Russian Marxism and Freedom

VI. The Russian Revolution, 100 years ago and its meaning today

May 17, 2017

Whatever lip service is paid to the Russian Revolution’s 100th anniversary, its significance as a historic event and as a link to the thought and practice of Marx has been obscured because of the abandonment of revolutionary perspectives. It is high time to push to the forefront the role of the philosophy of revolution in permanence in facing the reality of dialectics of liberation, 1917 and 2017.

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Essay: Epigones discard Marxist-Humanist philosophy

September 12, 2016

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.

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Black Lives Matter

May 3, 2015

The long-simmering outrage of Black masses has broken out into a movement against this racist society, particularly its pattern of racist killings by the police. It has not only reverberated internationally, but also made itself felt in the battle of ideas and the sphere of theory.

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Letter from Mexico: Zapatistas on praxis

May 1, 2015

The Zapatistas are not just creating a new world in practice, but in theory—as we have seen by the radical concept Compa/Work Day (CWD), which opens new possibilities to emancipatory social movements. Or, better to say: They can develop revolutionary theory because they develop simultaneously a revolutionary practice (and vice versa).

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: The dialectic and women’s liberation

April 30, 2015

The article excerpts a summary of a talk by Dunayevskaya to a conference on Women’s Liberation in Detroit. The purpose of the meeting was to help Dunayevskaya work out the final chapter of her book then in progress, Philosophy and Revolution. That last chapter would take up the “New Passions and New Forces” for the reconstruction of society. The Conference was also the beginning of the News & Letters—Women’s Liberation Committee.

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Dialectics of revolution: American roots and world Humanist concepts, Part II

September 14, 2014

From the November-December 2010 News & Letters

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: For the centenary of Raya Dunayevskaya’s birth, we present excerpts from her March 21, 1985, lecture at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, at the opening of a three-month exhibition of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (RDC). The [=>]

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The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism

September 9, 2014

From the May 2003 issue of News & Letters.

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Marxist-Humanist Archives

Editor’s note: Raya Dunayevskaya’s “Letters on Hegel’s Absolutes” were a philosophic breakthrough that led to the birth of Marxist-Humanism. We are reprinting this 1987 commentary by her where she reexamined them in light of her effort to work [=>]

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‘On political divides and philosophic new beginnings’

September 7, 2014

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters.

Editor’s Note: “On political divides and philosophic new beginnings,” written 25 years ago, is the last writing of Raya Dunayevskaya, who died on June 9, 1987. It was first published in the In Memoriam special issue of News & [=>]

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From the Preface to The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism

May 26, 2014

Integral to Dunayevskaya’s work of 1986-87 was her concentration on a crucial problem of our era—the relationship between the search for non-elitist forms of organization and the dialectics of philosophy. That relation is crucial to work out if we are to overcome the legacy of unfinished, aborted, transformed-into-opposite revolutions. In singling out these 1953 Letters [=>]

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From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy

May 5, 2014

Revolution and counter-revolution contend now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end. The question arises: where is the needed banner of total uprooting of the system and creation of new human relations as the goal? This objective need is present in every struggle from outright revolution in the Middle East to movements in the U.S. Beset by attacks and contradictions, they have in turn sparked counter-revolutions.

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New biographies reflect Karl Marx’s todayness

September 14, 2013

We can learn a lot from the way Karl Marx is presented in contemporary biographies, even if the particular writer has his/her own ax to grind. This is certainly the case with the two recent widely reviewed works, Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution, by Mary Gabriel; and Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life, by Jonathan Sperber.

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Fanon and Marx

April 8, 2012

When Terry Moon in her column in the last is­sue asks, “How deep does the dialectic need to become when the subject is woman, is Black woman?” she calls for more discussion of Fanon and Women’s Liberation.

Fanon, in breaking with Sartre’s Existentialist Marxism—which acknowledged only one Subject, labor, and consigned the Black dimension to a [=>]

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István Mészáros and the Dialectic

March 19, 2012

Essay
by Eugene Walker

István Mészáros, Social Structure and Forms of Consciousness. Volume I, The Social Determination of Method. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010.

Global depression conditions have once again brought to the fore capitalism’s grave contradictions, and with it, new interest in the work of Karl Marx. This is not alone a theoretical question. The massive protests in [=>]

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March-April 2012 News & Letters is online

March 13, 2012

Lead

Syrian revolution fights Assad’s genocide, world powers watch

The Syrian Revolution is a serious challenge to the order in the region and beyond. Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia all have much to lose from the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist family dynasty, as do their imperialist patrons.

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Women as thinkers and revolutionaries

Working-class [=>]

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Absolute Negativity, Occupy and Situationists

February 2, 2012

Essay
by Ron Kelch

[Absolute negativity] is the simple point of the negative relation to self, the innermost source of all activity, of all animate and spiritual self-movement, the dialectical soul that everything true possesses and through which alone it is true; for on this subjectivity alone rests the sublating of the opposition between concept and reality. –Hegel on second negation in [=>]

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January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters now available on the web

January 29, 2012

Lead

Protests began in September in Wukan, a village of 20,000 people in Guangdong province on the South China Sea, against seizure of more than 100 acres of Wukan’s common land to be sold to those with insider ties to the village Communist Party leadership. Village authorities escalated the conflict by identifying protest leaders and hauling [=>]

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Subjects of revolution: theory/practice

May 12, 2011

From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011:

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Letter to the youth
Subjects of revolution: theory/practice

Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Jan. 15, 1971, letter to Will Stein and other young revolutionaries in News and Letters Committees who had questions about the relationship of theory and practice, and about the “Subject.” The [=>]

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Women’s freedom and Marx’s dialectic

March 22, 2011

Essay
Woman as Reason

by Terry Moon

The contemporary nature of Marxist-Humanism is evident when one views the theory and practice of women’s liberation. Today that involves both an unprecedented attack on women’s rights–especially reproductive rights–now taking place in the U.S., and women’s creative activism in the revolutionary developments in the Middle East, where they are fighting repressive [=>]

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Philosophy and Iran’s revolution: Where to now?

February 12, 2011

Essay

by Raha

Recollecting Raya at the end of the Dunayevskaya Centenary is intertwined with the Iranian Revolution at its 1979 high point and as it suffered through three decades of counter-revolution, and now, as it searches for a new beginning.

One year ago, the unprecedented turnout of millions throughout Iran on the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Revolution [=>]

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Marxism and the U.S. Civil War

February 11, 2011

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War. The piece excerpted here, originally titled “Marxism and Freedom: From the Industrial Revolution to Automation–An Outline of a Book in Preparation,” shows the profound impact of the war on Marx’s thought. It can be found [=>]

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