The great Tunisian-Jewish French writer Albert Memmi passed away May 20. Memmi’s complex identity registered the tensions of his century.
Ex-prisoner Faruq takes up the revolutionary history of Black August Memorial and relates it to his life and the historic Pelican Bay Hunger Strike.
Bay Area youth exuberantly join in a global march for the climate, raising awareness of climate change.
South African shackdwellers state: “We believe that there is only one human race and that the borders created by colonial rule should be irrelevant to our project to build solidarity among the oppressed and to ensure that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
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.
Readers’ Views on: workers strike back, genocide and Facebook, Mauritius victory, Syrian Revolution under fire, “55 Steps,” debating yellow vests, women’s struggles, and why read News & Letters.
Review of Robert Taliaferro’s wonderfully illustrated book, “Always Color Outside the Lines: Freedom for the Artist Within”–a book that shows his philosophy of art and his expertise with different media and techniques.
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 Left press and many others have been commenting on this important date: Jan. 1, 1959, the day that Fulgencio Batista was overthrown. The great difficulty is that the focus has been far too narrow…
Woman as Reason columnist Terry Moon discusses the anti-Semitism among the leadership of the Women’s March, attacking the excuse they have given, and what it means to abandon the principles of women’s liberation.
Prisoner Faruq writes about new beginnings after the California prisoners’ hunger strike and the need for unity for any new movement forward.
Participants at the March for Our Lives against gun violence in the Bay Area, Calif., Detroit, Mich., and Chicago, Ill. report on the militancy and humanism in the marches in their areas.
On a bitter cold morning on March 24, 2018, over 85,000 of us jammed into Union Park on Chicago’s west side to be part of the March For Our Lives and to join with protesters in 800 other cities across the U.S. and the world.
As this is being written, Russian and Assad regime war planes continue to pound the working-class communities of East Ghouta. Every idea of human solidarity, every faith or philosophy, is being tested.
Prisoner Faruq writes of “those of us confined behind prison walls [who] recognize the pressing need to unify the prison population in the different prisons.”
Women’s Marches took place around the U.S. and the world in 2017 AND 2018, once again showing that the opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump is alive, thriving, militant and exuberant.
The #MeToo movement, with roots in the 1960s, is part of a humanist revolutionary red thread that shows in a visceral way that revolution must deepen at every point in order to finally make the relationships we have with each other into actually human relationships.
The dialectic and the meaning of the Russian Revolution.
Various prisoner support organizations gathered before an Alameda County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee hearing on jails and detention centers in November, 2017.
Prisoners Faruq and Robert Taliaferro write about the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allowed for prisoners to be enslaved, taking up different aspects of slavery as it appears in prison, in the U.S. and the world.
Prisoner Faruq writes about the meaning of the fifth anniversary of the historic “Agreement to End Hostilities” that continues to challenge the racism imposed on prisoners in the California prison system and elsewhere. .
The peace march on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to commemorate over 70,000 lives lost at the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on Aug. 9 in Livermore, Calif., bring up questions of Marxism, humanism, and the alternative necessary new society.
A Marxist-Humanist analysis of the history and meaning of the rising of the right-wing neo-Nazi white supremacist movement, its relationship to President Donald Trump and his administration, and its challenge to the freedom forces arrayed against it who are fighting for a humanist world. .
Trump’s barbarism in power is a crisis for bourgeois democracy and revolutionary thought. Opposition from below is far deeper than bourgeois opposition to Trump. To have efficacy today, Marx’s body of ideas must be grasped and projected as a whole. The movement from theory needs to meet the challenge of history, of freedom struggles and revolution.
An in-depth Marxist-Humanist view of the state of the women’s movement in the U.S. and worldwide as it responds to the rising fascism of U.S. President Trump and other world leaders.
Prisoner Faruq looks at how African-American History Month came to be, stressing the importance of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s vision and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy included a critique of cultural and social relations as well as race, concluding that history is necessary for formerly enslaved people to move towards freedom.
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.
Prisoner Baridi continues a dialogue about humanism with Urszula Wislanka sparked by California prisoners’ struggle to end the torture of long-term solitary confinement.
Black prisoner Faruq looks critically at Fidel Castro’s legacy, especially his turn to a one party state and the importance of freely associated labor for a true revolutionary process.
Reports from the huge Women’s March from participants in Chicago, Ill., Detroit, Mich., Oakland, Calif., Nashville, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., Los Angeles, Calif., and New York City.
Shared story of a prisoner experiencing solitary confinement in Pennsylvania.
At this moment of rethinking, Urszula Wislanka ask prisoners to share their ideas on humanism, as the Prisoners’ Human Rights Movement Blueprint reasserted the humanism upon which the prisoners’ movement was founded.
Prisoner and hunger striker Faruq looks at the way forward after the historic California prisoners’ hunger strike and emphasizes the importance of “the banner of our humanism that allowed the forging of a tremendous unification across the racial divides.”
An appeal for funds to help keep the paper, News & Letters, going and growing; and to help us expand our subscriptions to prisoners.
A revolutionary critique of the “lynching” charge against Black Lives Matter activist Jasmine Richards and how it reveals the racism endemic to U.S. society and spotlights the revolutionary Black youth fighting against it.
Despite police murders of teachers, surviving teachers and their supporters carry on inspiring protests against so-called “educational reforms” in Oaxaca, Mexico.
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.
On the challenges facing the Syrian Revolution, the lie of the current ceasefire, the forces lined up against the Revolution including Russia and Iran, and the insufficiencies of much of the international Left when it comes to supporting a genuine revolution and comprehending revolution in permanence.
One year after the murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, the Black Lives Matter movement continues to challenge racist U.S. society. In doing so, it deepens itself in both content and thought.
A report of two workshops on Trans liberation at the Left Forum, one that was affirming and one that provided no way forward for Trans people except a very narrow view of both gender and the Trans liberation struggle.”
The thoughts of News & Letters readers on: MARXIST-HUMANIST PHILOSOPHY IN THE WHIRLWIND OF EVENTS; SAVING THE PLANET; and VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS.
Unlike vanguard parties, our goal is not the incorporation of a cadre into a certain fixed structure that Lenin advocated for in 1902 and rejected in 1905, but the development of “organic intellectuals,” thinkers and philosophers from the ranks of the Black masses as vanguard, women, youth, and workers.
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. [=>]
A lightning offensive saw Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, fall to the insurgents. The pattern extended itself to Tikrit, farther south, then Samarra, and the battle spread to the oil refining center of Baiji. Most of this was first attributed to ISIS. The question was asked, then: Why and how could a well-armed force of 20,000 Iraqi troops, armed and trained by the U.S., dissolve in the face of 800 terrorists?
Review by Adele of “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels,” by Sikivu Hutchinson (Infidel Books, 2013).
Today’s revival of interest in Marx, especially since the onset of the 2008 economic meltdown, includes a significant strain of economism and has revived controversies and issues addressed by Dunayevskaya in this review-essay of Paul Mattick’s book Marx and Keynes.
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 [=>]
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
(continued from Part III)
IV. Marx’s Humanism today
“The commodity form of the products of labor became a fetish because of the perverse relationship of subject to object–of living labor to dead capital. Relations between men appear as the relation between things because [=>]
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
Counter-revolution’s rise shows need for a total philosophy
Revolution, having forced its way to center stage over the last year and a half, cannot easily be bottled up. That explains the viciousness of the counter-revolution, whether the violent police attacks on occupations from New York to Oakland or the Syrian state’s torture [=>]