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Fifth Estate Collective
State Declares War Legal ...peace illegal

What had been planned as a week-long series of demonstrations and civil disobedience at a suburban Detroit cruise missile engine plant has become the focus of the government’s attempt to crush the growing anti-nuclear movement. In 1983 over 5000 persons were jailed for protests against nuclear facilities and the week of November 27-December 3 saw 51 persons arrested at the Walled Lake, Michigan Williams International Corporation for blockading the entrance to the plant. Instead of expected contempt of court charges and misdemeanor trespassing prosecutions, those arrested are facing felony counts of “conspiring to commit a misdemeanor”—ludicrous sounding on the face of it, but potent enough to send violators to prison for two years.

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Primitivo Solis (David Watson)
U.S. Out of the Americas! Shoot down all their helicopters!

How could anyone fail to notice the sickening irony in the announcement from U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz that no reprisals would be taken against Nicaragua for shooting down an unmarked U.S. military helicopter and killing the pilot at the Honduras-Nicaragua border? Such a declaration is roughly equivalent to a bully saying he won’t retaliate for your biting his toe while he’s stomping your face in.

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Various Authors
Letters

Correcting Yippies!

The following is in response to an item which appeared in the Fall 1983 Fifth Estate which listed the Columbia (Mo.) Anarchist League as one of the sponsors of a Yippie! coordinated demonstration to be held at the 1984 Republican convention.

Fifth Estate:

For the record, the Columbia Anarchist League has nothing to do with “Freeze Reagan/Bush.” I told the NYC Yippies that we did not want to endorse it because it was a move in a reformist direction away from the nobody for president idea. However, I told him it would be okay with us if they put the Columbia Nobody for President Committee as an endorsee (since we could make our point this way).

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

FIFTH ESTATE #315, Winter 1984, Vol. 18 No. 4, page 2

The Fifth Estate is a cooperative project, published by a group of friends who are in general, but not necessarily complete agreement with the articles herein. Each segment of the paper represents the collective effort of writing, typesetting, lay-out and proofreading.

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Thomas Metzger
Ziggurat Terminal

Five-legged beast carved in basalt. Face of a Babylonian warlord and body of a desert flesh eater. His eyes saw for centuries into black sand and dust, into the thickened skin of the earth. Cities and cities, temples and temples, mountains of bone above him as a grave. He is a protective godling, seeing forward and seeing nothing.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

A happy new year thank-you to all of you who responded so quickly to our request in the last issue to please renew your subscriptions promptly. Thank you also for all the very generous donations and requests for papers to distribute to friends—we love to see those piles of papers disappear. Remember that we always need people and places to distribute the FE; we’ll send you papers on a consignment basis and you pay only for those you sell and keep half of the proceeds for yourself. If you wish to give the papers away free, send us the postage and we’ll send you a corresponding amount of FE’s.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Vancouver 5 Is A “Fair Trial” Possible?

The Vancouver Five are activists from British Columbia who are currently facing 17 counts of sabotage and conspiracy. Besides being charged with destroying an environmentally damaging hydroelectric generator and firebombing a porn shop, they also are accused of a massive bomb attack on a Toronto cruise missile plant.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
N. Bates

Symbolic Protest & The Nuclear State Two articles

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While pacifists engage in symbolic acts of protest against militarism, the militarists engage in a bit of symbolism of their own. Top: moral witness at Williams International, where cruise missile engines are manufactured. Bottom: U.S. troops practice mass burial techniques during NATO maneuvers in West Germany last autumn. The articles appearing on this page were written by two people who took part in the Williams protests. The first article is signed by N. Bates, the pseudonym of a person who was arrested at Williams for civil disobedience, and who now faces multiple charges stemming from the action.

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John Zerzan
Language Origin and Meaning

When Winston Smith, in Orwell’s 1984, sits down to begin the diary which he has secretly acquired and which in and of itself is a criminal possession, he is mortified to discover that he has nothing—and everything—to say, that to begin means to start from scratch, to recreate language and meaning, to challenge everything, to make a statement large enough to identify the horror which pervades life and yet which can transcend that horror.

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Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Newspeak and the Impoverishment of Language

In his appendix on language in the world of 1984, George Orwell explains that “Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism.” Newspeak was created for the ultimate purpose of thought control. By reducing the English language (Oldspeak) to a utilitarian skeleton, dispensing with all verb tense irregularities and syntactical complexity, and by scaling down word choice to a bare minimum, it destroyed the ambiguity of human communication and would eventually “diminish the range of human thought.” Most people had not yet adopted Newspeak as their only means of communication, but it was intended that by the year 2050 Oldspeak would be made totally obsolete by the new Party language.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Some Words on The Word A response

In response to John Zerzan, “Language: Origin & Meaning” FE #315, Winter 1984.

Despite his acute desire to break with all of the fictions of the modern world, John Zerzan makes the unfortunate mistake of taking its ideological justifications at their (false) face value; thus, the radical refusal which he posits tends to be an almost formalistic, inverted image of the society which he analyzes. There are no gray areas, no ambivalence in his critique, only absolutes. But these absolutes come ready-made, provided by modern civilization’s legitimation of its existence.

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Ratticus
Some Kind Words about Language

In response to John Zerzan, “Language: Origin & Meaning” FE #315, Winter 1984.

If Shakespeare was right when he said “brevity is the soul of wit” then this piece from Zerzan must be its carcass. The fellow doth protest (language) too much. What?! Quote the Raven nevermore?

One gets the impression from Zerzan that not only is it by breaking from Capitalism and from Civilization will we only be ourselves—authentic and free—but when we once again attain the grandeur of precellular compounds. A timeless pool of protean soup freed from the constraints of definition.

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Bob Brubaker
Primitives and Production: a response

In response to Tech Examined a letter from Jeffrey Vega, FE #315, Winter 1984.

Jeffrey Vega would like to define primitive cultures “in the terms of class society” so he can assimilate them to the “historical materialist perspective.” In his mind this is a legitimate operation, since unlike “the self-definition of tribal society” (presumably to him a limited form of knowledge), a class analysis enables us to uncover “the dynamics which led to the development of class society.”

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George Bradford (David Watson)
A System of Domination—Technology George Bradford responds

In response to a letter from Jeffrey Vega, Tech Examined FE #315, Winter 1984.

Is it too much to ask that our critics take the time to read at least some of the voluminous material on the technology question rather than simply repeating the “well-worn” platitudes familiar to us all? In this case Jeffrey Vega would like to resolve a complex problem with a simple sleight-of-hand: look up the word in the dictionary and in such a way close the discussion by sanctioning the commonplaces which serve to mystify technology. Since his dictionary refers to “machines—not a system of domination,” there seems to be nothing to worry about; it must all be a neutral, passive machine or tool ready to be used in any way we desire.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE BOOKSERVICE is located in the same place as the Fifth Estate newspaper, both of which are at 5928 Second, Detroit MI 48202—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 & Reviews

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Last autumn fascists nearly rioted when twelve volunteers, hooded to protect their identities, removed the equestrian statue of Franco from the Plaza del Pais Valenciano in Valencia, Spain. While the National Police looked on, ultrarightists sang fascist hymns, threatened the workers and attempted to disrupt the operation. Finally the cops dispersed the demonstrators.
Later, fascists bombed a statue of the American revolutionary Simon Bolivar in reprisal. The dismantled statue, which had been slated for removal for four years before action was finally taken, has gone to a military museum. (Photo: El Pais)

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