Fifth Estate Collective
No War (centerfold poster) Centerfold poster

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NO WAR

NO PRESIDENT

NO AYATOLLAH

NO GOD

NO STATE

NO POPE

NO NATIONALISM

NO MILITARY

NO RELIGION

NO IDEOLOGY

NO LEADERS

NO FOLLOWERS

DESTROY THAT WHICH DESTROYS YOU

Fifth Estate, P.O. Box 201016, Ferndale, MI 48220

Fifth Estate Collective
Queer Anarchy reprint of cover, FE #342, Summer 1993

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“We want non-hierarchical community, the post-nuclear extended family, the circle of erotic and social realization. The ‘Movement,’ defined by an emerging les-bi-garistocracy that embraces the socio-cultural assumptions of the heteropatriarchy is not our movement. Queer anarchy loves and fucks and theorizes and shouts and fucks-shit-up in the face of queer consumerism.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
20 Years of the Fifth Estate reprint from FE #322, Winter/Spring 1986

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On the occasion of a past anniversary, we noted that the Fifth Estate had been described by the FBI in its files as “supporting the causes of revolution everywhere.” It has been a pleasure and an honor, a calling and a commitment over the past twenty years for the hundreds of people who have comprised the newspaper staff and the hundreds of thousands of readers to make that description accurate. In an age dominated by a mass media whose message is that no resistance exists to the empire and its culture, we are proud to be one of the many centers that boldly announces that this is not true.

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Romances with Wolves and Birds
AIDS: Sex in the Safe reprint from FE #339, Spring 1992

“Safe sex” has put sex in the safe. The three number combination lock reads: heterosexuality (two turns to the right), ultra-monogamy (two more turns to the right), and condoms (one reluctant turn to the left), unlocking the Final Solution for the far right. Even if AIDS isn’t the result of covert germ warfare testing, the CIA couldn’t have created a better weapon against the subculture of drug use and “deviant” sex.

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Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Detroit, Demolished by Design: Violence, Racism, and Collapse of Community reprint from FE #335, Winter 1990–91

The tales of violence go on-and-on.

There is a bold arrogance that comes with class privilege and economic security and comfort. Certainly there are exceptions, but for the most part there is little or no sympathy in affluent communities for the plight of the poor, the homeless, the unemployed.

¿“Te compadeces de los destechados?” I asked one of my students, after explaining the Spanish verbal phrase “to sympathize with” and the noun for the homeless, “los destechados.” No, he answered, in slow, perfect Spanish, I don’t sympathize with the homeless. And when asked why not, he confidently explained that there were plenty of jobs for people if they really wanted to work, and then went on to complain about welfare fraud. A middle-class black student, whose family recently moved to the suburbs from the city, denounced AIDS victims, telling me they got what they deserved, they made their choices, opted to take drugs, chose to be gay or not to use condoms.

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Sunfrog
Still From Detroit: Fifth Estate reflection Cass Corridor to Pumpkin Hollow

Gritty and grimy to the core, inner-city Detroit was a daily regimen of gravel and glass.

Detroit defines the impossibility and the necessity of Fifth Estate. To advocate a complete break from autocratic technotopia yet tolerate the harsh topography required by the automobile; to desire a primitive, communal, eclectic new world while daily enduring the insults of the old world; to publish an intelligent and irreverent response to the inadequacies and inanities of modern life, even as a desperate plea pitched to a small audience--to do all these things despite the distractions of driving and wage work amid the vast exurban expanses of a postmodern megatropolis requires a testy combination of courage, vision, and recklessness.

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Halley’s Comet
Black and Red Press keeps Gutenberg and Lenin in their Graves reprint from FE #202, January 1974

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Fredy Perlman with the cover of Letters of Insurgents at Detroit’s Black and Red Print co-op, 1976

Though little known locally, Black and Red prints some of the most inflammatory and socially relevant material that has ever fanned the flames of discontent.

A variety of concepts mark themes in Black and Red literature: Fetishism, estrangement of power, spectacularization of social relations, all manner of alienating effects that happen when people live under the domination of a ruling class. The books document how people reproduce the institutions that dominate them, and how that domination is done largely because people are unaware of the many forms oppression takes.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Burn All Flags reprint from FE #332 Summer 1989

On March 21, four people demonstrated at the Federal Bldg. in downtown Detroit for the right to be anti-patriotic. In so doing, they burned a small American flag, much to the outrage of passersby and security guards.

The date of the protest coincided with a US Supreme Court hearing of a criminal conviction of a demonstrator who also burned a flag as a political statement at the 1984 Dallas Republican convention. We give full support to all acts of flag desecration and encourage others to commit similar provocations.

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David Porter
Emma Goldman: An Appreciation reprint from FE 334 Summer 1990

50 years after her death

More successfully than any other figure in US history, Emma Goldman communicated an anarchist vision to a broad audience of immigrants, native-born middle-class, and workers.

Goldman’s fundamentally anarchist self-identity and vision of political change are elements neglected or misinterpreted by some of her biographers.

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Fifth Estate Collective
John Zerzan
Paula Zerzan
E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
Bob Brubaker

Examining Zerzan Excerpts from Fifth Estate history

Much of primitivist theorist John Zerzan’s early work appeared in the Fifth Estate. His Cassandra-like predictions of imminent collapse of modern society began in 1976 with his FE article, “The Decline and Fall of Everything”--a compendium of statistics of social dislocation.

With the FE, he explained the human dilemma as rooted in the institutions of civilization itself. He indicted not only agriculture, but also music, art, numbers, and even language itself as being the agents of human alienation. His provocative and often maddening articles that appeared in these pages were always answered by counter-critiques from our staff and led to feisty exchanges of letters. Eventually, we parted company with him.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Fredy Perlman: An Appreciation reprint from FE #321, October 1985

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of our friend and comrade, Fredy Perlman, who died while undergoing heart surgery in Detroit on July 26, 1985.

Radical means “at the root,” and such was the radical perspective of Fredy Perlman. As in theory, so in one’s practical activity, one’s life. The problem was to exercise one’s freedom appropriately to become a “masterless” human being, to overcome the split between thought and action.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Giving the president our piss

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This 1986 intervention by the Fifth Estate gang (under the banner of the Eat The Rich Gang, the Workers Revenge Party, and Citizens for Clean Urine) was carried out at an anti-Reagan demonstration at Detroit’s Cobo Arena. At the height of the “Just Say No to Drugs” hysteria, we brought a five-gallon bucket of what we said was our drug-free piss to present to the president. Arguing that the war on drugs was more important than other wars, our leaflet announced, “Let’s show our President we support his war on drugs! Bring him a sample of your urine to present to him at Cobo Hall to show you are drug free!”

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Mary Wildwood
Living in A City Already Bombed reprint from FE #313, Summer 1983

For us, here in inner-city Detroit, the crumbling of a “progress-oriented society” is very real and present. Its evidence--ragged empty shells of concrete-lined streets leading to their untimely ends, amputated by expressways or isolated corporate megaliths, the occasional pathetic charades of well-being, the razed and desolate spaces--pervades everything we do, even attempts to distract ourselves from the ruin. Everyone living here is profoundly aware of the failure. It is bred in our bones, as during our lives we’ve witnessed not just this city’s demise, but the cumulative result of misdeeds performed throughout history by an increasingly urban society impelled by a limitless want of power brought to self-destruction.

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Fredy Perlman
The Continuing Appeal of Nationalism (excerpt) reprint from FE #319 Winter 1985

Every oppressed population can become a nation, a photographic negative of the oppressor nation, a place where the former packer is the supermarket’s manager, where the former security guard is the chief of police. By applying the correct strategy, every security guard can follow the precedent of ancient Rome’s Praetorian guards.

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Lorraine Perlman
Detroit’s jovial community from Having Little Being Much

In 1969 [when Fredy and Lorraine moved to Detroit], the “underground” newspaper the Fifth Estate addressed itself to the Detroit radical and counter-culture community. Fredy sought out the staff, and except for a brief period (when there was an attempt to make the paper a commercial success), was an ardent but critical supporter of the paper, extending his friendship to the numerous remarkable collaborators. In addition to his criticisms, Fredy’s typing skills were welcomed. Over the years, Fredy took part in the paper’s production. At his death in 1985, only one staff person, Marilyn Werbe, had more typesetting seniority than Fredy.

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Fifth Estate Collective
20th Century Technology Presents Mega Death now playing everywhere

This poster originally appeared in the Daily Barbarian and was reprinted in the Fifth Estate, June 19, 1979--vol. 14, no. 3 (298).

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Rarely does a horror movie of such magnitude reach the public, but when it does, it holds an unshakable grip on our imagination, if not our very being. Such is the latest film from 20th Century Technology--MEGA DEATH.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
1984: Worse Than Expected? reprint from FE #316, Summer, 1984

Somehow, the giant organizations which produce and disseminate all of this junk employ our very fear of technology to further its “unprecedented control” over our lives. The contemporary worship of this tremendous power arises from our actual powerlessness in the face of it, and the corporate-conjured image of our empowerment by technology corresponds directly to technology’s disabling suppression of human action. “Taking control with technology” adds up to our complete surrender to it--its taking control of us.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Fifth Estate Tool of the Year: The Sledge-Hammer reprint from FE #312, Spring, 1983

It had to happen eventually, and it did. That repository of pre-masticated mediocrity, that script for dullards, Time magazine declared its “Man-of-the-Year” a machine-of-the-year--the computer.

All the powers of the technological order have entered into a holy alliance to call this spectre into being.

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Lynne Clive (Marilynn Rashid)
Introduction to “Aberration: The Automobile” reprint from FE #325, Spring, 1987

It is said that the automobile created and brought life to the cities, but once again official history dangerously misrepresents and distorts the facts. In reality, it is responsible for the destruction of viable human communities and emblematic of death culture all over the world. The auto industry’s monopolistic power kept Detroit and the rest of the world from creating alternative urban environments and consciously built car cities and a car world--chopped up and destroyed by incredible expressway systems. Cities and a world for cars, not for people.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Renew the Earthly Paradise reprint from FE #322, Winter/Spring, 1986

The evolution of the FE has been characterized by a willingness to reexamine all the assumptions of radical criticism, which has led it away from its earlier libertarian communist perspective toward a more critical analysis of the technological structure of civilization, and toward a criticism of the trajectory of Western civilization combined with a reappraisal of the indigenous world and the character of primitive or original communities. In this sense we are primitivists.

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George Bradford (David Watson)
Symbolic Protest and the Nuclear State reprint from FE #314, Winter, 1984

Where, then, are the roots of revolt, how can the machine be halted?

A leaflet distributed recently by radicals in California to anti-nuclear protesters argues a point very similar to what we have written in the FE--that fear of being nuked is not enough, and that, “It is not only nukes that menace what is left of life, but the whole structure of modern society, beginning with the obsolescent machinery of work-to-pay-to-work which we call the ‘economy.’ Only a movement which taps into mass rage and desire by challenging this structure can hope to become strong enough to prevent the catastrophe.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
Workers of the world...Relax! The revolt against work

This was the centerfold of the May 1–7, 1975 (we were a weekly then!) Fifth Estate, as part of a special Mayday supplement. The drawing is by Gilbert Shelton, of “Fabulous, Furry, Freak Brothers” fame.

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Capitalist work is a slavemaster and a thief; it steals from us our time, our creativity, our health, our humanness. It forces us to work where we don’t want, when we don’t want, to create things we don’t want for people we don’t want. Wage labor is the root of the system that robs us all of our human potential and at the same time it cannot exist without our willful cooperation in it each day we work.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Against Civilization: Intro to Russell Means reprint from FE #304, December 31, 1980

We were struck immediately by the similarities in the conclusions that Russell Means has reached and our own, in particular, in relation to the question of technology and a critique of Marxism.

We have been speaking as orphans and fragments, searching for roots and a tradition of resistance to civilization anywhere we can find them. We have embarked upon an adventure which began first of all with the criticism of all of our former presuppositions, that is, of Marxism and anarchism, technological progress, modern society, the functions of art and culture, workers’ organizations and self-organization, the existence and function of classes and other questions. We don’t claim to have resolved these fundamental problems, but we have headed in a general direction of rejection of the presuppositions of society in all its forms.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Giving up the gun fetish Fifth Estate history

When small political groupings of people raise the possession of weapons to the level of military strategies and tactics, rather than the need for protecting their personal security, it usually guarantees the reverse.

By 1969, the Fifth Estate founder, feeling increasingly isolated by the radical fervor of the staff, quit the paper following his disagreement with a vote to print a front cover taken from a Cuban poster featuring an array of guns and the quintessential one-word slogan of revolutionary impatience, “NOW!,” in four-inch type.

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E. B. Maple (Peter Werbe)
I’m Sticking With The Union? reprint from FE #347, Spring, 1996

THE BATTLE OF DETROIT

“Hey! What are you guys doing here? You hate unions!”

--A strike supporter

The labor militant who aimed this question at us was surprised, almost shocked, to see a group whom she considers anarchists critical of unions, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with striking Teamsters and newspaper reporters, squaring off against the cops at a suburban Detroit printing plant late one night last summer.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Music as Revolution Fifth Estate history

The Fifth Estate has, since its inception, been inspired by radical music and various collective members have composed, played, produced, and reviewed music. In the first issue, the lead story lamented that Bob Dylan had given up folk music for rock and roll. But soon, almost everyone had. For a long period from the late sixties through the early seventies, the paper was awash with news, reviews, promotion, and--even ads--for rock. Local bands, too numerous to name, but some of whom went on to be famous, eagerly volunteered to play benefits for the fledgling underground newspaper. Without their help, the publication might not have survived.

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David Watson
Notes toward a history of the Fifth Estate Part 1: 1975–1981

“Only movement can know movement.”

--Herakleitos

Someday, if anything is left of any of this, and this epoch’s fascination with historical records and documentation endures, I imagine some historian, grad student, or amateur archivist will write a text detailing, accurately or less than so, the vicissitudes of the small group of friends and comrades in Detroit and elsewhere who have produced the FE. This task will probably have to fall to such a person, I fear. My original attempt to write something that was both memoir and intellectual history led to arguments not only about how the history should be presented, but about what happened. To paraphrase Yogi Berra, it was Rashomon all over again. Woe to anyone who tries to write the history of shared, intense activities.

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Fifth Estate Collective
We Get A Computer and Hate It! reprint from FE #342, Summer, 1993

Until now, I’ve tried to avoid computers at all costs, but now having had this forced upon us, I’ve begun to consider what effect this will have on our publishing efforts and those of us who work on the paper. Upon beginning to learn their use, computers seem like fiendish apparatuses which order you about on their terms, not the reverse.

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Don LaCoss
Zapping the Pyramid Notes on the history of an anti-authoritarian symbol.

The design shows a pyramid surmounted by an eye being blasted by a bolt of lightning. Bannered beneath the collapsing pyramid is the motto, “NON SERVIAM.”

If English, Spanish, Italian, or French is your native tongue, then you can probably guess the Latin translation: “I will not serve.” The phrase is taken from Paradise Lost (1674) by the radical poet of the English Revolution, John Milton, wherein the archangel Lucifer refuses to obey God and is cast into the frozen lake of Hell for his rebelliousness.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Court Protest, July 1969

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Outside the Detroit Recorder’s Court in July 1969, supporters gather at the trial of White Panther leader and former FE columnist John Sinclair. Comrades, who did not want their photos in any pig paper, flip the bird to Detroit Free Press photographer Tom Venaleck. Sinclair was sentenced to ten years for the possession of two joints of marijuana. Before he was released from prison in late 1971, he garnered international attention and support as a political prisoner. Three days before his release, 15,000 friends gathered for a benefit concert including Abbie Hoffman, Bobbie Seale, Ed Sanders, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Phil Ochs, and Stevie Wonder.

Fifth Estate Collective
On Having Nothing to Say reprinted from FE #297, April 18, 1979

The long delay between this issue and the last resulted from a bout of cerebral paralysis which left us feeling empty of words and ideas. We mostly articulated this feeling to one another by stating rather aimlessly that perhaps “we no longer had anything to say,” which carried with it the vague suggestion that maybe we should even close up shop.

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Bert Wirkes-Butuar (Peter Werbe)
Recycling & Liberal Reform reprint from FE #334, Summer 1990

On the one hand, fighting solely for reforms has historically had the function of affirming and extending the system’s power; while on the other, waiting only for the final revolutionary conflagration can dictate an isolated existence confined to issuing angry tracts denouncing everything.

When recycling becomes a permanent feature of the economy, it will probably be utilized mainly as a technique to deal with a significant portion of urban garbage, but in itself won’t stop the destruction of the natural world. All the recycling efforts in the country can’t stop the clear-cut logging of the remaining old-growth forests of the US Northwest when a conglomerate which bought out a logging firm with junk bonds needs quick cash to meet its debt service.

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Walker Lane (Peter Werbe)
A Short History of our Offices as Autonomous Zones

Hakim Bey, whose writings frequently appear in these pages, is perhaps best known for his book the TAZ--temporary autonomous zone--that describes when normally domesticated space is liberated, if only for a moment, for festive and subversive moments of happiness.

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In 1969, Leni Sinclair took this photo during a meeting at the Fifth Estate office at 1107 West Warren. Included are members of the White Panthers and the FE, yet we’re not sure what the meeting was about. Seated on the chair to the right is Diana Oughton of Motor City SDS, and later, the Weather Underground. Oughton died (with her comrades Terry Robbins and Ted Gold) on March 6, 1970 in a Greenwich Village townhouse, from an explosion likely caused by a bomb she was making.

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Peter Werbe
History of the Fifth Estate: The Early Years

This article was originally written for our 30th anniversary edition which appeared in 1996. It has been updated and expanded for this issue.

“The Fifth Estate supports the cause of revolution everywhere.”

-- FBI Report

This nine-word summary by the nation’s secret police, I suspect, serves adequately as an abbreviated history of this paper on the occasion of its 40th anniversary. It is not due to an inflated sense of self-importance or radical nostalgia that people in the current Fifth Estate collective feel the story of our four decades of print should be recounted. Rather, it is because the history of this paper mirrored a period of large-scale rebellion throughout those years and continues today to give expression to a body of ideas which often finds little expression elsewhere.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Letter to SDS reprinted from the Fifth Estate, July 31, 1969

Mark Rudd, National Secretary

Students for a Democratic Society

Brother Mark,

When SDS proposed having an action in Chicago October 11, focusing on anti- imperialism, we at The Fifth Estate felt that it had the potential of being a very heavy action and crucial to the growth of a revolutionary movement in this country.

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Last FE as Capitalist Enterprise reprinted from FE #265, August, 1975

The newspaper you are now holding is the last issue of the Fifth Estate--the last issue of a failing capitalist enterprise, the last issue to appear in coin-boxes, and the last issue produced as a commodity dependent on advertising revenue for support, and the hiring of wage workers for its production.

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Left and Sexual Repression reprinted from FE #270, March, 1976

The role of religion within authority’s Holy Trinity--the compulsive family, religion, and the State--with its blatant anti-sexual ideology and its historic record of service to totalitarianism, is easily understood as an institution of repression, and most revolutionaries quickly reject overt religious mysticism of all varieties.

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John Sinclair
The People Own the City in Detroit Uprising reprint from Fifth Estate, July 1967

“Light My Fire” rises through the radio ranks for weeks and, when it hits number one on the stations, the people respond and burn the city down. Or play Archie Shepp’s “Fire Music” album as background music for the Detroit purification: the scope and feeling of the peoples’ mood is there--an elegy for Malcolm X.

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John Sinclair
There is no ‘hippie movement’ and there are no ‘hippie leaders’ reprint from Fifth Estate, May 30, 1967

“Leaders” are created by the media image freaks and sold to the people to keep them happy. They have to have “leaders” or nothing could get done-why, they certainly couldn’t do it themselves. Or could they? The media exists to keep people from asking that question, and it has done a pretty good job of blinding them to their own absolute reality, that they are FREE and can do anything they want to, if they believe in it hard enough.

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Fifth Estate Collective
The Rising of the Women reprint from Fifth Estate Women’s Issue, March 4–17, 1971

This issue of the Fifth Estate, [#126, March 4–17, 1971] appearing on the 61ist anniversary of International Women’s Day, is dedicated to all our sisters around the world. It is the product of the Fifth Estate staff, women from the Women’s Media Co-op, and women involved in other activities around the city.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Un-Dewar’s Profiles Fifth Estate history

This poster appeared in the Fifth Estate, December 1976, vol. 12 no. 3 (279).

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Un-Dewar’s Profiles

Leon F. Czolgosz

HOME: Everywhere. Moves freely in the world, recognizing no state boundaries.

PROFESSION: Czolgosz has no “profession,” refuses to sell his skills and resists definition by any of the categories of capitalist achievement. “If you must call me something,” he says, “call me an Urban Modality Redesigner--Explosives Division.”

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Fifth Estate Collective
No Anarchy? No Money!

Endless philosophical or ideological battles have been fought for years attempting to define political identity. In the case of this publication, we have self-identified during the last 40 years as, progressive, socialist, ultra-left, council communist, nothing, anarchist, and anti-authoritarian. To many, it may be only an exercise in scholasticism, but sometimes much can depend on self-identity, as illustrated in the exchange of letters reprinted below.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Anarchy online? A sampling of websites by FE current and former staff, contributors, and friends

Millard Berry--Long time Fifth Estate photographer and staff member. www.millardberry.com

Detroit Artists Workshop--Founded in 1964 in Detroit’s art and cultural community. Personnel and events frequently coincided with the Fifth Estate. www.detroitartistsworkshop.org

Egg Syntax--FE staff member, writes experimental music: http://glossolalia.jukeboxalive.com and metablogs regularly on the intersections of art, technology, and ethics: http://www.bloglines.com/blog/eggsyntax

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Fifth Estate Collective
Contents of print edition

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FE Histories & Memoirs

No Anarchy, No Money page 6

Offices as Autonomous Zones page 7

The History of the Fifth Estate by Peter Werbe page 8

Music as Revolution page 20

Giving Up the Gun Fetish page 21

Zapping the Pyramid by Don La Coss page 22

Notes toward a history by David Watson page 26

Detroit’s Jovial Community by Lorraine Perlman page 40

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John Moore
The Appeal of Anarchy

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Amidst ecstatic visions, Anarchy appears. She says:

Whenever you need anything, once a month at the full moon, assemble in the wilderness--in the forest, on the heath, by the seashore--for the state of nature is a community of freedoms. Recognize the imminence of total liberation, and as a sign of your freedom, be naked in your rites.

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Fifth Estate Collective
Welcome to our 40th Anniversary Issue

Welcome to our Spring/Summer 2005 and 40th anniversary commemorative edition of the Fifth Estate (FE). The effort needed to publish the largest and most colorful paper in our history required numerous resources, both creative and financial, from our collective members and our readers. While none of it would have occurred without the incredible vision and demanding effort /expended by the people at our Pumpkin Hollow headquarters, others participated as well, especially our staff in Detroit and those scattered across North America who make up the current FE editorial collective.

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Don LaCoss
On Blasphemy and Imagination Arab Surrealism Against Islam

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“God can do anything except suicide”
--Malcolm de Chazal

In 1973, a small network of Arab students living in Paris, London, and Vienna founded the Arab Surrealist Movement in Exile. At the group’s core was Abdul Kader el-Janabi, Farid Lariby, Mohammed Awadh, and Maroine Dib; they re-oriented surrealist elements against the intense misery they saw rampant in the Middle East: despotic police-state politics, nationalism (particularly Ba’athism in Syria and Iraq), militarism, patriarchal oppression, neo-colonial European interference, grueling poverty, and suppressed imaginations.

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Don LaCoss
Surrealism & Atheism Review

a review of

Guy Ducornet, Surréalisme et atheisme... “A la niche les glapisseurs de dieu!” Ginkgo editeur, 2007.

Surrealist Guy Ducornet has been active in the Paris and Chicago groups since the late 1960s, as well as a participant in the para-surrealist Phases movement. In 2005, Ducornet began contacting surrealist groups around the world and announced his plans to re-issue the classic surrealist proclamation against religion from 1948, “A la niche les glapisseurs de dieu!” (“Get Back Into Your Kennels, You Yelping Dogs of God!”).

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anon.
Pistoleros! 2: 1919 Review

Pistoleros! 2: 1919 is the second volume of the memoirs and notebooks of Farquhar McHarg, a seventy-six-year-old anarchist from Glasgow. Its writing was prompted by the murder of a lifelong friend.

McHarg’s Chronicles record his evolving beliefs and sense of mission, and the remarkable adventures he experienced from the day he sailed into the neutral port of Barcelona in the spring of 1918, a naive but idealistic eighteen-year-old, and 1976. Farquhar’s Chronicles are folk history, bringing the changes that shook the political and social landscape of Spain (and the world) between 1918 and 1976 into the framework of an adult lifetime. They make a vexatious but fascinating story that provides a deep insight into the spirit that moved the selfless, generous, occasionally naive and recklessly idealistic people who were involved in the bitter social struggles that marked the hectic insurrectionary and utopian aftermath of the great imperialist war of 1914 through 1918.

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Unruh Lee
Reading “Letters of Insurgents” 34 Years After its Publication A Radical Classic is Igniting Discussion Again

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Fredy Perlman with the cover of Letters of Insurgents at Detroit’s Black and Red Print co-op, 1976

As we go to press in late June, we are receiving reports of discussion groups formed around the country, in person and in on-line blogs, that are reading Fredy Perlman’s 1976 historical novel, Letters of Insurgents, published by Detroit’s Black & Red.

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