Questions raised by the actions and words of the workers in today’s militant labor insurgency demand a philosophical response. Marxist-Humanism in the U.S. began with taking seriously what workers have raised since the onset of automation in the coal mines: What kind of labor should a human being do?
Since the term “Marxist humanism” has once again become current, but subject to the most varying, and often sanitized, meanings, we present Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1961 writings on “Marxist Humanism in New Books and Reviews.” Once more, we face the questions she explored then: Why now, and how did these writers end up so opposite to where they seemed to be starting from?
Young people keep taking matters into our own hands. Our time of total crises calls for a philosophy to help us understand the problems at the root of our misery and give us hope we can create a new society. This makes Marx a contemporary for youth, looking for a way out of life under capitalism’s hopeless future.
Hegel’s Absolutes never were a series of ascending ivory towers. Revolutionary transformation is immanent in the very form of thought. Our age can best understand Hegel’s Absolute because it has been witness to a movement from practice.
Marking the publication of writings by Raya Dunayevskaya on Marx’s philosophy of revolution in permanence, the article presents parts of a lecture in which she gave an overview of this concept in relationship to her just-completed book, “Rosa Luxemburg, Women’s Liberation, and Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution.”
To observe the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, we present excerpts of a speech given by Raya Dunayevskaya for the Marx centenary year, originally titled “Marxist-Humanism, 1983: The Summation That Is a New Beginning, Subjectively and Objectively.”
We look at the true opposition to Trumpism: mass revolt worldwide of women, youth, Black people, labor…–the context to work for new beginnings.
Richard-Gilman Opalsky is a rare intellectual who recognizes revolt as a form of theory. Does his book “Specters of Revolt” grasp theory in a one-sided way and restrict the movement of negation of the negation? .
An in-person report of the recent devastating earthquakes in Mexico and how social conditions including capitalism, government corruption, etc., negatively affect rescue efforts; how everyday people’s self-organization makes a significant difference.
Because of the urgency of the question of how to make new beginnings in such a reactionary world situation, we excerpt two of Dunayevskaya’s last philosophical writings, which confront “where to begin” as part of her work on dialectics of philosophy and organization.
Readers’ Views on The Dialectic of History Vs. Retrogression; Prisoners, Supporters Speak.
The retreat of former Marxist-Humanists into post-Marx Marxism is analyzed by Franklin Dmitryev through the books “Marx at the Margins” by Kevin Anderson and “Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism” by Peter Hudis, which appropriate some of Raya Dunayevskaya’s conclusions while quietly dismantling their philosophical framework.
Part V of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Together with the depths of counter-revolution, the passion for philosophy points to both the need for and the potential for totally new beginnings in the transformation of society, for new banners of freedom as a polarizing force.
Readers’ Views on: The Movements from Practice and from Theory; Berta Caceres; Why Read N&L?; Women’s Liberation; Voices from behind the Bars.
To highlight the new online availability of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, we present excerpts of her 1985 Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, which take up the development of the Marxist-Humanist concept of Archives out of the category made of the totality of Marx’s Archives as a new beginning for today.
Spelling out the philosophical breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolutes as the total uprooting of the old and the creation of new human relations, in concrete relationship to struggles for freedom in practice and in theory, is at the heart of projecting Marxist-Humanism, and therefore of its organizational life.
The rulers’ economic squeeze on Greece is intended to be an ideological prison for the working masses of Europe. Left tendencies aim to use the state to save capitalism or move toward socialism—rather than releasing self-activity of masses in motion as the prime mover of social transformation.
The long-simmering outrage of Black masses has broken out into a movement against this racist society, particularly its pattern of racist killings by the police. It has not only reverberated internationally, but also made itself felt in the battle of ideas and the sphere of theory.
In celebrating the first 60 years of News and Letters Committees, we reprint excerpts from the Draft Perspectives for 1975-76 by Raya Dunayevskaya, the first printed in News & Letters.
THE MOVEMENT KNOWS, of course, that the class enemy is at home, within each country. It knows full well that each existing state power is weighted down with fear of revolution. And it does not fail to appreciate that, no matter how deep the intra-imperialist rivalries, capitalist class solidarity holds tightest and strongest against its own people.
In Hegel we witness subjectivity coming out of objectivity, and the opposite movement. Dunayevskaya’s May 20, 1953, Letter interprets the Hegelian dialectic in a revolutionary way. What philosophical-political conclusions can be made?
From the News and Letters pamphlet The Coal Miners’ General Strike of 1949-50 and the Birth of Marxist-Humanism in the U.S. we excerpt from Raya Dunayevskaya’s “The Emergence of a New Movement from Practice that Is Itself a Form of Theory,” on miners’ contributions to the philosophic birth of Marxist-Humanism.
Raya Dunayevskaya’s May 20, 1953, letter is one of the historic-philosophic writings included in The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism.
Although we, as a state capitalist tendency, had been saying for years that we live in an age of absolutes, that the task of the theoreticians was the working out materialistically of Hegel’s last chapter on The Absolute Idea, we were unable to relate the daily struggles of the workers to this total conception. The maturity of the age, on the other hand, disclosed itself in the fact that, with automation, the worker began to question the very mode of labor. Thus the workers began to make concrete, and thereby extended, Marx’s profoundest conceptions, for the innermost core of the Marxian dialectic, around which everything turns, is that the transformation of society must begin with the material life of the worker, the producer.