The exchange of threats between China and the U.S. over specks of land and submerged reefs in the South China Sea has heated up as China has expanded its ambitious campaign of dredging, land reclamation, garrisoning troops and erecting military facilities in the Spratly Islands.
Women WorldWide, July-August 2015June 28, 2015
A roundup of women’s actions and events worldwide; this one taking up the film “India’s Daughter,” an update on the five feminists jailed in China, and the opening of the All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Bloomington, Ind.
Things fall apartMay 6, 2015
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.
Celebrating 60 years: Marx spoke to 1975 economic crisisApril 30, 2015
In celebrating the first 60 years of News and Letters Committees, we reprint excerpts from the Draft Perspectives for 1975-76 by Raya Dunayevskaya, the first printed in News & Letters.
THE MOVEMENT KNOWS, of course, that the class enemy is at home, within each country. It knows full well that each existing state power is weighted down with fear of revolution. And it does not fail to appreciate that, no matter how deep the intra-imperialist rivalries, capitalist class solidarity holds tightest and strongest against its own people.
World In View: Nihilist Daesh attacks humanity, historyMarch 11, 2015
The late Syrian writer Alisar Iram, for one, saw where IS/Daesh were heading, long before they took their hammers into the Mosul Museum.
Maldives coup defiedMarch 8, 2015
A coup overthrew the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, a long-time pro-democracy activist and an internationally recognized leader on climate issues.
World in View: Sri Lanka electionFebruary 1, 2015
The Tamils have faced a military occupation of their region for almost a decade. The Sinhalese majority (70%) have as well grown restive under Rajapaksa rule. Crime, a drug mafia, nepotism and corruption characterized his rule.
Hong Kong youth confront class ruleNovember 22, 2014
Hundreds of people in Hong Kong marched to People’s Republic of China government offices on Nov. 9 to demand direct negotiations with the government of China and to oppose sham democratic elections planned for 2017. Marchers began from encampments of thousands of protesters who had been maintaining blockades of major thoroughfares for more than six weeks….
Praxis en America Latina noviembre-diciembre 2014 ediciónNovember 19, 2014
La nueva edicion de Praxis en America Latina. Esperamos sus comentarios. Por favor, reenvíenla a sus redes y contactos.
Readers’ Views, September-October 2014, Part 2August 31, 2014
From the September-October 2014 News & Letters
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION
I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]
Tiananmen Square Massacre 25 years laterJuly 8, 2014
From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters
Crowds filled Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on June 4 to remember the massacre in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. Under Hong Kong’s separate administration they bore witness to the two-month-long mass movement of students and workers that spread to city after city across China, and [=>]
Third anniversary of the Syrian RevolutionMay 21, 2014
Two busloads of people from Chicago joined thousands gathered in Washington on March 15 to mark the third anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.
Capitalism’s political and economic degeneracyMay 7, 2014
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015. III. Capitalism’s political and economic degeneracy. A. Karl Marx haunts capitalism’s stagnation. B. The race toward climate chaos.
Tour the world’s most polluted placesApril 4, 2014
Few people relish pollution tourism and fewer still can so appropriately express their disgust and delight as Andrew Blackwell in “Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places.”
Capitalist economy is failingMarch 15, 2014
Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.
South Korea on strike, North Korea on ‘ice’February 15, 2014
• Over 100,000 South Koreans, mainly workers, demonstrated in Seoul on Dec. 28. They expressed their anger over a number of issues at the government of President Park Geun-hye.
One source of anger is the move to privatize some service by KORAIL (Korean Railroad Corp.). This had already led to the largest-ever walkout by members of the railroad workers’ union. Union officials say moves to privatize will mean fare hikes, service reductions, and safety problems.
On Dec. 22 riot police were sent to attack the Seoul headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Without search warrants, they broke down doors and caused serious property damage, including to the adjoining offices of the Kyunghang newspaper, which has been critical of Park’s policies.
Other citizens, outraged by revelations of manipulation by the National Intelligence Service of the 2012 elections when Park was elected, joined protesting workers. Police had confirmed illegal attempts to manipulate the election beforehand, but were ordered to remain silent.
With all these problems and more, South Korean youth have been inspired by the “Why We Aren’t Fine!” campaign. This was launched when a student at Korea University, Ju Hyun-woo, made a poster for his school bulletin board that was picked up and broadcast over social media. He wrote: “I just want to ask, ‘Are you okay?’ Are you fine with ignoring all these issues because they aren’t your problems?…And if you are not ‘fine’ after seeing all these problems, then voice your opinions—whatever they may be.”
Many of these young people joined in the Dec. 28 demonstrations, and also held flash mobs in cities across the country.
Movements confront climate changeNovember 28, 2013
Occupations of planned fracking sites in Canada and Romania showed the intensification of struggles against the damage fossil fuel exploitation is inflicting. The urgency of stopping the headlong rush to extract and burn fossil fuel was underscored by the latest comprehensive report from the International Panel on Climate Change.
Suicide as revoltSeptember 18, 2013
Workers at the vast Foxconn manufacturing complex in China now struggle against daily torture that is not only physical but mental. It is a new form of the banality of evil that combines Dickensian work conditions, crowded dormitories and a vast bureaucratic maze designed to make young individuals feel totally lost and alone when thrust into it by circumstances not of their own making.
Turkey, Syria and Iran at crossroads of world revoltJuly 2, 2013
The mass protests in Turkey, the presidential election in Iran and, above all, the continuing struggle for the Syrian revolution express the depth of today’s social crisis. These crises are interpenetrated and inseparable. The stakes are high.
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total viewMay 1, 2013
The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse of the USSR. Such is the degeneracy of the globalized capitalist system, laden with destructive forces and sunk into structural crisis. The deep crisis is seen in the U.S. and abroad, economically, in unemployment and poverty, homelessness and hunger. It is seen politically, in new laws attacking workers and women, and new outbursts of racism. It is seen environmentally, with the advance of climate disruption and fake capitalistic solutions. It is seen in thought, as the lack of philosophy, of a total view, hampers the development of struggles from the U.S. to the revolutions of the Arab Spring facing counter-revolutions.
Escape from Camp 14April 10, 2013
Escape from Camp 14 is the story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the only person born in a North Korean slave labor camp to escape, doing so at the age of 23 in 2005. Shin’s life is testament to the putrid essence of that militarized, state-capitalist totalitarian society.
Readers’ Views, January-February 2013, Part 1March 9, 2013
RAVAGES OF CAPITALISM SHOW NEED FOR NEW WORLD
The article on “Climate chaos and capitalism” (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L) is very relevant, especially the conclusion about how capitalism’s contradiction is that the growth of the economy, of capitalist production, means more global warming and climate change worldwide.
Activist for humans and environment
The technologies we [=>]
Fake Burmese reformsMarch 6, 2013
When highly lauded Burmese human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi doubted whether the Rohingya Muslims really belong in Burma, the incipient racism and ethnic chauvinism echoed personally. I consider myself, my family and many other ethnic minorities to be exiles, having fled persecution in Burma during the post-colonial era of national independence movements. In [=>]
Forced labor in ChinaFebruary 19, 2013
In January, as Xi Jinping’s term as head of the Communist Party of China was beginning, the head of the Political and Legal Committee kinda sorta promised the end of “re-education through labor.” Local police have been able send at their discretion those “disrupting public order” to labor camps since the 1957 crackdown on the [=>]
Readers’ Views, September-October 2012, Part 1October 15, 2012
CAPITALIST CRISIS AND REVOLT
I appreciated Franklin Dmitryev’s Lead article in the July-August N&L, on “Spain, Greece, Europe: Capitalist crisis and revolt,” for showing how the so-called “radical Left” is not really so radical. They think they can solve things through managing the economy and redistributing wealth, and channel energy into politics.
The boldfaced paragraph in the [=>]
Shifang protestSeptember 19, 2012
Chinese officials in Sichuan province bowed quickly to mass protests and withdrew plans on July 3 for construction of a $1.6 billion molybdenum copper processing plant in Shifang town. Thousands of demonstrators faced tear gas and police batons beginning on July 1, surrounding government buildings and installations in Shifang to stop the project and the [=>]
South Africa Marikana mine massacreSeptember 14, 2012
Marikana, South Africa–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!
Mining has been central to the history of repression in South Africa. Mining made Sandton to be Sandton and the Bantustans of the Eastern Cape [=>]
Syrians against all oddsSeptember 13, 2012
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 [=>]
Readers’ Views, July-August 2012, Part 1August 14, 2012
REVOLUTION, COUNTER-REVOLUTION AND NEED FOR PHILOSOPHY
In the Draft of Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013, published in the last issue, while the global analysis is good, it is partial and emphasizes mass uprisings that may be a part of history tomorrow, i.e., Syria, while ignoring the long-term struggles that have a potential for raising a clear [=>]
Using robots to attack labor upsurge in ChinaJuly 29, 2012
Workers who created a wave of strikes in China from auto and electronics to steel over the past two years have confronted the power of private capital, the state and the Communist Party. In 2011 alone, China’s State Council acknowledged 500 large-scale “mass incidents” per day, including peasant resistance to land grabs as well as [=>]
Paths of destructionMay 14, 2012
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
III. Paths of destruction
A. From war to war to war
War is one of the rulers’ most potent counter-revolutionary weapons when faced with economic crises and revolt. With a military stretched thin, one eye on China, and the failures of Iraq and [=>]
Iranian critiques ‘anti-imperialist’ LeftApril 17, 2012
London—Since 2009, the first wave of revolutions in the Middle East was started by the marching of millions in Iran. For many years, the Middle East has been run by the capitalist dictatorial regimes in which the working class is exploited to the maximum. People live in misery while the less than 1% swim in [=>]
Chinese model is not workers’March 23, 2012
by Htun Lin
As I watched the news of a state visit by the designated next President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, sealing important trade deals with the U.S. President, I couldn’t help but think about another “state visit,” to China, by Andy Stern, former President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Syrian revolution fights Assad’s genocide, world powers watchMarch 16, 2012
by Gerry Emmett
The unprecedented uprising in Syria has been called the “orphan revolution” because it seems that the Syrian people have stood almost alone in their epic struggle for freedom. The Arab League observers achieved nothing. The UN has been stymied by Russian and Chinese vetoes in the Security Council. Most recently, the meeting in [=>]
March-April 2012 News & Letters is onlineMarch 13, 2012
Syrian revolution fights Assad’s genocide, world powers watch
The Syrian Revolution is a serious challenge to the order in the region and beyond. Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia all have much to lose from the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist family dynasty, as do their imperialist patrons.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Women as thinkers and revolutionaries
News and Letters Committees Call for Convention 2012March 5, 2012
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 [=>]
Widening labor and peasant revolts threaten Chinese rulersJanuary 30, 2012
Lead article in the new January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Widening labor and peasant revolts threaten Chinese rulers
by Bob McGuire
Open rebellion in the village of Wukan in December revealed the forced land seizures that have underpinned China’s industrial expansion as it has risen to serve as the world’s workshop. What rulers in [=>]
January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters now available on the webJanuary 29, 2012
Protests began in September in Wukan, a village of 20,000 people in Guangdong province on the South China Sea, against seizure of more than 100 acres of Wukan’s common land to be sold to those with insider ties to the village Communist Party leadership. Village authorities escalated the conflict by identifying protest leaders and hauling [=>]
Readers’ Views, September-October 2011October 7, 2011
From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:
- REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
- KARL MARX AND WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
- REMEMBERING CHRISTINA SANTIAGO
- THELONIOUS MONK
- CANADA AS ‘CONTESTATAIRE’ SOCIETY
- MAN-MADE DISASTERS: NUCLEAR POWER AND WORLD WAR
- LABOR STRUGGLES IN 2011
- WHY WRITE FOR N&L?
- VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS
REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
The West supports any revolution where they [=>]
World in View: China’s migrant revoltJuly 30, 2011
Thousands of migrant workers exploded onto the streets in the industrial suburb of Zengcheng in Guangdong province and vented their rage for a week. Security forces had thrown to the pavement a 20-year-old pregnant migrant worker from Sichuan, while clearing the street and removing her peddler’s cart.
Migrant workers walked out of factories and demonstrated, burning [=>]
World in View: China clamps downMay 26, 2011
State security forces in China have widened their crackdown on public dissent begun Feb. 17 after online calls for a “jasmine revolution” in China on the model of Tunisia and Egypt. Because calls for anti-government demonstrations each Sunday had originated outside China, in the U.S., the authorities used that as a pretext for ferreting out [=>]
Readers’ Views (March-April 2011)April 2, 2011
THE MIDDLE EAST EXPLODES: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER?
The Middle East events are bringing lots of people to talk about 1979 as well as the 2009 movements in Iran. I appreciated Raha’s essay in the Jan.-Feb. issue, Philosophy and Iran’s revolution: Where to now? because it raises the question of what could go wrong right now in [=>]
World in View: Sudan at the crossroads of self-determinationMarch 8, 2011
by Gerry Emmett
The final vote for southern Sudan’s independence from the north will be overwhelming. The days of referendum have been days of tears and memories along with happiness. Among the diaspora, people in line to vote echoed the words of one woman who said, “I’m casting my vote for the men and women who [=>]
Back to the nuclear brinkFebruary 10, 2011
From the Jan.-Feb. 2011 issue of News & Letters:
Back to the nuclear brink
The continuing threat of war on the Korean Peninsula, the nature of debate over the just-ratified New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, and the “wisdom” Homeland Security has shared with us on surviving a nuclear attack, all underscore the urgency of the [=>]
European revolts confront economic and political crisesFebruary 7, 2011
by Ron Kelch
In one of the biggest demonstrations in Ireland since its revolutionary birth in 1916, 100,000 marched in Dublin on Nov. 27 against the terms of an 85 billion euro loan package put together by the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The marchers were outraged over the Irish government agreeing [=>]
War threat over KoreaDecember 9, 2010
The continuing threat of war on the Korean Peninsula underscores the urgency of the Marxist-Humanist perspective that the opposite of war is not peace but revolution. North Korea seized the focus of war, peace and nuclear annihilation on Nov. 23 by raining deadly artillery shells down on South Korean-controlled Yeonpyeong Island. The artillery attack appeared [=>]
Strikers in China demand own unions, defy capitalismSeptember 16, 2010
The new September-October 2010 issue of News & Letters is online. Here’s the lead article:
Strikers in China demand own unions, defy capitalism
by Bob McGuire
A wave of strikes in China that began in mid-May in auto and continued through the summer is challenging the foundations of China’s world-leading production system. Workers striking key [=>]