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Primitivo Solis (David Watson)
Mexican Oil Spill Disaster Industrial Plague Widens

The gruesome tailspin of industrialism continues unabated in every sphere. Industrial society is at a malignant stage of decline with events like the Ixtoc 1 oil disaster providing all the more evidence of its impending collapse.

The oil spill, caused by the explosion of an exploratory well drilled by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the national state-controlled oil company of Mexico, began spewing oil into the Gulf on June 3 at the rate of 4,500 tons a day, some 500 miles south of Texas off the coast of the state of Campeche.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Bad In Stone Age

Dear Fifth Estate,

After reading the June 19th issue of the FE I would like to make some comments regarding your attack on “civilization” and your glorification of hunter/ gatherer life.

First, I agree with the point that increased technology does not increase leisure time and in fact has the opposite result. However this is not a new “revolutionary” theory. Marvin Harris has made the same point in Culture, People, Nature several years ago, and has drawn similar conclusions about the “virtues” of technological progress.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Staff and Contributors

FIFTH ESTATE, #299, October 22, 1979, vol. 14, no. 4

Alan Franklin

Ralph Franklin

E. B. Maple

Tina Nachalo

Mr. Venom

Primitivo Solis

Marilyn Werbe

Peter Werbe

John Zerzan

Brenda Sabbagh

Larry Talbert

The Fifth Estate Newspaper (ISSN-0015-0800) is published bimonthly at 4403 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours are sporadic, so call before coming down. Subscriptions are $4.00 for 12 issues; $6.00 for foreign. Call 259–1888 for retail sales outlets. Second-class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No paid advertising accepted.

Fifth Estate Collective
Shorts

Sweet Music-Muzak—that background music featured in supermarkets, office buildings and factories is invading the People’s Republic of China. The Western regional director of the-Muzak Corporation, Bert Mitchell, has told Pacific News Service that a Muzak salesman has just returned from a very successful sales trip to the Chinese mainland. According to Mitchell—in his words—“He spent a whole month there, selling our systems. The Chinese were crazy about them.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Assassin of Carlo Tresca Shot in NYC

In a scene that could have been taken from the movie version of “The Godfather,” four gunmen rushed into a small Italian restaurant on July 12 and shot to death Carmine Galante—the mafioso capo di tutti capi—the boss of all bosses of the Mafia.

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Carlo Tresca (1879–1943)

This not unusual manner of demise for a scummy gangster chieftain raised few eyebrows or roused little interest in what is part of an ongoing battle between the old Bonanno and Gallo families for control of the New York City rackets.

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anon.
Chrysler Sabotage Party Time!

It’s a rare case when someone can go home from the job and say they’ve done a constructive day’s work, and an even rarer case when 4,000 people from the same place can say it at the same time.

But that was exactly the case September 21, when the Chrysler Corporation was forced to close its Lynch Road Plant in Detroit because of worker sabotage and vandalism.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Walla Walla Prison Revolt Continues

During the last five months, the ongoing battle between prisoners and prison administrators over the inhuman conditions at the Washington State Prison at Walla Walla, Wash., has escalated to the savage beatings of hundreds of people by guards after an unprecedented one month lockdown, and 230 prisoners from Eight Wing have been forced to camp out in the “big yard.”

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anon.
Warning to the Pope Stay out of Detroit

You, M. Pope, are a scoundrel and a cur. The more “personable,” the more popular and accessible you become, the more you inspire our absolute loathing for all that you represent: the self-alienation of the human subject and the invasion of the human spirit by the forces of domination. Let it be clear: we are your implacable enemies. Perhaps it is true that it is not you who pushes the button which sends screaming rocket bombs to annihilate whole populations, or who orders the dumping of murderous chemicals into the water supplies, or who dispatches the police to assassinate poets and rebels. And obviously it is true that the hullabaloo that you have stirred up with your visit to the United States should raise no more interest than the arrival of some anonymous charlatan astrologer. But you haven’t been ignored; you have been recognized, feted, adored, praised, gazed upon, cheered, and taken seriously. And you do represent the internalization of the forces which make it possible for the aforementioned crimes to continue unavenged. You are the living incarnation of the plague which legitimizes oppression, promotes passivity, and defuses rebellion. We are warning you: stay out of Detroit if you wish to avoid a sound, well-deserved thrashing.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Usually when a publication such as ours disappears for several months it is due to money problems, political differences among the staff or a combination of the two. However, we can happily report that neither of these maladies caused our hiatus, but rather a combination of sloth and self-indulgence. The days and then the months just slipped away as we traveled, tended our gardens, took leisurely bike-rides, worked our dumb jobs and generally laid about as much as we could. Now that our mail has slacked off to almost zero, and the rumors of our demise have begun to reach us once again, we figure it is time for another assault against contemporary reality. Perhaps, though, it understates our intellectual activity to suggest we were only doing the above mentioned pastimes, because every article in the paper has been the subject of discussion and debate; some of it extending back several months. This newspaper is much like letter-writing: you get back in accordance with what you send out. In that we value greatly the input we receive from readers, you probably can expect to see more of this paper during the winter months ahead...

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Primitivo Solis (David Watson)
Christopher Lasch’s “War of All Against All” Review

a review of

Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations (New York: Norton, 1979)

“This book,” writes Christopher Lasch in the Preface to his provocative Culture of Narcissism, “describes a way of life that is dying—the culture of competitive individualism, which in it’s decadence has carried the logic of individualism to the extreme of a war of all against all, the pursuit of happiness to the dead end of a narcissistic preoccupation with the self.” [1]

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Beth Frage
Ramblings of a Narcissist

Every once in a while you run into one of those books or pieces of music or art, that no matter what its faults, force you to see your life from an entirely different perspective. Lasch wrote a couple of books that did that for me, even though I was left with a distinct distaste for his oversimplified Calvinistic judgments. Not that it wouldn’t be nice at times to stand on the mountain with god and write down the ten, and then hold them like a thunderbolt inside to ride through life’s uncertainties, but even if life may have been easier with Jehovah’s words inside you, that just isn’t where it’s at nowadays, and I don’t think many of us really regret that.

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John Zerzan
The Practical Marx

FE Note: The following article, an attempt to come to grips with the implications of Karl Marx’s everyday life by long-time FE contributor John Zerzan, has stirred considerable controversy among those of us presently working on the paper and necessitates, we feel, a few brief introductory observations.

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Fifth Estate Collective
It’s Raining Stockbrokers Wall Street Stock Market Collapse of 1929

Wall Street Stock Market Collapse, October 29, 1929–1979

On the day it rained stockbrokers, meteorologists debated the causes of this strange, nearly unprecedented weather. One claimed that stockbrokers represented a dense, heavy element which would continue to fall, down through the Earth and out the other side, eventually creating monstrous, irrepressible explosions in the center of the planet as they returned along their trajectory with the force of gravity and met themselves coming back from the other direction. Another said that there was nothing unusual and nothing to be concerned about. Stockbrokers rained every fifty years in regular, predictable cycles. Still, another denied that it was raining stockbrokers at all, and attributed the sightings of plummeting stockbrokers to a form of mass hysteria.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookstore is located in the same place as the Fifth Estate and can be found at 4403 Second Ave., Detroit—telephone (313) 831–6800. The hours that we’re open vary quite a bit, so it’s always best that—you give us a ring before coming down.

HOW TO ORDER BY MAIL:

1) List the title of the book, quantity wanted, and price of each;

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Fifth Estate Collective
Free readers’ ads

Though we do not accept commercial advertising, this Unclassified ad space is free for our readers’ use. We do not accept ads over the telephone, so please send your ads in writing to our office at: 4403 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201.

A NEW LIBERTARIAN PUBLICATION planned by Countdown. Donations are needed for first issue which will include articles on organization, (Anti-) Mayday, “Class Consciousness and the Conscious Class”, and Marxism among others. Further information and donations to Countdown, Box 1163, Madison WI 53701.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Statement of Ownership, etc.

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Required by 39 USC 3685)

1. Title of Publication: Fifth Estate

2. Date of Filing: 30 September 1979

3. Frequency of Issue: Bi-Monthly

3A. No. of Issues Published Annually: 6

3B. Annual Subscription Price: $4

4. Location of Known Office of Publication: 4403 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201, Wayne County.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Would America be better off without Chrysler? It’s a fair question

You’ve heard it from the pundits, the malcontents, the radicals, even the competition.

Now we’d like to set the record straight.

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We’ve made our share of mistakes. We’ve squandered more than our share of corporate dollars that go down the tubes each year. We’ve produced shabby products and covered up information about their poor quality that would hurt us in the market. We’ve overworked our employees in outmoded plants on dangerous, obsolete machinery and broken their walkout strikes when they got fed up with their conditions. And we’re willing to accept responsibility.

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