New May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters is online

May 3, 2012

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013

Counter-revolution’s rise shows need for a total philosophy

Revolution, having forced its way to center stage over the last year and a half, cannot easily be bottled up. That explains the viciousness of the counter-revolution, whether the violent police attacks on occupations from New York to Oakland or the Syrian state’s torture and heavy weapons aimed at civilians. It is seen as well in the rulers’ bringing to bear two of their most powerful anti-revolutionary tools: fascism and war.


I. The Arab Spring confronts setbacks
a. Syria as a test of world politics
b. From Egypt to Bahrain, the struggle continues

II. In the belly of the beast
a. Occupy and anti-Occupy
b. From Trayvon to Tulsa
c. Against the war on women

III. Paths of destruction
a. From war to war to war
b. Economy and ecology

IV. Marx’s Humanism today

V. Marxist-Humanist Tasks


From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

On political divides and philosophic new beginnings

The abysmal depths that the … retrogression has sunk the world into … have polluted the ideological air, not only of the ruling class, but have penetrated the Left itself. Such a deep retrogression urgently demands that, along with the economic and political tasks facing us, we look for philosophic new beginnings. In the midst of the work I am doing on my new book, Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy, I have been digging into research on two opposed forms of organization, that is, our opposition to the vanguard party-to-lead, and our support of forms of organization born out of the spontaneous activity of the masses.


Woman as Reason

Adrienne Rich–a voice for freedom

The world lost a passionate, beautiful voice for freedom and self-determination with the death of the feminist Lesbian poet Adrienne Rich on March 27. Whether it be the precision of her poetry or essays, what is always inescapable is that Rich not only spoke for herself, but articulated the desire of legions for a different, a profoundly human existence.


Workshop Talks

Spy on workers, but overlook patients

We’re constantly counting so much that our world has lost sight of what really counts. Our company has invested billions of dollars in a super computer system which is able to count everything, from how many pieces of gauze are used on a patient to how much nurse-time each patient expends. Everything is tracked for cost control, up to the minute and down to the penny. The company pretends to monitor “quality” of healthcare.


Voices from the Inside Out

Sham response to prison hunger strike

After we read the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) “Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy,” we had a tier discussion of it. To a man, we believe that document is nothing more than a public relations stunt by CDCR to regain public support.

Security Housing Unit prisoners react

In March, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) finally released a proposal for a new policy: “Security Threat Groups, Prevention, Identification and Management Strategy.” We visited Pelican Bay SHU prisoners a few days later.


Justice for ALL the Trayvon Martins

Protests against the murder on Feb. 26 of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, an armed neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in Sanford, Fla., exploded across the U.S. Zimmerman, who remained free for weeks, claiming he killed Martin in “self-defense” and hiding behind Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, was finally arrested for Trayvon’s murder on April 11.


Stop service cuts! Keep our home care!

Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn has introduced a budget that will block thousands of people from receiving home care and also service cuts to 14,000 people in the home care program, stopping services to families with youth under the age of 18 and blocking the Home Services Program for people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities.


World in View

Syrian cry for solidarity

Bashar al-Assad’s forces have continued to murder the Syrian people in full view of the world. Assad’s slaughter even spilled outside the borders of Syria itself, with murderous attacks on refugees in Turkey and Lebanon. “The ceasefire is the new joke” read protesters’ signs in the streets.


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