology and allowed a carnage of a staggering 30,000,000 dead.


Rudy Perkins
Did Pacifists Block Militant Action? Groups Excluded; Cooperated With Authorities at Seabrook




Caption for photos:

Contrasted with the U.S., European anti-nuclear demonstrations often result in violent clashes with police. Scene above (l.) shows a Clamshell demonstrator practicing nonviolence being dragged away by a New Hampshire State Trooper, May 1 at Seabrook, At right, part of a contingent of 30,000 who tried to march on a plant site at Creys-Malville, France, July 31. One demonstrator was left dead and a hundred others injured after police attacked, trying to block access to the plant. French Interior Minister Christian Bonnet issued a statement saying, “About a fifth of the demonstrators were foreigners. Among them were about a thousand troublemakers, indisputably anarchist in action and inspiration who ignore frontiers and who already have made trouble elsewhere, especially in West Germany.”


Muswell Hillbillie
On Terrorism and Authoritarianism

“He who humbles himself wills to be exalted.”


I would like to present some thoughts and comments on terrorist organizations and activities in general and on the SLA and “The Last SLA Statement” in this context. My main intention is not to criticize the SLA as such, but to contribute to the discussion concerning what is to be done by those of us who fervently desire the transformation of the present “social order” into a free world.


Crunch at the I-Hotel


Staff Note: For nine years, the tenants of San Francisco’s International Hotel have been battling to save their residence from the attempts by the Four Seas Investment Corporation, a Hong Kong based firm, to turn the area into a multi-story shopping center. The cause of the elderly Chinese and Philippino residents has been taken up by a variety of leftist groups, even supported for a while by the local sheriff, and criticized by others as a defense of squalor. Our writer, a Fifth Estate staff member emeritus, has been wandering the hemisphere and arrived at the I-Hotel as the final confrontation with the bodyguards of property began.


New Soviet Law Stands Marxism on its Head

Although everyone except the most self-deluded realizes that the Soviet Union is a totalitarian police state, its rulers still feel the need to wrap their bureaucratic authority in formal legalisms. Under the direction of Soviet Communist Party chief Leonid Brezhnev, a new Soviet Constitution has been proposed, the fourth since the Bolsheviks seized the government in 1917, which would replace the 1936 Constitution, authored by Stalin. Although both documents contain wordy guarantees of civil liberties and “rights,” the current one will have no more effect than the last which in no way inhibited Stalin from sending millions to forced-labor camps and murdering millions more.


John Zerzan
Paula Zerzan

New York, New York The blackout of 1977

“Amid All the Camaraderie is Much Looting this Time; Seeing the City Disappear.”

Wall Street Journal headline, July 15

The Journal went on to quote a cop on what he saw, as the great Bastille Day break-out unfolded: “People are going wild in the borough of Brooklyn. They are looting stores by the carload.” Another cop added later: “Stores were ripped open. Others have been leveled. After they looted, they burned.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Revolt Lives!

The following article is reprinted from the 7 June 1977 edition of the Mexican newspaper Excelsior and was translated for us by a comrade in Montreal. Although written in a journalistic style (for instance calling people “anarchists” who might have no interest in the label) it chronicles activity similar to that of the Metropolitan Indians in Italy (see FE #284, July 1977) and the Breakers of Paris. There will undoubtedly be more to come.


Fifth Estate Collective
A Plea for Sanity

Everybody knows we’re living in a period of unprecedented disillusionment. People everywhere are questioning even those basic assumptions which once bound their futures up safely and securely with the future of this society—a society they once felt themselves indispensable parts of.

Nobody trusts our government anymore. People hardly ever go to church anymore, and when they do, it’s only to vandalize the premises and assault priests with their own crucifixes. The family is falling apart. Everybody steals (look at New York!). Why; just the other day a poll taken by the Opinion Research Corporation revealed that, even with reduced work hours and increased pay, more people are dissatisfied with their jobs than at any time since they started taking the poll 25 years ago!


I.M. Beat (Peter Werbe)
Getting Off The Road Beats & A Sub-Culture of Resistance

a review of

On the Road, Jack Kerouac. Penguin Modern Classics, London, 1976

Naked Angels, The Lives and Literature of the Beat Generation, John Tytell. McGraw Hill, New York, 1977

Don’t let no one bullshit you—the ‘50s were a terrible time to live through. On TV it’s just the Fonz and all of his friends having “Happy Days,” but the reality frame was the American empire at its zenith. It was a world dominated by Eisenhower, Nixon, John Foster Dulles and other spokesmen for the American Century—the dominance of American military might abroad, and white, middle class culture at home—a time without rioting blacks, demonstrating students or Vietnamese in revolt to threaten the image.


Nukes and Civil Liberties

This article originally appeared in the People & Energy Newsletter (1757 S. St., N.W, Washington, D.C.) and was based on research by Bruce Edwards.

The spectre of a nuclear police state has frequently been raised by atomic energy critics as one of the threats posed by the evolution of a nuclear energy based economy.


Fifth Estate Collective
Me, a Great Leader?! Back cover graphic and text


“Me, start a vanguard party to lead the working class to revolution? You must be kidding!”

Just imagine being a respected and beloved fatherly leader under whose wise guidance the revolutionary masses will forge ahead daily with the fiery zeal of “speed-up” campaign!!!

Your own central committee!