On the occasion of the publication of the new book “Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution in Permanence for Our Day: Selected Writings by Raya Dunayevskaya,” this essay explores Marx’s ideas on the basis of Dunayevskaya’s writings on them as a philosophy of revolution needed for our age.
Marking the publication of writings by Raya Dunayevskaya on Marx’s philosophy of revolution in permanence, the article presents parts of a lecture in which she gave an overview of this concept in relationship to her just-completed book, “Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution.”
At a time when the social crisis is total—political, economic, cultural, ideological—this clarion call for a return to the original form of the Humanism of Marxism speaks to today’s need for more than just political change, but for a total view and a total solution to global retrogression.
Excerpt from Dunayevskaya’s March 25, 1979, Political-Philosophic Letter “Iran: Unfoldment of, and Contradictions in, Revolution” that gives a history of revolt and speaks to today’s rebellions in that country by workers, women and youth.
Frédéric Monferrand introduces the new French edition of Marxism and Freedom. This excerpt concentrates on how the work reconstructs the Hegelian philosophical consistency of Marx’s Marxism so that it comes to life–from the 1844 Manuscripts to “Capital,” through the idea that history is the history of the efforts of humanity to make itself free.
On the anniversary of the Hungarian revolution, we present a letter by Dunayevskaya whose concept of the relationship of spontaneity and party, and its inseparability from organization of thought, speaks to the dialectics of organization and philosophy.
Eugene Gogol explores the point that the radical heart of Hegelian dialectics is the negation of the negation–the positive within the negative that constructs the new society. He traces this idea in Marx and Lenin and then how Raya Dunayevskaya saw this dialectic expressed in her breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolutes, where she ascertained a dual movement: a movement from practice that is itself a form of theory and the movement from theory to philosophy.
readers views, nov dec 2015, part 2
Philosophic dialogue discusses Markovic’s turn to fascism.
Excerpt from the polemic Raya Dunayevskaya wrote in 1943 against a leading theoretician of the Workers Party, Joe Carter, on Marx’s concept of capitalist “production for the sake of production.”
In celebrating the online publication of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, we present excerpts of her Introduction/Overview to Volume XII, which takes up the Marxist-Humanist concept of archives as not only retrospective but perspective, in the quest to establish “continuity with the historic course of human development.”
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.
Leelah Alcorn’s last words, making her suicide an appeal for Transgender people to be “treated like humans” and to “fix society” if her death is to “mean something,” were stunning.
The confrontation between differing classes and worldviews has been most intense in Syria, making it the test of world politics—and of philosophy and revolution. The Syrian Revolution has pushed thought about revolution to a new level.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters.
Editor’s Note: “On political divides and philosophic new beginnings,” written 25 years ago, is the last writing of Raya Dunayevskaya, who died on June 9, 1987. It was first published in the In Memoriam special issue of News & [=>]
Today’s vital debate about revolutionary organization is illuminated by Marx’s concept of organization in his “Critique of the Gotha Program.”
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015. IV. Philosophy and organization. A. The philosophic moment of Marxist-Humanism. B. Organizational tasks.
May-June 2014 News & Letters online: “From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy”; “Unchaining the revolutionary dialectic”; much more…
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?
The impasse in the anti-capitalist movement after Occupy has led to theoretical stirrings over what to do organizationally, not just about the abolition of capitalism, but a positive concept of the future after capitalism. This is an opportunity to engage Marx’s view of these concerns, which was rooted in his 1844 declaration of a revolutionary humanism as the positive in the negative that opens up to a totally new future by refusing to be defined by what it is against.
Today’s revival of interest in Marx, especially since the onset of the 2008 economic meltdown, includes a significant strain of economism and has revived controversies and issues addressed by Dunayevskaya in this review-essay of Paul Mattick’s book Marx and Keynes.
The Feb. 26 assassination of Tunisian Marxist Chokri Belaid is a tragedy, not least because it denies this serious and courageous activist a chance to help work out the contradictions in his own movement. His funeral—perhaps a million people took to the streets—became a massive demonstration in favor of continuing the Tunisian Revolution.
Now off the press:
Excerpts from the Foreword:
Nobody, least of all Marxists, foresaw the great historic divide which would be opened by the Arab Spring beginning in 2010. When Mohammed Bouazizi and Hussein Nagi Felhi killed themselves to protest the miserable conditions of life for Tunisian youth, they set off a year of revolutionary struggle that [=>]
by Ron Kelch
All revolutions, in the sciences no less than in general history, originate only in this, that the spirit of man, for the understanding and comprehension of himself, for the possessing of himself, has now altered his categories, uniting himself in a truer, deeper, more intrinsic relation with himself.
Today’s global search for a new [=>]
by Ron Kelch
[Absolute negativity] is the simple point of the negative relation to self, the innermost source of all activity, of all animate and spiritual self-movement, the dialectical soul that everything true possesses and through which alone it is true; for on this subjectivity alone rests the sublating of the opposition between concept and reality. –Hegel on second negation in [=>]