From the May-June 2015 issue of News & Letters
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2015-2016
Decaying social order shows need for philosophy, revolution
Why we print the Draft Perspectives in News & Letters
In 1975 News and Letters Committees printed its Draft Perspectives Thesis in News & Letters for the first time. The organization has continued the practice ever since. What follows is the 1975 explanation of why we decided to take such action and why we continue to do so:
With this special issue News and Letters Committees are breaking totally new ground for the Marxist movement. Publishing the Draft Perspectives Thesis for our coming national gathering directly in the pages of our paper is unprecedented, not only for all other organizations, but even for our own. We do it because our age is in such total crisis, facing a choice between absolute terror or absolute freedom, that a revolutionary organization can no longer allow any separation between theory and practice, philosophy and revolution, workers and intellectuals, “inside” and “outside.” We ask you to join in the discussion of these Perspectives with us. We are not presenting any “pat answers” to the question, “Where Do We Go From Here?” We are raising the questions that demand answers—and we ask you to help us in working them out.
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A. Arab Spring: Revolution and war
B. Economic weakness and shifts in global politics
C. Whiff of fascism
The deep crisis that jolted capitalism beginning in 2007, persisting to this day, shapes the political as well as economic situation worldwide. So does the revolt that arose in the crisis. Internationally, it erupted most dramatically in the Arab Spring, as well as in occupations, strikes and protests in European countries from Greece to Spain. The depth, breadth and persistence of the revolt, together with the intractability of the crisis, points to the possibility of a new society on human foundations. The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we mark the 60 years of activity of the Marxist-Humanist organization News and Letters Committees—not as an anniversary but as an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.
Within the U.S. the revolt has ranged from the 2008 factory occupation at Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago to prison strikes in Georgia and California, from Texas women packing the statehouse to oppose a draconian anti-abortion bill to the fightback against anti-Gay measures that spurred the legalization of marriage equality, from Occupy Wall Street’s nationwide spread to today’s struggles of low-paid workers for a living wage and the coast-to-coast cry, “Black lives matter!”