A U.S. youth looks at the “lying flat” movement in China seeing it as a revolt against the capitalist mode of production and the alienation, sexism, racism and depression that it brings….Soon the Chinese Communist Party will see the Subject is not the Party or capital but human beings.”
Since the term “Marxist humanism” has once again become current, but subject to the most varying, and often sanitized, meanings, we present Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1961 writings on “Marxist Humanism in New Books and Reviews.” Once more, we face the questions she explored then: Why now, and how did these writers end up so opposite to where they seemed to be starting from?
The challenge from below has brought new attention to Marxist humanism. Defeatism and undialectical misreading, to rebury Marx as a “gradualist” and ethical utopian, deepens the separation of the intellectual both from the revolutionary ideas of Marxist-Humanism and from the concrete movements reaching for Humanism, socialism, and the creation of a new society.
Young people keep taking matters into our own hands. Our time of total crises calls for a philosophy to help us understand the problems at the root of our misery and give us hope we can create a new society. This makes Marx a contemporary for youth, looking for a way out of life under capitalism’s hopeless future.
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.
Because of the urgency of the question of how to make new beginnings in such a reactionary world situation, we excerpt two of Dunayevskaya’s last philosophical writings, which confront “where to begin” as part of her work on dialectics of philosophy and organization.
The Paris Agreement on climate change reveals limits of what capitalism will do even in the face of catastrophe. The question is what kind of development can people in all kinds of countries achieve?
Paris Accord reveals limits of what capitalism will do even in the face of catastrophe. The question is what kind of development can people in all kinds of countries achieve? So long as the vision of an alternative, liberatory path of development is not made concrete as the energizing principle of a movement, a vacuum is left for false alternatives.
In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.
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.
From the November-December 2010 News & Letters
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Editor’s note: For the centenary of Raya Dunayevskaya’s birth, we present excerpts from her March 21, 1985, lecture at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, at the opening of a three-month exhibition of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (RDC). The [=>]
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
U.S. CRISES: RACISM, POLICE, LABOR STRUGGLES
New York News and Letters Committee prepared a flyer on Eric Garner (see: “NYC Police murder Eric Garner” this issue) headlined: “Wanted For Murder: Daniel Pantaleo.” It denounced the fact that the cops who killed Garner are [=>]
Suddenly, a generation of new radicals was born to replace “the silent generation” of the 1950s. By winter 1964 a new form of revolt, with a new underlying philosophy, called itself the Free Speech Movement. It becomes necessary to view the moment when the student revolt culminated in a mass sit-in.
Kaiser imposed added staff cuts in the same breath as it announced the “Total Health Incentive Plan” campaign. While it is promoted as voluntary, the program hides the reality of the health of workers and patients sacrificed daily in the name of cost efficiency. Workers realize they risk their own health and the health of their patients when they come to work sick. Yet we are called into disciplinary meetings when we exceed the company set limit in the number of sick days.
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Ex-Pope Benedict’s reactionary career
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation announcement on Feb. 11 took the world by surprise. It is the first time in almost 600 years that a Pope has decided to quit. He has announced that he will continue to live in the Vatican, bearing the title “Pope emeritus,” and [=>]
by Eugene Walker
István Mészáros, Social Structure and Forms of Consciousness. Volume I, The Social Determination of Method. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010.
Global depression conditions have once again brought to the fore capitalism’s grave contradictions, and with it, new interest in the work of Karl Marx. This is not alone a theoretical question. The massive protests in [=>]
OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013
February 26, 2012
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
Where we must begin is with the world in upheaval, from Occupy Wall Street to Arab Spring, still going after more than a year.
Nothing better shows the old order’s bloody desperation to prevent a [=>]
Woman as Reason
by Terry Moon
Blogger L Boogie has written part one of “Fanon, Alienation and Sexual Harassment,” exploring Frantz Fanon’s 1952 Black Skin White Masks in an exciting way for feminism, by relating his thought to street harassment. (See http://nothingbutahuman.wordpress.com/2011/12/04/fanon-alienation-and-sexual-harassment/)
She begins by relating several incidents of harassment, noting that recollecting them reminded her of “how violent street harassment of [=>]
A Strange Stirring: ‘The Feminine Mystique’ and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s, by Stephanie Coontz (Basic Books, New York), 2011.
A Strange Stirring is an examination of the situation of U.S. women during the years surrounding the 1963 publication of Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique and how it helped the feminist movement change our [=>]