The March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 59, No. 2
March – April 2014
Women fight for freedom against growing retrogression
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.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya:
On The Philosophic Point and Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy
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?
Capitalist economy is failing
Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.
Ukraine and Bosnia: historic uprisings
In Ukraine, an unexpected eruption of mass struggle led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s corrupt, oligarchic, and ultimately murderous President Viktor Yanukovych. In Bosnia, at the same time, massive, nationwide discontent with the corrupt system left in place when the 1995 Dayton Accords partitioned the country has led to the equally unexpected creation of new forms of democratic organization.
Don’t stop at raising wages
That there are two Americas when it comes to the economy and the wealth of our nation is no mystery to anyone. Everyone now knows the top 1% have essentially been the only beneficiaries of the latest “boom.” Journalists and economists take pains to point out how this jobless expansion has allowed the investors to recover from their losses of the 2008 financial collapse. Workers, though, are still left holding the bag.
UK sees Marxists under every bedroom tax protest
London, England–The UN’s own rapporteur for housing, Raquel Rolnik, has denounced UK government policy as creating a housing crisis for its most vulnerable citizens. Her findings were dismissed as a “misleading Marxist diatribe” by cabinet ministers. In a report detailing her investigation into the British housing sector, Rolnik specifically targets the government’s now infamous “bedroom tax.” She described it for Al Jazeera as having “an enormous impact on [a citizen’s] right to housing and also on other human rights, like the right to food [and] the right to education.”
California legislators ignore hunger strikers’ voices
Sacramento, Calif.–At the Legislative Hearings on Feb. 11, experts presented their analyses, which showed that even the very small changes California Department of Corrections (CDC) said they were implementing, in fact they are not. No policies are being changed to address the problems brought out by prisoners and their families. One family member was taking the legislators to task, saying that the promises of reform the legislators vow to make now, they made 10 years ago. Nothing changed. Things got worse.
‘Say NO to KXL!’
Chicago–“Say NO to KXL!” was the message of 100 protesters outside the local State Department offices on the bitter cold night of Feb. 3, demanding that President Obama reject the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry extra-dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. It was one of 283 actions across the U.S. and Canada organized in three days after the State Department released its fake environmental report on the pipeline–a report crafted by cronies of TransCanada, Keystone’s owner, with the imprimatur of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Woman as Reason: Court, fanatics besiege clinics”
“‘Sex Workers Unite'”
“Humane immigration reform now!”
“Women World Wide”
“Locked out musicians return”
“VW anti-UAW vote”
“Egyptian strike wave topples cabinet”
“Stop police spying”
“‘A Dreadful Deceit’ and unceasing rebellion”
“Free Leonard Peltier!”
“Israel threw me out”
“The art of Arab Spring”
“Tour the world’s most polluted places”
“Detroit fights blight, but who profits?”
“Legislators let us down”
p. 12, World in View:
“Who We Are And What We Stand For”