Mikal Jakubal
Live Wild Or Die The Other EF!

Introduction

FE NOTE: When we first published a critique of the deep ecology movement last fall (“How Deep Is Deep Ecology? A Challenge to Radical Environmentalism,” [FE #327, Fall, 1987] available through our book service for $.75 plus postage), we did so not simply to criticize, but also to connect with people in that movement (outside the handful of “leaders” and stars) who might share or at least be open to a vision that recognizes the interrelated character of the industrial-capitalist (work-commodity) system, mass technics, statism and empire, and the destruction of nature and human societies. The articles printed here are a result of such connections (which is not to imply that the writers agree entirely with us, either). We hope to continue our dialogue and collaboration with EF! people where possible while furthering our discussion of environmental politics.

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Maurice Spira
His-story Lesson

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Maurice Spira, “His-story Lesson,” 1983, acrylic on paper

I conceived of “His-story Lesson” as being like a little lecture, demonstrating the development that can be observed as a central tendency, throughout all of human history. Our lecturer is holding his spray can, which is a symbol of hostile technology: it could be destroying the ozone layer or it could be for graffiti, or it could be poison, some toxic substance, it could be mace, whatever comes in a can, it could be hairspray or some hideous perfume out of the drugstore. He’s wrapped in a map of the world to emphasize the essential underpinning of human development and progress on this planet which has always been conquest and domination...in effect colonialism, colonial expansion. Up on the wall to the right you have the factory system, you have the pyramids which represent the ancient bureaucratic state, you have some other little motifs which have to do with the pillars of society—the judiciary, the church and so on. To the left of the lecturer is Roman time, symbolized by a clock with no hands, and below it is our lethal contemporary obsession with cybernetic time and the so-called information revolution which is nothing but an insane and obnoxious plot to fill up all us empty vessels—apparently we’re all empty vessels to be filled up with all this worthless bullshit that technocratic civilization deems purposeful, which I reject out of hand.

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Interrogations
“The Decadence of Capital” An Alibi For “Progress”?

FE Note: The essay below explores and criticizes the theory of the “decadence of capitalism,” a view held by several ultra-left sects here and in Europe. This view contends (a la Marx) that capital once had a dynamic phase in which it created the material base for a transition to socialism, but since the advent of World War I in 1914 has entered a decadent phase marked by cycles of war, reconstruction, depression and war again.

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Randall Restless
The Yellowstone Fires Burn, Baby, Burn!

Outside my window a dusting of snow frosts the ground and an October moon illuminates a wintry night. It is hard to believe that, little more than a month ago, the air was acrid with woodsmoke, hot, dry winds raked the baked earth, and the town hummed with hysteria like an over-stoked furnace. Yellowstone was afire.

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Le Brise-Glace
Palestine The Future of a Rebellion

from Le Brise-Glace, No. 1, translated by Lorraine Perlman

However repressive it may have been from its very origins, Zionism represented a movement of emancipation for many oppressed Jews. Once Israel was established, Zionism—whether left or right—has been nothing more than a project to defend a state which, to survive, is condemned to practice a policy of apartheid internally and imperialism externally, where the constant recollection of past adversity serves as a justification for present coercion.

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Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Stopping the Incinerator, Starting the Movement A Response

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From photography collection ‘Resistance to the Detroit Incinerator, 1986–1990.’ All black and white images: Millard Berry.

There were a number of inaccurate and misleading statements made in E. B. Maple’s both congratulatory and critical article on the Evergreen Alliance and its May Mobilization to Save the Great Lakes in the last issue [FE #329, Summer, 1988].

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Agnes Stewart
The Misfit Fiction

Dedicated to the Clayoquot people of Meares Island

No one in the small rural village knew exactly how old the fir tree was. To one native old-timer, it was a survivor from the days of his ancestors. The tree had been enormous even in his youth.

It stood, tall and majestic, a solitary tree near the edge of a cliff in a small park. From the foot of the tree, its roots went deep into the earth. Surrounding the tree at its trunk was soft, thick grass where many generations of children had played. Below the cliff, on the sea, people in their small boats sought it as an infallible landmark. To the young, it symbolized romance; to the old, it gave peace.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

We can tell when it’s been a long time between issues when we start getting letters from subscribers asking if they’ve missed an issue or it we’ve stopped publishing. This issue is the third we’ve published this year, which doesn’t meet our official status as a quarterly, but this should not be taken as a measure of our enthusiasm for our project. While this past year has seen both personal and other commitments interrupt our plans for publishing more issues, 1989 could be an improvement. We are simultaneously preparing a special issue along with this one which will feature a further investigation by George Bradford into the philosophy of deep ecology, the grounding of environmental ethics and concepts of wilderness. This will come out hopefully early in February.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Bill Blank

Evergreen 19 Beat Rap As Incinerator Fires Up

http://www.dev.fifthestate.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/watson-incinerator.jpgA minor victory in the midst of an ongoing major disaster, the “Evergreen 19” have walked free, but only from the stench of a courtroom. After prolonged exposure to exhausting testimony on our disorderly conduct charges and a judge who later admitted he wanted us punished with maximum fines, a sympathetic jury found us not guilty in the May 1988 sit-in demonstration at the construction site of the world’s largest trash incinerator (see FE #328, Summer 1988). But as the defendants cheered and hugged one another, the smoke and ash from test burns floated over our community and the Great Lakes region.

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Ben Johnson
Report from Korea

The cars, cabs, trucks, and buses of Seoul constitute the worst traffic I’ve ever seen. I didn’t dare jay-walk during the entire week I was there. Students know how to stop traffic though: just use, or threaten to use, Molotovs.

In late October, about two dozen delegates arrived from almost as many countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere to attend the first International Seminar for World Peace sponsored by the Federation of Anarchists in Korea (FAK). Rather than trying to recover from severe jet-lag on our first full day in Seoul, a handful of us said to ourselves: “Hey let’s go to a university and meet some student radicals!” While some might have argued this to be a needlein-a-haystack situation, given Seoul’s population of around nine million, we figured that at least it was a good opportunity to see more of the city and less of the hotel we were collectively booked into.

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Fifth Estate Collective
1989 Anarchist Gathering in San Francisco

Plans are under way for the 1989 continental anarchist gathering tentatively scheduled for July 30-August 7 in San Francisco. Since the 1986 Haymarket centenary commemoration, there have been yearly anarchist assemblies with a 1987 meeting in Minneapolis and Toronto this year. About 1,000 people attended the 1988 gathering (FE Summer 1988); planners are expecting upwards of 3,000 participants for a variety of political and cultural events. The FE will have a full schedule as soon as it is available.

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Howard Besser
Anarchists at Korean Peace Conference

The Korean Anarchist Federation hosted an international peace conference October 28–31 in Seoul. Approximately two dozen delegates from 15 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America attended, with all expenses paid for by the Korean comrades.

It was a rather formal academic conference held in a hall that resembled a City Council’s chambers. Each delegate presented a paper related to the general topic of international peace, and most of the papers reflected an anarchist perspective. Papers covered the relationship between military technology and capitalism, the necessity of world revolution to assure international peace, the de-radicalization that occurs when peace groups lobby governmental bodies, the necessity of assuring alternative sources of information regarding radical movements, and a number of other topics. [The published complete text of all the talks is available (in english and korean) from: Professor Ha Ki Rak, 706–022 Suseongku, Manchon 2-Dong 990–44, Taegu, Korea.]

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Fifth Estate Collective
Corrections

Although we’ve gotten an excellent response from last issue’s article, “Industrial Domestication” [FE #329, Summer, 1988] which originally appeared in the French magazine Os Cangaceiros, we were informed by the translators that we had inadvertently typeset it from a working, rather than final, version.

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Fifth Estate Collective
About This Issue

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Welcome to our Fall 2020 edition. It immediately follows our Spring number, so you haven’t missed an issue. How glorious yet challenging when reality becomes so radical that it easily outstrips anything the printed word can provide. Still, we think the articles in this issue bring a unique perspective to the crises of race and pandemic the world faces. A great reckoning is at hand around the question of racial justice, while the Covid-19 virus raises the question of whether mass civilization can meet the existential challenge it poses. This is the time to advocate and act for what we need for justice and perhaps existence. The old ways spell only disaster.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Art in the Fifth Estate

p. 4, 14, 25 Dennis Fox writes and has taught about the intersections of anarchism, law/justice, radical/critical psychology, and interpersonal connection. dennisfox.net He explores abstract, street, ft other forms of photography dennisfoxphoto.com

p. 6 Tylonn J. Sawyer lives and works in Detroit as a multidisciplinary artist educator and curator. His work juxtaposes themes of identity, both individual and collective, with investigations of race and history in popular culture. tylonn-j-sawyer.com

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

The Fifth Estate newspaper (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201 USA.

Phone (313) 831–6800.

Subscriptions: $5.00 per year; $7.00 per year foreign including Canada.

Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan.

No copyright. No paid ads.

Postmaster: Send address changes to Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 02548, Detroit MI 48202.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

For over five years, villagers in Portugal have been battling the mass planting of eucalyptus trees, a “quick money,” fast-growing, drought resistant tree which, according to its advocates, provides a good light fuel and prevents soil erosion.

In reality, the eucalyptus planting is truly life-threatening for what remains of Portugal’s small farming communities. The tree, which drives its roots deep into the ground, robs the villages of their already meager water supplies, quickly drying up the wells and small streams.

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Alice Detroit
Concentration Camps USA Review

a review of

Keeper of Concentration Camps: Dillon S. Myer and American Racism, by Richard Drinnon, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1987, 340 pp. $24.95.

Although it was his profession, “a keeper of concentration camps” was hardly Dillon S. Myer’s self-image. He considered himself to be an enlightened administrator, a tolerant, generous individual who incorporated what is best in the American tradition. In focusing on Myer’s career as chief of the War Relocation Authority which incarcerated Japanese-Americans during W.W. II and later as commissioner of the Bureau of Indian affairs, Richard Drinnon agrees that Myer is a typical representative of the American tradition but insists on the odious effects of his practice.

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Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

The Alternative Press Center, Box 33109, Baltimore MD 21218, indexes this newspapers and dozens more radical, socialist, feminist and alternative publications as well. They have just released the 1988–89 Directory of Alternative and Radical Publications with over 300 periodicals listed; $3. They also publish quarterly the Alternative Press Index, which lists 200 alternative publications by subject; individuals $30 per year; Libraries $110.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Bookstore

The FE Bookstore is located at 4632 Second Ave., just south of W. Forest, in Detroit. We share space with the Fifth Estate Newspaper and may be reached at the same phone number: (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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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Yo!

I’m reading the latest (FE #328, Spring 1988) and finding it enjoyable as always, I would like to take issue, however, with your slam on the Revolutionary Socialist League (RSL). [See “Even More Minneapolis Anarchy,” FE #328, Spring, 1988.]

It appears to me that your anti-organizational ideology is blinding you to the real activity of real people.

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John Zerzan
Agriculture: Essence of Civilization

Introduction

Almost all John Zerzan essays feature accompanying introductions in which the word most frequently used to describe his method and conclusions is “provocative,” (see, for instance, Anarchy, Summer 1987). Some may think this only an ugly little term meant to distance a publication from the wild assertions that John so often makes in his writings (“wild,” by the way, is a word which I know he will not take as a pejorative). Realistically though, provocative accurately describes what is the common reaction to reading a Zerzan article—you are provoked, to anger or to thought.

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Olchar E. Lindsann
Artists, Anarchists & Concierges Battle in 19th Century Bohemian Paris

In the musical Rent, the archetypal hip, Lower East Side New York Bohemian protagonists call their landlord “the enemy of Avenue A” when he enters their chosen coffee shop, in the song “La Vie Bohême.” The title recalls that of the Puccini opera, La Bohême, on which Rent is based.

This in turn was based on stories published by the French writer Henry Murger in 1851, that established the archetype of the urban, artistic, liberal Bohemian that still prevails in gentrifying areas throughout today’s world.

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Bill Weinberg
World War 3 Illustrated Review

a review of

World War 3 Illustrated

Assorted Authors & Artists

AK Press akpress.org ww3.nyc

This graphic zine started by art-activists and squatters on New York’s Lower East Side back in the Reagan 1980s (hence, the apocalyptic name), has just published its 51st issue.

There’s the sense of an historical cycle completing, as this edition grapples with the actually near-apocalyptic realities of Trump’s America—and windows of possibility they open. “Pandemic as Portal,” announces a full-page image by artist Kill Joy; “The time is now—imagine another world and fight for it.”

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Marieke Bivar
This Is What Direct Democracy Looks Like Book review

a review of

Deciding For Ourselves: The Promise of Direct Democracy, Cindy Milstein, Editor. AK Press, 2020, akpress.org

“There are always movements, societies and communities in existence that are intimate and locally organized, where no one person owns every damn thing, and people can talk to each other and work things out among themselves; where everybody is relatively equal. Our most immediate work should be to learn how to adjust our vision so we can see these examples for what they are.”

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Bob McGlynn
Anarchism in Eastern Europe Letters from Poland

FE Note: The following letter comes to us from Bob McGlynn of On Gogol Boulevard, a bulletin of Soviet and Eastern Bloc opposition to the official regimes OGB is available from 151 1st Ave., No. 62, NY NY 10003 and attempts to link individuals and groups in the West with the existing and emerging trends in the East for mutually supportive actions.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchy in Toronto The 1988 Gathering

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Top: Sunday in the park spontaneous music and dancing were continuous.
Middle: We were treated to a variety of performances, including poetry, improvisational jazz, acoustic and electric music, and theater.
Bottom: It is interesting to note that although the police were not in control of the demonstrators they did have some finely tuned methods of dealing with them. A protestor grabbed by an officer was quickly isolated as mounted police surrounded them pushing the crowd outward while police on foot reinforced the widening circle.
Photos by Rebecca Cook

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E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Edward Abbey: We Rest Our Case

Edward Abbey, author of the fictional eco-sabotage novel, The Monkeywrench Gang, and numerous other volumes on the Southwestern deserts and wilderness is both the eminence grise and bête noire of Earth First! Abbey is highly revered by the EF! leadership and many of its supporters for his eloquence in expressing a sense of things wild, but also for his misanthropic irreverence towards “humanistic” values.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Nine Months for Israeli Graffiti

Adam Keller, editor of The Other Israel (newsletter of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace) was arrested April 15 while on reserve duty in Israel. According to the May-June issue of the newsletter, he is accused of painting slogans opposing military service in the occupied territories on 117 military vehicles (tanks, armored personnel carriers, and trucks) and of posting “Stop the Occupation” stickers and distributing leaflets in the military base. On May 11 Keller was found guilty of “insubordination and of publication and distribution of written propaganda liable to undermine army discipline.” He was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment, fined, and demoted from corporal to private.

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Various Authors
Deep Ecology Debate Continues Earth First!ers Respond

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On April 27, eight of us from Detroit, including people from the Fifth Estate staff, traveled 200 miles north to Cadillac, Michigan to participate in the Earth First! initiated “Days of Outrage Against the U.S. Forest Service.” The Forest Service has been selling off large chunks of wilderness areas and national forests to rapacious logging concerns which have destroyed millions of acres of trees. The USFS has opened areas to logging by an extensive road building program which destroys habitat and wildlife and plans an additional 50,000 miles if they are not stopped. The EF! action brought out people in 40 locations around the country including ours at the headquarters of the Manistee/Huron National Forests. EF! has an important brochure detailing the danger posed by the Forest Service; contact Earth First!, P.O. Box 5871, Tucson AZ 85703. A dollar for postage would be appreciated.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Election Eve Massacre Leaflet from France 1988

FE Note: The following is a reprint of a leaflet distributed in France following the pre-election May 5, 1988 massacre on New Caledonia which resulted in the release of 23 hostages, but left 19 native people, Kanaks, and two French gendarmes dead.

The French army has once again accomplished one of its familiar exploits: its shock troops spent eight hours massacring nineteen rebels. The electoral schemes of scoundrels have caused the deaths of yet more Kanaks.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Bits of the World in Brief

It is two hundred years since the European invasion of Australia. The resistance that was begun then by Australian Aborigines continues today. While the presentation of a sanitized version of history takes place on the TV screens of the nation, the original inhabitants of the continent have declared 1988 a Year of Mourning and Commitment to Struggle.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Hi, remember us? We put out a paper called the Fifth Estate every once in a while. Seriously though, we hope the reports of events in this issue such as the protests against the Detroit incinerator and the Toronto Anarchist Gathering give the idea that we’ve been doing more than just lazing about since our last issue. In fact, the last seven months have probably been the most active ones we’ve experienced in recent memory.

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Leopold Roc
Industrial Domestication Industry as the Origins of Modern Domination

“If science was put to the service of capital, the recalcitrant worker’s docility would be assured.”

—Andrew Ure, Philosophie des manufactures, 1835

“In the past, if anyone called a tradesman a worker, he risked a brawl. Today, when they are told that workers are what is best in the state, they all insist on being workers.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Masthead

The Fifth Estate newspaper (ISSN No. 0015–0800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit MI 48201 USA.

Phone (313) 831–6800.

Subscriptions: $5.00 per year; $7.00 per year foreign including Canada. Second Class postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. No copyright. No paid ads. Postmaster: Send address changes to Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 02548, Detroit MI 48202.

Jacques Camatte
May-June 1968--The Exposure (excerpt)

FE Note: What follows are thoughts on the revolutionary upsurge which shook France 20 years ago. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the message is that revolt is possible in modern society. In ours today, it is not the cops which prevent revolt, but the inertia of what is--the weight of the present.

The introductory section is from the fine new magazine, No Picnic, Spring 1988, Box 69393, Stn. K, Vancouver BC, Canada V5K 4W6; $1.50 per issue. The piece from Fredy Perlman, written from a participant’s viewpoint, appeared in Worker-Student Action Committees, co-authored by R. Gregoire, 1968, $2 from FE Books. The excerpt from Jacques Camatte appeared originally in FE #295, November 3, 1978 and is available at $1. Also recommended is Paris: May 1968, by Solidarity, available from FE Books for $3.

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E.B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
May Protests in Detroit Stopping the Incinerator, Starting the Movement

After months of intense organizing, Detroit’s Evergreen Alliance carried off a four-day “Mobilization to Save the Great Lakes,” May 13–16, centered around opposition to the world’s largest trash incinerator scheduled to open in May 1989.

http://www.dev.fifthestate.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/watson-incinerator.jpgActivities included 19 arrests for civil disobedience, a mass march and two educational forums, all of which brought public and participant attention to the ecological crisis facing the Great Lakes region as the quality of air, water and land continues to be in severe jeopardy.

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No Picnic
The Battle for France May/June 1968

FE Note: What follows are thoughts on the revolutionary upsurge which shook France 20 years ago. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the message is that revolt is possible in modern society. In ours today, it is not the cops which prevent revolt, but the inertia of what is--the weight of the present.

The introductory section is from the fine new magazine, No Picnic, Spring 1988, Box 69393, Stn. K, Vancouver BC, Canada V5K 4W6; $1.50 per issue. The piece from Fredy Perlman, written from a participant’s viewpoint, appeared in Worker-Student Action Committees, co-authored by R. Gregoire, 1968, $2 from FE Books. The excerpt from Jacques Camatte appeared originally in FE #295, November 3, 1978 and is available at $1. Also recommended is Paris: May 1968, by Solidarity, available from FE Books for $3.

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Fredy Perlman
Roger Gregoire

Worker-Student Action Committees (excerpt) May/June 1968

FE Note: What follows are thoughts on the revolutionary upsurge which shook France 20 years ago. Although ultimately unsuccessful, the message is that revolt is possible in modern society. In ours today, it is not the cops which prevent revolt, but the inertia of what is--the weight of the present.

The introductory section is from the fine new magazine, No Picnic, Spring 1988, Box 69393, Stn. K, Vancouver BC, Canada V5K 4W6; $1.50 per issue. The piece from Fredy Perlman, written from a participant’s viewpoint, appeared in Worker-Student Action Committees, co-authored by R. Gregoire, 1968, $2 from FE Books. The excerpt from Jacques Camatte appeared originally in FE #295, November 3, 1978 and is available at $1. Also recommended is Paris: May 1968, by Solidarity, available from FE Books for $3.

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Mike Wold
The Economics & Politics of Gentrification Book review

a review of

Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State by Samuel Stein, 2019, Verso

Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents by Matthew L. Schuerman, 2019, University of Chicago Press

The city where I live, Seattle, once was affordable. Thirty years ago, it was possible to find a decent place to rent at a reasonable cost; and if you had a little money, you could get a mortgage for not much more than you were paying in rent.

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Francesco Dalessandro
The Forgotten Anarchist Commune in Manchuria Where World War II Began

During World War II the famous Hollywood filmmaker Frank Capra was commissioned by the U.S. Military to make a seven-part documentary film series titled “Why We Fight.” Its purpose was to counter Nazi propaganda films and justify U.S. involvement in the war to soldiers and civilians.

The first film in the series, “Prelude to War,” locates the origin of the conflict in the Japanese invasion and conquest of Manchuria in 1929 through 1932. But there were less known equally significant goings on in Manchuria that the film does not present. These have also been left out of most books and articles covering the history of the area.

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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;

...

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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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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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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Kate Ennals
The Hangover in New York After Wislawa Szymborska’s “The End and The Beginning”

Note: Hangovers are cantilevered buildings in New York City. Italics are quotes from Wislawa Szymborska’s poem.

Arise! Time to leave squalor, filth behind

the wars, carts of corpses, sludge and ashes

instead, let’s build heavens in New York’s blue skies

ignore the shards of glass, the bloody rags below

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