Fifth Estate Collective
How to Get Your History On

The 40 year history of Fifth Estate is not the easiest thing to access for research purposes. The best source is the massive Underground Press Collection, a 500+ reel microfilm archive of periodicals from 1963 to 1985. Almost 100 libraries, mostly university-based, in the US have part or all of this series, and the FEs from these dates are contained within, although the image quality can be poor. Pro-Quest, an online journal service which some libraries subscribe to, contains electronic full-text FE articles from 1996 On. But if you don’t have a university affiliation, it may be difficult to use these resources, although some public libraries may have access to them. Talk to your local public library’s reference desk about what options you have; sometimes articles can be accessed by Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and occasionally special passes can be arranged to university collections. Of course, persuading local students to lend you an ID may be the easiest route!


Various Authors
Letters to the Fifth Estate

Filled with debates and discussions, challenges and responses, clarification and indignation, a lively letters section is a crucial component in an anarchist journal. At times in our past, a huge portion of any given edition would be filled with long letters and responses to them.

Recently, however, the tradition has changed. The kind of debate once found on this letters’ page has not disappeared from the radical press, but it has relocated. Today, the more heated exchanges often take place on interactive websites and bulletin boards. Notably, the anarchist website Infoshop is known for its lively threads. Local indymedia sites are also places where debate takes place.


Dave Sinclair
Pontiac’s speech to the whiteman

Out of the blue sky, out of

the waters, out of the woods, of the deer,

the beaver, the bush, the bird flies, out

of my people, the blood, out of

so many moons in this place a man

cannot count them, out of

grace with the Great Spirit who

gave us this land, you seek

to push us.

At night, in my dreams,


Egg Syntax
John Brinker

Recipes for Disaster an anarchist cookbook

a review of

Recipes For Disaster, CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective, Olympia WA 624 pages $12.00. Available from the Barn: see page 98

It seemed that every time we dropped by Bound Together Books in San Francisco, the same situation unfolded. Some teenager getting the punk rock starter kit together (first mohawk, chain wallet, and Doc Marten’s bought with the parents’ credit card) would show up looking for The Anarchist Cookbook. The counterperson, with a weary sigh, would place on the counter a worn copy of the dubious classic and open to a dog-eared page. “See this bomb recipe?” she/he would say. “You’ll blow yourself up if you do what this book says. That’s not what anarchism is about.” The kid would leave clutching a couple of cheap pamphlets on Kropotkin, never to be seen again.


Various Authors
Shout Outs and from Fifth Estate on its 40th birthday

Dear FE,

Happy 40th!

Love & Solidarity

Prison Book Program

Cultivate an eco-communitarian society.

Inhabit ecovillages.

Love Fifth Estate.

Also subscribe to: Green Horizon Quarterly


Write for information:

Greetings & Solidarity!


Fifth Estate Collective
The Barn

Book distribution has been a mainstay of our collective for many years. We believe that reading can be a revolutionary activity, and in that spirit, we continue this service.

We feature books by Fifth Estate editors, contributors, collaborators, friends, and other books that have either been read or recommended by members of the collective. If you have a book you’d like to see offered here, send it along. Like the magazine, this project is volunteer-run and all proceeds go back into the collective.


The next mutiny on the Bounty

Suburban utopia

At this moment, everyone on the planet is watching the people of the USA and wondering how they are reacting to the present global crisis. For the most “dangerous” working class on this planet is the US working class. When its compliance with capital ends, US capital will collapse, and thereafter, like dominoes, all the secondary capitals. Some of those lesser proletariats seem ready for such an eventuality, are even preparing for the “day after,” expecting the big holiday.


Ron Sakolsky
Black Star North

“A single star weds the space between two branches.”

-- George Elliott Clarke in Québécité

Lately, I have chosen to do my living, loving, writing, and resisting in British Columbia (BC) Canada. Though I can’t say that I’m an ex-patriot, since I have always despised patriotism; I am currently an expatriate. Canada has long been a destination of choice for American political dissidents like myself, and for such refugees from US oppression as the enslaved Africans who followed the North Star to the last stop on the Underground Railroad (though slavery was by no means illegal in Canada). In 2000, the now deceased African American surrealist poet, Ted Joans, put a new wrinkle on that maroon tradition by swearing that he would move to Canada if George W. Bush became President. Immediately after the election, he moved to Vancouver. For a variety of reasons, in 2002, I followed his ambulatory example by moving to one of the Northern Gulf Islands (which are located in the Strait of Georgia between the West Coast of the Canadian mainland Vancouver Island). Finally fed up, I had escaped the belly of the beast to seek sanctuary on Denman Island.


Franklin Rosemont
Carlos Cortez


Poet, revolutionary, artist--an inspiration to three generations of radicals in the struggle for a better world--Carlos Cortez died in his sleep at his home in Chicago on January 18, after an illness that had long confined him to a wheelchair; he was 81. A member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) for nearly sixty years, with red card number X321826, he remained to the end a fervent supporter of working class self-emancipation and an irreconcilable enemy of capitalism and the state. Fellow Worker Cortez died like a good Wobbly, with his union dues paid up.


Joel Kuszai
Jackson Mac Low (1922–2004)


Experimental poet and composer Jackson Mac Low died in New York on December 8th. Known for his participation in the sixties performance group Fluxus, his association with John Cage, and his experiments in the so-called “chance composition” of poetry, Mac Low was also a lifelong anti-authoritarian activist.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
On Having Something to Do

We tried dropping out, and we tried working in the factory. We tried teaching, and we tried going back to school. We tried organizing the workers, and we tried permitted protest marches. We tried passing leaflets to every passerby, and we tried wheatpasting every wall with provocative posters. We even tried nighttime guerrilla graffiti squads.


Peter Lamborn Wilson

“Is the enemy strong? One avoids him.”

-- Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, People’s War, People’s Army

Sun Tzu, Von Clausewitz, and Napoleon all agree. When the battle’s over and one has lost and they have triumphed again, one must run away--especially if one hopes to fight another day. Napoleon points out that a good tactical retreat is not a rout and shambles but an orderly withdrawal toward sources of logistical reinforcement, complete with rear-guard guerrilla and political action.


National Coal takes Katuah Earth First! to Court

The National Coal Company (NCC) has filed a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) against five Knoxville, Tennessee environmental activists associated with Katuah Earth First! (KEF!) NCC is demanding over $7,000 and a permanent injunction banning the five from ever contacting them or coming on their property.


Stop Mountaintop Removal Call to Action--Mountain Justice Summer, Appalachia--Summer 2005

The region known as Appalachia is one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse areas of this gorgeous little green-and-blue planet that we call home. The mountains and forests of Appalachia filter air and water, create soil, provide habitat and spiritual sanctuary, and generally make life possible and desirable. The beauty and diversity have been evolving here for eons.


Fifth Estate Collective
Support the Troops in Revolutionary Defeat Some of our anarchist, autonomist, and anti-militarist comrades organized a Deserter Festival in Moscow during the last week of February.

Explicitly focusing their energies on undermining Russian military activity in Chechnya, they declared February 23rd as “the International Day of the Deserter” and set up a number of different events, including discussion panels, information exchanges on the draft, hardcore punk shows, antiwar demonstrations, a “Radical Women Against Conscription” rock concert, workshops for international solidarity, a dance party, and a couple of free Food Not Bombs feasts.


Spencer Sunshine
The Zen Already in Anarchism

The combination of anarchism with spiritual or religious beliefs is almost always controversial, even in the pages of Fifth Estate. Opposition to church, state, and capital is the holy trinity of the “classical” anarchist tradition, and the movement’s anti-clericism was one of its appeals to the Spanish in the 30s. But there is also a long history of spiritual anarchism--which is not to say that those in this tradition always accepted being categorized this way. The most common hybrids are with the European religious traditions, such as Christianity (Tolstoy, Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy, Jacques Ellul, and Ivan Illich immediately come to mind) or Paganism (Starhawk in particular).


Max Cafard
Zen Anarchy Zen anarchy? What could that be? Some new variations on the koans, those classic proto-dadaist Zen “riddles”?

What is the Sound of One Hand making a Clenched Fist?

If you see a Black Flag waving on the Flagpole, what moves?

Does the flag move? Does the wind move?

Does the revolutionary movement move?

What is your original nature--before May ’68, before the Spanish Revolution, before the Paris Commune?

Somehow this doesn’t seem quite right. And in fact, it’s unnecessary. From the beginning, Zen was more anarchic than anarchism. We can take it on its own terms. Just so you don’t think I’m making it all up, I’ll cite some of the greatest and most highly-respected (and respectfully ridiculed) figures in the history of Zen, including Hui-Neng (638–713), the Sixth Patriarch, Lin-Chi (d. 867), the founder of the Rinzai school, Mumon (1183–1260), the Rinzai master who assembled one of the most famous collections of koans, Dogen (1200–1253), the founder of Soto, the second major school, and Hakuin (1685–1768), the great Zen master, poet and artist who revitalized Zen practice.


Activists Indicted by Feds in Arizona Hunt Sabotage

In December 2004, Earth First! activists Matthew Crozier and Rod Coronado, along with Esquire magazine journalist John Richardson, were charged with conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer. The indictment followed a Tucson-based Chuk’shon Earth First! (CEF!) action that sabotaged a mountain lion hunt in Sabino Canyon that March.


Fifth Estate Collective

Oklahoma Infoshop Opens

The Third Space infoshop and lending library is open in Norman, Oklahoma. It features radical, revolutionary, and progressive social theory; philosophy, history, race, class and gender studies; art, literature, DIY manuals, and guides; plus a selection of over eight hundred books. They feature a collection of over one thousand ‘zines, magazines, and periodicals, as well as a small collection of audio and video material, and a public internet terminal.


Fifth Estate Collective

Police Hunt Poo Protesters

In Southern Germany in a town by the name of Bayreuth, the German police are in a quandary. The town’s dog poo is under attack. Police are hunting pranksters who have been sticking miniature US flags into piles of dog shit in public parks. Josef Oettl, parks administrator for Bayreuth, said: “This has been going on for about a year now, and there must be 2,000 to 3,000 piles of excrement that have been claimed during that time.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Dispatch from ‘Free’ Eco-Defense Political Prisoner speaks out about the release of co-defendant Critter

In June 2001, 23-year-old forest defense activist Jeffrey “Free” Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for a Eugene, Oregon arson. Free and his co-defendant Critter set fire to three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV’s) at a local car dealership to raise awareness about global warming and the role that the gas-guzzlers play in the process. No one was hurt in this action nor was that their intent.


Fifth Estate Collective
GI Resister Speaks Out at Fifth Estate Benefit

“I’d rath


er face the uncertainty of opposing the war and going AWOL than face the certainty of being shipped and fighting in a war that I am against.

“I’m going to continue to speak up because I want to encourage other people to not go quietly.”

-- Carl Webb

The Pentagon says more than 5,500 soldiers have deserted since the war started in Iraq. From Iraq Veterans Against the War to Military Families Speak Out, a new anti-war movement finds its center in the disaffected and disillusioned ranks refusing to go. We offer solidarity to each one.


Protesters Resist the Bush Coronation


The traditional pomp and circumstance of the US January presidential inauguration disappeared amid chants and tear gas, when what was expected to be a grand victory march down Pennsylvania Avenue descended into an embarrassing spectacle for the elite and their “mandate.”

With all eyes on DC, people across the world were treated to televised parade images of wafting smoke and pepper spray, as police battled protesters directly on the inaugural motorcade route. At one point about a mile ahead of the presidential parade, the barricades on Pennsylvania Avenue were brought down by demonstrators. During a prolonged clash, protesters slowed the president’s motorcade and then brought it to a stand-still.


Fifth Estate Collective
Tales From the Planet Charges Dropped Against FE Collective Member

Last September, the forces of law and order in Davidson County, Tenn. dropped criminal trespass charges against a member of this magazine’s editorial collective.

At a protest outside the White Bridge Road offices of senator Bill Frist, the activist was arrested on March 21, 2003, during the second full day of the US invasion against the people of Iraq. Wearing white medical scrubs emblazoned with the slogan “Harm None,” the FE writer distributed a leaflet denouncing Dr. Frist for using his professional title to help rationalize war in an essay called “When War is the Best Medicine.”


Fifth Estate Collective
The Wobblies Are Back!

Last year, Starbucks’ “baristas” in New York continued to organize for the first union shop in an outpost of the notorious coffee chain. In January, criminal charges were dismissed against an IWW Starbucks organizer stemming from a march at the 2004 Republican National Convention against the Bush administration’s collaboration with union-busting at the coffee shop giant. IWW Starbucks Workers Union co-founder Daniel Gross was arrested for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct during the protest. He previously rejected a plea bargain to serve a week in jail.


Authorities Attack the Raleigh 3 The anarchist-led demonstrators defiantly marched to the state Republican headquarters carrying a banner, reading, “Fuck Bush; Fuck Kerry; We Need A Revolution.”

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA--Following the second fraudulent US presidential election in a row, many liberals and leftists, and even some anarchists, were in a post-Bush-victory funk. But not the 200 anarchist-led demonstrators who on Nov. 5 defiantly marched to the state Republican headquarters carrying a banner, reading, “fuck Bush; Fuck Kerry; We Need A Revolution.”


Fifth Estate Collective
Eat the Rich Gang Panic in Detroit This Eat The Rich Gang poster appeared in the March/April 1975 Fifth Estate, vol. 10, no. 18


After the Eat The Rich Gang (ETR) distributed several thousand copies of their phony front page, which were stuffed in Detroit News coin boxes, angry christians called the offices of the Fifth Estate demanding, “my children came home crying because of your sick joke. What are you going to do about it?!”


David Watson
Anu Bonobo

Life in the Kali Yuga: Civilization as Tsunami A natural disaster is not a moral event, but how we respond to a disaster inevitably is. If the tsunami demonstrates that the earth is not on anyone’s “side,” then it behooves us even more to be on the side of the earth.

The awesome magnitude and incomprehensible physical destruction and human suffering caused by the tsunami that ravaged and rattled the earth in December render any statement about it, any explanation, painfully inadequate. Towns were demolished, villages and whole stands of trees smashed to splinters, trains swept off their tracks and bent and twisted like toys. People were swept back into the sea, crushed under rubble, pulled from each other and drowned in the flood waters, left mangled and askew in trees and power lines by the terrible waves.


Fifth Estate Collective
No War (centerfold poster) Centerfold poster















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

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


“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.”


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


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.


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.


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.


Sunfrog (Andy “Sunfrog” Smith)
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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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.


George Bradford (David Watson)
Fredy Perlman: An Appreciation

excerpted from [[][FE #321, Indian Summer, 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.


Fifth Estate Collective
Giving the president our piss


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!”


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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.