Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2021-2022: The dialectic of crises worldwide is testing liberation struggles

As another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic swells, too many people are stuck in a recurring nightmare. The world faces multiple existential crises–a global state-capitalist system shot through with racism, xenophobia, sexism, heterosexism, ableism and authoritarianism. That calls for the confluence of labor and liberation struggles through a unifying philosophy based in the dialectic of liberation in those movements.

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Woman as Reason: Afghan women pay price for U.S. hubris

August 31, 2021

In Afghanistan the Taliban are murdering men who helped the U.S., UK, and other forces who fought them; and murdering and beating women and girls who have made even marginally independent lives for themselves. Yet, despite the terror, Afghans, especially women, continue to demonstrate against Taliban rule.

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Afghan women pay the price for U.S. hubris

August 21, 2021

In Afghanistan the Taliban are murdering men who helped the U.S., UK, and other forces who fought them; and murdering and beating women and girls who have made even marginally independent lives for themselves. Yet, despite the terror, Afghans, especially women, continue to demonstrate against Taliban rule.

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The injustice of India’s surging COVID-19 deaths

July 4, 2021

In person report of the COVID-10 pandemic in India which is in the throes of a second wave. There are horrific scenes of people dying due to the lack of medical oxygen, hospital beds and so on. There is neither enough space for the dead in the crematoriums and graveyards, nor enough wood for the pyres.

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Women Worldwide: July-August 2021

July 2, 2021

On May 1, the BC Women’s Alliance, a coalition of feminists in British Columbia, Canada, dropped banners from bridges, and other locations reading #Women Demand Guaranteed Livable Income; On May 19, 2021, Alix Dobkin, a founder of the group Lavender Jane, died; COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to a worldwide increase in violence against women, including female genital mutilation which is being fought by Lucy-Ann Ganda, a director at Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation.

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China out of Burma, support revolution!

China’s dictatorship insists we stay out of other countries’ affairs, yet they are the main backers of the coup regime in Myanmar and of other authoritarian states. Today there is no such thing as non-interventionism—the only question is whether intervention will take the form of solidarity with the oppressed or support for the oppressors.

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Peru: Election conflict during COVID

A Peruvian post-presidential election battle is raging between Pedro Castillo, a union activist and former schoolteacher, and Keiko Fujimori, a right-wing neoliberal and daughter of the jailed authoritarian former President Alberto Fujimori.

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World in View: COVID-19, philosophy, and revolution

The ruling class response to the pandemic was to lie, obfuscate, and manipulate the public in its own interest. The possibility that COVID-19 may have been a lab leak illustrates how capitalism can turn our deepest insights into our own nature towards our own destruction.

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China’s deadly role in Myanmar must stop!

June 16, 2021

China’s dictatorship insists we stay out of other countries’ affairs, yet they are the main backers of the coup regime in Myanmar and of other authoritarian states. Today there is no such thing as non-interventionism—the only question is whether intervention will take the form of solidarity with the oppressed or support for the oppressors.

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The health crisis in India

May 29, 2021

India is in the throes of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first reason behind the health crisis is a chaotic vaccination campaign and the second reason, which has impacted the first, is the augmentation of neoliberal healthcare over the last decades which has subjected the health sector, its institutions, systems and services to a severe process of erosion.

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Abahlali baseMjondolo’s Deputy President arrested on trumped-up charges

May 14, 2021

The arrest of Abahlali baseMjondolo Deputy President, Mqapheli (George) Bonono, on trumped-up charges is related to the longstanding attempts by the ANC (African National Congress) to crush the eKhenena Occupation in Cato Manor, an occupation that is now a working commune run on a democratic basis with a co-operative managing the farming.

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Editorial: Amazon union vote hides workers’ reality

May 8, 2021

In the union vote at Amazon in Alabama, the overriding issue was the dehumanization of laboring activity underlying Amazon’s brutal working conditions. The tyrannical conditions begin from an algorithm that runs an army of robots that don’t get sick in a pandemic.

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Biden’s broken immigration policy

The number of people who cross the border without documents is rising and has been for many years. This trend has remained steady through the transition from Trump to President Biden, notwithstanding the self-promotional lies and distortions of professional smugglers and ultraconservative members of the U.S. Congress.

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Women Worldwide: May-June 2021

Five Canadian feminist activists released The Care Economy Statement proclaiming that caregiving is a societal responsibility; through February, thousands of feminists demonstrated across France in support of “Julie,” a 25-year-old woman who when younger was raped over 100 times by 20 firemen; in memoriam for Nawal El Sadaawi, an Egyptian radical feminist, Marxist, writer and activist; and the Illinois Prison Project launched the Women and Survivors Project.

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Politics erases science

The City of Detroit COVID-19 vaccination accessibility is far superior to the surrounding suburbs, yet Detroit’s vaccination rate is only 28% compared to 40-50% in nearby suburbs. Why?

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Youth: Marx speaks to youth alienation

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.

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Handicap This!: May-June 2021

People with disabilities falling through the cracks when trying to get vaccinated; Egyptian TV show centers people with disabilities; half of people killed by police are people with disabilities; cop dumps Whitney Mitchell out of wheelchair at a protest and leaves her helpless on the ground.

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World in View: COVID-19 decimates India

A second wave of COVID-19 is devastating India. Each day over 300,000 new cases are reported, and over 3,000 people die. In the midst of this, the farmers’ protests continue as thousands remain camped outside Delhi. The Modi government has accused the camps of being “super-spreader” events, while farmers say the government is using the pandemic to demobilize its opponents.

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Women from India to the USA fight against misogynist violence

March 11, 2021

Violence against women has worsened in the era of COVID-19. Sexism, like racism, is systemic to almost every culture. Nevertheless women fight back with creative activism and thought. What is new is the internationalization and deepening of that struggle. This year’s International Women’s Day shows women deepening our fight for full freedom and new human relationships.

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Unemployed workers organize and march, demanding relief

Newly organized as Northern California Unemployed Committee, people marched to draw attention to the disparities within capitalism exacerbated by COVID-19. They demanded the federal government stop taxing unemployment benefits and that it restore the $600 per week unemployment supplement.

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Thoughts from the outside: Lucky I have a job?

What is essential for capital to reinforce its authority and what is essential for people to live as human beings are very different things. Seeing through the rhetoric of the “privilege of having a job,” the reality of life under capitalism becomes clear.

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Worldwide attacks on freedom of thought

Governments across the world are conducting a war against the freedom of thought, from France’s assault on critical race theory to U.S. criminalizing of Indigenous water protectors to Poland’s legal enshrinement of Holocaust denial.

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Prisons mismanage COVID-19 crisis

February 7, 2021

A prisoner who got COVID-19 writes about how prisons have reprehensibly mismanaged the COVID-19 crisis, harming prisoners, line staff, their families, and the community at large.

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Latin America Notes: January-February 2021

Honduran migrants from the first caravan since Joseph Biden’s election speak about why they are leaving their homeland; and São Paulo, Brazil residents, thrown out of work by the pandemic, are occupying buildings in order to have a place to live.

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Pandemic prompts rethinking education

The pandemic challenges assumptions about the purpose of schooling, creating an opportunity to address basic issues, including ways to help students reflect and build on what they have learned, in school or out, and to figure out how to allow those experiences to “count.”

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Black homes matter

Report on “#Black Homes Matter” podcast with experts taking up how one in three Detroit families have lost their homes, often due to the fact that Detroit homes continued to be assessed as if no change in market value had occurred and that one of the highest property tax rates in the nation.

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Pandemic changes education

January 14, 2021

The pandemic challenges assumptions about the purpose of schooling, creating an opportunity to address basic issues, including ways to help students reflect and build on what they have learned, in school or out, and to figure out how to allow those experiences to “count.”

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Trump’s election obsession shreds a flawed democracy

January 11, 2021

Amid COVID-19 deaths and economic decline, a fascist mob stormed the Capitol. If U.S. democracy lives to see another day, it was because of the unprecedented turnout of Black voters, reflecting the mass movement on the streets that continues to put that democracy on trial.

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‘Virtual’ teaching or hazardous workplace

November 29, 2020

A teacher of six-year-olds in a low-income Illinois suburb tells of her experience teaching during COVID-19 and how those who run the schools have no comprehension of what the job entails and no interest in protecting the mental and physical health of teachers, staff, or children.

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Readers’ views, November-December 2020: part one

November 28, 2020

Election battles, reaching for the future, and the pull of the past; Sabotage of the post office; Food recycling workers strike; Anti-labor statue downed; Oil and biden; COVID-19: where’s the vision?; Racism and fascism; Polish women’s revolutionary moment; News & Letters is back in print!

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