Today’s revolt in Iran is illuminated by Raya Dunayevskaya’s March 1979 Political-Philosophic Letter, “Iran: Unfoldment of, and Contradictions in, Revolution,” published here in two parts. Written shortly after the massive women’s revolt that tried to open a second chapter of the revolution, this letter was part of a series written during and after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and published in both English and Farsi.
This letter expands on the reason for writing Philosophy and Revolution, and on the concepts of “woman as revolutionary reason as well as force” and “new forces and new passions” of revolution. It illuminates Dunayevskaya’s view of multilinearity in Marx’s late writings as a dimension of his concept of revolution in permanence concerning not only class but all social relations, and speaks to the question of method in today’s debates about sexuality, women’s liberation and new subjects of revolution.
Thought disjointed from objective truth is running amok today—even including self-described Marxists who oppose self-determination of Ukraine and side with Putin, the avowed enemy of Lenin. This compels a new look at Hegel’s category philosophically comprehending that phenomenon, which he called “The Third Attitude of Thought toward the Objective World.”
In this talk on the new developments in ‘Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution’, Dunayevskaya takes up her original category of Post-Marx Marxism as a pejorative, as well as the question of the relationship of philosophy to organization
Part of a dialogue with the China scholar Jonathan Spence and of the process of writing Philosophy and Revolution, this piece explains “Hegel’s Absolute Idea in terms of what it means to the book and the whole world’s objective development,” taking up the self-activity of African revolutionaries in contrast to state-capitalism, as in Mao’s China, the struggle for world power between the U.S. and USSR, and what happens after revolution.
Readers’ Views on Philosopher-revolutionaries; Youth, climate and the freedom idea; Climate crisis; California fires, FDA fails women, and Voices from behind bars.
Questions raised by the actions and words of the workers in today’s militant labor insurgency demand a philosophical response. Marxist-Humanism in the U.S. began with taking seriously what workers have raised since the onset of automation in the coal mines: What kind of labor should a human being do?
This essay probes ways to make new beginnings in a period of reaction. It includes some of the themes of her work toward the book she had tentatively titled “Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy: ‘The Party’ and Forms of Organization Born out of Spontaneity.”
In light of the ongoing Israel-Palestine crisis, we present a piece that takes up the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the connected slaughter of Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. This piece goes beyond exposé to explore the treacherous nature of halfway revolutions, which set the stage for counter-revolution. It thus illuminates today’s crisis.
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?
Hegel’s Absolutes never were a series of ascending ivory towers. Revolutionary transformation is immanent in the very form of thought. Our age can best understand Hegel’s Absolute because it has been witness to a movement from practice.
This Political-Philosophic Letter of Raya Dunayevskaya speaks to the need to return to philosophical roots at times of deep crisis, including addressing the question of how to maintain independence when fighting counter-revolution.
In the wake of the March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama, where the recently deceased John Lewis was one of the freedom marchers clubbed and beaten, News & Letters issued this statement highlighting both the new revolt that was sparked and the contradictions between the leaders and ranks in the Freedom Now movement in a way that speaks powerfully to today’s movement.
Excerpt from the pamphlet ‘Black Mass Revolt,’ issued in October 1967 following uprisings in Detroit and Newark: “Has Whitey got the message?” asked one of the Black militants. “Have our own leaders? The system has got to go.”
History warns us of other critical periods…which give us historic proof that mere opposition to such monstrous degeneration (of capitalism) does not lead to new societies. On the contrary. It only assures the transformation of that type of bare opposition into one form or another of a halfway house.
This 60th anniversary of the “Year of Africa,” the turning point of the African revolutions, sheds light on today’s dilemmas. We reprint for the first time Dunayevskaya’s Weekly Political Letter written immediately after her 1962 trip to Africa.
Raya Dunayevskaya explores the concept of the “Changed World’ of the 1980s, which followed the economic crisis and the restructuring that capitalist rulers imposed, with political retrogression, intensified militaristic imperialism, and ideological pollution.
Recalling the Watergate break-in and cover-up that led to President Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation, the text goes into the discussion of practicing dialectics and working out the unity of philosophy and revolution for the current moment of crisis.
Dunayevskaya relates the concept of revolution in permanence to the dialectic, especially dialectical mediation, the negation of the negation, the forces of revolution as reason, and the integrality of philosophy and revolution.
This article anticipated the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement in a way that sheds light on today’s realities by tracing the youth and labor revolt in 1980s China as well as the post-Mao Chinese Communist Party’s maneuvers in politics and ideology.
Readers’ Views on: Socialism and a philosophy of revolution; Sudan in revolt; Iran vs. Iranians; Flint, Mich., play captures voices; Notre-Dame and fracking on native land; gun control debate; labor strikes; debate on fascism; Trump and DeVos; and voices from behind bars.
Raya Dunayevskaya’s archives column explores taking “a further look into the  economy, to measure the depth of the recession, not for statistical purposes, but for the relationship of dialectics of liberation to economic ills.” It bears striking relevance for what is happening in 2019.
Readers’ Views on: Rosa Luxemburg’s revolutionary life; the Green New Deal; and voices from behind bars.
An interview of Raya Dunayevskaya by Katherine Davenport which aired on WBAI radio in New York City on International Women’s Day, March 8, 1984. It brings together women’s liberation and revolution in permanence, as Dunayevskaya discusses what life might be after revolution.
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.”
To observe the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, we present excerpts of a speech given by Raya Dunayevskaya for the Marx centenary year, originally titled “Marxist-Humanism, 1983: The Summation That Is a New Beginning, Subjectively and Objectively.”
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.
Raya Dunayevskaya’s outline for a 1948 speech in Pittsburgh for the Russian Revolution’s anniversary; and “Lenin and the Dialectic: A Mind in Action,” taking up Lenin’s philosophical preparation for revolution. .
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.
On the same day that General William Westmoreland waved the flag before Congress, Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army. While the general was applauded even by the doves, Ali was, within hours, stripped of his title of World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. War exposed the open nerve—”the Black Question”—which has always been the touchstone of U.S. history. It placed American civilization on trial before the world much more seriously than the “war crimes tribunal” in Stockholm.