Letters to the Fifth Estate

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Fifth Estate # 304, December 31, 1980

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Mutual Aid

Comrades:

At the recent cena (dinner) held by the Italian comrades $1,061 was raised. It was decided to divide it among the following publications: Black Flag, Fifth Estate, Freedom, Internationale, Open Road, Revista A, SRAF, North American Anarchist, Work and Pay, and Voluntà.

Best Wishes

John Walden
Sacramento, Calif.

FE Note: Our continuing gratitude is expressed to these life-long friends of the libertarian press movement. It is, in part, due to their efforts that newspapers like ours and the other recipients are in existence. Work and Pay, a new publication, is available from Haight-Ashbury Switchboard, 1338 Haight St., San Francisco CA 94112. The other magazines and newspapers receiving the funding are published in Italy, England and Canada and either the addresses or samples are available from the Fifth Estate office (please include postage if requests are not part of a book order).

Four Legs Good

To the Fifth Estate:

Sincere animal liberationists wanted—

* Help needed for dynamiting slaughterhouses.

* Liberating animal comrades.

* Sabotage of enemy installations. *Expropriation of funds.

Power to All Sentient Beings!

Death to Speciesism!

friends of entropy
Bx 3025
Fayetteville

A Way Out

dear fifth estate:

i attempted to find a way out of here. it wasn’t easy. i was twenty-seven years old and filled to my guts with supposedly rich experiences that I’d sooner forget. i had been on trial for seventeen months with no end in sight. the ;kernel of my life was accentuated by long and lean periods of material and psychological deprivation. it was from the great store of dearth that i learned to appraise the world—perception based on scarcity. entering a new decade where the only realm of life that wasn’t scarce was that of promise and hope.

i was in love and made wonderful love. i had been in bloody street-fighting on two different continents. i spoke another language besides my native english enough so that i could live in a society alien to the one in which i was born. an indigenous society barely surviving the onslaught of capital right here in america. for the first time in over a decade i was free and devoid of any need or desire for drugs and alcohol. big fucking deal. nothing was enough anymore. i suffered from a restlessness that bordered upon nomadic distraction, at least in the realm of my heart and mind. geographically, i was rooted to an urban environment that left little room for any growth or warmth but made damn desperate for sure the imperative need for change—change from the daily monotony of routine, change from the daily terror of boredom and christ fucking almighty, i was bored. nothing short of a catharsis based upon violent transition from the banal into the real could render my life complete.

we, each and every denizen on every anonymous street in america, we’re entering the 11th month of the new decade. the western world was continuing to teeter on the brink of its terminal continuum, and-at that juncture, on the edge of my restlessness, i resided, waiting.

waiting for my time, for the fire, for my apocalypse—my war on every misery, slight and sorrow i ever felt. it was definitely time for vengeance. i could taste the need to take back all the beauty that had been drawn from me as i watched helplessly, growing older and angrier by the moment. the taste was like gun metal inside my hot, anguished mouth.

gun metal and guns themselves. i maybe carreening on the edge of terror or love but i saw hope in making partners of the two. i began to believe in the possibility of armed struggle in the 1980s and moreover, my own personal participation in such. i figured any quest for freedom was going to be dangerous and so i was going to embrace what i feared—risking my life for the slight hope that i would break through to another world. a place where my dreams counted for real, above and beyond any mundane and crass activity i ever committed; committed like a criminal, being robbed and robbing myself of love and happiness.

i hardly knew where the fuck i was headed and unlike my empty friends, who were filled with thoughtful, cowardly hypocrisy, i didn’t give a shit. Unlike my cautious brothers and sisters in pseudo-political pseudo-life, i was more concerned with the means than the ends. i couldn’t wait anymore, to start living with the edge of my teeth barely biting into my hopes. i had to get going and full blast.

shit yes, we are all scared to the point of quaking hysterical fear. i won’t deny that. but that’s no excuse for the hypocrisy of opening our mouths and not raising our fists at the same time. it was time to get going, full blast. gun metal and guns themselves.

i guess i can’t say what i feel any other way. maybe my final conclusion and realization of what i had to do was born of a tragic quasi-romantic view of history propped up by too much television and literature. but after all, i am an american. maybe i have a preoccupation with self-destruction at an early age, while I’m still whole and somewhat sweet. and moreover, i may possess a highly developed fixation with violence. i am violent. after all, i am an american.

so fuck it, i believe in armed struggle in the 1980s right here in america. armed struggle without leaders or a party, representing only those human beings who participate in armed activity on a ground level basis. acting for ourselves. for me.

as always,

peter nobody
California

& Something Else…

Dear Editors (sic):

How much should I give thee? Let me count the minuses… ah!, who has not luxuriated in those famous lines of devoted charity? From my $100 winnings from betting on Dad Reagan, I must judiciously allot various causes that command my respect, including that most respectable cause-myself.

Upon seeing your cry for help I had decided your share should be $20, equal I might add, to the Sierra Club’s share of this star-crossed gain. However, after reading your latest, I settled on $15.

While every so often the paper evidences verbal and graphic genius, ex: “Republicans Get Out of Town” broadside [FE #303, October 20, 1980]. Mixed with this excellence is humbling, anal puerility (“Salamanders for Allah”) and sententious, partisan error, ex: “the Soviet economy…relies on the massive purchase of armament by the military sector. This is not a choice, but an economic necessity, just as within U.S. capitalism” (FE #303, October 20, 1980, “Yes We Have No Mananas”). If I want to read tripe I can always check out Newsweek and US News and World Report.

Please exercise better editorial judgment and send me a copy of the convention issue where in addition to the broadside cited, there may be something else of inspiration.

Not Waiting for the Ultimate Joy,

Rev. Noble J Nassar
Seattle, Washington

Dear FE:

I am sending this letter to call attention to the value of first aid training, since I have long believed that anyone who wants a revolution should know how to bandage a wound. A good way to get started in the field of emergency health care is to check out the nearest chapter of your local Red Cross. This kind of knowledge has two advantages which are already in effect; it helps to promote respect for life, and most folks deserve to survive mishaps or disasters.

The Red Cross itself has an official policy of neutrality in armed conflicts, and during the Civil War its nurses gave medical aid to soldiers from both sides.

If you enroll in one of those courses, this policy of neutrality should be respected in the sense that political agitation could be harmful to the learning atmosphere. (Some of your classmates might be police or pro-authority civilians. Remember, the principle of using what you have to get what you need.)

Anyone who is willing to give emergency care to anarchist guerrillas in the field should also be willing to carry an infantry weapon. Your own life is worth saving, too! (Pentagon medics are taught to defend their patients if that becomes necessary.) And one more thing, keep your hands clean as you go through life and don’t ever pawn your dreams.

Yours for a Better Right Now,

Brad Evans
Providence RI

One Big Union?

To the Fifth Estate:

It’s the season of joy, so I’ll hold my tongue on this last issue—just let loose with one bitter comment on your remarks on Poland—that is that it’s just one iota better than a crazed French critique passed around here that presumes to equate violence with revolutionary action [FE #303, October 20, 1980]. (A good case could be made precisely the opposite in Poland.) The point is simply that despite all the “reformism” of Lech’s One Big Union, to speak of it as a defeat betrays myopia (probably blindness) regarding the effects of this reformism on Polish society—an opening has been created not from above (e.g. Czechoslovakia or Hungary over the past ten years) but from below! I’m no dreamer, and I expect the worst for the Poles—not repression, but consumerism and phoney democracy —but I’m also hoping that the revolution that has occurred can be extended.

Enuf of this. Not too much interest in this last issue (John Zerzan’s piece more a preface looking for a text) and I’m beginning to think that there are only a dozen people out there who correspond with you. As I’ve said before maybe a new tack is called for to shake loose some dust.

B.M.
San Francisco, Calif.

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