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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Popular assembly in Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece, May 5, 2012. Photo by Adolfo Indignado Cuartero, http://www.flickr.com/photos/popicinio/

Greek masses in peril

May 6, 2015

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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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 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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Raya Dunayevskaya, Charles Denby, and Ethel Dunbar (Effie Owens)

Charles Denby, worker-editor

February 8, 2014

As a contribution to Black History Month we reprint Raya Dunayevskaya’s memorial for Charles Denby (1907-1983), her comrade of 35 years, Editor of News & Letters from its founding in 1955 until his death and the author of Indignant Heart: A Black Worker’s Journal.

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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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Economism vs. Marx’s humanism

November 14, 2013

Today’s revival of interest in Marx, especially since the onset of the 2008 economic meltdown, includes a significant strain of economism and has revived controversies and issues addressed by Dunayevskaya in this review-essay of Paul Mattick’s book Marx and Keynes.

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Hegel’s Absolute Idea is for workers

May 5, 2013

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.

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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

From the new January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:

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

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 [=>]

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The Cuban Missile Crisis and its test of movements’ negative character

November 28, 2012

From the new November-December 2012 issue of News & Letters

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
The Cuban Missile Crisis and its test of movements’ negative character

Editor’s note: On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we present Raya Dunayevskaya’s analysis of how it tested not only the rulers’ rash folly but the anti-war movement’s short-mindedness–a [=>]

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Revolution, organization and philosophy

May 10, 2011

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

Parts IV and V of

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2012
Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage

Contents:

  • I. The Arab Spring
  • II. The wars at home
  • III. Japan: earthquake, tsunami and meltdown
  • IV. Revolution, organization and philosophy
  • V. Marxist-Humanist Tasks

(Parts I, II, and III were posted in the last two days.)

IV. Revolution, organization and [=>]

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International Women’s Day and Iran

March 21, 2011

From the March-April 2011 issue of News & Letters:

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
International Women’s Day and Iran

Editor’s note: The first International Women’s Day was observed 100 years ago in March 1911. This year also marks the 32nd anniversary of the historic demonstration in Tehran, Iran, on International Women’s Day, March 8, 1979. On that [=>]

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