This essay probes ways to make new beginnings in a period of reaction. It includes some of the themes of her work toward the book she had tentatively titled “Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy: ‘The Party’ and Forms of Organization Born out of Spontaneity.”
The challenge from below has brought new attention to Marxist humanism. Defeatism and undialectical misreading, to rebury Marx as a “gradualist” and ethical utopian, deepens the separation of the intellectual both from the revolutionary ideas of Marxist-Humanism and from the concrete movements reaching for Humanism, socialism, and the creation of a new society.
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 IV: In the absolute opposite of today’s society, one based on freely associated labor instead of slavery to capital’s production for production’s sake, we can leave behind pervasive misery, precarity and antagonism, and self-development and cooperation can flourish, as can a rational relationship to nature. We can see the beginnings in self-organization from below and the ever-growing rejection of capitalism. Against the large part of the Left that focuses on the power of the state to combat disasters, we must bring out the self-activity of masses in motion and not disarm ourselves by separating mass struggles from dialectical philosophy of revolution.
Franklin Dmitryev explores the limitations of how “ecosocialism” rethinks, partially, post-Marx Marxism, focusing on theoreticians Michael Lowy and Joel Kovel.
POSTPONED: Official Call for national gathering of News and Letters Committees to work out Marxist-Humanist perspectives for 2020-2021
Review from Mexico of the book ‘La filosofía de la revolución en permanencia de Marx en nuestros días’ (Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution in Permanence for Our Day. Selected Writings by Raya Dunayevskaya).
Readers’ Views on: Rosa Luxemburg’s revolutionary life; the Green New Deal; and voices from behind bars.
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.
Readers’ Views on: Marx’s New Moments and Today’s Need for Revolution and Philosophy; Fetish of Property vs. Humanity and the Planet; Voices from Behind 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.
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.
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.
Paris Accord reveals limits of what capitalism will do even in the face of catastrophe. The question is what kind of development can people in all kinds of countries achieve? So long as the vision of an alternative, liberatory path of development is not made concrete as the energizing principle of a movement, a vacuum is left for false alternatives.
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.
In celebrating the online publication of the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, we present excerpts of her Introduction/Overview to Volume XII, which takes up the Marxist-Humanist concept of archives as not only retrospective but perspective, in the quest to establish “continuity with the historic course of human development.”
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 & [=>]
Today’s vital debate about revolutionary organization is illuminated by Marx’s concept of organization in his “Critique of the Gotha Program.”
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?
Women’s struggle for freedom has continued to develop into a worldwide movement with revolutionary content (see page 1). Unfortunately, much of the Left seems unable to hear this radical dimension of women’s struggles. A recent example is Sharon Smith’s essay,
World in View
by Gerry Emmett
Ex-Pope Benedict’s reactionary career
Pope Benedict XVI’s sudden resignation announcement on Feb. 11 took the world by surprise. It is the first time in almost 600 years that a Pope has decided to quit. He has announced that he will continue to live in the Vatican, bearing the title “Pope emeritus,” and [=>]
Business as Usual: The Economic Crisis and the Failure of Capitalism by Paul Mattick, Reaktion Books (London), 2011.
Paul Mattick’s Business as Usual is an attempt to come to grips in Marxist terms with the global economic crisis that began in 2007. It is an entry into a growing category of books which includes David Harvey’s [=>]
From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011
Parts IV and V of
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2012
Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage
- I. The Arab Spring
- II. The wars at home
- III. Japan: earthquake, tsunami and meltdown
- IV. Revolution, organization and philosophy
- V. Marxist-Humanist Tasks
(Parts I, II, and III were posted in the last two days.)
IV. Revolution, organization and [=>]