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.”
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?
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.
What is socialism? From Left to Right, this question is becoming central to political discussion. For me, it raises another question, too: What is philosophy? This is where I will begin, with the young Karl Marx.
This is the first in a series of four presentations on “What is Socialism?” Shorter versions will be published in News & Letters. The second essay is “Socialism, labor and the Black dimension”; the third is “Socialism and ecology”; and the last is “Socialism and Women’s Liberation.”
Readers’ Views Part 2 takes up: the needed return to Marx’s Humanism, and Voices from behind prison bars.
At a time when the social crisis is total—political, economic, cultural, ideological—this clarion call for a return to the original form of the Humanism of Marxism speaks to today’s need for more than just political change, but for a total view and a total solution to global retrogression.
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.
Raya Dunayevskaya on the first and second women’s movements, the Black dimension, working women, and a total philosophy of liberation.
On the anniversary of the Hungarian revolution, we present a letter by Dunayevskaya whose concept of the relationship of spontaneity and party, and its inseparability from organization of thought, speaks to the dialectics of organization and philosophy.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: “Black masses, youth and the needed U.S. revolution: philosophy and reality” looks at the possibility of revolution in the U.S. and the importance of Black masses as vanguard.
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.
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part II
As Others See Us
This review by Abe Cabrera is excerpted from a Sept. 20, 2011, post on his blog, The Rose in the Crosshttp://elblogdelpelon.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/the-masses-as-reason/
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Raya Dunayevskaya’s book, Marxism and Freedom: From 1776 Until Today, is the founding document of a small political movement, Marxist-Humanism. Opposed equally to the tyranny of “ordinary” capitalism and its counterpart in the [=>]
From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Editor’s note: As the world experiences a new stage of revolt–from the Arab Spring to Wall Street–and seeks ways to make it a revolutionary new beginning, we present excerpts of Raya Dunayevskaya’s Perspectives Report to the 1977 national gathering of News and Letters Committees. Originally titled, “IT’S LATER, ALWAYS LATER–except when [=>]