Detroit Dispatch #5: Education and individualism

May 14, 2020

Susan Van Gelder reports on Detroit including: a Supreme Court ruling saying Detroit children have been “deprived of access to literacy”; how children are faring in obtaining internet access so they participate in distant learning; and how “individualism” needs to be framed in relationship to society as a whole.

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COVID-19 has generated a lot of “free time” for workers, but how can we create full, human “free time”?

May 12, 2020

The measures adopted in the face of the spread of COVID-19 in the world have caused billions of people to suddenly have excess “free time.” But this is not a full “free time,” conducive to the enjoyment and development of new skills, but a “time without work” that is exacerbating the enormous economic contradictions already existing in our society. Is it possible to imagine and bring about a form of free time that is truly human time?

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Meatpacking workers sacrificed

May 1, 2020

Workers in meatpacking plants across the country are being sacrificed to what Karl Marx called capital’s “werewolf hunger for surplus labor” as packing companies try to reap the benefits of the prevailing level of automation—but substituting intensified sweated labor for the capital investment of automation. If workers die from COVID-19, the capitalist doesn’t care.

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IV. What to do in the face of compounding crises—medical, economic, political, and the philosophic void

April 30, 2020

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part IV: In the absolute opposite of today’s society, one based on freely associated labor instead of slavery to capi­tal’s production for production’s sake, we can leave behind pervasive misery, precarity and antagonism, and self-development and cooperation can flourish, as can a rational relationship to nature. We can see the beginnings in self-organization from below and the ever-growing rejection of capitalism. Against the large part of the Left that focuses on the power of the state to combat disasters, we must bring out the self-activity of mass­es in motion and not disarm ourselves by separating mass struggles from dialectical philosophy of revolution.

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III. Pandemic sets in motion the latent economic collapse

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part III: The Great Recession intensified the crises but also the revolt and, because of that, the counter-revolutionary trends that led to the Tea Party, Trumpism, and their analogues internationally.

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Capitalism is the real pandemic

April 6, 2020

Neither the coronavirus nor the ongoing climate changes are merely “acts of nature.” Rather both have emerged at this moment because humanity is grounded—entrapped—in the economic-social-political system(s) of capital/capitalism. It is the behemoth that we must examine: the monster we must free ourselves from.

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Revolution in Permanence in Syria, After the Uprisings

March 22, 2020

Review-essay (longer version) on the book ‘Syria After the Uprisings: The Political Economy of State Resilience’ by Joseph Daher. With a combination of ruthless criticism and consistent solidarity, the author situates the Assad regime and Syria’s three counter-revolutions into a broader trend of global neoliberalism.

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COVID-19: A world-historic threat

March 7, 2020

Gerry Emmett analyzes the meaning of the current coronavirus pandemic from the point of view of what Karl Marx called humanity’s metabolism with nature, which formed the basis of his critique of capitalism.

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COVID-19 and the specter of pandemic

January 27, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus cannot be viewed in isolation from the corruption of China’s state-capitalism and the danger the virus poses especially to the poor, homeless and refugees.

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Healthcare workers strike!

December 31, 2019

On Dec. 16, 4,000 mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO in Oakland went on a five-day strike, calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.

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Essay: What is Socialism? Socialism and ecology

August 31, 2019

The last of a series of essays on What is Socialism? This time, taking on the relation of anticapitalistic social transformation and climate chaos, in order to grasp what is essential to capitalism and its destructive environmental effects, and what kind of new society can transcend that.

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Editorial: Freedom=control of our own bodies

June 27, 2019

Editorial on the struggle women have in the U.S. to keep abortion legal and accessible, how the Left has mostly given lip service to the struggle, and how today when socialism is again on the agenda, it also has to mean women have control of their own bodies.

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Freedom has to mean we control our own bodies

May 30, 2019

“Woman as Reason” columnist Terry Moon writes about the state of abortion rights in the U.S. in light of the draconian attacks against it and relates women’s struggle to control their bodies to the thingification of women, the poor response of the U.S. left, Karl Marx’s devastating critique of capitalism, and what revolution must come to mean.

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Karol Modzelewski, 1937-2019

May 10, 2019

We mourn the passing of a great revolutionary, Karol Modzelewski, one of the leaders of Solidarity in Poland when it was a mass organization of workers against the state.

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Readers’ Views: May-June 2019

May 6, 2019

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.

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Editorial: Is nuclear war on the horizon?

March 6, 2019

The retreat from even modest efforts to control nuclear weapons has brought humanity closer than ever to annihilation. President Donald Trump’s suspension of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Vladimir Putin’s Russia gins up an already accelerating new arms race.

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What Is Socialism? Socialism and Philosophy

March 3, 2019

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.”

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Rosa Luxemburg’s revolutionary life

February 4, 2019

Jan. 15, 2019, marked the 100th anniversary of the day Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were murdered by the forces that suppressed the 1918-19 German Revolution. To highlight how Luxemburg’s revolutionary life and thought are pertinent today, we present a critical review by Raya Dunayevskaya of “The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg,” edited by Stephen Eric Bronner.

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Gig road to poverty

December 14, 2018

Contrary to the boosterism that we always hear from Trump, an MIT study revealed that on average an Uber-type driver’s income declined last year from $1,469 per month to $783, a drop of 47%.

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Editorial: Massacre of Jews and rising racism

December 3, 2018

The Oct. 27 massacre of 11 Jewish congregants at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue is the single deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. The motive, as stated by the terrorist himself, was a hatred of Jewish support for Middle Eastern and Latin American immigrants through the organization HIAS.

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Election deepens illegitimacy of Trump’s minority rule

A Marxist-Humanist view of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections that highlights the illegitimacy of Trump’s rule, showing how it is the rule of a minority won because of anti-democratic voter suppression, gerrymandering, racism, sexism, extreme anti-immigration rhetoric, hate speech and lies. It highlights the other America that opposes such neo-fascism.

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