New September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters now available online

September 10, 2011

News & Letters, Vol. 56, No. 5
September-October 2011


Political spectacles cannot hide reality of deranged capitalism

At the end of a months-long political spectacle in Washington–manufactured over irrelevancies concerning what should have been a routine raising of the national debt limit before the Aug. 2 deadline–reality struck with a bombshell: the anemic “jobless” recovery in the U.S. has stalled. The economy is getting worse and there is no solution under capitalism. Most economists agree that, for the foreseeable future, at best there will be a prolonged depression in employment.

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Deep recession, rate of profit and the supreme commodity, labor power

Over 100 years ago, Karl Marx, who had removed political economy from an intellectualistic debate and centered it on the relations of capital and labor at the point of production, as well as in the political class struggle, had called the decline in the rate of profit the “pons asini” of capitalism: “The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself.”

Pelican Bay SHU struggle continues!

The hunger strike among California prisoners, consigned to perpetual solitary confinement in Security Housing Units (SHU), was suspended on July 20. The conditions that drove many prisoners to severely endanger their health by not eating for three weeks persist. According to prison officials themselves, at one point 6,600 inmates in at least 13 California prisons had joined the strike. To follow developments and join solidarity actions, visit

Hunger striker speaks

L.A. prisoner solidarity


Revolts shake Libya, Syria

While the world’s attention focused on the long-expected fall of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has conducted a Ramadan massacre that ranks as one of the greatest atrocities of the counter-revolutionary reaction to the Arab Spring.


Needed: debate on education in era of cutbacks

From college level all the way down to pre-school, education is in crisis across the U.S. Teachers are made the scapegoats for why students are not “measuring up” to keep our country competitive in a global market that is falling apart across the globe. But, what is the reality?

Mainstreaming of hate leads to Norway’s tragedy

The death toll currently stands at 77 in the mass murder carried out by Norwegian Rightist Anders Behring Breivik on July 22. Most of the victims were young people attending the Norwegian Labor Party’s summer camp. Breivik cold-bloodedly fired upon hundreds of innocent teens for at least 90 minutes before surrendering to police.

Somalia famine, climate and capitalism

The suffering of nearly 12 million people in the Horn of Africa who could starve without aid, and the flight of nearly one million Somalis to other countries, are not just products of climate change–let alone of just “nature”–but of the way the crumbling global capitalist order is responding to climate change.

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