South African shackdwellers state: “We believe that there is only one human race and that the borders created by colonial rule should be irrelevant to our project to build solidarity among the oppressed and to ensure that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.”
The Far Right threatens to make significant gains in the European Parliament elections this May. What inheres within the “idea of Europe” that can destroy fascism as idea and reality is the humanism that became its internal critique, Marx’s humanism.
In a year marked by the contradiction between deepening women’s revolt and activism and neo-fascism rising across the globe, women have been fighting back in unprecedented numbers and ways.
This is the first in a series of four presentations on “What is Socialism?” Shorter versions will be published in News & Letters. The second essay is “Socialism, labor and the Black dimension”; the third is “Socialism and ecology”; and the last is “Socialism and Women’s Liberation.”
The Syrian Revolution has been the physical and intellectual battlefield that defines our time. As early as 2012 it was clear that what happened in Syria would determine the next stage of world history.
Adele reviews “The Lesbian Revolution: Lesbian Feminism in the UK 1970–1990,” by Sheila Jeffreys, the first book documenting the history of British Lesbian feminism.
Readers’ Views Part 2 takes up: the needed return to Marx’s Humanism, and Voices from behind prison bars.
In “Karl Marx’s Ecosocialism” Kohei Saito brings to light some of the volumes of Marx’s unpublished research and growing concern over capitalism’s deleterious effect on the environment but wrongly rejects Marx’s 1844 philosophic moment.
Prisoner-columnist Faruq reviews the book “Specters of Revolt: On the Intellect of Insurrection and Philosophy from Below” by Richard Gilman-Opalsky.
Marxist-Humanist analysis of the Trump-Kim summit and G7 summit shows Trump is not charting a path to world peace but rather toward a more openly brutal world order. .
In Memoriam for Moishe Postone whose critique of anti-Semitism as a fetishized form of anticapitalism came alive for those struggling with the betrayal of the Syrian Revolution by many “Leftists.”
The National Indigenous Congress did not collect enough signatures to allow María de Jesús Patricio to run as an independent candidate for President of Mexico in 2018. This has deepened discussions of how to create horizontal, autonomous organizations born from below.
Readers’ views on: U.S. Racism on trial, the right’s crocodile tears, creeping fascism, climate change, nuclear alarms, teachers as labor, Pat Hunt Presente! and Judy and Dan presente!
Puerto Rico is devastated by hurricanes, with climate change a factor, and by the administration’s racist malign neglect, atop an existing debt crisis the masses did not create. Real solidarity came from below. .
A Marxist-Humanist analysis of the history and meaning of the rising of the right-wing neo-Nazi white supremacist movement, its relationship to President Donald Trump and his administration, and its challenge to the freedom forces arrayed against it who are fighting for a humanist world. .
Readers’ Views on Philosophy and Revolt vs. Trumpism; Trump and the Left; Injustice to Immigrants; Anti-Woman, Anti-Labor Uber; ACT UP; From Iran; To Mexico; Why Read News & Letters?
From a prisoner’s perspective, Faruq reviews “I Am Not Your Negro,” a documentary film and companion book produced by Raoul Peck that concentrates on the writings and life of James Baldwin.
Reader’s Views on Women vs. Reaction; Women and Philosophy; Syria and Humanity; Support Trans Children!; Animals and Us; Repression vs. Justice; Why Read “N&L”; Voices from Behind the Bars
Trump’s barbarism in power is a crisis for bourgeois democracy and revolutionary thought. Opposition from below is far deeper than bourgeois opposition to Trump. To have efficacy today, Marx’s body of ideas must be grasped and projected as a whole. The movement from theory needs to meet the challenge of history, of freedom struggles and revolution.
Prisoner Faruq looks at how African-American History Month came to be, stressing the importance of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s vision and how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy included a critique of cultural and social relations as well as race, concluding that history is necessary for formerly enslaved people to move towards freedom.
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.
Black prisoner Faruq looks critically at Fidel Castro’s legacy, especially his turn to a one party state and the importance of freely associated labor for a true revolutionary process.
The lightning move by Republicans in Congress to prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare—before Donald Trump even took office, with only the vaguest idea of what is to replace it, and with full knowledge that a large majority of Americans oppose the repeal of its most important provisions—gave a sign of how far the new single-party government intends to roll the clock back, with dizzying speed.
Review of Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Stewart, showing how the founders of the U.S. wanted democracy and not a theocracy.
Readers’ Views includes: Politics; revolution and the power of philosophy; remembering Olga Domanski; the sports section; national prison action; and voices from behind the bars.
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.
An appeal for funds to help keep the paper, News & Letters, going and growing; and to help us expand our subscriptions to prisoners.
Readers’ Views on Needed New Beginnings in Philosophy and Revolution; Making One Year Count; Subjugated Knowledge; Free Syria/May Day; and Voices From Behind the Bars.
The late Revolutionary Olga Domanski is remembered for reminding us that Absolute Method is the only way for feminism, as part of a totally new society built on truly human foundations, to be completely realized.
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.
Part I of the Draft Perspectives 2016: Discontent is seething in the U.S. among workers, youth, Blacks, women, LGBTQ, including elements of the new society. Fear of revolution is powering neo-fascism opposing the revolt.
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.
Upsurge of workers’ struggles in 2015 in Mexico, from field workers in San Quintin, Baja California to maquiladora workers in Ciudad Juarez along with ongoing opposition to government educational “reforms” by teachers in the autonomous union CNTE, demonstrate workers’ resistance to the plans of capital and its state. How can organizations of activist-thinkers meet what workers have achieved in our own organizational response?
Olga Domanski delves into G.W.F. Hegel’s section on “Life” in his Science of Logic to show its meaning for the women’s movement today, facing lethal attacks on abortion rights and an alarming increase in rapes, battering, poverty and unemployment as well as an ever-widening gap between feminist theory and the lives of Black and working women.
Olga Domanski’s summary of the series on “Women as Thinkers and as Revolutionaries” by Raya Dunayevskaya.
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.
An appreciative and critical look at the Zapatistas’ seminar held in Chiapas, Mexico, May 3-9 on “Critical Thought in Face of the Hydra of Capitalism,” by a participant.
In reading Charles Denby’s “Continuing Magnolia Jungle terror exposes reality of ‘Great Society,’” one is struck by how poignant and presciently modern Denby’s thoughts were and how very little has changed today.
The article excerpts a summary of a talk by Dunayevskaya to a conference on Women’s Liberation in Detroit. The purpose of the meeting was to help Dunayevskaya work out the final chapter of her book then in progress, Philosophy and Revolution. That last chapter would take up the “New Passions and New Forces” for the reconstruction of society. The Conference was also the beginning of the News & Letters—Women’s Liberation Committee.
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.
The thoughts of News & Letters readers on: MARXIST-HUMANIST PHILOSOPHY IN THE WHIRLWIND OF EVENTS; SAVING THE PLANET; and VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS.
As we celebrate 60 years of publishing News & Letters, a look back at the Women’s Liberation Movement encountering Marxist-Humanism and how the women’s movement was anticipated as well as documented in its pages. It is an ongoing perspective.
From the November-December 2010 News & Letters
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Editor’s note: For the centenary of Raya Dunayevskaya’s birth, we present excerpts from her March 21, 1985, lecture at the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University, Detroit, at the opening of a three-month exhibition of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (RDC). The [=>]
From the January-February 2002 News & Letters
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Editor’s Note: We publish here a discussion of what Marx considered Hegel’s greatest philosophic work—The Phenomenology of Mind. The first piece is a letter written by Raya Dunayevskaya to an Iranian colleague on June 26, 19861It was written to Janet Afary, author of The [=>]
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters.
Editor’s Note: “On political divides and philosophic new beginnings,” written 25 years ago, is the last writing of Raya Dunayevskaya, who died on June 9, 1987. It was first published in the In Memoriam special issue of News & [=>]
Every page of News & Letters is meant to be part of an ongoing discussion about freedom with you, our readers. If you have a story to tell about your work, about demonstrations happening where you live, about an article you’ve read in this paper, send it to News & Letters, 228 S. Wabash [=>]
Suddenly, a generation of new radicals was born to replace “the silent generation” of the 1950s. By winter 1964 a new form of revolt, with a new underlying philosophy, called itself the Free Speech Movement. It becomes necessary to view the moment when the student revolt culminated in a mass sit-in.
Integral to Dunayevskaya’s work of 1986-87 was her concentration on a crucial problem of our era—the relationship between the search for non-elitist forms of organization and the dialectics of philosophy. That relation is crucial to work out if we are to overcome the legacy of unfinished, aborted, transformed-into-opposite revolutions. In singling out these 1953 Letters [=>]
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2014-2015. IV. Philosophy and organization. A. The philosophic moment of Marxist-Humanism. B. Organizational tasks.
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.