March 2017 marks the sixth anniversary of the Syrian Revolution. Syrian revolutionaries have articulated a necessary step in organizing outside and beyond the aims of state powers.
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.
A look at the situation in the Middle East in light of Donald Trump’s election that takes up Syria, Yemen and the arming by the U.S. of varying forces–some of whom are fighting each other.
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.
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.
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.
With Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the Far Right has been emboldened worldwide. As the economic and social crisis deepens, so does the brutality, while the Right seeks scapegoats for the results of capitalism’s objective laws, which only have force as long as humanity’s struggle to be free is not yet complete. The only solid ground for opposing this latest stage of reactionary retrogression is that of revolution in permanence.
Readers’ Views on: The Movements from Practice and from Theory; Berta Caceres; Why Read N&L?; Women’s Liberation; Voices from behind the Bars.
Foregrounding the new formal solidarity between Trust Black Women with Black Lives Matter, we explore the thought and actions of women worldwide, including the struggle for reproductive justice in the U.S.; women fighting war and terrorism in places like South Sudan and Syria, the successful fight of domestic workers to organize, and the need to make the revolutionary content of such actions explicit.
Russian airstrikes create havoc in Syria, embodying a philosophy of unfreedom. Revolutionary unity in Syria isn’t just a tactical issue, but a philosophic question, on the revolution’s ground of freedom and dignity, needing philosophic as well as material solidarity.
Eyewitness report of a trip to Rojava in Syria in mid-2015.
California prisoners battle barbaric ‘justice’ system; Against ISIS attacks; Women under attack; Support Maati Monjib; The Burmese Way; Race, class & politics.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s slaughter of Kurdish civilians and activists is viewed in the context of world revolution and counter-revolution.
readers views nov dec 2015 part 1
Behind the bombing that killed over 100 peace marchers in Ankara, the state equated the Kurdistan Workers Party with ISIS despite the heroic struggle to defend Kobane.
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.
In a stunning June 7 election, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a coalition of Kurds and liberals, won 12% of the vote.
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
A roundup of news on queer rights including: The naming of The Up Stairs Lounge Arson as the 2015 Book of the Year; the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that Turkey cannot force Transgender people to receive any Transgender-related medical treatment; and other actions in North Carolina, Michigan, Vietnam, and Oregon.
A report of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, observed around the world each year on May 17 to raise awareness of human rights violations against LGBTI people and to advocate for our full human rights.
Worldwide, the refugee crisis is unprecedented and is fueled by war, terrorism and climate change. The worldwide response is paltry with country after country turning away or deporting frantic and desperate people in search of a safe haven.
South Africa removal of monument to imperialist Cecil Rhodes; UC San Diego eviction of Ché Café; Armenian protest in Lebanon; Burmese student protests; U. of Virginia students demand justice for Martese Johnson.
Is the March 19 murder of Farkhunda by a mob of men who beat her to death with stones and sticks, ran her over with a car, threw her body on the banks of the Kabul River and lit it on fire, a turning point for women in Afghanistan? Some are saying it is.
Justice for Jane; Syrian refugee children in Turkey; Howard University Middle School walkout; University of California Student Association call for divestment
Another savage sexual assault and murder—this time in Turkey—brought forth thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, throughout the country and beyond. Özgecan Aslan was a student taking a bus home. Worldwide, women are not only railing against sexism and challenging men to change what is often deadly behavior and when not deadly, deeply oppressive; they are as well explicitly extending their critique to the state itself.
Preview of article on women’s oppression and freedom struggles worldwide for March-April issue. Comment now so that your thoughts can be taken into account in the finished article.
A correspondent writes: For years now Rojava (“Syrian Kurdistan”) has been making perhaps the most advanced revolution we will see anywhere in our lifetimes practically alone.
From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters
Readers’ Views, Part 3
I loved the way “Israel decimates Gaza as world faces global counter-revolutions” (Sept.-Oct. N&L) begins by highlighting how Gazans’ suffering represents global counter-revolution. The Left often takes the side of the underdog, the “lesser of the evils” fighting “U.S. or [=>]
Today the heroic struggle of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, along with allies of the Free Syrian Army, to defend Kobane from the IS deserves all support. This means first the support of the people, the workers, women, and all who struggle for a better life.
As Marxist-Humanists we call for the support of the ongoing Syrian Revolution. We call for the right of self-determination of the Kurdish people, and we call for military and political support to the heroic defenders of Kobane. This struggle isn’t just local, or sectarian, but rather it cuts deeply into the universal history of humanity’s striving for freedom.
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Detroit—A mid-May fire killed 301 miners by carbon monoxide poisoning due to mine owners’ negligence in the worst coal mine disaster in Turkey’s history (see “Turkish miners killed,” July-August N&L). First reports indicated that the fire started when a transformer blew up. A subsequent investigation revealed that [=>]
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 [=>]
On May 13, an explosion in a coal mine in Soma, Turkey, claimed the lives of 301 miners. Turkey is the most dangerous place on earth in which to be a coal miner.
Oppression of women in tech industry; El Salvador demonstrations over miscarriage jailings; Brazilian Stop the Catcalls project.
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015. IV. Philosophy and organization. A. The philosophic moment of Marxist-Humanism. B. Organizational tasks.
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.
May-June 2014 News & Letters online: “From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy”; “Unchaining the revolutionary dialectic”; much more…
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, part 1.
While experiences in the squares of the Arab Spring, in Turkey’s Gezi Park, in the streets of Spain and Greece, and in the U.S. Occupy Movements have revealed moments of what new human relations between women and men could look like, those moments of hope and exhilaration have been followed by devastating reaction and retrogression.
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
The sharpness of revolution and counter-revolution contending now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end, cries out for a philosophical [=>]
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.”
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. It committed this crime in full view of the world—images of hundreds of murdered children, still in pajamas, laid out in temporary morgues, shocked viewers across the world.
Since April 2011 the world has looked on as over 115,000 Syrians have been killed, and over 7.2 million have been made refugees. When Assad’s regime resorted to illegal chemical weapons, it seemed to many that this would change. It seemed that the images of so many murdered innocents might compel some action.
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I
Women Worldwide: Turkey anti-fundamentalist demonstrations; Egypt sexual violence; California in vitro fertilization; Saudi Arabia segregation.
From the new July-August 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Revolutionary from Turkey speaks
Events in Turkey appeared spontaneous, but are a continuation of a long history. It was not the psychology of Prime Minister Erdogan that created opposition, but the institutionalized fascism within a “deep state.”
Turkey is capitalist, but not like Europe, the U.S., or Canada. [=>]
The mass demonstrations that forced the removal of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 were a call to continue and deepen the Egyptian revolution. Millions of people took to the streets in opposition to Morsi’s rule in demonstrations even larger than those that ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak. They were a measure of the detestation the Egyptian people had come to feel at the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood through Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party. It was this that forced the Egyptian generals to act, once again removing a president.
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.
News & Letters, July – August 2013. Lead: Turkey, Syria and Iran at crossroads of world revolt; From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: ‘Russia more than ever full of revolutionaries…’; Editorial: Support striking prisoners!; Essay: Communization theory and its discontents truncate Marx’s dialectic; Workshop Talks: The boss is spying; Revolutionary from Turkey speaks; Brazil’s uprising; Teacher and school struggles; and more…
From the new January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution
by Gerry Emmett
“However partial the industrial revolt may be, it conceals within itself a universal soul: political revolt may be never so universal but it hides a narrow-minded spirit under the most colossal form.”
–Karl Marx, “On the King of Prussia and Social Reform”
The world’s rulers would like to declare an end [=>]