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.
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 II. The true pandemic war: A. The capitalists’ class war; B. Subjects of revolution fight back; and C. Pandemic class war reveals the social structure.
In the aftermath of Trump’s impeachment trial, impunity and purges rage while checks and balances failed. Armed with a philosophy of freedom, the opposition to Trump and to the capitalist system that spawned him would give Trump the challenge that fellow politicians could not.
Readers’ Views on Capitalism and climate; Mideast upheaval; Trump the Mullah?; war crime hero; Trump’s judges; detransition debate; and women’s liberation.
The death of counter-revolutionary Qassem Soleimani, together with Donald Trump’s war moves, illuminate this changed world.
Readers’ Views on youth climate strike; Socialism and ecology; counter-revolution and revolution in the Middle East; auto and teacher strikes, and Brexit and labor
Gerry Emmett writes on the crossroads reached by the Sudanese Revolution, with the accord between the revolutionary Forces for Freedom and Change and the genocidal Transitional Military Council signed on Aug. 4. He sees a parallel between the Left’s response to the Sudanese Revolution and the Syrian Revolution.
Donald Trump’s threats to Iran analyzed in light of his use of capitalism’s lifeblood commodity, oil, and the continuity and discontinuity of U.S. imperialism.
Readers’ Views on Cooperative Form of Labor vs. Abstract Labor; Marx vs. Trump-Putin; Voices From Behind Bars
Assad’s chemical attack on civilians reveals the lie the world has been living. Trump’s limited counterstrike was a response to the unprecedented mass opposition to him, not an abandonment of his counter-revolutionary agenda. It is crucial to take the living freedom struggles in Syria and globally as our basis, to oppose the lie that “there is no alternative,” and to clarify what we are for, not just against.
The U.S. raid that destroyed Yakla in Yemen, killing 25 civilians, drew world focus on slaughter of Yemenis since the 2011 uprising in Change Square in Sana’a toppled the Saleh dictatorship.
A look at the situation in the Middle East in light of Donald Trump’s election that takes up Syria, Yemen and the arming by the U.S. of varying forces–some of whom are fighting each other.
With Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the Far Right has been emboldened worldwide. As the economic and social crisis deepens, so does the brutality, while the Right seeks scapegoats for the results of capitalism’s objective laws, which only have force as long as humanity’s struggle to be free is not yet complete. The only solid ground for opposing this latest stage of reactionary retrogression is that of revolution in permanence.
Participant report of Chicago May Day demonstration in solidarity with the Syrian Revolution.
Part IV of the Draft Perspectives 2016: The renewal of Syrian demonstrations for freedom refuted the state powers’ belief that the idea of revolution can be destroyed by bombs, and highlighted a civilizational crisis and the need for international solidarity.
Contents: Introduction; I. Discontent, revolt and reaction in the U.S.; II. The worldwide war against women; III. Chinese labor in revolt; IV. Counter-revolution and revolution in the Middle East and North Africa; V. Toward organizational new beginnings. The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we print the Marxist-Humanist Draft Perspectives in the pages of the paper of News and Letters Committees. It is an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.
A Review of “Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution” by Mona Eltahawy, reviewed by Adele an expert on the theocratic Right.
Russian airstrikes create havoc in Syria, embodying a philosophy of unfreedom. Revolutionary unity in Syria isn’t just a tactical issue, but a philosophic question, on the revolution’s ground of freedom and dignity, needing philosophic as well as material solidarity.
Saudi’s seven-month-long campaign of death and human suffering has been abetted by logistical support from the Obama administration. The Houthis they purport to oppose wasted the popular welcome they received entering Sana’a in 2014 by allying with former oppressor, ex-ruler Saleh, and imposing their own brand of narrow sectarian rule.
Behind the bombing that killed over 100 peace marchers in Ankara, the state equated the Kurdistan Workers Party with ISIS despite the heroic struggle to defend Kobane.
We condemn these horrific massacres and the reaction that feeds upon them. To destroy ISIS and all other counter-revolutionary forces will require a battle of ideas, even more than a struggle of arms.
From the signing of a nuclear weapons agreement by the U.S. and Iran, to the ongoing war in Syria including the roles of Turkey and of the Left, this wide-ranging article delves into the Middle East situation with an emphasis on the forces fighting for genuine freedom and a multi-ethnic society.
Black lives as Subject; Russia in crisis; Nothing about us without us; Homelessness in L.A.; Central Canada Alliance; Perspectives and philosophy; Elderly to the streets?; Women and Yemen half-peace; Labor and climate justice; Dialectic and women’s liberation; Voices from behind the bars
Two articles from Yemeni citizens, speaking in the midst of war about their experiences with food, water and gas shortages, and of being shelled while trying to flee and seeing relatives and others killed in front of their eyes.
In-person report: Everything in Yemen is being destroyed horribly: humans, the fabric of society, national unity, the infrastructure, including public services systems.
Another human tragedy is unfolding in Yemen, where civilians are under attack. As in Syria, the world is doing virtually nothing while civilians are targeted. Here is an in-person report sent to News & Letters.
The world’s attention was once more belatedly drawn to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, Syria, by the invasion by IS/Daesh terrorists, facilitated by another fundamentalist faction, Jabhat al-Nusra.
The late Syrian writer Alisar Iram, for one, saw where IS/Daesh were heading, long before they took their hammers into the Mosul Museum.
We protested RE/MAX involvement in Israeli settlements that have displaced thousands of Palestinian families in direct violation of international law.
Another savage sexual assault and murder—this time in Turkey—brought forth thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, throughout the country and beyond. Özgecan Aslan was a student taking a bus home. Worldwide, women are not only railing against sexism and challenging men to change what is often deadly behavior and when not deadly, deeply oppressive; they are as well explicitly extending their critique to the state itself.
The electoral victory of Greece’s Syriza represents resistance to brutal austerity. Alarms are raised by Syriza’s alliance with the racist, theocratic Independent Greeks party.
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 U.S. government took an ominous, reactionary political turn in the 2014 midterm elections, with Republicans taking control of the Senate. Extreme pro-war Senators like Joni Ernst in Iowa and Tom Cotton in Arkansas join veterans like Senator “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” John McCain, who will now control the Armed Services Committee and is hell-bent for new “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq. The whole Republican campaign—including these pro-war, pro-fossil-fuel, pro-“fetus is a person” candidates—ran on a cynically deceptive anti-Obama mantra….
As Marxist-Humanists we call for the support of the ongoing Syrian Revolution. We call for the right of self-determination of the Kurdish people, and we call for military and political support to the heroic defenders of Kobane. This struggle isn’t just local, or sectarian, but rather it cuts deeply into the universal history of humanity’s striving for freedom.
From the September-October 2014 News & Letters
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT AND THE BLACK REVOLUTION
I am in the movement still because of the Free Speech Movement (FSM)—it turned my life around. I studied everything about the New Left. I came to Berkeley and decided this is where I needed to be. [=>]
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.
From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters
Oakland, Calif.—On Saturday Aug. 16 thousands of marchers descended on Pier 57 at the Port of Oakland to prevent unloading of an Israeli ZIM Lines cargo ship. “Block the Boat” organizers say the Piraeus, originally scheduled to dock at 5:00 AM, rescheduled to 3:00 PM [=>]
A slideshow presented in Oakland Aug. 16 displayed a range of carefully stenciled graffiti, one of the last forms of open dissent
The loss of lives and vast destruction visited In Israel’s war on Gaza has surpassed the horror of 2008’s “Operation Cast Lead.” Over 2,000 Palestinians have been killed to date, mostly civilians, including hundreds of children…
May-June 2014 News & Letters online: “From the U.S. to Ukraine, crises and revolts call for philosophy”; “Unchaining the revolutionary dialectic”; much more…
Queer Notes: Discrimination in Russia; Intersex in Germany; no prison for rape in Iowa; transition surgery in Iran; Lembembe murdered in Cameroon.
Women Worldwide: Ada Lovelace Day; Diana Nyad; FEMEN
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part II
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part I
An overflow crowd at Bluestockings Bookstore in New York City heard Hallie Boas speak on “Come and Take It: How the Fight to Protect Wom¬en’s Healthcare Is Launching a New Wave of Feminism in Texas.”
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 protests in Turkey, the presidential election in Iran and, above all, the continuing struggle for the Syrian revolution express the depth of today’s social crisis. These crises are interpenetrated and inseparable. The stakes are high.
News & Letters, July – August 2013. Lead: Turkey, Syria and Iran at crossroads of world revolt; From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: ‘Russia more than ever full of revolutionaries…’; Editorial: Support striking prisoners!; Essay: Communization theory and its discontents truncate Marx’s dialectic; Workshop Talks: The boss is spying; Revolutionary from Turkey speaks; Brazil’s uprising; Teacher and school struggles; and more…
The Feb. 26 assassination of Tunisian Marxist Chokri Belaid is a tragedy, not least because it denies this serious and courageous activist a chance to help work out the contradictions in his own movement. His funeral—perhaps a million people took to the streets—became a massive demonstration in favor of continuing the Tunisian Revolution.