Shulamith Firestone, Feminist Writer, Dies at 67
Margalit Fox

Shulamith Firestone, a widely quoted feminist writer who published her arresting first book, “The Dialectic of Sex,” at 25, only to withdraw from public life soon afterward, was found dead on Tuesday in her apartment in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. She was 67.

Ms. Firestone apparently died of natural causes, her sister Laya Firestone Seghi said.


Alexander Cockburn, 1941–2012

Alexander Cockburn, long time journalist and contributor for CounterPunch, The Nation and First Post, died last night in Germany at the age of 71 after a two-year battle with cancer.

Friend and co-editor Jeffrey St. Clair writes:

Farewell, Alex, My Friend

Our friend and comrade Alexander Cockburn died last night in Germany, after a fierce two-year long battle against cancer. His daughter Daisy was at his bedside.

Manifesto of the Federación Anarquista Revolucionaria de Venezuela (FARV)

1) The Federación Anarquista Revolucionaria de Venezuela is a collective that adopts the ideology of Libertarian Communism, a system where both capitalism and the bourgeois State that supports it are abolished, where the people as the producers of goods and services have control of what is produced in the form of collective ownership, where such production is distributed according to the principle "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs".


"RIP Don LaCoss, Historian of Arab Surrealist Movement"
Ron Sakolsky

It is with great sorrow that Fifth Estate has to report the death of our dear friend and comrade, Don LaCoss on January 31. He had been terribly sick for several months with a relentless respiratory illness that finally morphed into pneumonia. Don was the editor of the as of yet unfinished next edition of our publication and was literally at work on it the night of his death.

All of his friends and colleagues in La Crosse, Wis., where he taught and lived with his family, are in great shock as are we who knew Don to be creative and lively, humorous and scholarly. He is irreplaceable in the true meaning of the word. For those of you who knew Don personally, there will be memorials for him in Lacross and Madison next week. If you only knew him from his by-line on Fifth Estate essays, you know as a reader how sorely we will miss his always-on-the-mark writing.

His issue, with the theme of DIY, which he swore would be printed on Feb. 15, will probably be delayed a few more weeks, but it is still Don's issue, and we will complete it in the manner he intended. Below is a very short appreciation of him by his friend in the Surrealist movement, Ron Sakolsky.

Saharawi Protest Camp Attacked; Several Killed, Hundreds Injured Free Western Sahara Network In the early hours of Monday morning the Moroccan security forces razed the Sahararwi protest camp containing 20,000 people to the ground. Several were killed and hundreds injured. Riots are erupting in El Auoun and could spread.
LAUNCH OF NEW BOOK SERIES: CALL FOR BOOK PROPOSALS CONTEMPORARY ANARCHIST STUDIES CONTINUUM BOOKS This new book series, the first peer-reviewed English-language series in anarchist studies by a major international academic publisher, seeks to promote the study of anarchism as a framework for understanding and acting on the most pressing problems of our times. To this end, we invite proposals for original manuscripts that exemplify cutting edge, socially engaged scholarship bridging theory and practice, academic rigour and the insights of contemporary activism. We welcome book proposals on a wide variety of subjects including, but not limited to the following: anarchist history and theory broadly construed; individual anarchist thinkers; anarchist-informed analysis of current issues and institutions; and anarchist or anarchist-inspired movements and practices. Proposals informed by anti-capitalist, feminist, ecological, indigenous, and non-Western or global South anarchist perspectives are particularly welcome. So, too, are projects that promise to illuminate the relationships between the personal and the political aspects of transformative social change, local and global problems, and anarchism and other movements and ideologies. Above all, we wish to publish books that will help activist scholars and scholar activists think about how to challenge and build real alternatives to existing structures of oppression and injustice. All proposals will be evaluated strictly according to their individual merits and compatibility with the aims of the series. In accord with this policy, we welcome proposals from independent scholars and new authors as well as from those with an institutional affiliation and publishing record. Titles accepted for publication in the series will be supported by an engaged and careful peer review process, including impartial assessments by members of an international editorial advisory board consisting of leading scholars in the field.*
The Aims of Education McKenzie Wark My fellow educators (by which I mean everyone, as we are all educators). Since our topic today is the aims of education, I thought I would start by imagining how my students would approach such a question. I imagine the first thing they would do is: consult the oracle. Not the oracle of Delphi, the oracle of The Daily Show: Jon Stewart. Not long ago Jon Stewart’s guest on The Daily Show was Tim Pawlenty, the human face of conservatism. While Stewart lobbed surprisingly softball questions at him, Governor Pawlenty explained how we can completely privatize education. Students will just buy their education a course at a time via iTunes on their iPads. Along with downloads of Lady Gaga videos and, for that matter, The Daily Show, you could just download Philosophy 101, or more likely, Marketing 101. I’ll come back to this vision, both thrilling and chilling, of education. Students don’t get all their information by consulting the oracle. They also practice a complex kind of divination using randomly cast spells, or in other words, Google. Using Google somewhat carelessly, one gets at least a fair glimpse of what commonsense opinion is about the aims of education. This commonsense opinion about education is curiously contradictory.
Midnight Special Law Collective Disbands Dear Friends, Midnight Special has been engaging in months of discussion and critical analysis about the role of law collectives, both amongst ourselves and with other members of the law collective movement. We have also been looking at our own internal process as an anti-authoritarian collective. We have reached various conclusions: that we have been unable to break out of the service provider model; that we are dissatisfied with jumping from action to action, and leaving little infrastructure behind; that we often emulate the oppressive structures we seek to change; and that these problems are much harder to solve than we had believed. Our final conclusion is that, because of the state of the movement and ourselves, Midnight Special will not be able to overcome those challenges. So it is with sadness and hope that we write to you today. After 10 years of work, we, the members of the Midnight Special Law Collective, are closing our doors.
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