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?
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.
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.”
Raya Dunayevskaya’s May 20, 1953, letter is one of the historic-philosophic writings included in The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism.
To understand today we must begin at the beginning, that is to say, as always, with Marx. Specifically the two periods are: the first and the last, the first being the philosophic moment, 1844 [Marx’s Humanist Essays or Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts]. That laid the ground for all future development. The last being the long hard trek and process of developments–all the revolutions, as well as philosophic-political-economic concretizations, culminating in Capital. Yet the full organizational expression of all came only then, i.e., the last decade, especially the 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program. Why only then?
The impasse in the anti-capitalist movement after Occupy has led to theoretical stirrings over what to do organizationally, not just about the abolition of capitalism, but a positive concept of the future after capitalism. This is an opportunity to engage Marx’s view of these concerns, which was rooted in his 1844 declaration of a revolutionary humanism as the positive in the negative that opens up to a totally new future by refusing to be defined by what it is against.
Three years ago, the Egyptian Revolution was fighting for its life in Tahrir Square. For 18 days and nights, the women and men of the Square faced off against President Hosni Mubarak’s security forces and thugs. In the end Mubarak was forced to follow Tunisia’s President-for-life, Ben Ali, into retirement and shame. The light of freedom spread–Square to Square, occupation to occupation. It was a historic turning point.
It was this global struggle that the military coup that ousted Morsi, and led to the massacre of over 800 of his supporters, was meant to stop short. Now, revolution continues, and the freedom idea lives, but the old world has tried hard to destroy it. Egypt’s newest new Constitution, passed Jan. 15 under the military rule of General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, evokes only faint echoes of Tahrir. As artist Hanaa Safwat said, “The referendum is stained in innocent people’s blood. It has been built on the dead bodies of 800 people in Rabaa al-Adawiya.”
Readers’ Views, September-October 2013, Part II
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya:
In 1953 Russian slave laborers in Vorkuta acted
Editor’s note: July-August marks the 60th anniversary of the historic strike in the Russian slave labor camp in Vorkuta. Following Dunayevskaya’s May 1953 Letters on Hegel’s Absolutes, the 1953 revolts in Russia and East Germany were formative events for Marxist-Humanism. Few agreed with [=>]
RAVAGES OF CAPITALISM SHOW NEED FOR NEW WORLD
The article on “Climate chaos and capitalism” (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L) is very relevant, especially the conclusion about how capitalism’s contradiction is that the growth of the economy, of capitalist production, means more global warming and climate change worldwide.
Activist for humans and environment
The technologies we [=>]
by Gerry Emmett and Susan Van Gelder
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, since beginning in New York City’s Zuccotti Park–renamed Liberty Plaza–on Sept. 17, has spread to hundreds of cities and towns across the U.S. and linked with the occupation movements in Europe. On Oct. 15, Occupy demonstrations took place in 951 cities in 82 [=>]