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. 00150800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $6.00 a year; $8.00 foreign including Canada. Second class postage paid at Detroit MI.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the Planet

On Gogol Boulevard In Exile

“On Gogol Boulevard” is the bulletin of the New York City Neither East Nor West Group which gives support and aids in communication between Eastern European anarchists and dissidents and similar movements in the West. It has functioned since the early 1980s and until recently was published as an autonomous section of Love and Rage newspaper. At an L&R conference held in Atlanta during Thanksgiving 1992 a decision was made to drop the OGB section in favor of an expanded “International Section.”

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Tom Sykes
Call of Duterte Western Reporting on the Philippines Totalitarian Drift

“One hates to see Los Angeles go up in flames unless one’s got a camera running,” joked the British anarchist comedian Peter Cook after the 1992 LA riots. A variation on this idea applies to Western state-corporate media, which seldom covers the non-Western world unless it is gripped by disaster.

This is true of the Philippines today and its vicious president, Rodrigo Duterte, whose rule is characterized by a frenzied cocktail of leftish-style populism, state authoritarianism, cynical nationalism, toxic masculinity and, most appalling of all, the government-orchestrated mass-murder of drug abusers and traffickers.

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Paul Walker (Peter Werbe)
Rebellions Rock the World But, is there still a vision of revolution?

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Hong Kong, 2019

In the latter half of 2019, the streets of Hong Kong, Santiago, Barcelona, Baghdad, London, Paris, and Beirut were flooded with huge demonstrations demanding reforms or the removal of politicians.

All displayed the outward exuberance of mass revolutionary upsurges, but generally raised only demands for fair governance rather than revolutionary alterations of the countries in which they are occurring.

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Mitchel Cohen
The Third World Dumping Ground for the West

“To give food aid to a country just because they are starving is a pretty weak reason.”

—Henry Kissinger

Months before the United States sent troops to Somalia to supposedly protect food supply lines from the pilferage of “evil warlords,” Italy was completing arrangements to ship its toxic wastes to Somalia, with nary a protest from the U.S.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Was it Anarchy in Somalia?

“‘You just have to turn on a television to see that those people need help, and no one else is going to help them but us,’ said Todd Schuppert, a truck driver from Pekin, Ind.”

—New York Times, Dec. 1992

“Who tries to hold what flashes in the worldly storm will drown.”

—Taoist poem

“They want bases and the oil in Somalia,” I told Ed, looking into his intense, sad eyes. I was responding to the same question he posed to me during the Persian Gulf war. A former leftist, Ed wanted to know whether I believed “the U.S. could ever do anything good.”

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Jason Rodgers
Infomodities All the Psy-Ops that Fit the Screen

“News is the dialogue of fragmented power with itself. Notice how scientists, politicians or businessmen now complain that even they only learn about the events they manage from the news.

—“Some Fragmented Views from a Fragmented World” (Against Sleep and Nightmares)

Information bombardment from multiple media sources makes contemplation difficult. Everything is broken down into fragmented data having no relation to anything else presenting. It is superficially processed constantly. No rest, but neither exertion nor effort. Just continuous banality and superficiality.

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Muriel Lucas
The work of Glauber Rocha Film as Social Critique on Cinema

a review of

Glauber Rocha, Ismail Xavier, editor; I.B. Tauris, 2019

The fiftieth anniversary of the global upheavals of 1968 has provoked a spate of books examining political cinema and its relationship to the era.

It’s an almost frenzied demand to re-examine the camera as a weapon of rhetoric, and to grapple with cinema’s apparent decline as a radical medium over the decades.

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Peter Werbe
A history of a little Detroit printing co-op that gave us Society of the Spectacle & a lot more

a review of

The Politics of the Joy of Printing: The Detroit Printing Co-op by Danielle Aubert. Artbook/D.A.P.

The text of this history of the Detroit Printing Co-op is engaging enough by itself, even without its colorful, graphic-filled pages of the work produced in the decade beginning in 1970 at an all-volunteer project amidst the city’s industrial ruins.

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SK
Paris May-June 1968 The Joy of Revolution

a review of

Freedom in Solidarity: My Experiences in the May 1968 Uprising by Kadour Naimi; Translation and foreword by David Porter. AK Press, 2019 akpress.org

During times of social ferment like the present, there tends to be a reawakening of interest in past insurgencies, such as those of the May-June 1968 French uprising. So David Porter’s English translation of Kadour Naimi’s memoir of those transformative events is particularly timely.

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Wendy Wildflower
The U.S. War On Vietnam Reflection on a Refugee Journey

a review of

Among the Boat People: A Memoir of Vietnam by Nhi Manh Chung. Autonomedia 2019 autonomedia.org

“When wars are over, people only want to know who won, what exciting battles took place, and all that military idiocy. People never know what the innocent victims have to say.”

—poet and artist Yuko Otomo

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PW
Good Without God Raising Religion-Free Kids

a review of

Parenting Without God: How to Raise Moral, Ethical, and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogma Second edition by Dan Arel; forward by Jessica Mills. PM Press 2019

Although this may be beating a dead horse (that would be gods), there remains the pro-religionist argument that without God, anything is permissible. However, since under the sign of God, all horrors imaginable have occurred, it makes sense to look for a secular grounding for our ethics.

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Lowell Boileau
Religion: Aztec Style

“The Destruction of the Fifth Sun” is an allegory of justice based on the apocalyptic Aztec vision of the same name whereby the world and humanity ends in a cataclysm.

The central Mexican empire, dominant from 1300 to 1521, believed the doom could be delayed by daily ritualist human sacrifices in which the victims’ hearts were hacked from their chests by priests and the still pounding organs held aloft to the sun thereby appeasing the gods.

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Fifth Estate Collective
FE Books

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

Our Firm Convictions

Dear Fifth Estate:

I enjoy your publication and find it very thought provoking. As far as criticism of the existing social order is concerned, it is perhaps the most consistently inclusive I have run across. It is obvious to me that our current world is rife with injustice on a previously unimaginable magnitude, and is rapidly self-destructing.

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Fifth Estate Collective
News & Reviews

SLINGSHOT (700 Eshlecreature Hall, Berkeley, CA 94608) continues to be a thorough and thoughtful anarcho-newspaper from the always radical and socially tumultuous community of Berkeley. The Summer 1992 issue contains several interesting pieces of analysis on the Los Angeles rebellion and simultaneous uprisings throughout the world. Rather than resorting to reductionist cheerleading, the diverse collection of articles on LA provide a patchwork of revolutionary perspectives that reflect the event’s complexity and significance. The informative “News Briefs” about Berkeley and Jack Straw’s essay on psychedelic mushrooms balance out the issue.

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Various Authors
Anarchist Perspectives on AIDS FE Readers and Writers Disagree

Dear FE,

I was glad to see your discussion of my pamphlet, Misinformation and Manipulation: An Anarchist Critique of the Politics of AIDS, in your Spring 1992 issue (see “AIDS: Sex in the Safe: Repression & Treatment,” FE #339, Spring, 1992). However, I would like to comment on a few of the points raised in the article.

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Marilynn Rashid
Edge

(written on the 500th anniversary of the European “discovery” of the Americas)

Oh that he had fallen off the edge of the world.

Oh that there had been an edge to fall off,

an edge the natives knew and revered

sharp and well-defined

a cutting edge

the edge the fearful sailors dreamed of

a never-ending point of no return.

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Peter Werbe
Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief

a review of

Godless: 150 Years of Disbelief edited by Chaz Bufe; Introduction by Don Arel. PM Press, 2019 pmpress.org

More than a thousand years ago, a Chinese Zen master wrote: Magical power, Marvelous action! Chopping wood, Carrying water. The eleven essays assembled here by See Sharp Press publisher Chaz Bufe are effective diatribes against belief in gods that completely destroy every aspect and argument on which Christianity and other religions are based.

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Peter Linebaugh
How we can exit the era of ecological destruction & affirm life

a review of

Between Earth and Empire: From the Necrocene to the Beloved Community by John P. Clark. PM Press 2019 pmpress.org

John P. Clark is a major thinker, on a par with Wendell Berry, Thoreau, or Rebecca Solnit. He is an anarchist and an eco-socialist but label not required.

The book under review, Between Earth and Empire, expresses the hope and the fear. From the Necrocene to the Beloved Community is his subtitle. Necrocene is geological portending death as a result of statist, technocratic, patriarchal society. The beloved community is spiritual. The terms bestride the natural and the social.

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Jack Straw
Ariel Salleh
Will Guest

Marxism & Ecofeminism: An Exchange Mies vs. Marx--Round Two

FE NOTE: The following exchange concerns an interview done by Ariel Salleh with German ecofeminist author-activist Maria Mies, titled “Patriarchy and Progress: A Critique of Technological Domination,” and printed in FE #338, Winter 1992.

Dear Fifth Estate,

In a generally excellent issue, FE #338, Winter 1992, the interview with Maria Mies was disturbing in a number of ways. I would like to focus here on one major problem, her distortion of Marx’s ideas, which enables her to present him as a patriarchal techno-fixated materialist with no moral principles (as if he were indistinguishable from your average capitalist).

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Peter Werbe
In Havana? Conference on Trotsky?

It seems improbable that a conference was held in Havana last May to examine the life and ideas of the Russian Bolshevik, Leon Trotsky. One would think the Cuban Stalinist bureaucracy would be averse to allowing a gathering sympathetic to the Soviet dictator’s arch rival within the Russian ruling clique power struggle that occurred almost 100 years ago.

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SK
Anarchist Cuba A culture of resistance against capitalism & the state

a review of

Anarchist Cuba: Countercultural Politics in the Early Twentieth Century by Kirwin Shaffer. PM Press 2019

“...these anarchist rebels took part in a long tradition of imagining Cuba as an ‘island of dreams’ where humanity could create a free, healthy, educated, and egalitarian beacon for global liberation.”

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John Clark
Raging Against the Machine ...at the Dawn of the Anthropocene

a review of

Red Round Globe Hot Burning: A Tale at the Crossroads of Commons and Closure, of Love and Terror, of Race and Class, and of Kate and Ned Despard by Peter Linebaugh. University of California Press, 2019

The title of this fascinating and inspiring work comes from visionary poet William Blake (1757–1827). In one of his most memorable passages, Blake writes that “They told me that I had five senses to enclose me up, / And they inclos’d my infinite brain into a narrow circle,/ And sunk my heart into the Abyss, a red round globe hot burning/ Till all from life I was obliterated and erased.”

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Encyclopedie des Nuisances
An Address ...to Those Who Want to Manage the Nuisances Rather Than Suppress Them

This slightly abridged Encyclopedie des Nuisances text first appeared as a pamphlet in July 1990. In French, the term “nuisance” denotes a serious affliction, not a mere annoyance. Thus, the authors refer to “the State as the ultimate nuisance,” and challenge the reader to look beyond the mere management of our distress.

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Alice Detroit
A Victory for People Power British poll tax attacked

a review of

Poll Tax Rebellion by Danny Burns, Photographs by Mark Simmons, AK Press, Stirling, Scotland and Attack International, London, 202 pp.

Imagine the euphoria of making a government back down! Danny Burns’ vivid 200-page account of the popular and widespread rebellion against the British poll tax warms the heart.

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Kamal Islam
IWW Takes on the Freelance Journalist Gig Economy

The role of technology in social and class struggles has long been debated among opponents of capitalism and the state.

But one of the newest branches of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Freelance Journalists’ Union, or IWWFJU, shows that digital praxis, coupled with the radical labor organization’s century-old model of organizing, offers even the most precarious workers new possibilities for resistance to their century-old enemy: the employing class.

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Mary Wildwood
Dogbane Campion (David Watson)

Puppets Against Pollution Earth Council Condemns Incinerator

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Some 200 local residents turned out to show their opposition to the Detroit incinerator and the ongoing destruction of planetary life systems in early June. Following a dormant phase, this demonstration did much to clear away a pall hanging over our community since the incinerator restarted in 1990 and the Gulf War damaged our spirit.

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Counter-Information
Tory Government Retreats

The following report appeared in the March-May 1992 Counter-Information, c/o 11 Forth St., Edinburgh, EH1, Scotland. Their four-page publication is free, but they welcome donations.

Over 12 million people are refusing to pay the unjust poll tax. People power has forced the Tories to announce its future abolition.

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John Zerzan
Transhumanism? Apocalypse Soon?

Transhumanism, which rarely rates a mention in the media, suddenly had a brief moment of infamy recently due to the reported interest in it by the late, evil, child sex trafficker, Jeffry Epstein.

Transhumanism claims that by utilizing technology it can artificially enhance the human body, and, if pursued far enough, will solve everything including victory over death, as futurist Ray Kurzweil and others promise. It involves a headlong leap of faith, viewing advanced technology as a transcendent breakthrough. Bio-ethecist Amy Michelle Debaets termed transhumanism “the Rapture of the geeks.”

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Red Wood
Execution and Riot Scenes from a California maul

Within the space of two weeks in April and May of this year, California was rocked by two events that shook its image as the locus and realization of the American dream. Coming on the heels of the damage caused by shifting tectonic plates in the northern and southern regions of the state, Californians were reminded that they were subject to cataclysmic changes in their political as well as their geological topography. That such subterranean violence broke out into the open was a reminder that notions about progress and stability were built on shaky material foundations.

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Sunfrog
Pornography & Pleasure Beyond capital, beyond patriarchy

After years of reading essays in the seemingly endless debate over pornography in the feminist and anarchist milieu, one of many questions reverberates with the most resonance for me: will pornography exist in utopia?

Ellen Willis, in her essay “Feminism, Morality and Pornography,” states: “I imagine that in utopia, porn would wither away along with the state, heroin, and Coca-Cola.” But even in utopia, won’t some of us still write and make pictures that express our deepest erotic secrets and desires?

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Gulf War Lies, Lies, More Lies

The intricate web of lies fielded by the U.S. to hide the real reasons for its 1991 attack on Iraq has been further exposed (see Spring and Summer 1991 FEs for earlier disclosures). Realizing that the American people would not support a war to protect Persian Gulf oil profits, President Bush contrived a hobgoblin, depicting Saddam Hussein with a nuclear bomb. He presented this as an imminent threat and the reason why the war had to be prosecuted immediately rather than waiting for slower-acting sanctions. Now we find hidden away in the pages of the May 20, 1992 New York Times was the information that an international gathering of nuclear weapons designers had concluded, after looking at all the available evidence, that Iraq was 3 to 5 years away from developing a bomb and may even have faced insurmountable obstacles.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Detroit Seen

Welcome to the Fall 1992 Fifth Estate. No, you didn’t miss an issue. Summer just sort of went by and we never got an issue out. As usual, you can probably expect only one more edition this year. Even though we print only three times a year (officially we are a quarterly), it is heartening to continue to receive the support we do from readers. Our usual thanks to all of you—sustainers, subscribers and book store buyers—for making this project continue.

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Lone Wolf Circles
Earth First! Again Report from the 1992 EF! Gathering

Fifth Estate note: The 12th annual Earth First! Round River Rendezvous (RRR) was held in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, June 28-July 5, with a direct action against an Amoco Corp. facility immediately after it.

Lone Wolf Circles, a long-time EF! activist, contributes the following report of the RRR and his impressions of it.

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Suzanne Freeman
Let Us Now Praise Idle Men (and Women)

It’s time to celebrate

the Late-sleepers

and merry drinkers,

the loafers & slackers & slow-pokes.

The ones on permanent vacation,

unhurried and unworried,

the rose-smellers & growing-grass watchers, what harm

did they ever do?

How about a cheer

for siesta snoozers

and Lazy losers,

the long joke-tellers

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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. 00150800) is published quarterly at 4632 Second Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48201 USA; phone (313) 831–6800. Office hours vary, so please call before visiting. Subscriptions are $6.00 a Year; $8.00 foreign including Canada. Second class postage paid at Detroit, MI. No copyright. No paid advertisements.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Tales from the planet

Erik Larsen, probably the best known military resister to Operation Desert Storm, was released from a Marine brig at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, April 15. He served five months of a six month sentence. Even though many other resisters, especially those of color, remain imprisoned, the Larsen case is a victory, not only for Erik, but for the entire GI support movement.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
The Berkman Conference

A few days before the commencement in Pittsburgh of the July 23rd conference, “A Remembrance of Alexander Berkman, The Man Who Shot Frick,” Sunfrog and I headed for a little town on the Pennsylvania/West Virginia border called Confluence where several rivers come together. We figured if rafting was good enough for Earth First! founder, Dave Foreman, maybe we should give it a try as well.

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Mitchel Cohen
The U.N. & the Debt Toxic Imperialism

Last December, Lawrence Summers the chief economist for the World Bank issued a surprisingly forthright memorandum to other senior World Bank staff in which he called for the distribution of toxic wastes and pollution away from the big industrialized nations and into relatively non-polluted areas of the world, as a means of rectifying the current toxic “imbalance.” “I’ve always thought,” Summers wrote, “that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted; their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City.”

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anon.
When someone invites you to vote, JUST SAY NO!

They’re hee-ere! Yes, folks, it’s the quadrennial electoral charade where power-seeking charlatans attempt to craft tricky speeches and programs designed to convince people to abandon common sense and reason and elect them to political office.

Although one of the fast-talking money boys glad-handing the populace will eventually attain the position of chief executive officer of the Empire, he will attain this status only through the participation of a minority, one growing smaller with each election.

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David Rovics
After the Buses Burned Will Van Spronsen’s Final Act Against Evil

In the early hours of July 13, Will Van Spronsen was shot to death by police outside of an ICE-contracted private detention facility holding migrants in Tacoma, Wash. He was confronted by police in a parking lot full of buses; buses that were to be used to deport large numbers of migrants in a coordinated, nationwide action launched by the Trump administration. Will was trying to destroy as many buses as possible.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Censors are Sick!

From time to time over the past 25 years, a motley collection of cops, principals, prosecutors, factory foremen, army sergeants, prison wardens, mall owners, shop keepers and vigilantes have tried to interfere with the circulation of this newspaper. Almost always because, as the FBI once put it, the Fifth Estate “supports the cause of revolution everywhere.” The bastions of authority hate our message of indiscipline and freedom and have gone to great lengths in attempts to suppress it.

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David Watson
The Fall of the 500-Year Reich 1492–1992

“How can the spirit of the earth like the White man?...Everywhere the White man has touched it, it is sore.”

—a woman of the Wintu tribe (California)

Among the many places too numerous to name that have been defiled and destroyed by western civilization, there is a mountain in a place called Arizona, a mountain called Dzil nchaa si an (Big Seated Mountain) in the language of the earliest known human inhabitants, Mount Graham on modern maps. This is the abode of the Spirit Dancers (Ga’an), who taught the Apaches their sacred songs and dances. It is the highest peak in the Pinaleno Mountains, situated at the meeting place of four biotic zones—the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts and the Rocky Mountain and Sierra Madre forests.

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Ron Sakolsky
The Marvelous Dance of Anarchy & Individuality On the occasion of Emma Goldman’s 150th Birthday

“There is no individuality without liberty, and liberty is the greatest menace to authority.”

—Emma Goldman, The Individual, Society and the State (1937)

The figure of Emma Goldman still looms large on the anarchist horizon, not least because of her passion for proclaiming the liberty necessary for individuality to flourish as an essential ingredient of any social revolution worthy of the name.

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Lewis Cannon
Detroit Incinerator Now Part of Landscape Evergreen Alliance in Semi-Coma

The Detroit trash incinerator, focus of years of opposition in the community, continues to operate in spite of numerous technical, legal and financial problems. Since last Winter, the City of Detroit has been involved in negotiations to sell the facility to Phillip Morris Capital Co., part of the cigarette manufacturer’s commercial empire, in exchange for a complicated series of tax breaks. The $600 million complex would go to Phillip Morris for $51 million, but it would be leased by the incinerator authority and Combustion Engineering, which constructed and operates it. In exchange for the lease, Phillip Morris could claim tax write-offs for depreciation and credits for investment—a fancy shell game which would ultimately make the city taxpayers responsible for any failure.

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Armando Jaleo
Has Civilization Failed? Don’t Ask Noam Chomsky!

What he said in Anarchy

The failure of civilization: it has been given some eight thousand years to prove itself a superior mode of life to the ninety-nine percent of previous human existence, primarily in tribal, communal, mostly egalitarian societies. Has the transformation to complex civilizations made the species more peaceable, more communal, more egalitarian, or has it had the opposite effect? Let us consider not civilization’s ideal, but rather what might be termed “real-existing” civilization.

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Val Salvo (Peter Werbe
Hayduke Lives! Too Bad! Book review

a review of

Hayduke Lives! by Edward Abbey, Little, Brown, Co., Boston, 1990

Hayduke lives? Well, after reading the late Edward Abbey’s sequel to his 1976 novel, The Monkeywrench Gang, one almost wishes the “wilderness avenger, industrial saboteur, night-time trouble-maker, barroom brawler, free-time lover...” had not made it safely off the cliff where we had assumed he plunged to his death at the end of the first book.

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Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Texas Anarchist

Howdy, Fifth Estate!

There is some serious stuff happening here in Austin. A liberated Learning Collective has been established. Part of it is a how-to course to teach would-be publishers to use the L LC press to produce their own news papers.

I’m taking this class with the hope to put out my Anarchist networking newsletter for Texas and the bordering states. Hopefully, this will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for Anarchists in the region.

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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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