Stop Israel’s war on Gaza: the need for revolution in life and thought

July 28, 2014

The war crimes being committed by the Israeli government in its current assault on Gaza are reminiscent of 2008’s brutal “Operation Cast Lead.” The bombing has not spared hospitals, UN compounds, schools or homes for the disabled. A huge percentage of the dead and injured are children. This is collective punishment on a vast, criminal [=>]

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WOMAN AS REASON: Isla Vista murders fueled by misogyny

July 5, 2014

When you are despised for who you are, as those murdered by Elliot Rodger were—and women are not the only ones on a list that includes any differently sexed person, immigrants and all minorities but especially Blacks, people with disabilities, and that’s only in the U.S.—then a revolution has to be more than an economic change, it even has to be more than “from each according to his or her ability, to each according to his or her need.” Revolution has to be so deep and total that all human relationships are transformed. To do so, it must be total from the start…

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WORLD IN VIEW: New imperialism founders on Iraq

A lightning offensive saw Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, fall to the insurgents. The pattern extended itself to Tikrit, farther south, then Samarra, and the battle spread to the oil refining center of Baiji. Most of this was first attributed to ISIS. The question was asked, then: Why and how could a well-armed force of 20,000 Iraqi troops, armed and trained by the U.S., dissolve in the face of 800 terrorists?

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‘A Dreadful Deceit’ and unceasing rebellion

March 30, 2014

Jacqueline Jones’ new book, A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, is not a call to ignore effects of the concept of race in law and practice. She finds the definition of race repeatedly twisted to suit the needs of the ruling class and wielded as a tool for subjugation of Black and white labor alike.

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School’s out! Where’s my next job?

July 9, 2013

People may imagine that teachers here hit the beach or kick up their heels poolside, sipping cocktails and working on a suntan. For me and many other teachers, though, Monday will be the kickoff to the summer routine of registering for unemployment benefits and looking for work, as, once again, a year’s contract has come to an end.

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Violence ‘normalized’

May 17, 2013

We are living in contradictory times, especially when it comes to women’s struggle for freedom. On the one hand you have a Women’s Liberation Movement that has never been more radical, unified and global. On the other hand there is more repression, and the violence is more brutal and deadly than ever before.

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May-June 2013 issue of News & Letters is out

April 29, 2013

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view

The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse [=>]

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State of the U.S. wars

March 19, 2013

Editorial

The opening of Barack Obama’s second term made it clear that, despite all talk of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is to be no end to the state of permanent war either abroad or at home.

President Obama promises to end the war in Afghanistan after 13 years. But the Afghan people have [=>]

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From India to Egypt to U.S., women fighting for freedom

March 17, 2013

Lead
by Terry Moon

Two recent events have shown the deep and seemingly intractable worldwide oppression of women and, at the same time, revealed women’s militancy and determination to change their oppressive reality. First was the vicious gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey at the end of the year on a Delhi, India, bus. This [=>]

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2012, Part 1

August 14, 2012

REVOLUTION, COUNTER-REVOLUTION AND NEED FOR PHILOSOPHY

In the Draft of Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013, published in the last issue, while the global analysis is good, it is partial and emphasizes mass uprisings that may be a part of history tomorrow, i.e., Syria, while ignoring the long-term struggles that have a potential for raising a clear [=>]

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A voice from Occupy

July 31, 2012

Oakland, Calif.—I am an anarchist and believe in acting according to my principles, most recently in Stockton on May 31 in a general strike protesting the murders of three Black men—James Rivera, Jr., Luther “Champ” Brown, Jr., and James Cooke—killed by police. The demonstration showed the community, masked up, willing to defend themselves from the [=>]

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Trade unionism and revolutionary syndicalism

July 13, 2012

by Michael Gilbert

The theory and practice of how to organize workers to take power into their own hands and fight for a new social order has always been uppermost in the minds of all true revolutionaries, even in the darkest moments of capitalist and state-capitalist repression. Following Marx, the founder of Marxist-Humanism, Raya Dunayevskaya, has [=>]

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Marx’s Humanism today

May 15, 2012

From the May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters:

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013

(continued from Part III)

IV. Marx’s Humanism today

“The commodity form of the products of labor became a fetish because of the perverse relationship of subject to object–of living labor to dead capital. Relations between men appear as the relation between things because [=>]

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New May-June 2012 issue of News & Letters is online

May 3, 2012

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013

Counter-revolution’s rise shows need for a total philosophy

Revolution, having forced its way to center stage over the last year and a half, cannot easily be bottled up. That explains the viciousness of the counter-revolution, whether the violent police attacks on occupations from New York to Oakland or the Syrian state’s torture [=>]

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Iranian critiques ‘anti-imperialist’ Left

April 17, 2012

London—Since 2009, the first wave of revolutions in the Middle East was started by the marching of millions in Iran. For many years, the Middle East has been run by the capitalist dictatorial regimes in which the working class is exploited to the maximum. People live in misery while the less than 1% swim in [=>]

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Situationists and Absolute Negativity

April 13, 2012

Philosophic dialogue

It was good to have Ron Kelch’s Essay, “Absolute Negativity, Occupy and Situationists,” in the Jan.-Feb. News & Letters open an overdue philosophic dialogue. As someone who discovered the work of Guy Debord and Raya Dunayevskaya at about the same time, I’ve given a lot of thought to their relation.

I consider Debord’s work, especially [=>]

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Komen and capital vs. self-development

March 24, 2012

Woman as Reason

by Terry Moon

Our Bodies Ourselves, 1971 first edition and 2011 40th anniversary edition

Over 40 years ago, 12 Boston women got together to talk about women’s health. This was in 1969, when no one talked about wom­en’s sexuality. Abortion was illegal and birth con­trol had been legalized nationally—for married couples—only in 1965. [=>]

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Occupy Wall Street, Oakland, Chicago

March 22, 2012

Oakland–In the past I have been involved in a lot of struggles: workers’ and immigrants rights, animal rights, etc. They were all single issues, isolated by their demands. The Occupy Movement brings them all together and addresses the cause of the problems, the whole system.

What was most important during the encampment of Occupy Oakland was [=>]

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News and Letters Committees Call for Convention 2012

March 5, 2012

OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION

to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2012-2013

February 26, 2012

To All Members of News and Letters Committees

 

Dear Friends:

 

Where we must begin is with the world in upheaval, from Occupy Wall Street to Arab Spring, still going after more than a year.

Nothing better shows the old order’s bloody desperation to prevent a [=>]

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Dialectics of revolution in Africa, Asia

January 31, 2012

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: The upsurge of freedom struggles from Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street makes it imperative to learn from the revolutions of a half-century ago in Africa, Asia and Latin America, not alone as the excitement of masses in motion but as illuminating the role of theory and organization, [=>]

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January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters now available on the web

January 29, 2012

Lead

Protests began in September in Wukan, a village of 20,000 people in Guangdong province on the South China Sea, against seizure of more than 100 acres of Wukan’s common land to be sold to those with insider ties to the village Communist Party leadership. Village authorities escalated the conflict by identifying protest leaders and hauling [=>]

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In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street

November 18, 2011

Below is the text of a leaflet issued by News and Letters Committees members in New York.

News & Letters Committees stands in solidarity with the Occupy movements. We denounce the 1%-orchestrated forceful actions to stop our protests, from evictions at home to state-sponsored murders of innocent Syrian youth!

To help this young movement develop to its [=>]

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The masses as Reason

November 14, 2011

As Others See Us

This review by Abe Cabrera is excerpted from a Sept. 20, 2011, post on his blog, The Rose in the Crosshttp://elblogdelpelon.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/the-masses-as-reason/

* * *

Raya Dunayevskaya’s book, Marxism and Freedom: From 1776 Until Today, is the founding document of a small political movement, Marxist-Humanism. Opposed equally to the tyranny of “ordinary” capitalism and its counterpart in the [=>]

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Spontaneity and new beginnings

November 11, 2011

From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: As the world experiences a new stage of revolt–from the Arab Spring to Wall Street–and seeks ways to make it a revolutionary new beginning, we present excerpts of Raya Dunayevskaya’s Perspectives Report to the 1977 national gathering of News and Letters Committees. Originally titled, “IT’S LATER, ALWAYS LATER–except when [=>]

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Occupy Wall Street strikes deep chord, challenges rulers

November 8, 2011

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 [=>]

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2011

October 7, 2011

From the September-October 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Readers’ Views

Contents:

  • REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY
  • KARL MARX AND WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
  • REMEMBERING CHRISTINA SANTIAGO
  • THELONIOUS MONK
  • CANADA AS ‘CONTESTATAIRE’ SOCIETY
  • MAN-MADE DISASTERS: NUCLEAR POWER AND WORLD WAR
  • LABOR STRUGGLES IN 2011
  • WHY WRITE FOR N&L?
  • VOICES FROM BEHIND THE BARS

REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION: ARAB SPRING AS CROSSROADS IN HISTORY

The West supports any revolution where they [=>]

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Revolts shake Libya, Syria

September 16, 2011

Editorial

While the world’s attention focused on the long-expected fall of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi, the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has conducted a Ramadan massacre that ranks as one of the greatest atrocities of the counter-revolutionary reaction to the Arab Spring. The Syrian masses will certainly take heart at Qaddafi’s defeat, however he might [=>]

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: Deep recession, rate of profit and the supreme commodity, labor power

September 12, 2011

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: Written in the midst of the last double-dip recession in the U.S., the piece excerpted here was originally titled, “In the U.S. and globally: deep recession, military buildup and the pulling apart of political alliances.” It was published as the lead article in the April 1982 N&L.

The depth of [=>]

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Straight, No Chaser

August 29, 2011

Warner Brothers presents Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser directed by Charlotte Zwerin. Produced by Charlotte Zwerin and Bruce Ricker. Executive Producer Clint Eastwood.

Art is the eternal particular, the unmediated, mediating term in which the human face is recognized. A familiar tune, like a familiar face, catches us unawares and we smile in recognition. We find ourselves whistling.

To [=>]

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Arabic translation of Marxism and Freedom available on pdf

July 21, 2011

Now available at the News and Letters Committees website as a pdf file:

 

New Arabic translation of Marxism and Freedom by Raya Dunayevskaya

Raya Dunayevskaya’s classic explication of Marxism is finally available in Arabic. The first book on Marxist-Humanism, it was originally published in 1958 and has been in continuous publication. It has been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, [=>]

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Palestinian youth open new front in Arab Spring

July 19, 2011

From the new July-August 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Lead
Palestinian youth open new front in Arab Spring
by Gerry Emmett

When thousands of unarmed Palestinians marched upon the Occupied Territories on May 15, they were met by gunfire from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). A dozen were killed and many more wounded. But the Arab [=>]

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Revolution, organization and philosophy

May 10, 2011

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

Contents:

  • 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 [=>]

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The Arab Spring

May 7, 2011

From the new issue of NEWS & LETTERS, May-June 2011

Part I of

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2012
Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage

This special issue carries our Draft Perspectives Thesis, part of our preparation for the national gathering of News and Letters Committees. We publish it because our age is in such total crisis, facing a choice between [=>]

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May-June 2011 issue of News & Letters is available online

May 6, 2011

News & Letters, Vol. 56, No. 3
May-June 2011

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2011-2011

Revolution and counter-revolution take world stage

Revolution and counter-revolution have forced their way to the center stage of history. In Tunisia and Egypt, revolutions have opened tremendous possibilities and spread the fire of their passion all across the Arab world and from China to the [=>]

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International Women’s Day and Iran

March 21, 2011

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: The first International Women’s Day was observed 100 years ago in March 1911. This year also marks the 32nd anniversary of the historic demonstration in Tehran, Iran, on International Women’s Day, March 8, 1979. On that day, women and supporters braved Islamic Guards and thugs allied with the [=>]

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Revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya shake world order

March 18, 2011

Across the Maghreb and Middle East there have been demonstrations and uprisings, from Bahrain to Algeria to Morocco, Sudan to Yemen to Iran. The revolts have included some of the lowest and deepest layers of the oppressed people and have seen the ruling classes of the world tremble.

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Harriet Tubman and the Civil War

February 18, 2011

Editor’s note: We commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with excerpts from John Alan on Harriet Tubman from the April 2004 News & Letters.

Since the 1960s there has been a growing interest in Harriet Tubman. Catherine Clinton in Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom (Little, Brown, 2004), lets her reader know immediately that the [=>]

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Tunisia: a revolution

February 15, 2011

World in View
by Gerry Emmett

Protests have exploded in Tunisia and Algeria. On Dec. 17, in the city of Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia, 26-year-old street vendor Mohammad Bouazizi doused himself in gasoline and burned himself to death in a despairing protest at the confiscation of his unlicensed fruit and vegetable cart.

Then on Dec. 22 another [=>]

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Philosophy and Iran’s revolution: Where to now?

February 12, 2011

Essay

by Raha

Recollecting Raya at the end of the Dunayevskaya Centenary is intertwined with the Iranian Revolution at its 1979 high point and as it suffered through three decades of counter-revolution, and now, as it searches for a new beginning.

One year ago, the unprecedented turnout of millions throughout Iran on the 31st anniversary of the 1979 Revolution [=>]

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Marxism and the U.S. Civil War

February 11, 2011

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War. The piece excerpted here, originally titled “Marxism and Freedom: From the Industrial Revolution to Automation–An Outline of a Book in Preparation,” shows the profound impact of the war on Marx’s thought. It can be found [=>]

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Back to the nuclear brink

February 10, 2011

From the Jan.-Feb. 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Editorial:

Back to the nuclear brink

The continuing threat of war on the Korean Peninsula, the nature of debate over the just-ratified New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, and the “wisdom” Homeland Security has shared with us on surviving a nuclear attack, all underscore the urgency of the [=>]

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Support the revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia!

February 4, 2011

Feb. 3, 2011

Support the revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia!

When Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak unleashed his plainclothes security agents and hired thugs against the freedom fighters in Tahrir Square Feb. 2, it was not only to support his shaken and discredited 30-year regime. He was serving the interests of all rulers, in the Middle East and [=>]

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World food crisis, still

January 26, 2011

The world food crisis, which was hot in 2008 and then subsided temporarily, is getting worse again. It was one of the factors in Tunisia’s revolution, along with recent revolts in Algeria. The piece below, published in the June-July 2008 issue of News & Letters, is still quite germane.

World food crisis stirs [=>]

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Readers’ Views, Nov.-Dec. 2010

November 29, 2010

Readers’ Views

FBI RAIDS–AN ATTACK ON ALL OF US

On Sept. 24, teams of FBI agents from the “Joint Terrorism Task Force” served search warrants and grand jury subpoenas on anti-war and solidarity activists in Illinois and Minne-sota. This attack on the First Amend-ment rights of peaceful activists must be opposed and we should stand with them [=>]

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