What is Anarchy?

Intro to Issue 391


Fifth Estate # 391, Spring/Summer 2014 - Anarchy!

A book published several years ago purported to define for its readers what anarchism is and what it isn’t. Probably only the writer was satisfied with his definitions since adherents to anarchy come in many varieties.

However, delete the hyphenated suffix (anarchist-communist or anarcho-syndicalist, etc.) and all perspectives agree that the political state and the capitalist economy have since their inception been destructive of human freedom.

As Leviathan occupies every inch of global territory and colonizes world human consciousness, anarchism remains one small unconquered sector that not only says a resounding, “No!,” to the current state of affairs but offers a visionary alternative.

This issue of the Fifth Estate is devoted to the concept and adherents of anarchism without the pretense that all that is anarchy is definitively represented. As several of our essayists write, we know what is terribly wrong with contemporary society and we have a general vision of what should replace it, but the path to follow is still being hewn.

This issue follows our Fall 2013 edition. The best way to keep track of our episodic publishing schedule is through the whole number. Fall was #390; this is #391.

To make sure what has appeared in these pages over almost the last half century aren’t lost for future generations of rebels, two of our comrades are digitizing all of the written material that we’ve published.

This is a staggering but crucial project to retain memory of the movements of resistance and renewal we’ve chronicled since 1965. Some of their labors are already posted on our web site at fifthestate.org, click Archive; more will follow.

However, we are missing some key early issues. If you have pre-1976 issues, particularly the first ten, please consider sending them to us so we can document our history.

Mail to: FE Archive, POB 14432, Seattle WA 98114 or

Email: archive- at – fifthestate – dot – org.

Thank you to our writers, editors, photographers, artists, proofreaders, and the several dozen people who assure that we will celebrate our 50th anniversary next year. Since we refuse commercial advertising, the voice of Capital, our only financial support comes from subscriptions, donations, and Sustainer pledges. See our web site for information on how you can help assure our financial stability.

We welcome comments for our Letters pages.