Radical media, politics and culture.

Smygo http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo reports:

Underground Paper Leaves City, Not Roots

September 5, 2002


The Fifth Estate always was a made-in-Detroit product.

Published in funky old buildings around Wayne State
University, the paper blended ultra-radical politics, a
sense of humor and an in-your-face attitude. It explored
issues that lurked outside its door, such as the effects of
factories and ghettos on humans.

It was a winning formula. Of the hundreds of underground
papers that arose across the United States in the 1960s, the
Fifth Estate is the oldest survivor. It grew increasingly
radical over the years, and developed a few thousand loyal
readers around the world.

But now, after 37 years, one of the last remnants of
Detroit's rich counterculture era has left the city.

Sasha Ethiopia writes: "
Direct Action: Memoirs of an Urban Guerilla, Ann Hansen (AK Press/BTL, 2001)

Dr Woooo submits the following review by Rob los Ricos of Hardt and Negri's "Empire."

Rob los Ricos is a J18 anarchist political prisoner. Info on Rob Los Ricos can be found at: http://www.infoshop.org/rob.html or


Empire by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt (Harvard University Press,
Cambridge, MA, 2000) 478 pp. $18.95 paper.

In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1988,
Bush the Elder proclaimed that we had entered into a New World Order. I was alarmed to hear someone drunk with power-and who knows what else-crowing over the seemingly unlimited authority the ruling powers had achieved. The media tried to pretend it never happened, but the concerns of many, many people-who, like myself, were stunned into disbelief by Bush I's proclamation of power forced conservative political pundits to eventually address the President's megalomaniacal statement. Mostly, they stressed the "fact" that the NWO had been in existence for quite a while and was nothing new after all. Most lefty-liberals fell in line with the conservatives and even tried to outdo them by claiming that the NWO was just more of the same old capitalist imperialism. This isn't so. In Hardt and Negri's book, Empire they describe how the emergence of the NWO/Empire represents a new epoch in human evolution, an event so profound as to put an end to history, not by negating it, but by bringing historical processes to their conclusion. This (Empire) is it: the ultimate fulfillment of human endeavor.

To the authors, this is not necessarily a bad turn of events. To me,
however, Empire represents the triumph of the darkest aspects of human
capability and must be resisted with every bit of energy by everyone who
treasures life.

Mike Palecek writes:

Recently 37 people were sentenced to federal prison for protesting at the School of the Americas, Ft. Benning, Georgia. These people dared to point out our own "American Terrorists."

In November thousands more will travel to Georgia for the annual protest, at which more will illegally enter the base to put their bodies in the way of America. Actor Martin Sheen has been a regular at these annual demonstrations.

Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest, has served years in prison for these protests that he founded years ago.

Bourgeois is featured in a new book just released by Algora Publishing of New York City, "Prophets Without Honor".

Chuck Morse writes "The following review appeared in the second issue of The New Formulation: An Anti-Authoritarian Review of Books (Vol. 1, # 2, June 2002). The complete text of this issue is available at: http://flag.blackened.net/nf/index.htm
Theory of the Anti-Globalization Movement, Part II

Review by Chuck Morse

+++ Review of The Battle of Seattle: The New Challenge to Capitalist Globalization Edited by Eddie Yuen, George Katsiaficas, and Daniel Burton Rose (New York: Soft Skull Press, 2002) & On Fire: The Battle of Genoa and the Anti-capitalist Movement By various authors (London: One-Off Press, 2001) +++

What was remarkable about the movement that erupted in Seattle 1999 was not so much that previously adversarial sides of the progressive opposition--the "teamsters and turtles"--had started working together or that old revolutionary flags were flying once again. These things had happened at various times in recent history to no great effect. What was extraordinary was the dialogue that emerged between members of the revolutionary, ideological Left (anarchists and communists) and activists whose primary interest lay in pragmatic, bread-and-butter reforms. These two tendencies have long been divided and often regarded one another suspiciously, but somehow the anti-globalization movement created a political space in which they could come together and jointly imagine a movement that is utopian and yet faithful to the demands of day-to-day activism.

hydrarchist writes

Spectres of the Spectrum and Sonic Outlaws

The Transmission Interview with Filmmaker Craig Baldwin

Craig Baldwin is something of an underground icon. With found art as his instrument, for over twenty years he has been creatively expressing his views about media democracy and "evil" applications of technology, important issues of our time that -- surprise, surprise -- fail to garner adequate attention by our mass communications corporate behemoths.

Hosting micro-cinema events and editing an online alternative "zine," Craig continues to bring compelling and bold written and filmed work to audiences that crave material beyond the mainstream.

Seize the Day: Lenin's Legacy

Slavoj Zizek

Tuesday July 23, 2002,

London Review of Books

A review of Lenin by Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, translated by George Holoch. Holmes & Meier, 371 pp, £35, 2001, 0 8419 1412 5

In 1917, fighting against the tide of Bolshevik opinion, Lenin claimed that there is no 'proper time' for revolution, simply emerging opportunities which must be seized. In the latest exclusive essay from the London Review of Books, Slavoj Zizek argues that the left today needs Lenin's lessons more than ever.

The left is undergoing a shattering experience: the progressive movement is being compelled to reinvent its whole project. What tends to be forgotten, however, is that a similar experience gave birth to Leninism. Consider Lenin's shock when, in the autumn of 1914, every European social democratic party except the Serbs' followed the 'patriotic line'. How difficult it must have been, at a time when military conflict had cut the European continent in half, not to take sides. Think how many supposedly independent-minded intellectuals, Freud included, succumbed, if only briefly, to the nationalist temptation.

In 1914, an entire world disappeared, taking with it not only the bourgeois faith in progress, but the socialist movement that accompanied it. Lenin (the Lenin of What Is to Be Done?) felt the ground fall away from beneath his feet -- there was, in his desperate reaction, no sense of satisfaction, no desire to say "I told you so." At the same time, the catastrophe made possible the key Leninist Event: the overcoming of the evolutionary historicism of the Second International. The kernel of the Leninist 'utopia' -- the radical imperative to smash the bourgeois state and invent a new communal social form without a standing army, police force or bureaucracy, in which all could take part in the administration of social matters -- arises directly from the ashes of 1914. It wasn't a theoretical project for some distant future: in October 1917, Lenin claimed that "we can at once set in motion a state apparatus consisting of 10 if not 20 million people." What we should recognise is the 'madness' (in the Kierkegaardian sense) of this utopia -- in this context, Stalinism stands for a return to 'common sense'. The explosive potential of The State and Revolution can't be overestimated: in its pages, as Neil Harding wrote in Leninism (1996), "the vocabulary and grammar of the Western tradition of politics was abruptly dispensed with."

The Errorist Menace:

Caleb Carr's The Lessons of Terror

Reviewed by Bob Black

(From Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed
at: http://www.anarchymag.org/53/review_terrorist.html )

The Lessons of Terror:

A History of Warfare Against Civilians: Why It Has
Always Failed and Why It Will Fail Again

By Caleb Carr

(Random House, New
York, NY, 2002) 274 pp. $19.95 hardcover.

The ideas in this book the author first set forth (he says) in a 1996
article, but no one needs to guess why the book was rushed into print. (A
list of seven errata has been put into the middle of the book, and it is
incomplete.) He proposes to place contemporary terrorism in the context of
military history stretching back as far as the Roman Republic. In a book of
256 pages, this necessarily implies a romp through history with only cursory
analysis of examples taken out of their contexts.

The author's purpose is avowedly didactic: Carr is literally teaching "the
lessons of terror." It is his startling thesis that terrorism is a form of
warfare, but "a form that has never succeeded." A further startling thesis
is that "it has been one of the most ultimately self-defeating tactics in
military history-indeed, it would be difficult to think of one more inimical
to its various practitioners' causes."

Quantum Mechanics & Chaos Theory:

Anarchist Meditations on N. Herbert's Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics
By Hakim Bey

1. Scientific worldviews or "paradigms" can influence -- or be
influenced by -- social reality. Clearly the Ptolemaic
universe mirrors theocentric & monarchic structures. The
Newtonian/Cartesian/mechanical universe mirrors
rationalistic social assumptions, which in turn underlie
nationalism, capitalism, communism, etc. As for Relativity
Theory, it has only recently begun to reflect -- or be
reflected by -- certain social realities. But these relations
are still obscure, embedded in multinational conspiracies,
the metaphysics of modern banking, international terrorism,
& various newly emergent telecommunications-based

The Limitations of "Open Marxism"

Mike Rooke,

Reviewing John Holloway, Change the World Without Taking Power, Pluto, 2002.
Paperback, 240pp, 15.99.

John Holloway has written an important book. It is a sustained
critique of orthodox (i.e. Leninist) Marxism from the standpoint of the
Open Marxism of which Holloway is an exponent (along with others
such as Richard Gunn, Werner Bonefeld and Kosmas Psychopedis). The
central argument is that the strategic orientation of the
(principally) Leninist tradition has focused on the capture and
wielding of state power, and the conception of socialism
characteristic of this tradition has been marked by a subordination to
this goal (the state illusion). More specifically he targets the
scientific-Marxist partyism of this orthodox tradition (p.84),
which he rejects for its pretensions to be an all-encompassing theory
of reality (a scientific epistemology). The greater part of the post-
Marx Marxist tradition, therefore, has become a reified theory and
practice, reflecting an accommodation to the structures and thought of
bourgeois society. Its fetishisation of state power (its capture) has
led to the consistent betrayal of revolutionary aspirations, and the
reproduction, rather than the abolition, of oppressive power
relations. While such criticisms of Lenin and Third International
Marxism are not new, a large part of the uniqueness of Holloways book
derives from his use of fetishism as a critical category with which to
construct a conception of revolution as the dissolution of power (as