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.
The administration’s war against truth and reason, such as climate change denial, calls for more than fact-checking. What is needed is to establish a totally opposite ground, that of liberation.
Trumpism’s self-perpetuating disorder is based on negation of social movements, trying to stifle the positive in their negation of this exploitative society. His deceit and power grabs express capitalism’s disintegration, exuding racism, sexism, and fascism.
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2017-2018
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.
Because of the urgency of the question of how to make new beginnings in such a reactionary world situation, we excerpt two of Dunayevskaya’s last philosophical writings, which confront “where to begin” as part of her work on dialectics of philosophy and organization.
Trump’s electoral victory by appealing to racism and sexism menaces all freedom movements. It is the index of this system’s crisis and bankruptcy of thought, which needs to be met with a truly revolutionary vision.
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.
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.
Eugene Gogol explores the point that the radical heart of Hegelian dialectics is the negation of the negation–the positive within the negative that constructs the new society. He traces this idea in Marx and Lenin and then how Raya Dunayevskaya saw this dialectic expressed in her breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolutes, where she ascertained a dual movement: a movement from practice that is itself a form of theory and the movement from theory to philosophy.
Readers’ Views on: The Movements from Practice and from Theory; Berta Caceres; Why Read N&L?; Women’s Liberation; Voices from behind the Bars.
Olga Domanski delves into G.W.F. Hegel’s section on “Life” in his Science of Logic to show its meaning for the women’s movement today, facing lethal attacks on abortion rights and an alarming increase in rapes, battering, poverty and unemployment as well as an ever-widening gap between feminist theory and the lives of Black and working women.
Olga Domanski’s summary of the series on “Women as Thinkers and as Revolutionaries” by Raya Dunayevskaya.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: “Black masses, youth and the needed U.S. revolution: philosophy and reality” looks at the possibility of revolution in the U.S. and the importance of Black masses as vanguard.
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.”
Readers’ thoughts on “Dialectics of Philosophy and of Forces of Revolution”; “Free Mumia!”; “Federico Arcos, 1920-2015”; and a section of “Voices from Behind the Bars.”
A Black prisoner looks at the meaning of U.S. racism and the struggle to remove the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds of South Carolina.
To highlight the new online availability of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, we present excerpts of her 1985 Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, which take up the development of the Marxist-Humanist concept of Archives out of the category made of the totality of Marx’s Archives as a new beginning for today.
In celebrating the online publication of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, we present excerpts of her Introduction/Overview to Volume XII, which takes up the Marxist-Humanist concept of archives as not only retrospective but perspective, in the quest to establish “continuity with the historic course of human development.”
In Hegel we witness subjectivity coming out of objectivity, and the opposite movement. Dunayevskaya’s May 20, 1953, Letter interprets the Hegelian dialectic in a revolutionary way. What philosophical-political conclusions can be made?
From the News and Letters pamphlet The Coal Miners’ General Strike of 1949-50 and the Birth of Marxist-Humanism in the U.S. we excerpt from Raya Dunayevskaya’s “The Emergence of a New Movement from Practice that Is Itself a Form of Theory,” on miners’ contributions to the philosophic birth of Marxist-Humanism.
Carta Politico-Filosofica, Num. 3 firstname.lastname@example.org
Un nuevo momento en la dialéctica de la lucha
LOS ZAPATISTAS Y LOS PADRES Y ESTUDIANTES DE AYOTZINAPA: UNA UNIÓN DECISIVA
Carta Politico-Filosofica, Num. 2 email@example.com
¿Que hacer? Una dialetica de la organizacion y la filosofia
ACEPTANDO EL DESAFÍO DE ESTE NUEVO MOMENTO EN MÉXICO:
DE LA REPRESIÓN A LA [=>]
Dunayevskaya’s letters on Hegel’s Absolutes; Bhopal toxic disaster; Voices from behind the bars
Raya Dunayevskaya’s May 20, 1953, letter is one of the historic-philosophic writings included in The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism.
The confrontation between differing classes and worldviews has been most intense in Syria, making it the test of world politics—and of philosophy and revolution. The Syrian Revolution has pushed thought about revolution to a new level.
Raya Dunayevskaya’s May 12, 1953, letter on Hegel’s Absolutes needs to be read in the context of how what is embryonic is developed, and of the continuity and discontinuity in relationship to her earlier thinking and to the Johnson-Forest Tendency.
Raya Dunayevskaya’s May 12, 1953, letter—presented in two parts, beginning in the previous issue—is one of the historic-philosophic writings included in The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism.
La nueva edicion de Praxis en America Latina. Esperamos sus comentarios. Por favor, reenvíenla a sus redes y contactos.
A la barbarie del Estado mexicano, sus adherentes y secuaces, nosotros le oponemos la necesidad de construir un nuevo humanismo, la unidad de teoría y práctica —en suma: la revolución en permanencia.
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 [=>]
Raya Dunayevskaya’s May 12, 1953, letter—presented in two parts, here and in the next issue—is one of the historic-philosophic writings included in The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
RESPONSES TO MARXIST-HUMANIST PERSPECTIVES
The Marxist-Humanist Perspectives (N&L, May-June 2014) give a critical assessment of the polarization between the oppressive forces of capital’s social relations and humanity’s efforts to realize human dignity. It shows humans are not just passive victims of capital. First [=>]
Suddenly, a generation of new radicals was born to replace “the silent generation” of the 1950s. By winter 1964 a new form of revolt, with a new underlying philosophy, called itself the Free Speech Movement. It becomes necessary to view the moment when the student revolt culminated in a mass sit-in.
In Ukraine, an unexpected eruption of mass struggle led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s corrupt, oligarchic, and ultimately murderous President Viktor Yanukovych. In Bosnia, at the same time, massive, nationwide discontent with the corrupt system left in place when the 1995 Dayton Accords partitioned the country has led to the equally unexpected creation of new forms of democratic organization.
To understand today we must begin at the beginning, that is to say, as always, with Marx. Specifically the two periods are: the first and the last, the first being the philosophic moment, 1844 [Marx’s Humanist Essays or Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts]. That laid the ground for all future development. The last being the long hard trek and process of developments–all the revolutions, as well as philosophic-political-economic concretizations, culminating in Capital. Yet the full organizational expression of all came only then, i.e., the last decade, especially the 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. Why only then?
The impasse in the anti-capitalist movement after Occupy has led to theoretical stirrings over what to do organizationally, not just about the abolition of capitalism, but a positive concept of the future after capitalism. This is an opportunity to engage Marx’s view of these concerns, which was rooted in his 1844 declaration of a revolutionary humanism as the positive in the negative that opens up to a totally new future by refusing to be defined by what it is against.
Although we, as a state capitalist tendency, had been saying for years that we live in an age of absolutes, that the task of the theoreticians was the working out materialistically of Hegel’s last chapter on The Absolute Idea, we were unable to relate the daily struggles of the workers to this total conception. The maturity of the age, on the other hand, disclosed itself in the fact that, with automation, the worker began to question the very mode of labor. Thus the workers began to make concrete, and thereby extended, Marx’s profoundest conceptions, for the innermost core of the Marxian dialectic, around which everything turns, is that the transformation of society must begin with the material life of the worker, the producer.
Tunisia, Syria and Egypt show the determination of the masses to continue their revolutions in the face of vicious counter-revolution.
From the March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters:
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Ex-Pope Benedict’s reactionary career
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation announcement on Feb. 11 took the world by surprise. It is the first time in almost 600 years that a Pope has decided to quit. He has announced that he will continue to live in [=>]
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 [=>]
News & Letters, Vol. 57, No. 6
You may view this issue of News & Letters in pdf form here
Obama’s re-election doesn’t end clash of two worlds
The two worlds of the rulers and the ruled shone through the suffocating blanket of propaganda surrounding the election in which Barack Obama won a second term. A pronounced gender gap [=>]
From the new January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Woman as Reason
Frantz Fanon and women’s liberation
by Terry Moon
Blogger L Boogie has written part one of “Fanon, Alienation and Sexual Harassment,” exploring Frantz Fanon’s 1952 Black Skin White Masks in an exciting way for feminism, by relating his thought to street harassment. (See http://nothingbutahuman.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/fanon-alienation-and-sexual-harassment/)
She begins by relating several incidents of [=>]
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 [=>]