As the Trump administration ramps up deportations and related abuses, strikes, protests, and sanctuary cities are proliferating. The oppression of a lower caste of workers and the discrimination and violence faced by immigrants present a challenge to the Left, labor and the rest of humanity.
Trump’s barbarism in power is a crisis for bourgeois democracy and revolutionary thought. Opposition from below is far deeper than bourgeois opposition to Trump. To have efficacy today, Marx’s body of ideas must be grasped and projected as a whole. The movement from theory needs to meet the challenge of history, of freedom struggles and revolution.
An in-depth Marxist-Humanist view of the state of the women’s movement in the U.S. and worldwide as it responds to the rising fascism of U.S. President Trump and other world leaders.
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2017-2018
Prisoner Faruq looks at how African-American History Month came to be, stressing the importance of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s vision and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy included a critique of cultural and social relations as well as race, concluding that history is necessary for formerly enslaved people to move towards freedom.
Frédéric Monferrand introduces the new French edition of Marxism and Freedom. This excerpt concentrates on how the work reconstructs the Hegelian philosophical consistency of Marx’s Marxism so that it comes to life–from the 1844 Manuscripts to “Capital,” through the idea that history is the history of the efforts of humanity to make itself free.
The National Indigenous Congress in Mexico announced that 430 communities had created an Indigenous Governing Council to prepare for selecting a woman to contest the presidential election in 2018, not with the goal of taking power through the ballot box, but to elicit the voices and actions from below.
Review of “Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India,” by Amrita Pande. Pande references divergent feminist viewpoints but studies surrogacy as a form of labor so that she goes beyond moral questions to the question of how a labor market in wombs is created and how the laborers experience this market.
A view of the fire at the Ghost Ship that takes into account the capitalist nature of rents, evictions, land use, and how youth, by the way the live their lives, are fighting back.
Reports from the huge Women’s March from participants in Chicago, Ill., Detroit, Mich., Oakland, Calif., Nashville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., Los Angeles, Calif., and New York City.
The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.
A woman ex-Uber driver details how they exploit their drivers with late fees, turning off your car, and their desire to get rid of their drivers altogether.
A look at the situation in the Middle East in light of Donald Trump’s election that takes up Syria, Yemen and the arming by the U.S. of varying forces–some of whom are fighting each other.
The resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline has become a beacon for all opposing the ruling system—and has been assaulted with ferocious repression. It is a powerful manifestation of the vast forces putting American civilization on trial. The time is now to support this struggle in practice and in thought.
From the September-October 2016 issue of News & Letters
Women have been fighting for our freedom for centuries and yet we are still raped, beaten, enslaved–treated as less than human. We will never be free under capitalism, which has only made women’s lives worse and now threatens our existence [=>]
Readers’ Views includes: Politics; revolution and the power of philosophy; remembering Olga Domanski; the sports section; national prison action; and voices from behind the bars.
Readers’ Views on: Racism and Revolt Put U.S. on Trial; Life and Death Under the Class Divide; Environmental Struggles; War and Atrocities; and Women’s Lives at Stake.
The retreat of former Marxist-Humanists into post-Marx Marxism is analyzed by Franklin Dmitryev through the books “Marx at the Margins” by Kevin Anderson and “Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism” by Peter Hudis, which appropriate some of Raya Dunayevskaya’s conclusions while quietly dismantling their philosophical framework.
Healthcare worker Htun Lin takes up the relationship between workers in healthcare in the U.S. who are told “not everyone can be saved,” and what is happening in Syria where the Syrian government, Russia and Iran are bombing civilians including–or especially–hospitals and healthcare workers.
Review by feminist Adele of Andi Zeisler’s book, We Were Feminists Once: from Riot Grrrl to Covergirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement, exploring how a once revolutionary feminism is being taken over by “marketplace feminism.”
In 1995 Andi Zeisler
Readers’ Views on Needed New Beginnings in Philosophy and Revolution; Making One Year Count; Subjugated Knowledge; Free Syria/May Day; and Voices From Behind the Bars.
Universal Basic Income is posed by some as a solution to the robotization of work and a “workless society” but this ignores Marx’s liberatory vision of a society in which labor is completely transformed so as to become life’s prime want.
A revolutionary critique of the “lynching” charge against Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Richards and how it reveals the racism endemic to U.S. society and spotlights the revolutionary Black youth fighting against it.
An Editorial on how Brexit has emboldened the Far Right, not only in Britain but also in the U.S., bringing out blatant expressions of racism, homophobia, sexism and anti-immigrant hatred; and the importance of people’s own self-organization to counter this moment in history.
The wildfires sweeping Alberta’s tar sands region provide a window onto the state of the environment and the multidimensional worldwide struggle against pollution and climate chaos fueled by capitalism’s drive for production for the sake of production.
Part III of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Strikes and workers’ uprisings in China have forced industrial wages up, not pausing even during the global Great Recession, as a window on capitalism and its crises.
Part II of the Draft Perspectives 2016: The worldwide war against women includes attacks on abortion rights, counter-revolution in Egypt, attacks on women by UN troops. Women celebrated International Women’s day in Turkey and other countries.
Part I of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Discontent is seething in the U.S. among workers, youth, Blacks, women, LGBTQ, including elements of the new society. Fear of revolution is powering neo-fascism opposing the revolt.
Chinese university students’ struggle at Tiananmen Square for better living conditions; Kaiser workers’ fight against two-tier wages and the continuous miner; and today’s Hong Kong Youth’s Umbrella Revolution, Occupy Movement and Black Lives Matter all show that workers are alive in struggle.
The assisted human reproduction industry treats women donating eggs as commodities, giving them no voice about their compensation and no regard for their healthcare.
Contents: Introduction; I. Discontent, revolt and reaction in the U.S.; II. The worldwide war against women; III. Chinese labor in revolt; IV. Counter-revolution and revolution in the Middle East and North Africa; V. Toward organizational new beginnings. The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we print the Marxist-Humanist Draft Perspectives in the pages of the paper of News and Letters Committees. It is an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.
Readers’ Views on: The Movements from Practice and from Theory; Berta Caceres; Why Read N&L?; Women’s Liberation; Voices from behind the Bars.
A critique of HMO practices that sanction nurses for giving quality care, showing the relation of that practice to what Marx worked out about labor time.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s slaughter of Kurdish civilians and activists is viewed in the context of world revolution and counter-revolution.
readers views, nov dec 2015, part 2
The workplace at Amazon.com is making employees physically and mentally ill which is a hallmark of production under capitalism. What happens at Amazon.com is not unusual and can be seen even in areas like healthcare, for example, at Kaiser.
Excerpt from the polemic Raya Dunayevskaya wrote in 1943 against a leading theoretician of the Workers Party, Joe Carter, on Marx’s concept of capitalist “production for the sake of production.”
Puerto Rico’s debt has become unsustainable. The roots of the financial and human crisis lie within the island’s 117-year history as a U.S. colony.
Governments which could never have come to power without the social movements’ mobilizations are using vague expressions of anti-capitalism, socialism, resource nationalism, anti-imperialism, etc., to impose developmentalism on their populations, often in collaboration with neoliberalism.
The National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) has been struggling for autonomy, new labor relationships and a non-capitalist educational model. In September 2013, tens of thousands of people—teachers outside the CNTE, students, parents and activists—demonstrated throughout Mexico to show their rejection of the government’s privatizing educational reforms.
Workers and residents reacted to the huge explosion of Tianjin in China of a hazardous chemical warehouse that killed and injured hundreds of firefighters, neighbors and factory workers. At the same time, Chinese economic troubles engender revolt.
Readers’ thoughts on “Srebrenica, Bosnia, 1995; Europe and the World, 2015”; “Struggles against Racism”; “After Cecil, People Are Next”; “Teachers and Children”; “Workers, Customers Pay.”
Although the Greek masses reject the austerity program imposed on them by the European institutions, Syriza inexorably took a path to capitulation because it is rooted in the search for state power rather than the power of mass self-activity.
“The Democracy Project” presents a close-up view of the activity and the thinking of OWS, and a contemporary treatise on revolutionary organization, yet dismisses philosophy in favor of “anarchist” process.
One year after the murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, the Black Lives Matter movement continues to challenge racist U.S. society. In doing so, it deepens itself in both content and thought.
An appreciative and critical look at the Zapatistas’ seminar held in Chiapas, Mexico, May 3-9 on “Critical Thought in Face of the Hydra of Capitalism,” by a participant.
The exchange of threats between China and the U.S. over specks of land and submerged reefs in the South China Sea has heated up as China has expanded its ambitious campaign of dredging, land reclamation, garrisoning troops and erecting military facilities in the Spratly Islands.
How, on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, does that document speak to what workers and prisoners are facing today?
In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.
Introduction; I. Black Lives Matter; II. Things fall apart (A. Arab Spring: Revolution and war; B. Economic weakness and shifts in global politics; C. Whiff of fascism); III. Greek masses in peril; IV. Marxist-Humanist organization and philosophy.
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.