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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

FE Note: The letters which appear on these two pages are mostly responses to our July 1981 edition which was devoted mainly to a discussion and critique of technology and the modern world it has spawned. Single copies of that issue are still available from our office for 50 cents a copy. (See our index of available back issues on page 19 of this issue.) T. Fulano, author of last issue’s “Against the Mega-machine,” responds to supporters of technology elsewhere in this issue.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Staff and contributors

Chairman of the Board, Publisher, Assistant to the Publisher, Senior Editor, Editor, Managing Editor, Executive Editor, Assistant Managing Editor, Chief of Correspondents, Operations, Senior Writers, General Editors, Art Editor, Circulation Manager, Associate Editors, Assistant Editors, Senior Editorial Assistants, Editorial Assistants, Chief of Photography, Editorial Controller, Key Grip, Best Boy, Choreography, and Ms. St. Jacques’ Wardrobe by the Paleolithic Liberation Organization (PLO).

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Bob Brubaker
Anti-Nuclear Movement in Europe The Pull-Back From Armageddon

The massive and still-growing anti-nuclear movement in Europe has become a serious threat to the avatars of destruction who, through the auspices of NATO, are attempting to turn Europe into a nuclear battlefield by deploying Pershing II and cruise missiles on European soil. An American diplomat in Bonn recently warned the readers of the international edition of Newsweek (8/24/81): “If the peace movement isn’t defused soon, we might see the same kind of threat to cruise and Pershing installations after 1983 that you see directed against nuclear energy plants today.” The implications of this shocking development were clearly spelled out by the worried diplomat: “We’re talking about a serious threat to NATO planning as a whole.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

October marks the 16th anniversary of the Fifth Estate and a little over five years since we’ve been publishing this paper as an explicitly libertarian project (see the Oct. 1979 FE for a brief history), and we are pleased to report that the ship of anti-state remains healthy. We say this even though the Post Office has reduced our status to that of a quarterly. This has served as a reminder of how we’ve let our publishing frequency precipitously slip from that of a monthly to, in this case, once every four months. Readers write to us all too often complaining that they have missed an issue, when it’s just been our sloth. Please be assured, all of you will get the six issues you subscribed to no matter if they don’t fall into a given calendar year. Financially we’re holding our own (contrary to a year ago when we were dead broke), but please, don’t let this declaration act to forestall the generous donations that many of you have been sending to the paper, because it is exactly those extra dollars or two or $20! with a book order or subscription renewal that have carried us in the direction of solvency. We can rarely do so individually, so let us thank all of you collectively who continue to have faith, not so much in this paper, but in the ideas it embodies, Who have helped us so much over the last year. And as usual, a special debt of gratitude must go out to our Italian comrades on both coasts and in Florida who continue their lifelong commitment to anarchist ideals by support of the world libertarian press including this one.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Uncovering a Corpse A Reply to the Defenders of Technology

The letters which appear in this issue of the Fifth Estate do not represent the entire correspondence which has grown out of the discussion on technology. Some of our exchanges with readers of the paper became too broad, too lengthy, and too diffuse to make their publication possible, and so many of those debates will have to be deferred until they can be treated in a more organized manner. We also received many one- and two-line letters of support, some accompanied by donations and requests for more copies. We want to thank everyone who has shown support; we hope to do everything we can to strengthen our ties with them and aid them in the struggle against the sector of the machine in which they find themselves. To them we can only say: there is so much to do; let’s get moving.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Carl Harp found Dead Prison Activist Murdered in Cell

“If they didn’t physically slash him and tie the cord around his neck, the years of sensory deprivation, beatings, setups, transfers, hole time, mind and law games, and the psycho-torture which this place is famous for had the same effect. I know that anyone can be gotten to, regardless of how strong they are.”

— A Walla Walla Prisoner

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anon.
A Challenge to the Prison Movement For a Clearer Perspective on Prisons

FE Note: The following article was sent to us anonymously several months ago and has generated an enormous amount of discussion among us by its charges that prisoners who are “thugs, murderers, pimps, rapists, conmen of every sort” have been “elevated to the level of anarchist heroes” and that the prison support movement showers “slavish devotion” on them.

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Sylvie Kashdan
David Brown
Ron Reed

The Challenge Accepted Comments on Prisons & Prisoners

In response to “A Challenge to the Prison Movement,” FE #307, November 19, 1981.

“Prisons are part of the central model for social control.”

Sylvie Kashdan, Seattle

In its mirror image negation of some positions of the prisoner support movement, the anonymous article highlights weaknesses of such single-issue politics. In focusing so completely on this one institution (the prisons), it becomes impossible for people to imagine its elimination.

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Gerald Brenan
“Thieves and gunmen together with idealists” excerpt

from Gerald Brenan, The Spanish Labyrinth, pp. 251–252

One peculiarity of Spanish Anarchism...was the inclusion within its ranks of professional criminals-thieves and gunmen who certainly would not have been accepted by any other working-class party-together with idealists of the purest and most selfless kind. Occasionally, as we have already pointed out, the two elements were combined in the same person, but more often they were separate. One may explain this historically. The bandit has always been a popular figure in Spain because he preys on the rich and defends the poor. Then during the Napoleonic Wars the guerrilla leader and the bandit fused in the same person. This tradition was continued by the Carlists. Their famous guerrilla leaders, Cabrera, Father Merino, Father Santa Cruz and Cucala, belonged to the same type of men as Durruti and Ascaso. But the Anarchists were also lax in allowing ordinary thieves and murderers to join their organization. The first sign of this was seen during the Cantonalist rising of 1873, when the convict prison of Cartagena, containing 1500 of the most desperate criminals in Spain, was opened on the insistence of the Internationalists and the inmates were invited to join in the defence of the city. Then, during the troubles of 1919 through 1923 at Barcelona, dozens of pure pistoleros entered their ranks. No doubt most of them took care to put a certain ideological colour on their actions, but this would not have been sufficient if the Anarchists had not had a sentimental feeling for all those people who have taken to criminal ways because they have been thwarted or injured by society. A typically Spanish inability to distinguish between those who have enriched themselves by “lawful” means and those who attempt to do so by pure robbery and violence lies at the bottom of this.

Linda Wiens
Aversion and the Dynamo

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A Tsunami/Fifth Estate Project

Mountain Center & Detroit

1. Description: machine parts in the foreground, nude man in the background facing away from the viewer; balloon above him says:

Well, everything gets done so quickly and easily, but... Somehow, I never quite feel at home here...

2. Description: a man in a business suit next to a large piece of equipment; balloon above him says:

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George Bradford (David Watson)
The Fifth Estate Meets the All People’s Congress Or What’s a Nice Newspaper Like You Doing at a Congress Like This?

A couple of us went downtown to Cobo Hall on a cold Friday night to check out the rally to “overturn the Reagan program” and to pass out a few copies of the last issue to the curious. The rally was being staged by the “All Peoples Congress” all-weekend convention, a left-liberal amalgam; everyone from Dykes Against Racism Everywhere to trade unionists, feminists, Democratic Party hacks looking for a constituency, and leninists looking for cannon fodder. The posters had been all over the city since summer, free bus rides were being offered every fifteen minutes or so from various welfare and unemployment offices, Gil Scott Heron was supposed to perform on Saturday night for a benefit—it had all the makings of a slick, combination carnival and revival meeting. The revival, that is, of the Popular Front to Fight “Reaganism,” led by liberal politicians and trade union bureaucrats and staffed by the minions of the leninist parties looking for a piece of the action. But we had a lot of extra papers lying around turning yellow, and we were starting work on another issue, so we decided to potlatch them out of here and hand them out to the folks who might have taken the free bus ride to go somewhere where it was warm, and to perhaps shake up the true believers with some blasts against civilization.

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Fifth Estate Collective
A Note to Readers

Things have a real roll on here at the Fifth Estate and believe it or not we may have the next issue to you in about six weeks. We had several articles left over from this issue and already have an anti-nuke special in mind for the next. Also, look for an announcement of an anti-nuke conference to be held at the Grinning Duck. Final note: Did Canadian subscribers receive our last issue dated July? If not, write us and we’ll send it out.

Fifth Estate Collective
Poland at the Crossroad Solidarity and State Pitted Against Polish Workers

With the endorsement of the Polish Communist Party’s Politburo, on November 10, of a plan that would include the Solidarity union in a new coalition government, it appears that the seemingly endless period of crisis and confrontation in Poland will soon have a conclusion of classic dimensions: A militant working class, as it presses ahead with its demands, will face the combined opposition of both the state and union.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Hail Red Army Nerve Gas! Trotskyism as Psychopathology

In politics nothing can be taken at face value; many times what passes for an elaborately drawn political point of view is little more than a posture which conceals psychopathology. Trotskyism, a stillborn variety of marxism notable for the bizarre historical ironies embodied in it, is a particularly appropriate example.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookstore is located in the same place as the Fifth Estate Newspaper, both of which are located at 4403 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201—telephone (313) 831–6800. The hours we are open vary considerably, so it’s always best to give us a call before coming down.

HOW TO ORDER BY MAIL:

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

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Fifth Estate Collective
News and Reviews

Within the past several months the FE has received many publications and letters from Greece trying to make contact with radicals and libertarian revolutionaries in the U.S.

At a first glance the literature of the Greek anarchists looks like a collection of American ‘60s radical chic nostalgia, intellectually pureed for an ‘80s Mediterranean audience. Imagine for a moment the anthologies of the hip, the pseudo-hip, and the never-hip, but the always-trying of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s of American radicalism thrown together in a juxtaposition of grainy photos, poetry and prose—a hodgepodge of Buddy Holly, Jerry Rubin, the Who, Detroit’s own MC5, Abbie Hoffman and Zap comics, serving as a model for revolution.

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Coquilles St. Jacques (Peter Werbe)
GI Guinea Pigs Book review

a review of

GI Guinea Pigs: How the Pentagon Exposed Our Troops to Dangers More Deadly Than War by Michael Uhl and Tod Ensign. Playboy Press, 1980, 256 pp., $6.95

This account of the exposure of GIs to the atomic tests of the 1950s and the toxic herbicides in Vietnam is a teeth gritter of a story—both from horror and from anger.

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Coquilles St. Jacques (Peter Werbe)
The Nirvana Blues Book review

a review of

The Nirvana Blues by John Nichols. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1981, 527 pp., $14.95 hardcover.

The Nirvana Blues completes the New Mexico trilogy of John Nichols which began with his The Milagro Beanfield War in 1972, includes The Magic Journey in 1978 and which maps the destruction of the indigenous Chicano culture of fictional Chamisa County by development-crazed Anglos.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Free Readers’ Ads

Although the Fifth Estate does not accept commercial advertising, we do provide this space free for our readers’ use. We do not accept ads over the telephone, so please mail them to us at our office: 4403 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201. We only ask that the content of the ads be kept consistent with the general outlook of this publication.

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anon.
Smokey the Bear Sutra

Once in the Jurassic, about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha in this corner of the Infinite Void gave a great Discourse to all the assembled elements and energies: to the standing beings, the walking beings, the flying beings, and the sitting beings—even grasses, to the number of thirteen billion, each one born from a seed, were assembled there: a Discourse concerning Enlightenment on the planet Earth.

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