Fuck Authority

The Poster That Keeps on Going!


Fifth Estate # 397, Winter, 2017

Fuck AuthorityWhen someone on the Fifth Estate staff over 40 years ago came up with the slogan, Fuck Authority, it was printed as a 29″ X 22″ poster and tucked inside a 1975 issue of the publication, then a monthly tabloid.

On the reverse side was a catalog of titles offered through the paper’s bookstore which was housed in the same space as its public office.

Recently, the poster was displayed at the Fifth Estate’s 50th anniversary celebration at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in 2015 and was part of a 9338 Campau Gallery exhibit in Hamtramck, Mich. entitled, “Fredy Perlman and the Detroit Print Co-op.” The poster was originally printed there.

It is now one of 87 posters reproduced in a new title from NYU Press, Make Art, Not War: Political Protest from the American Century, compiled by Ralph Young. The book draws on the Tamiment Library’s Poster and Broadside Collection at New York University, Along with ours, posters from the major 20th century political and rights movements are presented as testament to the human spirit which refuses to be repressed by the powerful.

Thankfully, Young chose our version rather than the tepid derivative, “Question Authority.” That would come out as, “Please, sir, may I ask you a question about your decision that affects me.” The answer to a question like that is always, “No!”

Fuck Authority!

Make Art, Not War is available from NYU Press.org.