The introduction of the new iPhone X — which features wireless charging, facial recognition and a price tag of $999 — appears to be a minor event in the advance of technology. But it’s an excellent illustration of something that has long gone unrecognized: The Unabomber had a point.
From Plain Words
“Become ungovernable” is a slogan anarchists like to use these days. It sounds cool and fits the anarchist aesthetic of revolt and spectacular conflict. It doesn’t immediately mean much, but that’s the beauty of it, the meaning shifts with each person and the specificities of their lives. With no revolution and lots of environmental catastrophe, state violence, and “active shooter situations” on the horizon, rather than despairing at our no-future future, it instead contains a path forward: to refuse submission to law, duty, and passivity in daily life.
The full content of Fifth Estate #306, July, 1981 is now online at
It contains articles critical of technology and civilization that are as relevant today as when they were first published, including
Against the Megamachine
Marxism, Anarchism and the Roots of the New Totalitarianism
Indigenism & its Enemies
Community, Primitive Society and the State
From Horizontal Hostility
In this episode four of the five hosts use a recent interview where Slavoj Zizek discusses brain interface technology as a launching point to talk about the radical potentials, dangers, and philosophical implications of technology. Will and Vanc argue about how much responsibility rests on us as developers versus as consumers. To what degree are anarchists drawn to problematic technologies like Facebook or Twitter as a result of personal utility as opposed to social pressure? What’s the difference between the manipulative pressures of advertising and building interfaces that people can more quickly adapt to? And philosophically is “freedom” to be found in division or connection? Should the gap between us and the world be abolished? Ciarrai and Will both support greater connection but differ when it comes to organizational prescriptions in our present world between collectivism and individualism.
This podcast bills itself as a show that mostly talks about topical issues (this episode is unusual), and engaging people with very different perspectives. #goodfaithdisagreements
Assessing Your Encryption Options
So, you’ve decided to encrypt your communications. Great! But which tools are the best? There are several options available, and your comrade’s favorite may not be the best for you. Each option has pros and cons, some of which may be deal breakers—or selling points!—for you or your intended recipient. How, then, do you decide which tools and services will make sure your secrets stay between you and the person you’re sharing them with, at least while they’re in transit?
And do the Vault 7 Revelations Mean Encryption Is Useless?
If you’ve used the internet at any point since May 2013, you’ve probably heard that you should use encrypted communications. Edward Snowden’s revelation that the National Security Agency logs all of our calls, texts, and emails sparked a surge in the development and use of encryption apps and services. Only a few years later, encryption is widely used for daily communication. If you use any of these encryption tools, you’ve probably also heard the phrase “end-to-end encryption,” or “E2EE.” The name seems straightforward enough: end-to-end means content is encrypted from one endpoint (generally your phone or computer) to another endpoint (the phone or computer of your message’s intended recipient). But what level of security does this promise for you, the user?
From Horizontal Hostility
Horizontal Hostility’s inaugural episode. The five hosts gather in the same city and same room (with two spectators and occasional commentators) to talk about Riseup.net’s decision to turn over information regarding two users to the FBI and their justification.
Revolutionary Luxury, Bureaucratic Administration
Any politics that seeks an encompassing notion of liberation and freedom must, first and foremost, be oriented towards the future, and must pursue this horizon through goal-oriented actions. This effectively sets up a feedback system, linking together the shifting and modular futurity that is assembled by those who desire it with the concrete actions, revolutionary impulses, and insurrectionary acts that move towards its construction. In their most effective turns, future horizons are assembled as to remain open, as the very compounding of possibilities into an ever-increasing array of options. Still, though, certain motifs are deployed to act as anchors or signals for the widening of the possibility space.