In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.
The late Syrian writer Alisar Iram, for one, saw where IS/Daesh were heading, long before they took their hammers into the Mosul Museum.
From Ferguson to Staten Island; Revolutionary Rojava; Youth Protest; Violence Against Women; Detroit Solidarity; Paris March; Recalling Mary Jo
The formal end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 was just in time for post-war wars to begin in Afghanistan itself, as well as in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen.
The confrontation between differing classes and worldviews has been most intense in Syria, making it the test of world politics—and of philosophy and revolution. The Syrian Revolution has pushed thought about revolution to a new level.
The work of Syrian poet Alisar Iram, who died in July, made a vital contribution to my understanding of the meaning of Syria’s Revolution, seeing it as she did against the backdrop of thousands of years of human civilization and values.
LABOR AND IMMIGRATION
On April 8, about 100 people, the majority young Latinas/os, gathered in front of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the deportation of immigrants. Obama’s administration has aggressively deported 2,000,000 immigrants. We held signs reading: “Not Even One More!” and “No Separation of Family!” Separation of family members has serious adverse effects [=>]
Two busloads of people from Chicago joined thousands gathered in Washington on March 15 to mark the third anniversary of the Syrian Revolution.
Revolution and counter-revolution contend now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end. The question arises: where is the needed banner of total uprooting of the system and creation of new human relations as the goal? This objective need is present in every struggle from outright revolution in the Middle East to movements in the U.S. Beset by attacks and contradictions, they have in turn sparked counter-revolutions.
Readers’ Views from the March-April 2014 issue of News & Letters, part 1.
“Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings” is an exhibit which magnificently captures the voices, images and revolutionary ideas of participants in the Arab Spring.
Workers in the state-controlled textile industry, mostly women workers, and public transport workers, sanitation workers, office workers, doctors, and even policemen launched a wave of strikes that caused Egypt’s Prime Minister and his entire cabinet to resign.
In Ukraine, an unexpected eruption of mass struggle led to the overthrow of Ukraine’s corrupt, oligarchic, and ultimately murderous President Viktor Yanukovych. In Bosnia, at the same time, massive, nationwide discontent with the corrupt system left in place when the 1995 Dayton Accords partitioned the country has led to the equally unexpected creation of new forms of democratic organization.
While experiences in the squares of the Arab Spring, in Turkey’s Gezi Park, in the streets of Spain and Greece, and in the U.S. Occupy Movements have revealed moments of what new human relations between women and men could look like, those moments of hope and exhilaration have been followed by devastating reaction and retrogression.
News and Letters Committees has posted its
OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2014-2015
February 23, 2014
To All Members of News and Letters Committees
The sharpness of revolution and counter-revolution contending now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end, cries out for a philosophical [=>]
THE SYRIAN REVOLUTION AS TEST OF WORLD POLITICS
I have been active in a number of student groups around labor and women’s issues. We always talk about “intersectionality” and recognizing different struggles. Somehow that didn’t seem to apply, though, when it came to the Syrian Revolution. Suddenly people didn’t want to talk about it. I [=>]
Participant report on a New York teach-in on “Syria in the Context of the Arab Uprisings.”
“If there was no revolution in Syria, I almost feel like there would be no reason for me to exist. You don’t get tired of it. Revolution is what brought us together, as Syrians, for the first time.”
Readers’ Views from the Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: SYRIA AND WORLD POLITICS; WARS PAST AND PRESENT; PHILOSOPHY AND MASSES; PRISONERS READ & SPEAK
Readers’ Views from Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: U.S. RACISM AND BLACK AND LATINO STRUGGLES; LABOR UNDER ATTACK; CTA vs. THE HOMELESS; DISABILITY AND HUMANITY; ABORTION IS A HUMAN NEED; EGYPT’S CONTRADICTIONS; DETROIT CRISIS; NUCLEAR PERIL; WHY A NEWSPAPER LIKE N&L?
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. It committed this crime in full view of the world—images of hundreds of murdered children, still in pajamas, laid out in temporary morgues, shocked viewers across the world.
Since April 2011 the world has looked on as over 115,000 Syrians have been killed, and over 7.2 million have been made refugees. When Assad’s regime resorted to illegal chemical weapons, it seemed to many that this would change. It seemed that the images of so many murdered innocents might compel some action.
The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. [=>]
For Egyptian women to experience freedom, the revolution has to continue, and for that to happen the revolutionaries have to oppose both Morsi and Sisi’s bloodthirsty military and fight for the vision of a new society that sustained them in Tahrir Square.
The horrific events taking place in Egypt today show the dead end of all alternatives to revolution. The military, led by Deputy Prime Minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has been all too happy to retake power and impose capitalist “stability” once again.
Did humanity shudder? At 3 AM on Aug. 21, the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad attacked the Damascus suburbs with deadly chemical weapons. Over 1,300 people, mainly women and children, died.
The new September-October 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 5
Racism and the fight against it take center stage in the U.S.
Nationwide protests erupted immediately after the outrageous July 13 acquittal of George Zimmerman for murdering 17-year-old African-American high school student Trayvon Martin last year. Within three days, thousands [=>]
Events in Turkey appeared spontaneous, but are a continuation of a long history. It was not the psychology of Prime Minister Erdogan that created opposition, but the institutionalized fascism within a “deep state.”
Turkey is capitalist, but not like Europe, the U.S., or Canada. It did not have a series of bourgeois revolutions. Capitalism in Turkey [=>]
The mass demonstrations that forced the removal of President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 were a call to continue and deepen the Egyptian revolution. Millions of people took to the streets in opposition to Morsi’s rule in demonstrations even larger than those that ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak. They were a measure of the detestation the Egyptian people had come to feel at the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood through Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party. It was this that forced the Egyptian generals to act, once again removing a president.
It is instructive to compare the 1990s, when pretty much only the women’s movement gave vocal support to Bosnia, with Syria today. Some of the same crimes are happening now.
by Gerry Emmett
“However partial the industrial revolt may be, it conceals within itself a universal soul: political revolt may be never so universal but it hides a narrow-minded spirit under the most colossal form.”
–Karl Marx, “On the King of Prussia and Social Reform”
The world’s rulers would like to declare an end to the earth-shaking, world-historic events of the Arab Spring, that completely unforeseen social revolt that [=>]
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution
Slightly over two years since the beginning of Egypt’s revolution, those heady days can seem distant. The current government of Mohamed Morsi was able to push through a reactionary Constitution. It includes anti-working class Articles allowing for child labor and forced labor, in certain circumstances; limits the right to [=>]
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Demands for freedom and dignity drove the Arab Spring. In Tunisia, in Tahrir Square in Egypt, in Daraa, Syria, and elsewhere these weren’t abstract, but concrete efforts to create new human relations under conditions of dictatorship, capitalist crisis, endemic corruption, spiraling food prices and environmental degradation. While bourgeois commentators have rushed [=>]
Chicago–In a first, both the G-8 and NATO summits will be held in Chicago at the same time, May 15-22, 2012. Chicago’s Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has already threatened to restrict the civil liberties of demonstrators who will converge from around the world to confront the tottering high priests of capitalism and their dogs of war.