Fifth Estate Collective
The birds, the bees, and anarchy Issue Introduction

The theme of this issue is Sex. The very word can elicit emotions from delight to anxiety. However, those reactions aside, the central function of sex, from mega fauna to microbes, is the reproduction of the species. It is only human sexuality which is over laden with social scripts that translate into pleasure or pain, often on a large cultural scale.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Editor Our readers respond

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War criminal Nixon orders invasion of Cambodia. graphic—Liberation News Service, 1970. Fifth Estate files.

Send letters via email to fe — AT — fifthestate.org or Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 201016, Ferndale MI 48220. All formats accepted including typescript & handwritten. Letters may be edited for length.

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Jamie Heckert
Sex & Anarchy Because real social change includes a sexual revolution

One of the things most appealing about the anarchist tradition is its scope and subtlety. Not only do anarchists have big ideas and great plans for transforming the large-scale cultural, economic, and political structures of our societies, we also address the everyday questions of how we live our lives.

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Norman Nawrocki
Lessons from a 7-foot Penis (or, how I performed anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, sex positive and queer-friendly, sex comedy cabarets across North America)

I came home one night many years ago to find my then girlfriend crying on the couch. “What happened?” I asked. “Nothing. Just some guy in the street.” “What did he do to you?”

“He wouldn’t let me cross the street unless I told him my name and agreed to go out with him. He kept blocking my way.”

She told me that this total stranger kept harassing her for blocks and wouldn’t give up. No one intervened.

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Richard Coreno
What is it?

Sex is Sweet

Sex is Defeat

Sex is Stars

Sex is Bars

Sex is Money

Sex is Honey

Sex is Euphoric

Sex is Demonic

Sex is Safe

Sex is Pace

Sex is Scintillating

Sex is Liberating

Sex is Singular

Sex is Plural

Sex is Derision

Sex is Religion

Sex is Heaven

Sex is Hell

Sex is War

Sex is Peace

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Jeff Shantz
An Anarchist View of the Marriage Debate

For anarchists, marriage is defined not by the sexuality or gender of spouses, but by the presence of the Church and State. However, marriage, the legal and religious sanctioning of interpersonal relationships, rarely receives much attention in anarchist feminist circles. Major collections of anarchist writings cover many areas of social life but usually have no essays dealing with marriage. Those chapters in which important institutions and social relations are dealt with do not even include marriage as part of the discussion.

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Patrick Dunn
To Abolish Rape, Overthrow Male Desire Patriarchal sexuality as the cornerstone of authoritarian society

In at least some of its aspects, human culture functions as an elaborate system of sexual rituals--not substitutive satisfactions, in the Freudian sense, but social performances that organize sexual energies, and that bring sexual forces into a living, symbolic order of seduction, pleasure, power, and reproduction.

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Julie Gagnon
A Mirror in Hand I would like to make one thing clear: this article is dedicated to women as an appeal for the appropriation of our bodies, our fantasies, and our sexuality. It is not meant to be moralizing or therapeutic.

Taboo, smelly, hidden, shameful, unsightly. Women’s sex has been described historically in these terms without explaining precisely why it qualifies as such. At the beginning of the 1960s, mores became less rigid and what was then labeled the Sexual Revolution commenced. But as many women authors have noted, this progress didn’t reduce the gap between the pleasure that men and women experience sexually.

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Ron Sakolsky
Why be so Attached to your Penis? A fellow creature that gives new meaning to the phrase, “going both ways”

Download MS Word .doc [29 kb] fe-389-13-Why-Penis

“I haven’t seen anything like this before.”

-- Bernard Picton, Curator of Marine Invertebrates, National Museum of Northern Ireland

Could the surreal imagination of even Karel Capek in his most bitingly satirical novel, War With The Newts, ever have conceived of a game-changer the likes of chromodoris reticulata, a red and white sea slug that can actually shed its own penis after mating and then replenish said appendage the very next day.

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Andrew William Smith
Polyamory and Power A Confession and Critique

It’s not news that much of modernity is all messed up about sex. Contemporary culture fluctuates between moralistic repression and hypersexual expression. Prudes use religion to promote abstinence for unmarried heterosexuals and celibacy for LGBT folks, and the more extreme libertines turn everything erotic and beautiful into a casual commodity.

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Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
A Response on Polyamory “Monogamy doesn’t work; non-monogamy doesn’t either.”

No comment can be made about the writings and ideas of Andy Smith without first recognizing the enormous contributions he made to the Fifth Estate for almost twenty years. During the first years of the century he and his comrades in Tennessee were the mainstay of this publication, and it is easy to say, that without his stewardship during that era, this magazine probably wouldn’t exist today. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was our 40th anniversary edition which at 102 pages, tracing our intense history beginning in 1965, was the largest and most colorful issue we’ve published. Long thought to be out of print, we recently discovered a cache of them and now have it available again.

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Kelly Rose Pflug-Back
Black Culture Behind Bars: An interview with Nikicia G. White supremacy, censorship, and resistance in an Ontario women’s jail.

Jail is an environment that has been engineered to starve the senses. While creativity and culture at times seem to flourish among prisoners, these manifestations of the human drive for self-expression truly exist against all odds, and are often short lived due to institutional suppression.

For racialized communities in particular, this suppression of culture is a heavy reminder of the white supremacist nature of colonial state power. However, while the punitive measures of the prison system aim to demoralize and break the spirit, they can also have the contradictory effect of galvanizing prisoners by giving us no choice but resistance or spiritual death.

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Marie Mason
Sex & Revolution

my flesh is rippling music dancing

as I move my hands my lips across your supple

body blending everything becomes bewildered unpretended

in these moments of ecstatic rhythm

reggae sweat your breath so still

lingering upon my lips

your body mine the last of the wine

spilled between us in a kiss

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Fifth Estate Collective
Why is Marie Mason in the Fed’s Harshest Prison? Supporters ask for a transfer

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Crowd at last year’s exhibit of Marie’s art at a Chicago gallery.

Supporters of imprisoned environmental activist Marie Mason, are fearful that the repressive conditions she currently experiences could worsen when a construction project inside of her unit in a Texas high security prison is completed.

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John Zerzan
Industrialism and its discontents the Luddites and their inheritors

Download PDF [174 KB]

fe-389-19-industrialism-and-its-discontents

Nearly two hundred years ago, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley gave us a classic warning about the hubris of technology’s combat against nature. Her late Gothic novel, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus (1818), depicts the revenge nature takes upon the presumption of engineering life from the dead. Victor Frankenstein and his creation perish, of course; his “Adam” is as doomed as he is. If this monster cannot be saved by his father/creator, however, today’s cyborg/robot/Artificial Intelligence products do expect to be saved. For those at the forefront of technological innovation today, there will be no return to a previous, monster-free state.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Call for Submissions: Fifth Estate Fall 2013 Issue

Deadline: August 15 Publication date: September 15

Issue Theme: Mad! A word whose meaning ranges from rage to enthusiasm to mental illness and more, even as an acronym for the truly insane Cold War nuclear policy of the U.S. and the Soviet Union [Mutually Assured Destruction].

Your ideas for news articles, essays, and art are welcome. Submit manuscripts for short pieces and proposals for longer essays, along with graphics and photographs to:

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Peter Lamborn Wilson
Neanderthal Liberation Front Four Percenters Unite

“...a little Neanderthal DHA, between one to four percent, exists in (some) people today...The Neanderthals are not dead; some of them live on in us.”

-- Svante Paabo, Max Planck Institute, Neanderthal Genome Project

Resistance against alienation begins

w/ Neanderthal Liberation Front circa

40,000 BC. Giants of folklore stand for

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Goldie Silence
Northwest Anarchist Inquisition Update Anarchist Grand Jury Resisters Freed from Prison

Until late February, three courageous anarchist grand jury resisters, Matt Duran, Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik, and Maddie Pfeiffer, were held in solitary confinement in a federal detention center in Seattle. [See Winter 2013 Fifth Estate.]

The three are refusing to cooperate with a government investigation into the Northwest anarchist movement. It was initially believed the hearings were focused on vandalism that occurred on May Day 2012 in Seattle. However, based on the vast majority of questions asked at the grand jury hearings, it is obvious that federal and local law enforcement agencies are interested in much more.

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Kelly Pflug-Back
Back on the streets, Fifth Estate writer reflects on prison experience ...starts book tour but doesn’t forget those still incarcerated

I was released from state custody in February after serving seven and a half months in the Vanier Center for Women, a provincial jail in southern Ontario, for charges stemming from the G20 summit protests in Toronto during the summer of 2010. While the judge sentenced me to 15 months, I was given four months credit for the one month of jail time and two years of house arrest I served while awaiting sentencing.

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Peter Werbe
Two Cheers For Anarchism?

a review of

James C. Scott: Two cheers for Anarchism; Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play, Princeton University Press, 2012, 169 pp., $35 cloth and e-book

If we are expressing rankings by hurrahs, I would give James C. Scott’s book two cheers as he does for anarchism. Still, this middling mark is much higher than his slim volume of anarchist principles has garnered from other reviewers who express this philosophy.

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David Porter
Emma Goldman: A Love for Revolution

a review of

Emma Goldman: Political Thinking in the Streets by Kathy E. Ferguson. Rowman ft Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Maryland, 2011, 362 pp, $35.

In her fascinating book on Emma Goldman, Kathy Ferguson focuses on Goldman as a dynamic anarchist thinker whose differing social activist contexts and personal challenges produced constantly evolving theoretical perspectives.

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Peter Werbe
Anarchy for Kids Breaking Rules

a review of

A Rule is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy, John Seven and Jana Christy. Manic D Press, 48 pp, $14.95 www.manicdpress.com

Maybe you can’t tell a book by its cover, but a snappy title can gain an author attention where a lesser one might not. In an era where “everyone’s an anarchist,” James C. Scott’s book title, Two Cheers for Anarchism, reviewed elsewhere in this issue, was just the right formulation for even The New York Times to feature it. One suspects if he had given a full three cheers, it may have been ignored.

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Kathy E. Ferguson
French Anarchists in the Algerian Revolution

a review of

Eyes to the South: French Anarchists and Algeria, by David Porter; foreword by Sylvain Boulouque. AK Press, 2011, 550 pp, $25

David Porter’s hefty new book is a remarkable resource for scholars and activists seeking to understand the relationship among French anarchists, French colonization of Algeria, and Algerian anti-colonial movements.

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Rod Dubey
How Sex Got Bad Religion Makes It So

a review of

Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire by Eric Berkowitz. Counterpoint Press, Berkeley, Calif., 2012

Hebrew law changed everything. Prior to this, homosexuality had generally gone without notice, but in Hebrew law it became (along with many other sex acts) punishable by death. Although many of their laws drew from past practices, for the Hebrews, private sex acts, and everything associated with them, became God’s business.

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Margaret Killjoy
The Anarchist Utopian Imagination Second Reality: What the future could look like.

“There’s a kind of desire that, whenever it arises, is censored scientifically, morally, politically. The ruling reality tries to stamp it out. This desire is the dream of a second reality.”

-- P.M., bolo’bolo

In the introduction to his anarchist utopian book, bolo’bolo, author P.M. describes why we need visions of positive futures. Second realities, as he calls them, are necessary, else we find that “the only choice [is] that between the Machine’s own dream and the refusal of any activity.”

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Steve Dalachinsky
Another Sexual Revolution, please

a review of

The Unbearables Big Book of Sex. Autonomedia, UnBearable Books, 2011. Editors: Ron Kolm, Carol Wierzbecki, Jim Feast, Yuko Otomo, Steve Dalachinsky, Shalom Neuman, 650 pages, $18.95

As a privileged co-editor of this brilliant anthology, I feel a bit abusive of my powers and morally wrong to be, at the same time, reviewing it. But with all due respect to those involved and to you, dear reader, and in the spirit of true anarchism, fuck that.

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Fifth Estate Collective
London’s Freedom Bookshop Torched Neo-Nazis Suspected

The London bookshop Freedom was damaged in an arson attack in the early hours of February 28. Nobody was hurt in the fire which partially gutted the ground floor and damaged the building’s electrics.

However, there was extensive damage to the shop’s archives which contained publications dating back to the 1800s. Freedom Press is Britain’s longest running anarchist publisher and traces its history back to the original Freedom newspaper started by Charlotte Wilson and Peter Kropotkin in 1886. It is still printing and is available through freedompress.org.uk.

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Quincy B. Thorn
Tales from the Cybersphere Fifth Estate on the Web

Since its radical beginnings the Fifth Estate has consistently been more than a magazine, indeed, more than a publication. From the start its staff and contributors--in Detroit and farther afield--have been engaged with anti-authoritarian activities and ideas that are hard to grasp simply by viewing single issues of the FE.

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Franklin Lopez
Trafficking Anti-civ Thought Across Borders Film Review

In October 2010, I finally called it quits on my film END:CIV. By calling it quits, I mean that I decided that the film was done, and that I would not add or remove a single frame of video, tweak the audio or add any more titles. Like Coppola once said and I paraphrase, “One does not finish a film, one abandons it.” But far from abandoning it, the following November of that year, I embarked on an eighteen-month grassroots tour, where I would present my work to audiences in seventeen countries in over 150 screenings.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Five Ways to Help the Fifth Estate

  1. Subscribe. Subscribers are a publication’s life blood. If you bought this at a news stand, consider subscribing and buying one for a friend or a library.

  2. Donate. Postal and printing costs continue to rise, making financial stability an increasing challenge to publications which refuse commercial advertising. Donations also allow us to continue sending free subscriptions to prisoners and GIs.

  3. Distribute the FE. Sell or give away current or back issues. Get stores in your area to sell the magazine. Use them for tabling. Take them to events and demos. Bulk back issues are available for the cost of postage. Write us at fe@fifthestate.org for info.

  4. Hold a fundraiser for the FE. A house party or an event not only provides revenue for the magazine, but gets people together that share similar ideas.

  5. Become an FE Sustainer. Sustainers pledge a certain amount each issue or yearly above the subscription fee to assure our continuing publishing, and receive each issue by First Class mail.

Fifth Estate Collective
Second Edition of Ron Sakolsky’s Creating Anarchy Published

Ardent Press in Berkeley, California is publishing a second edition of Ron Sakolsky’s Creating Anarchy. Originally issued in 2005 by the Fifth Estate as a one-off publication, the book is a dynamic collage of ideas, images, and action--ranging widely from May Day to utopia, from refusal to autonomy, and from insurrection to imagination.

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Nick Medvecky
Supporting Political Prisoners

a review of

Government Repression, Prisoner Support. Sacramento Prisoner Support, 2012, 157pp., P & L Printing, Denver CO $10, order through pandlprinting.com

Unknown to many U.S. citizens, federal and state governments currently imprison more people, 2.4 million+, in their gulag than any nation in history.

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Howard Besser
Audrey Goodfriend, 1920–2013 An Anarchist Life

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Audrey Goodfriend with Federico Arcos. —photo: J. Herrada

Lifelong anarchist Audrey Goodfriend died on January 19 at 92.

Over her lifetime, Audrey engaged with generations of anarchists, and in many ways served as a bridge between them. The fact that as a teenager in the late 1930s, Audrey hitch-hiked to Toronto to meet Emma Goldman, gave younger anarchists who met her a direct connection with anarchist history.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Books and Publications Received

BOOKS

Sasha and Emma: The Anarchist Odyssey of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, by Paul Avrich and Karen Avrich, Harvard University Press, 2012, 528 pp., 36 photos, $35.

The story of “the most dangerous woman in America” and her long-time companion, begun by the late historian Paul Avrich and completed by his daughter. Goldman’s words, whose quotes adorn everything from coffee mugs to Occupy placards, still resonate with the passion and vision of anarchy.

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