FIFTH ESTATE Vol. 47 No. 2: , 8” x 10”, offset, 47 pgs.

Sep 11, 2012

This is the Anarchist Summer Reading issue. There are lots of book reviews of radical literature that are informative but over-intellectually couched and dry; so dry that I am hesitant to read any of their recommendations, lest they be just as boring. I’m not against this magazine by any means, but man, you need a pack of throat lozenges next to you in order to get through it. I don’t understand radical writing that’s stuck in the collegiate high tower. I mean, I understand it... (usually after going back and reading passages over and over again), I just don’t understand why they feel that’s the best way to communicate. It’s not even writing that can be appreciated as good or bad, it’s just academic writing. Hell, I have a thousand magazines and books like this laying around which I’ll never read just because they’re dull as fuck. There. Now that I got that out, there were a lot of insightful articles in here. I really liked John Zerzan’s essay in defense of the Black Bloc, as well as the article on “Anarchism and the Anti-Authoritarian Personality,” which proposed that political radicals are a certain type of person who live a freer life by not taking jobs seriously. They are the semi-proletariat that understands “time’s language” and thus move within life more freely and riskfully. They are in tune with more natural rhythms than just punching a clock (a personality that is more applicable to these times of unemployment and temp exploitation). I really liked that one. Then there was stuff on the Occupy movement, legalization of gays in the military, a radical college called Corvid, and one on the history of debt that goes back to the beginning of civilization. I don’t mean to be too hard on Fifth Estate, as some of the articles were accessible and enjoyable to read. The rest I’m glad I read for the information I gleaned from them. I’m just frustrated with the fact that political writing either has to be hyper-educated or immensely readable and grandiosely ignorant like Crimethinc. I recommend this; I just had to get my two low-brow, service-earned cents in. –Craven Rock (Fifth Estate, PO Box 201016, Ferndale, MI48220)