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.”
Readers’ views on Methology and liberation; LGBTQ liberation; Worker-student victory; Immigrants and the court; Black August; and Voices from behind bars.
The coronavirus crisis has compelled the Indian state to haphazardly effectuate a lockdown in order to properly practice social distancing. But it has unaccountably forgotten that social distancing is a privilege of the elite class if well-thought-out arrangements are not made.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Franklin Dmitryev explores the limitations of how “ecosocialism” rethinks, partially, post-Marx Marxism, focusing on theoreticians Michael Lowy and Joel Kovel.
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.
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.
Readers’ Views on Capitalism and climate; Mideast upheaval; Trump the Mullah?; war crime hero; Trump’s judges; detransition debate; and women’s liberation.
Review from Mexico of the book ‘La filosofía de la revolución en permanencia de Marx en nuestros días’ (Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution in Permanence for Our Day. Selected Writings by Raya Dunayevskaya).
Google and Amazon tech workers organize around the companies’ complicity in war, environmental destruction, and workplace safety.
An Editorial in News & Letters taking up who General Qassem Soleimani was, what he did in aiding counter-revolution in the Middle East, and ramifications of his death.
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.
Important human forces in Bolivia are strongly opposing the threat of a developing fascism, and at the same time have not shied away from criticizing the contradictions of Evo Morales’s rule.
A review of the book “No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference” by Greta Thunberg. .
Readers’ Views on permanent revolution and the dialectic, and voices from behind bars
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Marxist-Humanist Bob McGuire looks through history to Marx’s relationship to labor and the Black movement for freedom and then to our day and the relationship of Marxist-Humanism to labor and the Black struggle for freedom in speaking to the question many are asking today: What is socialism?
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.
Adele reviews “Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work,” by Jenny Brown.
Bruno Latour’s new book “Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime” wants to comprehend the era of global warming but takes a very wrong turn, substituting “Earth” for human subjects of revolution.
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.
In a year marked by the contradiction between deepening women’s revolt and activism and neo-fascism rising across the globe, women have been fighting back in unprecedented numbers and ways.
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.”
Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2019-2020
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.
Readers’ Views regarding: Thought-diving into revolution in permanence; murky waters[ the Church and oppression; why read N&L; and voices from behind bars.
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.
Calls for a “green new deal” risk the kind of state/party co-optation of movements from below that was involved in the 1930s New Deal.
A Marxist-Humanist analysis of the state of the U.S. economy and the revolt of labor in the wake of country-wide teachers’ strikes, an historically long government shutdown, and an unsteady, uncertain worldwide economy.
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%.
On the occasion of the publication of the new book “Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution in Permanence for Our Day: Selected Writings by Raya Dunayevskaya,” this essay explores Marx’s ideas on the basis of Dunayevskaya’s writings on them as a philosophy of revolution needed for our age.
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.
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.
Obituary of scholar James H. Cone, who founded Black liberation theology and struggled against racism and white supremacy.
The Oct. 27 massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was a modern pogrom, with assault weapons, social media presence, and poisoned roots in the current stage of world counter-revolution represented by Trump, Putin, and their like.
Given the moral bankruptcy of Congress and Donald Trump, it was no surprise that Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court was pushed through Congress. The surprise was the vibrancy, strength and determination of the fight against that nomination…
With hate crimes, anti-Semitism, racism and anti-immigrant xenophobia on the rise, Israel’s “Jewish nation-state” law and fascism brewing globally, we excerpt two pieces addressing roots of these phenomena in capitalism’s crises.