Editorial on the situation in Venezuela including the deterioration of living conditions; the repression practiced by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and their attempt to gut Venezuela’s Bolivarian Constitution; and the personality cult built around Hugo Chávez, revealing contradictions in the movements for freedom. .
Readers’ Views on Cooperative Form of Labor vs. Abstract Labor; Marx vs. Trump-Putin; Voices From Behind Bars
For-profit CoreCivic prison inmate’s lament on lack of hope because of slave-like treatment in prison and outside of jail, if one is lucky enough to be paroled.
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.
Women’s Liberationist Terry Moon writes about the revolutionary force and reason of Syrian women including those in Raqqa fighting ISIS, in East Aleppo fighting Bashar al-Assad, in Salamiya and Daraya–documenting the forms they chose to fight for freedom.
Black prisoner Faruq looks critically at Fidel Castro’s legacy, especially his turn to a one party state and the importance of freely associated labor for a true revolutionary process.
As women in the U.S. face a bleak future when it comes to abortion rights, they can learn from Polish women who recently stopped anti-abortion legislation in its tracks, showing the need for revolutionary thought and activity.
Prisoner Robert Taliaferro tells of how a Wisconsin prison destroyed all library books that had been damaged in any way, thus depriving prisoners of their rights and adding “fuel to the fires of revolution.”
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.
Raya Dunayevskaya gives a revolutionary history of the war for independence of Biafra from Nigeria while commenting on Conor Cruise O’Brien’s article published in the New York Review of Books, Dec. 21, 1968.
A view of what the failed coup in Turkey has wrought, including mass arrests of teachers, trade unionists, doctors, medical personnel, and others as Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, makes a grab for total power.
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.
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.
In West Auckland, New Zealand, Massey High School students and their parents petition for weather-appropriate summer uniforms; 82 Huntsville, Alabama, Grissom High School students defy the dress code for girls because the code endorses rape culture and violates Title IX rights; across the USA Muslim youth are harassed in a variety of ways making them feel unsafe, so much so that the majority of Muslim youth believe that reporting the harassment won’t make a difference.
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.
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.
Terry Moon explores how the rape of a woman by a Stanford University student can become a turning point, rather than a stopping point, in the struggle to end rape culture, and the necessity for revolution to be total from the start and to be permanent.
The late Revolutionary Olga Domanski is remembered for reminding us that Absolute Method is the only way for feminism, as part of a totally new society built on truly human foundations, to be completely realized.
Part IV of the Draft Perspectives 2016: The renewal of Syrian demonstrations for freedom refuted the state powers’ belief that the idea of revolution can be destroyed by bombs, and highlighted a civilizational crisis and the need for international solidarity.
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.
A remembrance of Olga Domanski by Kevin O’Brien, who felt that Olga knew what revolution meant and strove persistently, tirelessly and cheerfully for it.
Eyewitness report of a trip to Rojava in Syria in mid-2015.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s slaughter of Kurdish civilians and activists is viewed in the context of world revolution and counter-revolution.
Putin found a formula: to participate in genocide while claiming to be fighting “terrorism.” This says everything about the nature of his retrogressive rule, and about the hypocrisy of the U.S. and Europe
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.
In reading Charles Denby’s “Continuing Magnolia Jungle terror exposes reality of ‘Great Society,’” one is struck by how poignant and presciently modern Denby’s thoughts were and how very little has changed 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.
Letters and comments sent in by readers or taken down, to and about the articles in News & Letters or current events.
Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny (Bloomsbury Publishing Plc., 2014) describes how neoliberalism is the new face of capitalist patriarchy. Even feminism has been repackaged once again as the opportunity for middle-class women to climb the corporate ladder and earn more money with which to buy more products.
As we celebrate 60 years of publishing News & Letters, a look back at the Women’s Liberation Movement encountering Marxist-Humanism and how the women’s movement was anticipated as well as documented in its pages. It is an ongoing perspective.
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Regarding “New York City and Ferguson, Missouri, police show pattern of violence against Black people” (Aug. 11 N&L web statement): In 2009 in the UK we saw something similar. Police officers killed a man in the vicinity of a political protest, then told the press [=>]
The loss of lives and vast destruction visited In Israel’s war on Gaza has surpassed the horror of 2008’s “Operation Cast Lead.” Over 2,000 Palestinians have been killed to date, mostly civilians, including hundreds of children…
The war crimes being committed by the Israeli government in its current assault on Gaza are reminiscent of 2008’s brutal “Operation Cast Lead.” The bombing has not spared hospitals, UN compounds, schools or homes for the disabled. A huge percentage of the dead and injured are children. This is collective punishment on a vast, criminal [=>]
When you are despised for who you are, as those murdered by Elliot Rodger were—and women are not the only ones on a list that includes any differently sexed person, immigrants and all minorities but especially Blacks, people with disabilities, and that’s only in the U.S.—then a revolution has to be more than an economic change, it even has to be more than “from each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need.” Revolution has to be so deep and total that all human relationships are transformed. To do so, it must be total from the start…
A lightning offensive saw Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, fall to the insurgents. The pattern extended itself to Tikrit, farther south, then Samarra, and the battle spread to the oil refining center of Baiji. Most of this was first attributed to ISIS. The question was asked, then: Why and how could a well-armed force of 20,000 Iraqi troops, armed and trained by the U.S., dissolve in the face of 800 terrorists?
Jacqueline Jones’ new book, A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, is not a call to ignore effects of the concept of race in law and practice. She finds the definition of race repeatedly twisted to suit the needs of the ruling class and wielded as a tool for subjugation of Black and white labor alike.
Michael Gilbert reviews “Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth.”
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part II
People may imagine that teachers here hit the beach or kick up their heels poolside, sipping cocktails and working on a suntan. For me and many other teachers, though, Monday will be the kickoff to the summer routine of registering for unemployment benefits and looking for work, as, once again, a year’s contract has come to an end.
We are living in contradictory times, especially when it comes to women’s struggle for freedom. On the one hand you have a Women’s Liberation Movement that has never been more radical, unified and global. On the other hand there is more repression, and the violence is more brutal and deadly than ever before.
Tunisia, Syria and Egypt show the determination of the masses to continue their revolutions in the face of vicious counter-revolution.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view
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 [=>]
The opening of Barack Obama’s second term made it clear that, despite all talk of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is to be no end to the state of permanent war either abroad or at home.
President Obama promises to end the war in Afghanistan after 13 years. But the Afghan people have [=>]
by Terry Moon
Two recent events have shown the deep and seemingly intractable worldwide oppression of women and, at the same time, revealed women’s militancy and determination to change their oppressive reality. First was the vicious gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey at the end of the year on a Delhi, India, bus. This [=>]
REVOLUTION, COUNTER-REVOLUTION AND NEED FOR PHILOSOPHY
In the Draft of Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013, published in the last issue, while the global analysis is good, it is partial and emphasizes mass uprisings that may be a part of history tomorrow, i.e., Syria, while ignoring the long-term struggles that have a potential for raising a clear [=>]
Oakland, Calif.—I am an anarchist and believe in acting according to my principles, most recently in Stockton on May 31 in a general strike protesting the murders of three Black men—James Rivera, Jr., Luther “Champ” Brown, Jr., and James Cooke—killed by police. The demonstration showed the community, masked up, willing to defend themselves from the [=>]
by Michael Gilbert
The theory and practice of how to organize workers to take power into their own hands and fight for a new social order has always been uppermost in the minds of all true revolutionaries, even in the darkest moments of capitalist and state-capitalist repression. Following Marx, the founder of Marxist-Humanism, Raya Dunayevskaya, has [=>]
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 [=>]