Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2017-2018
Readers’ Views on: environmental and social crises; Martin Luther King Day; healthcare crisis, Donald Trump and the election; brutal “justice”; and who reads News & Letters.
Just weeks after Donald Trump claimed his Electoral College victory, he put the spotlight on U.S.-China relations by taking a call from Taiwan’s President, creating the possibility that the U.S. might abandon the “one China” policy.
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.
First hand account of Chicago demonstration on the International Day of Solidarity with Aleppo on Oct. 1, 2016.
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 [=>]
As President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party continues to be roiled by the question of his potential successor, mass protests and strikes have also erupted over unemployment, electoral reform, and failure to pay doctors’, nurses’, and teachers’ salaries.
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.
An expansive look at the rise of fascism worldwide beginning in the U.S. with Donald Trump and the U.S. election, and taking in European fascism, and the situations in India, the Philippines, China, Japan and the opposition by rulers worldwide to those fighting for a free existence and new human relations.
President Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since the overthrow of white minority rule in 1980. The succession is now being contested by factions of the ruling ZANU-PF party.
Five years later, residents of China’s Wukan village continue to protest the stealing of their land by developers who are paid by village officials and the Chinese Communist Party.
Workshop Talks columnist Htun Lin looks at the world situation from the massacre of LGBTQ people in Orlando to the murder of Jo Cox in Britain to Brexit and to how workers are reacting, suggesting that there is no exit from global capitalism without international labor solidarity.
Readers’ Views on Women as Reason; Harriet Tubman; Racism and Internationalism; Bisexual Health; Trans Liberation and Feminism; Chinese State vs. Workers; Nuclear Arms Threaten All; Ireland’s Red Banner; Remembering Olga Domanski; Haggard but Not Tired; Voices from Behind the Bars.
Part V of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Together with the depths of counter-revolution, the passion for philosophy points to both the need for and the potential for totally new beginnings in the transformation of society, for new banners of freedom as a polarizing force.
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 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.
People’s suffering, no matter the price of oil, demonstrates capitalism’s inherent deep ties with climate change and economic destruction.
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2016-2017
In the face of an upsurge of strikes, China struck back with new weapons against the spread of job actions and demonstrations.
Article outlining the seriously flawed agreement between the governments of Japan and South Korea regarding the so-called “comfort women,” actually women kidnapped into sexual slavery to serve Japanese Soldiers during World War II. The article includes the list of demands of the surviving women who were left out of the agreement’s negotiations.
North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jong-un, has eliminated another member of the ruling party elite, vice-premier Choe Yong-gon. It is likely that Choe was eliminated for his connection to the North’s joint business ventures with South Korea.
Escalating bankruptcies in the nation’s coal industry paint a grim future for the industry and for coal miners and their families. The bankruptcies, sweeping the coal fields everywhere, have affected the largest and smallest mines. As a result, thousands of coal miners have been laid off.
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.
From the signing of a nuclear weapons agreement by the U.S. and Iran, to the ongoing war in Syria including the roles of Turkey and of the Left, this wide-ranging article delves into the Middle East situation with an emphasis on the forces fighting for genuine freedom and a multi-ethnic society.
The two opponents facing off in Greece for five years have been the Greek masses vs. the European rulers and their institutions. The No vote manifested the revolt against austerity. We explore the meaning of these events.
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.
A roundup of women’s actions and events worldwide; this one taking up the film “India’s Daughter,” an update on the five feminists jailed in China, and the opening of the All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Bloomington, Ind.
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.
In celebrating the first 60 years of News and Letters Committees, we reprint excerpts from the Draft Perspectives for 1975-76 by Raya Dunayevskaya, the first printed in News & Letters.
THE MOVEMENT KNOWS, of course, that the class enemy is at home, within each country. It knows full well that each existing state power is weighted down with fear of revolution. And it does not fail to appreciate that, no matter how deep the intra-imperialist rivalries, capitalist class solidarity holds tightest and strongest against its own people.
The late Syrian writer Alisar Iram, for one, saw where IS/Daesh were heading, long before they took their hammers into the Mosul Museum.
A coup overthrew the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, a long-time pro-democracy activist and an internationally recognized leader on climate issues.
The Tamils have faced a military occupation of their region for almost a decade. The Sinhalese majority (70%) have as well grown restive under Rajapaksa rule. Crime, a drug mafia, nepotism and corruption characterized his rule.
Hundreds of people in Hong Kong marched to People’s Republic of China government offices on Nov. 9 to demand direct negotiations with the government of China and to oppose sham democratic elections planned for 2017. Marchers began from encampments of thousands of protesters who had been maintaining blockades of major thoroughfares for more than six weeks….
La nueva edicion de Praxis en America Latina. Esperamos sus comentarios. Por favor, reenvíenla a sus redes y contactos.
From the September-October 2014 News & Letters
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION
I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
Crowds filled Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on June 4 to remember the massacre in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. Under Hong Kong’s separate administration they bore witness to the two-month-long mass movement of students and workers that spread to city after city across China, and [=>]
Two busloads of people from Chicago joined thousands gathered in Washington on March 15 to mark the third anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015. III. Capitalism’s political and economic degeneracy. A. Karl Marx haunts capitalism’s stagnation. B. The race toward climate chaos.
Few people relish pollution tourism and fewer still can so appropriately express their disgust and delight as Andrew Blackwell in “Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places.”
Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.
• Over 100,000 South Koreans, mainly workers, demonstrated in Seoul on Dec. 28. They expressed their anger over a number of issues at the government of President Park Geun-hye.
One source of anger is the move to privatize some service by KORAIL (Korean Railroad Corp.). This had already led to the largest-ever walkout by members of the railroad workers’ union. Union officials say moves to privatize will mean fare hikes, service reductions, and safety problems.
On Dec. 22 riot police were sent to attack the Seoul headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Without search warrants, they broke down doors and caused serious property damage, including to the adjoining offices of the Kyunghang newspaper, which has been critical of Park’s policies.
Other citizens, outraged by revelations of manipulation by the National Intelligence Service of the 2012 elections when Park was elected, joined protesting workers. Police had confirmed illegal attempts to manipulate the election beforehand, but were ordered to remain silent.
With all these problems and more, South Korean youth have been inspired by the “Why We Aren’t Fine!” campaign. This was launched when a student at Korea University, Ju Hyun-woo, made a poster for his school bulletin board that was picked up and broadcast over social media. He wrote: “I just want to ask, ‘Are you okay?’ Are you fine with ignoring all these issues because they aren’t your problems?…And if you are not ‘fine’ after seeing all these problems, then voice your opinions—whatever they may be.”
Many of these young people joined in the Dec. 28 demonstrations, and also held flash mobs in cities across the country.
Occupations of planned fracking sites in Canada and Romania showed the intensification of struggles against the damage fossil fuel exploitation is inflicting. The urgency of stopping the headlong rush to extract and burn fossil fuel was underscored by the latest comprehensive report from the International Panel on Climate Change.
Workers at the vast Foxconn manufacturing complex in China now struggle against daily torture that is not only physical but mental. It is a new form of the banality of evil that combines Dickensian work conditions, crowded dormitories and a vast bureaucratic maze designed to make young individuals feel totally lost and alone when thrust into it by circumstances not of their own making.
The mass protests in Turkey, the presidential election in Iran and, above all, the continuing struggle for the Syrian revolution express the depth of today’s social crisis. These crises are interpenetrated and inseparable. The stakes are high.
The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse of the USSR. Such is the degeneracy of the globalized capitalist system, laden with destructive forces and sunk into structural crisis. The deep crisis is seen in the U.S. and abroad, economically, in unemployment and poverty, homelessness and hunger. It is seen politically, in new laws attacking workers and women, and new outbursts of racism. It is seen environmentally, with the advance of climate disruption and fake capitalistic solutions. It is seen in thought, as the lack of philosophy, of a total view, hampers the development of struggles from the U.S. to the revolutions of the Arab Spring facing counter-revolutions.
Escape from Camp 14 is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in a North Korean slave labor camp to escape, doing so at the age of 23 in 2005. Shin’s life is testament to the putrid essence of that militarized, state-capitalist totalitarian society.
From the January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:
RAVAGES OF CAPITALISM SHOW NEED FOR NEW WORLD
The article on “Climate chaos and capitalism” (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L) is very relevant, especially the conclusion about how capitalism’s contradiction is that the growth of the economy, of capitalist production, means more global warming and climate change worldwide.
Activist for humans [=>]
From the January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Fake Burmese reforms
When highly lauded Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi doubted whether the Rohingya Muslims really belong in Burma, the incipient racism and ethnic chauvinism echoed personally. I consider myself, my family and many other ethnic minorities to be exiles, having fled persecution in [=>]
From the January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Forced labor in China
In January, as Xi Jinping’s term as head of the Communist Party of China was beginning, the head of the Political and Legal Committee kinda sorta promised the end of “re-education through labor.” Local police have been able send at their discretion those [=>]
From the September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Readers’ Views, Part 1
CAPITALIST CRISIS AND REVOLT
I appreciated Franklin Dmitryev’s Lead article in the July-August N&L, on “Spain, Greece, Europe: Capitalist crisis and revolt,” for showing how the so-called “radical Left” is not really so radical. They think they can solve things through managing the economy and [=>]