September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters is online

September 9, 2012


Reactionary U.S. election shows capital’s contradictions

“We built it!” roared the delegates at the Republican Party convention in Tampa. It was the perfect expression of the presidential campaign and of capitalist thinking in general. The truth is that workers built the social wealth. Capitalists take it from the workers, and the government gets a portion.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan launched their presidential ticket with a here-come-the-saviors-of-the-economy media blitz. Except for assessing the present economic recovery as dismal, everything uttered was total deception.

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Historic roots of far Right threat to U.S.

Originally the lead in the June-July 1964 issue of News & Letters, this article analyzed trends and events of retrogression and the resistance to it that are still remarkably current in today’s Tea Party-infested USA.
The easy victory of Barry Goldwater as Republican presidential candidate is more–a great deal more–than a defeat of the alleged Republican “moderate mainstream.” The illogic of the extremism of the Far Right is the logical end to “traditional” conservatism. It is the cancer of a new form of fascism attacking the lifeblood of thriving American capitalism.

Discussion article

Voices from Occupy: West Coast port shutdowns and forms of labor struggle

In the last 30 years of automation, the classical conception of unionized workers struggling against capital has been outmoded. Many in the working class have been kicked out of their position in the workplace. The formation of the movement against Export Grain Terminal that came out of Occupy is related to the surplus population insurgency.


Syrians against all odds

Daraya, Aug. 25: the Assad regime continues its genocide, with 300-600 estimated killed in this Damascus suburb. The dead are unarmed men, women and children of the working class. This massacre was committed to terrorize the revolutionary people of Syria, and to guarantee the security of the nearby military airfield that Assad will use in the event he flees.

South Africa Marikana mine massacre

Aug. 18: It’s now two days after the brutal, heartless and merciless cold bloodbath of 45 Marikana mine workers by the South African Police Services. This was a massacre!

Workshop Talks

Chevron refinery’s ‘acceptable risks’

On Aug. 6, a huge toxic plume, caused by a massive fire from a leak at the Chevron refinery, spread over Richmond, Calif. What happened was not an accident.

Black lung disease increasing in youth

An alarming increase in black lung disease (pneumoconiosis) among coal miners is raising serious questions about the effectiveness of coal dust suppression in the nation’s mines. Since the 1980s, cases of the disease have quadrupled in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. Whereas before it had primarily affected older miners, studies reveal that there has been a spike in the disease among younger miners as well–some in their 20s.

Climate chaos and capitalism

Climate chaos takes an ever increasing toll. … Both extreme heat and extreme storms have increased. … Nowhere is the political system more delusional than the U.S., where Obama and Romney are busy accusing each other of being too slow in extracting every last drop of oil and coal.

Free Pussy Riot from Russian jail!

There is no question that Putin’s regime has singled out Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina Samutsevich to intimidate a growing, and thinking, opposition to his authoritarian state-capitalist rule. The Pussy Riot collective and others like it have attempted to create new art forms that will reclaim the revolutionary ideas so long abused in the mouths of Stalinists.

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