VII. Tasks

May 17, 2017

Although we do not have a daily newspaper, this crisis-ridden period compels us to strive to act as if we do. Organizational tasks as always are meant to include, not exclude, friends and new contacts who are not yet Marxist-Humanists.

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Russian Marxism and Freedom

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

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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V. Lies, facts and ground

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.

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II. The capital relation

The capital relation is spelled out as alienated labor, automation, destruction of jobs, unraveling of the social fabric–fertile ground for reactionary ideology, scapegoating, and fascism. Yet the human Subject’s quest for freedom continues.

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Nixon’s ‘racist mayhem’ lingers today

May 18, 2016

Our era, when racist police gun down Black men, women and youth, continues a history as old as the U.S. The piece excerpted here shows some of that history and how racism can be spurred on by this country’s leaders and would-be leaders, out for power. It takes up how Left movements respond to racism and the attempt to answer the question by funneling liberatory impulses into the dead end of electoral politics. The relationships between the Black freedom movement, anti-war youth, workers, and philosophy of revolution remain as critical today as when this article was written.

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V. Toward organizational new beginnings

May 13, 2016

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.

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The need for new beginnings in thought and in action

April 25, 2016

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.

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Philip Zimbardo and Marx’s Humanism

August 30, 2015

A discussion with Philip Zimbardo followed the San Francisco premiere of “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” a movie based on his notorious 1971 experiment. It raises questions about the meaning of being human, which for Marx turned on needing human beings as free beings whose self-determining, free, conscious activity is not a mere means but the first necessity of life.

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2015

July 4, 2015

Black lives as Subject; Russia in crisis; Nothing about us without us; Homelessness in L.A.; Central Canada Alliance; Perspectives and philosophy; Elderly to the streets?; Women and Yemen half-peace; Labor and climate justice; Dialectic and women’s liberation; Voices from behind the bars

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Marxist-Humanist organization and philosophy

May 6, 2015

Spelling out the philosophical breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolutes as the total uprooting of the old and the creation of new human relations, in concrete relationship to struggles for freedom in practice and in theory, is at the heart of projecting Marxist-Humanism, and therefore of its organizational life.

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Greek masses in peril

The rulers’ economic squeeze on Greece is intended to be an ideological prison for the working masses of Europe. Left tendencies aim to use the state to save capitalism or move toward socialism—rather than releasing self-activity of masses in motion as the prime mover of social transformation.

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Things fall apart

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.

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Decaying social order shows need for philosophy, revolution

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.

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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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The todayness of Selma, USA, 1965

In acquainting readers with coverage of the forces of revolution in News & Letters over its first 60 years, we present “Continuing Magnolia Jungle terror exposes reality of ‘Great Society,’” written by Charles Denby in February 1965, in the midst of the bloody campaign for voter registration in Selma, Alabama.

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Philosophic Dialogue: On the 1953 letters

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?

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Essay: The Syrian Revolution and its philosophy

November 30, 2014

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.

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On THE Philosophic Point and Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy

March 14, 2014

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?

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Call for News and Letters Committees Convention, 2014

March 11, 2014

News and Letters Committees has posted its

OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION

to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2014-2015

February 23, 2014

To All Members of News and Letters Committees

 

Dear Friends:

 

The sharpness of revolution and counter-revolution contending now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end, cries out for a philosophical [=>]

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Tahrir three years later

February 7, 2014

Three years ago, the Egyptian Revolution was fighting for its life in Tahrir Square. For 18 days and nights, the women and men of the Square faced off against President Hosni Mubarak’s security forces and thugs. In the end Mubarak was forced to follow Tunisia’s President-for-life, Ben Ali, into retirement and shame. The light of freedom spread–Square to Square, occupation to occupation. It was a historic turning point.

It was this global struggle that the military coup that ousted Morsi, and led to the massacre of over 800 of his supporters, was meant to stop short. Now, revolution continues, and the freedom idea lives, but the old world has tried hard to destroy it. Egypt’s newest new Constitution, passed Jan. 15 under the military rule of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, evokes only faint echoes of Tahrir. As artist Hanaa Safwat said, “The referendum is stained in innocent people’s blood. It has been built on the dead bodies of 800 people in Rabaa al-Adawiya.”

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Left still can’t fathom Women’s Liberation

March 30, 2013

Women’s struggle for freedom has continued to develop into a worldwide movement with revolutionary content (see page 1). Unfortunately, much of the Left seems unable to hear this radical dimension of women’s struggles. A recent example is Sharon Smith’s essay,

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Lincoln and ‘The Abolitionists’

March 23, 2013

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and of the Emancipation Proclamation in particular, has a lot of people talking about that history and race relations today. Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln is less the cause than the effect of this surge in popular interest. Lincoln is very moving and beautifully made, with excellent acting and shrewd writing.

Tony Kushner’s screenplay [=>]

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News and Letters Committees Call for Plenum 2013

March 7, 2013

OFFICIAL CALL FOR PLENUM
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2013-2014

February 24, 2013

To All Members of News and Letters Committees

Dear Friends:

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 [=>]

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Now off the press: The Crossroads of History: Marxist-Humanist Writings on the Middle East by Raya Dunayevskaya

February 5, 2013

Now off the press:

Excerpts from the Foreword:

Nobody, least of all Marxists, foresaw the great historic divide which would be opened by the Arab Spring beginning in 2010. When Mohammed Bouazizi and Hussein Nagi Felhi killed themselves to protest the miserable conditions of life for Tunisian youth, they set off a year of revolutionary struggle that [=>]

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Study/discussion series: Global Crises, Global Rebellion, and the Needed Philosophy of Revolution

September 27, 2012

You’re invited to a nationwide series of five Marxist-Humanist discussions on:

Global Crises, Global Rebellion, and the Needed Philosophy of Revolution

Central to today’s reality is the worldwide capitalist economic crisis, the deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the context for occupations and revolutions across the globe. We will explore the meaning of this [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2012, Part 2

August 15, 2012

RICH AND DUNAYEVSKAYA: A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

Thanks for your In Memoriam to Adrienne Rich. It revealed a dimension that many who were appreciative of her poetry and feminism may not have known—Rich’s exploration of Marx’s ideas through her reading of Raya Dunayevskaya. One piece Rich wrote was titled “Dunayevskaya’s Marx.” It was crucial how you [=>]

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Specter of Depression: Mattick’s Business as Usual

July 30, 2012

Business as Usual: The Economic Crisis and the Failure of Capitalism by Paul Mattick, Reaktion Books (London), 2011.

Paul Mattick’s Business as Usual is an attempt to come to grips in Marxist terms with the global economic crisis that began in 2007. It is an entry into a growing category of books which includes David Harvey’s [=>]

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Marx’s Humanism today

May 15, 2012

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

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013

(continued from Part III)

IV. Marx’s Humanism today

“The commodity form of the products of labor became a fetish because of the perverse relationship of subject to object–of living labor to dead capital. Relations between men appear as the relation between things because [=>]

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New May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters is online

May 3, 2012

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013

Counter-revolution’s rise shows need for a total philosophy

Revolution, having forced its way to center stage over the last year and a half, cannot easily be bottled up. That explains the viciousness of the counter-revolution, whether the violent police attacks on occupations from New York to Oakland or the Syrian state’s torture [=>]

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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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News and Letters Committees Call for Convention 2012

March 5, 2012

OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION

to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013

February 26, 2012

To All Members of News and Letters Committees

 

Dear Friends:

 

Where we must begin is with the world in upheaval, from Occupy Wall Street to Arab Spring, still going after more than a year.

Nothing better shows the old order’s bloody desperation to prevent a [=>]

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