Common radical wisdom suggests that capitalism won’t crumble on its own, so imagine the ironically comforting confidence with which we have watched the system convulse over the last few months. But as Don LaCoss reminds us in “The Disasters of Disaster Capitalism,” it’s not a good idea to expect the system to just wither away. The cruel nature of corporations and the state suggests that the forces of domination will continue to profit from the people’s misery and punish anyone who gets in the way.
Anyone seeking evidence for how the collusion of capitalists and governments can wreak havoc on revolutionaries in particular and on life itself more generally need look no further than our documentation of the current climate of repression. Here, we offer reports and updates on the Green Scare, the raid at the Long Haul Infoshop, and the resistance to the recent gathering of Republicans in Minneapolis. With great sadness and rage, we write about our friend Marie Mason who is now behind bars, awaiting sentencing. As we call for support for Green Scare prisoners, let’s remember that in the prison-industrial complex, all prisoners are political prisoners.
To discuss the radical persistence of pleasure might seem rather decadent against the backdrop of systemic misery facing the masses of people and the very fabric of planetary health. But in chronicling the great feast of the forever festive as it fills our lives with hope in hateful times, we want to remind our readers and ourselves that one facet that has always distinguished anarchists and anarchy from other flavors of resistance and visions of society is our insistence on the insurrectionary nature of joy.
This issue of the Fifth Estate brings together writer-editors who have been immersed in these ideas for decades to assess the ongoing and irrepressible influence of play on our anti-politics. Edited by John Brinker in Vermont, Dave Meesters in North Carolina, and Anu Bonobo in Tennessee, our themed pages proudly present the voices of Peter Lamborn Wilson, Tanya Solomon, Janet, Unruh LEE, MK Shibek, Cerulean, and Ron Sakolsky. We believe that it’s the unique combination of collaborators that makes this issue special.
In addition to all the playful prose packed into these 48 pages, we’re so excited to share some new artists with our audience. Our cover art comes from Kristine Ratanaphruks of Asheville, North Carolina. Collage work by Michelle Embree can be seen on pages 11 and 12. Inside the back cover, Tara Jensen interprets the issue’s theme.
Per our current practice of editorial rotation, the next Fifth Estate will be compiled by a different core group. Please see the call for contributions on page 45. Even and especially in these economically tight times, a magazine subscription remains a ridiculously inexpensive purchase. Please renew your Fifth Estate subscription now. Please consider buying one for a friend or making a donation to fund our free subscriptions to prisoners.
The Fifth Estate is a cooperative, non-profit, anti-authoritarian project published since 1965 by a volunteer collective of friends and comrades. We are committed to non-dogmatic, action-oriented writing and activity to bring about a new world. As opposed to professionals who publish to secure wages, or those who invest in the media information industry, we produce this magazine as an expression of our resistance to an unjust and destructive society. No copyright. No paid staff. No ads.
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