The Fifth Estate has always proudly displayed the FBI’s description of this publication as “supporting revolution everywhere,” but the world has greatly changed since the U.S. secret police prowled around our offices and kept tabs on staff members in the 1960s.
Those evil gumshoes knew little about what constitutes an authentic overthrow of the current misery and the restructuring of its causes along revolutionary principles. But, perhaps the armored toadies of the state intuited something important: that society perpetuates itself through people’s habit of submission to authority, and that even the smallest act of rebellion contains the seeds of total revolt.
This is why dictators go to such lengths to snuff out even poetry and rock and roll that they fear (usually correctly) challenges the established order.
In our next edition, we want to examine what constitutes revolution in the 21st century. If we simply state, “capitalism bad; anarchism good,” the discussion will not advance very far.
Some possible points of discussion
- Are the old, but admirable formulations for anarchist revolution from the last two centuries still valid?
- What is the nature of the recent revolutions in the Middle East? Are they simply capital readjusting itself, or do they contain something deeper; or both?
- Is granting the people victories in the fight for reforms the manner in which the system extends and affirms itself, or do actions behind the worst abuses of capital and the state expose their true natures and contain the capacity for increased revolutionary actions?
- Is the availability of activities like urban farming, info shops, and even anarchist publications, limited mostly to middle-class people disaffected from the mainstream, or, are they part of the creation of an alternative infrastructure that can ultimately lead to a situation of dual power?
- Is revolution that desires the elimination of capitalism and the political state possible in a world of seven billion people? Would the collapse of the state free us, or lead to chaos and warlordism, as it did after Yugoslavia imploded?
- The successful restructuring of society would require a major change of consciousness. How does a population enmeshed in a thousands-year old authoritarian tradition reject that system and seek autonomy and freedom?
- These are only a few suggestions; you may have much more imaginative ideas.
Submit manuscripts, for short pieces, and proposals for longer essays, along with graphics and photographs, to:
fe (at) fifthestate.org
Ferndale, MI 48220
Please put “Submission 386” in the subject line.
We also want articles, art, and photographs on general topics.
Deadline: November 5
Publication date: December 1