News and Reviews

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Fifth Estate # 308, January 19, 1982

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Citizen G of Citizens for a Non-Linear Future (see letter in this issue) has published an educational comic as well as an article and questionnaire on despair. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Citizen G at Wallingford Station, PO Box 31638, Seattle, WA 98103…

Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed, is an irregular publication of the Columbia (Missouri) Anarchist League looking for readers and correspondents. Subscriptions are $3.00 for six issues, foreign subs are $6.00, and prisoners can receive subs for free. A recent issue (Vol. 1 No. 4) contains articles such as “Anarchy Under Fire,” “Marriage, Screwing, and Free Love,” “Ordinance to Limit Bicycle Right of Way” (?) and more. Write C.A.L., PO Box 380, Columbia MO 65205…

What’s the difference between a bowling ball and a General’s fingers? You can’t get a free subscription to Malcontent (The Voice of World War IV) by sending in a bowling ball. You’ve got to see this to believe it. “Special bathroom size.” Write to: Malcontent, 1710 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 89-C, Washington D.C., 20009…

The National No-Nukes Prison Support Collective is facing hard times and is in need of support and funds. The collective is a support network for jailed and imprisoned anti-nuclear activists and publishes a newsletter with news on anti-nuclear and anti-war activities around the country. They write, “Our goals include: Fostering a wider public awareness of imprisoned ‘nuclear resisters, their motivations and their actions, through both movement and straight media; to build a link between the anti-nuclear movement and the prison movement, with the aim of educating radio activists about the daily destruction of lives in the prisons of this country.” Write NNNPSC, Box 1812, Madison WI 53701…

The Politics of Human Liberation: Revolution Re-Assessed, has just been published by the Libertarian Socialist Organization of Australia, and is the second title of a series which began with their pamphlet You Can’t Blow Up a Social Relationship: The Anarchist Case Against Terrorism, which is going into a second printing. They notify us, “We are attempting to keep the retail price of these booklets at Australian $1.00 & postage if purchased through the mail…For overseas purchasers of single copies we would ask you to consider buying multiple copies and sending concealed cash rather than cheques. Small amounts paid by cheque are not easily convertible. We would be most thankful if groups or individuals receiving this letter could indicate what publications you have available. Any selection of campaign leaflets or pamphlets would be gratefully received. If overseas libertarian groups wish to republish these texts, please contact us.” L.S.O., PO Box 223, Broadway, 4000, Queensland, Australia…

Southern Exposure, published by the Institute of Southern Studies, has published a recent issue with the title, “The Future Is Now,” with special reports on toxic dumping and toxic hazards, as well as nuclear poisoning in the south. Also in the Fall ’81 issue is a report on the nazi-Klan massacre and the following cover-up in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1979. Southern Exposure is $3.00 per issue and can be contacted at PO Box 531, Durham NC 27702…

Bohemian Grove: Inside the Secret Retreat of the Power Elite (by Rick Clogher), reprinted from Mother Jones magazine, is now a pamphlet available from the Bohemian Grove Action Network, PO Box 216, Occidental CA 95465…

The Place of the Individual in Society, a pamphlet by Emma Goldman, is available from Free Forum Books, Deer Park No. 12, W. Wallington CT 06279…

The Press Express, formerly the ANC—Alternative Newspaper Collective, is a volunteer-run organization that distributes alternative anarchist and underground papers from North America, Europe and the U.K. For more information, contact them at Press Express, 198 Hickory Lane, Southbury CT 06488.

The Anarchy Rag, an independent social anarchist newsletter from Honolulu, Hawaii, has published its last issue…Ladahs, gadahs

The Alarm special issue on Benjamin Peret
reviewed by P. Solis

The Alarm, a publication of the Fomento Obrero Revolucionario (FOR) has published a special issue on Benjamin Peret, a founder of the organization and co-author with Grandizo Munis of Unions Against Revolution. The publishers of the article have admitted its immaturity and its incompleteness, noting in particular “the Leninist residue that impregnates it.” Any investigation of the life and political work of Peret, whom Raymond Queneau described as “a menagerie in revolt, a jungle, liberty,” is to be welcomed. Munis said of him, “As a poet, Benjamin Peret is among the first surrealists; as a revolutionary, among the first communists. As a revolutionary, he was the contrary of a politician; as a poet, the opposite of a litterateur.”

But this pamphlet, entitled “Incidents from the Life of Benjamin Peret,” only treats his life in a sporadic fashion in between long political digressions. Peret appears occasionally in a number of fascinating anecdotes. But except for these moments and some interesting “micro-history” of post-World War II leftist groupings, it repeats all of the standard Trotskyist formulations on the Spanish Revolution, the nature of Stalinism, the organization question, etc.

(One example should suffice: “Stalin triumphed;. but this degeneration should not be taken as an inevitable process, inherent in Bolshevik ‘substitution’ for the masses…As Leon Trotsky well understood, the isolation and backwardness of the Russian workers’ state…”) Thus despite the author’s warning as to the limitations of the article (written in 1976-77), its “usefulness as a record of events” is questionable, and its “testimony to the example of Peret” is therefore flawed. One cannot help but wish that the article had been rewritten, the dogma suppressed, and the interesting historical and biographical information enhanced.

The Alarm has promised more articles on Peret to make up for the problems with this one. It also does print regular informative reports on the Spanish situation today, as well as documents from Munis, Peret and other revolutionaries which are impossible to find any where else. They can be contacted at PO Box 26481, Custom House, San Francisco CA 94126. Peret should be read and more needs to be done to bring to light his long and principled opposition to capitalism, with guns and poetry. In Peret is revealed as in few others a poetic spirit. which is singularly subversive, as when he wrote (in 1945): “It is for the poet to pronounce the forever sacrilegious words and permanent blasphemies.” (P. Solis)

Back issues

We are now offering back issues of the FE for 50 cents a copy. Send 75 cents postage and handling for a copy of Vol. 15 No. 6 which contains an index of available issues.

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