Readers’ Views on: The Objective Movement of History and Philosophy of Emancipation; Electric Cars are No Panacea; Pricing Nature and Lives; Racism and Anti-Racism in the Queer Community; COVID-19 in Prison.
Youth: Learning from Amazon protest
A young revolutionary writes about participating in a protest for the first time, in solidarity with Alabama Amazon workers.
Climate obstruction unplugs Texas
The way business and government prepared—or failed to prepare—for the Winter Storm Uri disaster and the way they responded to it tell a bloody tale of climate obstruction, greed, indifference and cruelty.
Battle for living wage
The fight for a living wage continues, after Republican and Democratic senators killed the $15 minimum wage provision in the relief bill.
Review: ‘Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements’February 2, 2021
A feminist review of “Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements.” The author, Charlene Carruthers, sees it as “a book for all people who are curious about and committed to the struggle for Black liberation.”
Readers’ views, January-February 2021: part twoJanuary 31, 2021
Readers’ Views on: What Is Philosophy? What Is Revolution?; Prisoners’ Quest for Self-Development; Voices from Behind Bars; Why Read N&L?
Youth: Lived experience compels MarxismJanuary 30, 2021
No matter how you frame capitalism, there is no way to wipe it clean. We have to start with a conception of society centered on the development of humans. So what is socialism?
Thoughts from the outside: Epidemic #2: fentanyl
In the richest part of the country the Fentanyl epidemic is greater than COVID. What I see on the street every day is what Marx projected: a growing redundant and discarded population.
World in View: Historic mass strike of India’s farmers
An estimated 250 million Indian farmers have been on strike since last September in opposition to a series of new laws, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
Woman as Reason: Sarah White (Sarah Hamer) 1958-2020
The movement lost a powerful voice for workers’ liberty, self-development and freedom when Sarah White died of a heart attack on Oct. 5, 2020.
Philosophic dialogue: New perspectives on Marx’s Humanist EssaysNovember 28, 2020
Three presentations on why Marx’s 1844 Humanist Essays are critical to meet today’s challenges, by a high school student, a former prisoner who participated in the Pelican Bay Hunger Strikes, and a long-time Marxist-Humanist looking at 1844 from a feminist perspective.
From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: What is philosophy? What is revolution?November 27, 2020
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.
Philosophic dialogue: New perspectives on Marx’s Humanist EssaysNovember 10, 2020
A high school student, a former prisoner, and a long-time Marxist-Humanist discuss why Marx’s 1844 Humanist Essays are critical to meet the total challenges to humanity today.
Thoughts from the outside: Black August, an evolving IdeaAugust 29, 2020
For many New Afrikan Revolutionaries August has a profound significance. For me Black August attempts to set forth a new humanism.
Essay: The Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth–Unity of the struggles from a dialectical perspective, and what comes next?
In light of the Zapatistas’ Forum in Defense of Territory and Mother Earth, Héctor explores the search for unity by diverse movements in relation to Hegel’s dialectic of the whole and the parts.
‘Liberate Hong Kong’August 28, 2020
China is imposing harsh new repressive measures on Hong Kong, blocking protests that nevertheless have not stopped.
From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: From Black mass revolt to FreedomJuly 1, 2020
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: July-August 2020, part 2
Readers’ views on Methology and liberation; LGBTQ liberation; Worker-student victory; Immigrants and the court; Black August; and Voices from behind bars.
Discussion article: Neoliberal necropolitics and Indian migrant workersMay 18, 2020
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.
Detroit Dispatch #5: Education and individualismMay 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.
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?
Meatpacking workers sacrificedMay 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.
From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: The methodology of Perspectives
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.
IV. What to do in the face of compounding crises—medical, economic, political, and the philosophic voidApril 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.
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.
Capitalism is the real pandemicApril 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.
Revolution in Permanence in Syria, After the UprisingsMarch 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.
Essay: Ecosocialism and post-Marx MarxismMarch 8, 2020
Franklin Dmitryev explores the limitations of how “ecosocialism” rethinks, partially, post-Marx Marxism, focusing on theoreticians Michael Lowy and Joel Kovel.
COVID-19: A world-historic threatMarch 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.
COVID-19 and the specter of pandemicJanuary 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.
Readers’ Views: January-February 2020, Part OneJanuary 22, 2020
Readers’ Views on Capitalism and climate; Mideast upheaval; Trump the Mullah?; war crime hero; Trump’s judges; detransition debate; and women’s liberation.
Essay: Revolution in Permanence: Trotsky, Marx, Dunayevskaya
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 workers rebelJanuary 21, 2020
Google and Amazon tech workers organize around the companies’ complicity in war, environmental destruction, and workplace safety.
Editorial: The death of counter-revolutionary SoleimaniJanuary 5, 2020
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.
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.
Bolivia’s extreme right consolidates powerDecember 3, 2019
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.
Greta Thunberg: No One Is Too SmallNovember 17, 2019
A review of the book “No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference” by Greta Thunberg. .
Readers’ Views, November-December 2019, Part Two
Readers’ Views on permanent revolution and the dialectic, and voices from behind bars
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Urgently needed in a time of political crisis: Philosophy and revolution as processNovember 13, 2019
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.
Essay: What is Socialism? Socialism and ecologyAugust 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.
From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Permanent revolution and the dialectic
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: Freedom=control of our own bodiesJune 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.
Freedom has to mean we control our own bodiesMay 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.
Karol Modzelewski, 1937-2019May 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.
Readers’ Views: May-June 2019May 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.
Essay: What is socialism? Socialism, labor, and the Black dimensionMay 1, 2019
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?
From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: The economy and dialectics of liberationApril 23, 2019
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.
Review: Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work
Adele reviews “Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work,” by Jenny Brown.
Bruno Latour’s ‘Down to Earth’ buries human revoltMarch 11, 2019
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.
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.