News & Reviews


Fifth Estate # 316, Spring, 1984

From Coimbra, Portugal comes Pravda, put out by Fenda Editions. Pravda, with its obviously tongue-in-cheek title, describes itself as “a magazine of evil arts” and has just published its third issue. Although it refuses categorization, it could be described as a dada-esque journal of anti-politics and anti-art. It is infused with an impassioned desire to fight against the isolation which consumes us all. It will do this, its editors tell us, “by the undiplomatic unjournalistic communication between individuals who do not recognize themselves in that which the world of practical shit happiness avows and promotes.” They are defiant against this world in which “misery is the vicious synonym of wealth, and submission the frenetic synonym of liberty.”

They realize the difficulties involved in such a project, primarily because of its refusal to “collaborate either with the modern political hoax or with its dialectical daughter, the pantomimist advertising lie, both coverings for the marrow of this world which is voluntary enslavement.” And so they seek accomplices, kindred spirits, co-conspirators so that their collusion against this “modern suffocation” will disseminate and grow.

Although their task is admittedly a critical, at times theoretical and political one, they refuse to fall into “the putrid peace of impotent criticism” or to become involved with the “neo-literary” preoccupations of artistic circles. They consider themselves poorly educated in the acceptance of the modern world and so have no intentions either of educating it or becoming a part of it; “Whoever recognizes themselves in this,” the Pravda editors tell us, “our doors are open.”

Recent issues have included, among other things, articles on the social and economic crises in Portugal and Spain, the situation in Poland, the social implications of new and punk rock, and discussions of dadaism and surrealism. (in Portuguese)

To contact Pravda, write Fenda Edicoes, 3008 Coimbra CODEX, Portugal.

Another publication in Portuguese is A Ideia, “magazine of culture and anarchist thought,” which declares in its editorial platform, “The conviction that: the present world is heading inexorably towards more and more inhuman and subtle forms of the subjection of the individual, towards the accelerated degradation of community and the environment; and that the contemporary opposition, private capitalism/state socialism is, more than ever, a false alternative, since it does not go beyond two models of management of the same economic and social logic; renders more urgent the will to understand social reality and to act upon it with libertarian solutions.” Subscriptions are $5 U.S. They can be contacted at Apartado 3122, 1303 Lisboa CODEX Portugal.

We also receive A Batalha, founded in 1919, “a newspaper which does not think for you,” and which shares space with A Ideia and other libertarian projects at the Centro de Estudos Libertarios on Avenida D. Carlos I, no. 128, in Lisbon. A Batalha is a traditional revolutionary anarcho-syndicalist publication, covering labor, ecological struggles, anti-militarism, and other political and theoretical themes. Correspondence should be directed to Apartado 5085, 1702 Lisboa CODEX Portugal.

—Lynne Clive

The Winter ’83-’84 issue of Anarchy magazine has just arrived. It is available from Box A., 84b Whitechapel High St., London E17QX England.

The Winter 1984 issue of Black Flag Quarterly is now out. Published by the same collective that produces Black Flag, the organ of the Anarchist Black Cross prisoner support group, it contains longer, more analytical articles than its companion publication. The current number includes an article on British trade unionism, discussion of the current status of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union the CNT, a translation of Chinese anarchist Pa Chin’s short story, “Love: A Trilogy,” and more. It is available from Black Flag/Black Cross, c/o Box ABC, 121 Railton Road, London SE 24 England.

As drab as its title, the upstart Discussion Bulletin (No. 4, November 1983, and No. 5, March 1984) treats such burning questions as “Is There a Future for the S.I.U. (Socialist Industrial Unionism) Movement?” The answer, one letter writer assures us in issue No. 4, is obvious—”If we thought there was no future for the S.I.U. movement, we would not be wasting our time, energy, and money, in building an organization and propagating its program.” Better think again, pal…Available to archivists and curiosity-seekers from P.O. Box 1564, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

The new issue of Echanges is out (August/September October/November 1983). It contains information on groups and struggles from around the world, news of forthcoming Echanges projects, and summaries of publications received from around the world—giving the reader an idea of the vitality of libertarian publication projects. Please note their new address: Echanges et Mouvement, BM Box 91, London WC 1V 6 XX England.

Recently received was the Jan./Feb. 1984 issue of Heretic’s Journal, available at P.O. Box 12347, Seattle WA 98111. The current issue features the article “What Is Fascism” on varieties of fascism. The journal as a whole aims at a synthesis of the political and the spiritual; it appears decidedly anti-authoritarian, unlike many other such attempts.

The Winter 1983-84 issue of The Match has recently been received. It includes a note by Fred Woodworth about an unfortunate experience he underwent involving Hustler magazine. It seems Fred was invited by that venerable publication to write an article about anarchism for an upcoming issue. Fred submitted a guest editorial about Haymarket anarchist Albert Parsons, only to find that Hustler’s ignominious editors had turned it into a paean to Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, adding passages Fred never wrote making Flynt out to be a latter-day Parsons. Fred justified his submission on the grounds that it presented an opportunity to spread anarchist ideas to millions of people who otherwise might never encounter them. (Of course, that assumes that people who buy Hustler actually read the articles therein, a dubious proposition to be sure).

The new Match also includes the latest installment of the continuing story “Dream World,” a special section on “Surrealism and Revolution” by Franklin Rosemont, a nasty, ignorant review of Fredy Perlman’s Against His-story, Against Leviathan by Chas Bufe (more on this in a future issue of the FE), and more. The Match’s address is P.O. Box 3488, Tucson, Arizona 85722.

The February, 1984 issue of Outta Control: Belfast Anarchist News is out. It includes a statement by women from Greenham Common—the U.S. Air Force Base in England where a women’s peace encampment has been set up to protest the installation of cruise missiles at the base—who on December 27, 1983 broke into the air traffic Control Tower at the base and read some classified documents. The address of Outta Control is c/o Just Books, 7 Winetavern St., Belfast, BT1 1JQ, Northern Ireland.

The March, 1984 issue of the irrepressible Yippies’ colorful radical scandal sheet, Overthrow, contains interesting articles on the West German Greens, an expose of the link between Lebanon’s Gemayel regime and the international heroin trade, a call by the “National Campaign to Freeze Reagan/Bush in ’84” for “individuals and affinity groups around the world to engage in creative, non-violent civil disobedience” at the upcoming G.O.P. presidential nominating convention (August 18-23, 1984) in Dallas, and more. The address for Overthrow is P.O.B. 392, Canal St. Station, New York, NY 10013.

The January, 1984 issue of Synthesis has recently been received. An unfortunate cover graphic mars the latest offering by this group, who are engaged in a promising, if sometimes contradictory, attempt to leave behind sterile anarchist dogma. The cover—depicting the silhouettes of three hominids, the first two, an Australopithecus and a Neanderthal, linked with symbols of violence; the third, a Homo Sapiens, linked with a symbol of love; the silhouettes are framed by a caption which reads, “Survival of the Species”—appears to characterize aggression and war as “primitive impulses” (as in the saying, “he has a Neanderthal attitude”). Although a trivial and undoubtedly unintended slip, it nonetheless represents a modern prejudice linking evolution, progress, and “humanistic” impulses—a prejudice that at its most virulent was used as a rationale for exterminating and subjugating more “primitive” races by the European civilizers and tamers of the wilderness. Every time I hear the word “Neanderthal,” I reach for my club!

The contents of the latest issue are more promising than the cover: information about the Rainforest Information Centre, P.O. Box 368, Lismore N.S.W. 2480 Australia, a group of Australian ecologists trying to save rainforests in New South Wales and Tasmania from developers (they also publish articles on “deep ecology”); thoughtful commentary on the West German Green Party, and more. Synthesis is available from P.O. Box 1858, San Pedro, CA 90733.

We have received the first number of Bluff, a multilingual (mostly in English and French) journal “of anarchy, minorities and of conceit… without censorship or any restrictions.” Subscriptions are $2 per issue “or what you can afford in these ‘recession times.'” Send cash only to C.P. 95, Stn. Place D’Armes, Montreal, P.Q. H2Y3E9 Canada. Articles and letters are also welcome. The first issue contains material on Greek anarchy, civil disobedience, individualist anarchism and more.

The Loon Op Zand Exchange, “Bas Moreel’s pick of the month of the Dutch language radical press (North Belgium and the Netherlands),” contains English language translations and summaries of publications and books on libertarian themes. Much historical material here, as well as info on the Dutch anti-nuclear and anti-militarist movements. The review is interested in exchange with other publications and individuals who are interested in sending reviews, clippings, pamphlets, and other material. They hope to publish bimonthly, and ask for approximately one dollar U.S. per 3 issues. Address all correspondence to: Bas Moreel, van Hornestraat 15, 5175 CC Loon-op-Zand, Netherlands. The publishers request that you do not mention the name of the review on the envelope.

The Survival Network Newsletter continues to publish information on solidarity work, prisoners, native peoples and more. The newsletter also serves as a forum for many prisoners to let people know about their ongoing battles with the prison authorities and the state. Write: Survival Network, P.O. Box 52282, New Orleans LA 70152.

The Slash: An Anti-Authoritarian Scrapbook (“Slash the state—death to Big Brother”) produces an anarcho-montage in Orlando, Florida. Write the Free Orlando Group, Box 541, Orlando FL 32802. Also produced in the Orlando area is an interesting little mag, Table of Contents, in which we read, “Show me the smooth shining face of high technology and I’ll show you the ragged edge of humanity…” Unfortunately, we have no address on them. If anyone does, let us know and We’ll publish it in a future column.

—Bob B.

Free Readers’ Ads

Steve Davis, last known address Messies Mill, Virginia: Please contact Oscar, P.O. Box 287, Union, West Virginia 24983.

The Dawn Players present Two Skits on Grenada on Monday, 8 pm, April 16th, at the Cafe Detroit, 87 W. Palmer near Cass in Detroit.