Letters to the Fifth Estate


Fifth Estate # 302, June 1, 1980

A Pre-Frontal

Dear Fifth Estate,

I believe Harvey Ovshinsky (talkshow host of WRIF) is doing the FE a lot of harm by claiming he has “founded that paper.” If indeed he did, someone must have done a frontal lobotomy on him since.

Have you listened to him on WRIF ever? Treat yourself! He’s an establishment sell-out, a mealy-mouthed corporate echo.

The right-wing fascists are crawling out of rat holes, escalating the war mentality. These idiots actually believe that they’ll be able to watch world war III on their TV screen nightly. The handwriting is on the wall!

A Nuclear Activist

FE Note: Ovshinsky did indeed found this newspaper in 1965. He left it five years later and has not been associated with it since then. We are unaware of his medical history since that date.

On Laschese

To the Editors:

Despite many excellent observations on fallacies of methodology in particular, I must dispute your social passivity and pseudo-humanity as passive putting forth the idea that no other motion is the old conundrum of reiteration. I am not going to defend our indebtedness which we employ to posit certain terminology. [See “Lasch: Theory of Passivity Stumbles” and “Under the Lasch,” FE #301, February 26, 1980.]

Nor am I going to defend my own criticisms in the last issue of the Fifth Estate. Perhaps I should make a point of repeating. What excited us the most was rational form upon Spartan ability and malaise, this sense of depression including unconscious acts of authority around us. We haven’t exogamous structures of practical activity is self evident. Escapist character structures correspond to certain forms of decomposition and emergence of different forms is not so clear. It is not a question of simple causality.

Human beings because of flaws in their character structure exaggerated and encouraged more and more intelligence and will which in turn reproduce their creators that resemble their pets. The monstrosities have been precisely that.

You begin by trying to extirpate the human landscape and end technologically and psychically awaiting the confrontation through which it will either reconstitute or be destroyed. The question remains: what kind of rioters are the passives?

It is doomed to tout the autonomy of the emotional plague during a blackout. Signs of imminent self-preoccupation might be better understood apart from the latent determinism in your own necessary preconditions. You neglect the fact that I already suggested a necessary conviction to know the species in order to find the capitalist labyrinth.

We are not opposed to self-preoccupation per se; what concerns us is human avenues dished out as part of the program. Where is self-activity genuine? I prefer to avoid your intuition as that may be. I believe in recreating another variation. Revolution will be or not be at all.


Tom A. Hawk
San Francisco, CA

Future Schlock


Went down to the store to buy latest radical commodity, Culture of Narcissism, and was immediately put off by glossy “National Bestseller” cover complete with recommendation by Time, Newsweek, notable television personalities. Future Schlock meets Chariot of the Gods. What gives, kids?

Notorious demographic bulge created by postwar sexual athletics leaves adolescence and confronts “maturity” with consequent identity crises and search for self. Theorist lasches on to Tom Wolfe’s Me generation and postulates numerous faulty conclusions. Favorite journal sacrifices credibility by agonizing over same.

Diverted even more of potential rent money and bought Essential Frankfurter School reader instead. A treasure trove of pithy aphorisms (Protection is the archetype of domination; Enchantment disappears when it tries to settle down). Privileged intellectuals attempt to break stranglehold of the state with the sword of “deliberately obscure modes of expression.” Exciting struggle. Even has back cover blurb by egregious Lasch.

Prisoner readers; sporadic acts of revolutionary violence are the result of desperation, alienate the general public and give the state (Ron Reagan?) more leeway to exercise repressive measures. If you could read Berkman’s Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist…

Open the prisons…Disband the army…close the banks…and

Brew your own,

Mike Quinlan
No. Hadley, MA


On page one of last issue’s “Carter’s Phony War Crisis” [FE #301, February 26, 1980] the word not was omitted from a crucial sentence, thus reversing its meaning. Hopefully, the thrust of the article made the omission evident. The sentence should have read: “Soviet adventures are not forthcoming and Carter knows this…” [Error corrected in Web archive version.]