Readers’ Views takes up: women’s liberation, youth in the battle, Blacks vs. racism, border cop thugs, Middle East struggles, and voices from behind bars.
To observe the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, we present excerpts of a speech given by Raya Dunayevskaya for the Marx centenary year, originally titled “Marxist-Humanism, 1983: The Summation That Is a New Beginning, Subjectively and Objectively.”
The #MeToo movement, with roots in the 1960s, is part of a humanist revolutionary red thread that shows in a visceral way that revolution must deepen at every point in order to finally make the relationships we have with each other into actually human relationships.
Basho, S.B., and Terry Moon remember their Marxist-Humanist comrades, Judy Tanzawa and Dan Perron.
In Memoriam for Judy Tanzawa who was a radical union organizer, Los Angeles Local Organizer for News and Letters Committees, fighter for human liberation in all its dimensions. .
Women’s liberationist and managing editor of News & Letters Terry Moon writes about why she posted #MeToo on social media and how women’s experiences must impact what revolution has to mean.
The activities and meaning of the new Syrian group Families for Freedom, which demands a stop to the forced disappearances of their husbands and children; and refuses to leave their relatives fate in the hands of armed actors.
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.
Readers’ Views on Hate: Orlando to Brexit; Black Lives Matter; Muhammad Ali and Dr. King; Duterte in the Philippines; News & Letters Readers Unite!; and Deadly Assault on Women From the U.S. to Israel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Remembrances of Olga Domanski by comrades and friends.
Olga Domanski’s summary of the series on “Women as Thinkers and as Revolutionaries” by Raya Dunayevskaya.
An in memoriam to Olga Domanski from a women’s liberationist’s point of view.
Letters and comments sent in by readers or taken down, to and about the articles in News & Letters or current events.
The article excerpts a summary of a talk by Dunayevskaya to a conference on Women’s Liberation in Detroit. The purpose of the meeting was to help Dunayevskaya work out the final chapter of her book then in progress, Philosophy and Revolution. That last chapter would take up the “New Passions and New Forces” for the reconstruction of society. The Conference was also the beginning of the News & Letters—Women’s Liberation Committee.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry is a documentary of the women’s liberation movement (WLM) in the U.S., from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. Filmmaker Mary Dore used a wealth of historical news coverage to give a sense of the breadth of organizations and depth of demands in the explosive growth of the WLM. Activists, identified within archival footage—including women like Fran Beal of the Civil Rights Movement’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Lesbian rights activist Karla Jay, and Judith Arcana of the abortion underground organization Jane—gave contemporary interviews interspersed in the film.
Revolt and Counter-Revolution, from Greece to Syria; Here Come the Reformers; Women’s Freedom; Against Racism
Readers’ Views on the 60th anniversary of News & Letters and Terry Moon’s column on it.
UltraViolet, a mostly online petition-generating organization, recently went out into the real world by holding 25 or so “meet and greet” events in 15 different states. The one I went to was on the north side of Chicago.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters.
Editor’s Note: “On political divides and philosophic new beginnings,” written 25 years ago, is the last writing of Raya Dunayevskaya, who died on June 9, 1987. It was first published in the In Memoriam special issue of News & [=>]
Protect Aminetou Mint El-Moctar in Mauritania; female genital mutilation in the U.S.; Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman to win “Nobel Prize of mathematics.”
Since the beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the early 1960s, we have been fighting rape, and rape culture. Finally, 50 years later, a U.S. president issued some mild recommendations on how to fight rape on college campuses, and two Democratic women have introduced legislation to make colleges more accountable for preventing and dealing with campus rapes.
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
Chicago—On May 26, a group of 14 people from Chicago ADAPT went to Springfield, Ill., to push for the passage of House Bill #349 whose purpose is to make the 5% temporary personal income tax in Illinois permanent. Without that happening, we face huge cuts in [=>]
Doris Lessing; Margherita Hack; gender segregation at UK universities
Sweetening the Pill: or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control by Holly Grigg-Spall has provoked controversy among feminists, especially over its contention that the birth control pill and other hormonal contraception are unsafe.
The way we construct experience with language has effects on its transmission and on the configuration of subjectivity, not only in aesthetics and ethics, but also in understanding politics. That is the case in the crimes committed against women in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and other states in Mexico.
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.
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.”
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I
The persisting economic crisis has spurred new interest in Karl Marx including “Communization Theory” which projects Marx’s dialectic as a total break with capitalism but without posing a need for dialectical mediation beyond capitalism.
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.
AMERICAN CIVILIZATION REMAINS ON TRIAL
American Civilization on Trial (ACOT) is not “Black history.” Rather, Blacks play such an enormous role in the U.S. that their history that is in ACOT is a history of America.
The movie Django Unchained could have been an ad for the NRA’s position on the current [=>]
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 [=>]
The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013
From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedom
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 [=>]
ARCHIVES AS LIVING
I have been following the readings for the 2012-2013 Marxist-Humanist discussions with great enthusiasm. I was especially energized by the “Women as force and reason of revolution” selections. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1970 piece “The Women’s Liberation Movement as Reason and as Revolutionary Force” was fresh and relevant to today. This is no surprise [=>]
OFFICIAL CALL FOR PLENUM
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2013-2014
February 24, 2013
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
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 [=>]
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution
Slightly over two years since the beginning of Egypt’s revolution, those heady days can seem distant. The current government of Mohamed Morsi was able to push through a reactionary Constitution. It includes anti-working class Articles allowing for child labor and forced labor, in certain circumstances; limits the right to [=>]
Woman as Reason
Meredith Tax, a women’s liberationist and political activist since the late 1960s, author of The Rising of the Women: Feminist Solidarity and Class Conflict, 1880–1917, and now U.S. Director of the Centre for Secular Space, a think tank formed to oppose fundamentalism and promote universality in human rights, has recently written an important and [=>]
by Terry Moon
Everyone has heard—and a great many rightly condemned—the unconscionable statement by Missouri Republican Congressman and Senate hopeful Todd Akin: “from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” he said, referring to pregnancy from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing [=>]
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 [=>]
In blogs and podcasts, feminists have been discussing the perennial problem of having to explain that feminism means the struggle for gender equality, not female supremacy. Now many third wave and younger feminists have found the courage to reclaim not only the original meaning of “feminism,” but “radical feminism.” During the 1960s and early 1970s, [=>]
Over 300 people packed the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg, Penn., on Sept. 28 calling for the defeat of two bills, one requiring abortion clinics to become outpatient surgery clinics and one banning state-run health insurance providers from covering abortion. Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal told the crowd, “This (legislation) is not about [=>]
A Strange Stirring: ‘The Feminine Mystique’ and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s, by Stephanie Coontz (Basic Books, New York), 2011.
A Strange Stirring is an examination of the situation of U.S. women during the years surrounding the 1963 publication of Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique and how it helped the feminist movement change our [=>]