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Fifth Estate Collective
Kids—say no to Government

Media manufactured crises come and go so quickly these days that it is often hard to comment on one before it has disappeared from immediate concern. At the height of frenzy about a particular issue—whether it is terrorism, the space shuttle crash or most recently, drugs—the unitary message of power appears to command all thought. Nothing seems to exist outside of the official messages: we are all portrayed as angry or sad or worried.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Bits of the World in Pieces

Although Robert Chechlacz and Tomasz Lupanow remain jailed as Polish political prisoners, international support for them has grown (See FE Summer 1985). Though only trying to disarm him, the two were convicted of killing a militiaman just after the crackdown in Poland in 1982. Their support group has a newsletter available as well as posters and postcards from Polish Workers Solidarity Committee, Box 284, Main Street, St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada L2R 6T7.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

The Fifth Estate is a co-operative 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.

The Fifth Estate Newspaper (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at P.O. Box 02548, Detroit, Michigan 48202 USA;

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Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Fashionable Feminism

How quickly and easily feminism, like all ideology, is used to affirm the language of power and powerlessness. The superficiality and marketability of its demands have been evident since its inception; but now feminism is being used to openly celebrate middle and upper class comfort, to revel in consumerism and the empty benefits of capitalism.

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anon.
A Christian Pogrom Against Voodoo

The burning of witches and healers, the destruction of sacred places, forced conversion to the christian cross: this is not a description of the christian conquest of Europe and the original invasion of the Americas, but rather of the recent christian pogrom in Haiti being carried out against practitioners of voodoo, the syncretic christian-animist spiritual tradition of more than three quarters of Haiti’s people. Describing it as a “devil’s religion” practiced by “sons of Satan” and a “national curse” to be “uprooted,” Radio Lumiere, run by the Baptist Group of Southern Haiti (which is in turn funded by an evangelical group in Florida) has declared war on voodoo, fomenting a wave of violence against voodoo communities.

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anon.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

Over the last few months we received several responses to the centennial celebrations of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, including the following text, distributed by a group in NYC:

Hi! I’m the AMAZING RON, and have I got a show for you: fireworks, lasers, warships, helicopters, and tens of thousands of cops! Just sit back and watch this blinding show of liberty, but remember, to keep America free, we all have to pitch in and help, so I’m asking you to do a few simple tasks:

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

You may note the repetitious opening to each of these columns: a plea to subscribers to respond to their renewal notices and a thanks to those who have made special contributions when re-subscribing or ordering books. These donations are the life blood of this newspaper, and although their mention may appear, at times, automatic, please know that they are nothing we take for granted. We have no special funding and other than the support of our readers, no means to finance this project. When we offer our thanks for your continuing support we recognize that distinct quality of mutual aid which enhances the libertarian vision present in each donation.

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Fifth Estate Collective
We Brought Our Piss to Reagan

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“President Reagan” was so moved by the presentation of five gallons of drug-free urine by the Citizens for Clean Urine that he dumped the sample over his head.

The lure of a spectacle and the fact that we love a parade made President Reagan’s Sept. 24 Detroit campaign stop-over irresistible to us. A protest had been called by a liberal/leftist/labor/religious coalition and one could only expect the ritual “peaceful, legal picket line” with its predictable slogans and all imagination corralled by official demonstration marshals.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Rebel Violence Book review

a review of

Rebel Violence v. Hierarchical Violence: A Chronology of Anti-State Violence on the U.K. Mainland, July 1985-May 1986, B. M. Combustion, London WC1N 3XX

“Dangerous times,” reads one of the many fascinating newspaper clippings in this pamphlet produced by the same people who gave us Like A Summer With a Thousand Julys, The End of Music, and Miner Conflicts, Major Contradictions. Dangerous indeed, but heady, exciting times, as well, as the chronology demonstrates. A few examples of rebel violence will suffice to give a glimpse:

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E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
The Free Book review

a review of

The Free by M. Gilliland. Hooligan Press, 142 pp., London, 1986, 1.80 pounds, $4.00 (U.S.)

The Free is a short, quick-paced novel about insurrection and revolution, its eventual defeat and the repression which follows. Although the quality of the prose is a bit ragged in parts, it is powerful and real enough that witnessing the dreams of the central characters first realized and then dashed creates a mood of utter despair by book’s end.

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Lorraine Perlman
The Strait Book review

a review of

The Strait: An Unfinished Novel by Fredy Perlman. Black & Red, Detroit

FE note: At the time of his unexpected death in July of 1985, Fredy Perlman was in the midst of working on his second historical novel to be called The Strait (d’etroit) (see FE #321, Indian Summer 1985 for an appreciation of his life and writings). What follows are Lorraine Perlman’s impressions of his massive, two-volume manuscript, which she is currently editing with the prospect of printing it at some future time.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Critique of FE Are we losing it?

cited in this article:

The Decline of (Anti-)Western Civilization: A Critique of Fifth Estate, by Dan Todd, 27 pages, $1.00 from New Rage, PO Box 11492, Eugene OR 97440

This rather cunningly written essay/dialogue expands on comments made by its author in a letter to the FE (see “Critical Flab” in Letters, FE #322, Winter/Spring 1986) in which he identified what he thought to be a generalized decline in the quality and critical coherence of the paper. And though I was intrigued by the title and welcomed such a discussion, the product of this critique was disappointing. Todd had simply taken two rambling, hastily-written letters I’d sent him and retyped them with a blow-by-blow, paragraph-by-paragraph response, thus creating a straw FE and knocking it down. But an exchange of letters does not add up to a critique of our ten-year effort.

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Sara Loosestrife
Plastic Poem, Plastic Plague

Plastic Poem

Yellow garbage bag ties

pieces of ziplock bags

whole ziplock bags and baggies

tips of tiparello cigars

orange bread bag ties, green ones

juice bottle top

milk bottle top

camera lens cover

pieces of pampers disposable diapers

toy soldier

toy truck wheel

chapstick

coffee stir

pieces of bic pens

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John Zerzan
The Case against Art

Art is always about “something hidden.” But does it help us connect with that hidden something? I think it moves us away from it.

During the first million or so years as reflective beings, humans seem to have created no art. As Jameson put it, art had no place in that “unfallen social reality” because there was no need for it. Though tools were fashioned with an astonishing economy of effort and perfection of form, the old cliché about the aesthetic impulse as one of the irreducible components of the human mind is invalid.

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T. Fulano (David Watson)
Beyond the Mantic Ray Notes on the Archeological Daydream

1.

I am a sick man...a spiteful man. I think there is something wrong with my liver. I don’t think it was properly prepared. A crow keeps trying to snatch it from my plate with pearl-inlaid tongs, muttering about vedic wars in the wall, the wall which separates me from the world, the world where cities are demolished by gigantic mechanized pelicans awaiting the mass strike. But I hardly notice, I am listening to your acidic echoes as you read the poems you wrote last night. I am propped up like a corpse against a bombed out wall. Your voice mingles with the drone of a police helicopter which has flattened against the window like a pulverized hummingbird.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Chicago Update

Last issue we promised to print more reactions to the May Day centenary celebration of the Haymarket Affair (see FE #323, Summer 1986), but much of what we had intended for publication failed to come together. This is unfortunate since many of the criticisms—of responsibility for the arrests at the Friday march (see report further on), the structure of the workshops, meat at the banquet, and even anarchism itself—made for important reflections on an experience that was significant to many of us.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookservice may be reached at the same address as the Fifth Estate Newspaper, P.O. Box 02548, Detroit MI 48202 USA, telephone (313) 831–6800.

Visitors are welcome, but our hours vary so please call before dropping in.

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

The Daily Barbarian is loose again after almost a year’s absence. The large, 8-page broadsheet filled with libertarian news, poetry, an essay on S & M, a great back-page Reagan poster, irreverent humor and imaginative layout makes one wish for more frequent issues. Alas, the barbarians in charge refuse to be pushed, wheedled or cajoled into working harder at publishing so its appearance will remain “infrequent!” We will send a new Barbarian with each book order or contact them directly at Box 02455, Detroit MI 48202.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Due to space considerations, some of the letters on these pages may have been excerpted. We ask that letter writers make their remarks as concise as possible.

Pretty Bad Taste

Dear FE,

The Christians to the lions stuff in the last issue was in pretty bad taste (“Hail Mary Not Quite!,” FE #323, Summer, 1986). The original victims of the Roman state were communal, love-thy-neighbor, subversive types, much different from today’s fundamentalist/fascist types. And even then, I don’t think it would be very appropriate to feed anyone to lions, but I’m probably being my humorless self.

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