Feminism and THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

January 9, 2017

From the December 1998 issue of News & Letters
Column: Woman as Reason

by Maya Jhansi

This past year, there has been much discussion on Marx inspired by the 150th anniversary of THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, from journalistic discourses on Marx’s prescient descriptions of globalized capitalism to more scholarly meditations on its rich history. What is troubling, however, [=>]

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How can we, once and for all, end sexism?

September 17, 2016

From the September-October 2016 issue of News & Letters

Art by Paul Tanzawa

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 [=>]

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Raya Dunayevskaya

Essay: Epigones discard Marxist-Humanist philosophy

September 12, 2016

The retreat of former Marxist-Humanists into post-Marx Marxism is analyzed by Franklin Dmitryev through the books “Marx at the Margins” by Kevin Anderson and “Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism” by Peter Hudis, which appropriate some of Raya Dunayevskaya’s conclusions while quietly dismantling their philosophical framework.

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prisonPen

Readers’ Views, May-June 2016

May 17, 2016

Readers’ Views on Women as Reason; Harriet Tubman; Racism and Internationalism; Bisexual Health; Trans Liberation and Feminism; Chinese State vs. Workers; Nuclear Arms Threaten All; Ireland’s Red Banner; Remembering Olga Domanski; Haggard but Not Tired; Voices from Behind the Bars.

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Paris climate accord vs. humanity’s future

December 19, 2015

Paris Accord reveals limits of what capitalism will do even in the face of catastrophe. The question is what kind of development can people in all kinds of countries achieve? So long as the vision of an alternative, liberatory path of development is not made concrete as the energizing principle of a movement, a vacuum is left for false alternatives.

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Review of Feminism Unfinished

August 30, 2015

A review by Adele of “Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements,” by Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.: New York, 2014). This book is a brief overview of the history of the feminist movement in the U.S. from the period after women’s right to vote was won in 1920 until the present.

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Five feminist Chinese activists arrested just before International Women's Day, 2015.

Women WorldWide, July-August 2015

June 28, 2015

A roundup of women’s actions and events worldwide; this one taking up the film “India’s Daughter,” an update on the five feminists jailed in China, and the opening of the All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Bloomington, Ind.

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30 Years Later: AIDS activism and ACT UP Chicago

May 9, 2015

ACT UP Chicago grew out of an organization that began in 1984 of Dykes and Gay Men Against Racism and Repression. We became an AIDS activism organization, first called Chicago For Our Rights, then by spring Chicago for AIDS Rights. We pushed for lowering the prices of AIDS drugs, and the release of more of them. By October and the national action in Washington, D.C., we had become ACT UP Chicago. AIDS is a global issue today. This time around, I’d like to see an AIDS activist movement that’s organized by poor, working-class, mostly people of color.

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Bombed-out neighborhood in Yemen. Eyewitnesses say this house “was destroyed on the heads of all the occupants” on April 12. Photo by Abubakr Alhamdani.

Things fall apart

May 6, 2015

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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Art by Paul Tanzawa

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: The dialectic and women’s liberation

April 30, 2015

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.

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Against all tradition, women in Afghanistan carry Farkhunda's coffin.

Woman as Reason: Afghan women demand justice

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.

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Unspeakable Things color large?

Review of Unspeakable Things

March 7, 2015

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.

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Özgecan Aslan

From Turkey to USA, women as force & reason fight inhumanity

March 5, 2015

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.

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Frantz Fanon

Essay: ‘We all can’t breathe’–Reflections on Marx’s Humanism and Fanon

January 29, 2015

As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?

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Men explaining

Men Explain Things to Me — a review

“Men Explain Things to Me” by Rebecca Solnit is a book of seven essays that eloquently describe how patriarchy attempts to distract us from the fact that seemingly isolated incidents and seemingly separate oppressions are part of a system of profound and devastating violence.

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Kurds fighting in Kobane, October 2014.

Revolutionary Rojava

November 24, 2014

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.

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Readers’ Views, November-December 2014, Part 1

November 23, 2014

From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters

Readers’ Views, Part 1

WOMEN FIGHT RAPE, HARASSMENT AND ABUSE

When I voted, many posters reminded folks that within 100 feet of the polling place you may not “interrupt” a person, nor “harass” nor even speak about your political views. [=>]

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FreeMarissa

Stopping violence

November 22, 2014

Thuma and Kaba focused on reviving a strong movement against the imprisonment of women who have defended themselves against violence—who have injured or killed men who raped and/or abused them. They presented as a model the defense of women of color in the 1970s, like the campaigns for Joanne Little, Inez Garcia and Yvonne Wanrow, all prosecuted for killing men who had attacked them or their children. (All three spoke for themselves in News & Letters.)…

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Dialectics of revolution: American roots and world Humanist concepts, Part II

September 14, 2014

From the November-December 2010 News & Letters

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: For the centenary of Raya Dunayevskaya’s birth, we present excerpts from her March 21, 1985, lecture at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, at the opening of a three-month exhibition of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (RDC). The [=>]

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Another look at Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Mind’

From the January-February 2002 News & Letters

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s Note: We publish here a discussion of what Marx considered Hegel’s greatest philosophic work—The Phenomenology of Mind. The first piece is a letter written by Raya Dunayevskaya to an Iranian colleague on June 26, 19861It was written to Janet Afary, author of The [=>]

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part 2

August 31, 2014

From the September-October 2014 News & Letters

THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION

I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part I

From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters

U.S. CRISES: RACISM, POLICE, LABOR STRUGGLES

New York News and Letters Committee prepared a flyer on Eric Garner (see: “NYC Police murder Eric Garner” this issue) headlined: “Wanted For Murder: Daniel Pantaleo.” It denounced the fact that the cops who killed Garner are [=>]

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WOMAN AS REASON: Isla Vista murders fueled by misogyny

July 5, 2014

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…

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Low-wage workers strike, reach for a new way of life

July 1, 2014

The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.

A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.

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Change the system, not the ass in the chair - For free helath care and education

The Left Agenda at the Maidan and After

June 30, 2014

On April 12, 2014, Kiev hosted a conference The Left and the Maidan which brought together activists from anarchist, socialist and communist organisations that had been involved in the Maidan movement in late 2013–early 2014. The large number of participating activists who represent the various political groups and initiatives evolving as a part of the Maidan movement is clear evidence against the alleged absence of the Left in the Maidan movement. The discussion was centered on why the Left failed to take an organisational form and become as visible a factor of the Maidan as the right.

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