Fifth Estate #409, Summer, 2021
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My partner brought home a copy of The Anarchist Review of Books and I wanted so much to love it.
May 8, 2021
Fifth Estate Collective
This issue’s theme, “What’s Next? Demand the Impossible,” is a challenge to all our imaginations.
We live in a world faced with the scourge of a plague, and in a country that is an armed madhouse with a good portion of its population seemingly gone off the rails with fascist rage and white fear.
What appears in these pages is nothing like a blueprint for where or how to focus our energies. We know well what we don’t want and what doesn’t work. In general, we know that creating alternative communities of resistance is what brings results and can provide a model of the world we desire.
May 8, 2021
Only Change is Permanent
Critical theory is a bit like pornography, as a Supreme Court justice once said when asked to define the latter: “I know it when I see it.”
Critical theory can be defined pretty loosely as well. It’s the multitude of intellectual spin-offs from Marx that began to take flight roughly a hundred years ago, at about the time that Lenin and his acolytes thought they have codified what Orthodox Marxism was, forever.
May 20, 2021
Anarchy in Belarus
Anti-authoritarian Voices in Uprising Against the Dictatorship
The former Soviet republic of Belarus exploded into angry protests last August in the wake of contested presidential elections resulting in a totally implausible landslide victory for long-ruling strongman Alexander Lukashenko. Police, riot squads and army troops unleashed harsh repression, using rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and water-hoses against demonstrators who objected to the results in the capital of Minsk and other cities.
May 8, 2021
Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
Summer on Fire
In 1967, it was the Summer of Love in San Francisco. In Detroit, it was a Summer on Fire.
a review of
Summer on Fire: A Detroit Novel by Peter Werbe. Black & Red 2021
Summer on Fire, a debut novel from long time Fifth Estate staff member, Peter Werbe, takes place during seven weeks in 1967, the year I was born, during the months I lived in my radical mama’s belly. So, I definitely need the narrator’s front seat to those tumultuous times.
May 10, 2021
The Human Life Exchange Rate Mechanism
Liberal Rights, Double Binds, the West, & the Rest
In our neoliberal societies, elites like to quantify the worth of human lives in various ways. A telling example is per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) that determines the economic contribution each citizen makes to a nation.
Such a view gives succor to Social Darwinists and free-market right-wingers. If some lives are more valuable than others in this formulation then why should those of lower value be aided by the wider community? While few elite figures today would say things like this out loud, similar calculi tacitly inform many political decisions.
May 22, 2021