Readers’ Views on: Solidarity with Palestinians; Attacks on Democracy; Iranian Revolt; Musicians’ Labor; Damage to Homeless; Covid-19 Killers; Trump and Taliban; Far Right in Portland; Critical Race Theory; Prisoners under Fire; Voices from Behind Bars; Only the Dialectic Can Save Us
Racism and the resistance to it permeated the election, from the Trump campaign’s appeal to white supremacy to the outpouring of Black organizing and votes, energized by the new stage of revolt sparked by the police murder of George Floyd. However, grave questions remain about where the U.S. and the world are heading. Movements from below will be challenged to resist the calls for “unity” under the capitalist umbrella and to continue to deepen their revolt against a “return to normal.”
In addition to pandemic, climate, and economic disasters, we face the specter of pre-emptive counter-revolution. Self-activity of masses in motion is needed not only to defeat Trump but to move beyond society that breeds Trumpism.
Free Syrians continue to fight the regime and Russia, and regime supporters keep pressing for genocide. They cannot coexist.
With Brexit, the rise of the far right, Macron’s vacuous French nationalism, and Sinn Fein’s victory in Irish elections, the “idea of Europe” is under great strain.
The Far Right threatens to make significant gains in the European Parliament elections this May. What inheres within the “idea of Europe” that can destroy fascism as idea and reality is the humanism that became its internal critique, Marx’s humanism.
The uprising of the gilets jaunes (Yellow Vests) against French President Emmanuel Macron embodies the unity and brutal disunity of our time.
The Syrian Revolution has been the physical and intellectual battlefield that defines our time. As early as 2012 it was clear that what happened in Syria would determine the next stage of world history.
The victory of Far Right and “populist” parties in Italian elections, preceded by that in Austria, and followed by that in Hungary, emphasizes the current threat of neo-fascism which means to take power in the EU.
Racist and homophobic politicians have moved from the fringes to contend for state power in Brazil. Fabricio Alvarado in Costa Rica and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil represent a further step down an anti-human path.
On Feb. 7, 2018, many Libyans celebrated the seventh anniversary of the revolution that overthrew long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi. But the dictator’s toxic influence has outlived him.
Far Right racist parties have continued to make inroads into mainstream politics. 40,000 people marched in Austria against the new governing coalition of the anti-immigrant Austrian People’s Party and the neo-Nazi Freedom Party.
The administration’s war against truth and reason, such as climate change denial, calls for more than fact-checking. What is needed is to establish a totally opposite ground, that of liberation.
The people’s revolutionary struggles form the ground for approaching developments including Trump’s attack on a Syrian military base. The human-to-human communication found in places like Kafranbel has been a form of theory in itself. The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in the Syrian conflict has been the lie that there is “no good alternative” to Assad, echoing the bourgeoisie’s “no alternative” to capitalism. The state of Europe today illustrates the central importance of revolutionary solidarity.
An expansive look at the rise of fascism worldwide beginning in the U.S. with Donald Trump and the U.S. election, and taking in European fascism, and the situations in India, the Philippines, China, Japan and the opposition by rulers worldwide to those fighting for a free existence and new human relations.
On June 16, Labour Party Member of Parliament Jo Cox was murdered by a neo-Nazi. Cox was murdered for opposing the rising reactionary tendency in European politics.
An Editorial on how Brexit has emboldened the Far Right, not only in Britain but also in the U.S., bringing out blatant expressions of racism, homophobia, sexism and anti-immigrant hatred; and the importance of people’s own self-organization to counter this moment in history.
With Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the Far Right has been emboldened worldwide. As the economic and social crisis deepens, so does the brutality, while the Right seeks scapegoats for the results of capitalism’s objective laws, which only have force as long as humanity’s struggle to be free is not yet complete. The only solid ground for opposing this latest stage of reactionary retrogression is that of revolution in permanence.
Part IV of the Draft Perspectives 2016: The renewal of Syrian demonstrations for freedom refuted the state powers’ belief that the idea of revolution can be destroyed by bombs, and highlighted a civilizational crisis and the need for international solidarity.
Russian airstrikes create havoc in Syria, embodying a philosophy of unfreedom. Revolutionary unity in Syria isn’t just a tactical issue, but a philosophic question, on the revolution’s ground of freedom and dignity, needing philosophic as well as material solidarity.
The fascist terror attacks in Paris herald further reaction. Syria and its tortured twin, Iraq, have become the umbilical cord connecting ISIS to the bourgeois imperialism that is its model.
That a minority faction of one party in one chamber of one branch of the U.S. government could pose a grave threat to the world economy reflects the depth of the capitalist crisis. The sheer nihilism of that Tea Party faction reflects the depravity of American racism, which, as Patrick Buchanan threatened, would not hesitate to “bring down like Samson” the world around it.
ARCHIVES AS LIVING
I have been following the readings for the 2012-2013 Marxist-Humanist discussions with great enthusiasm. I was especially energized by the “Women as force and reason of revolution” selections. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1970 piece “The Women’s Liberation Movement as Reason and as Revolutionary Force” was fresh and relevant to today. This is no surprise [=>]
With lightning swiftness a super-majority of Michigan lame-duck Republicans passed a series of oppressive bills at the end of December. Defying voters’ expressed views, they passed an anti-union “right-to-work” law, an anti-abortion bill and a dictatorial emergency manager act. This was accomplished despite a record number–over 12,500–of protestors who stormed and occupied the legislative chamber [=>]
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Editor’s Note: Originally the lead article 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. Footnotes are added by the editors.
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The easy victory of Barry Goldwater [=>]