Community, Primitive Society and the State

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Fifth Estate # 306, July, 1981

Introduction Primitive culture, Marshall Sahlins has argued, is not fetishized utility. “The practical function of (primitive) institutions,” he tells us, “is never adequate to explain their cultural structure….People employ customs and categories to organize their lives within local schemes of …

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A Family Quarrel

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Fifth Estate # 312, Spring 1983

There’s no end to discussion about the “crisis of the family.” From Reader’s Digest to obscure academic journals, in the halls of Congress and in countless homes, the crisis of the family is portrayed, analyzed, debated, or lived out. This …

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Examining Zerzan

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Fifth Estate # 368-369, Spring-Summer, 2005

Much of primitivist theorist John Zerzan’s early work appeared in the Fifth Estate. His Cassandra-like predictions of imminent collapse of modern society began in 1976 with his FE article, “The Decline and Fall of Everything”–a compendium of statistics of social …

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