Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine puts the future of humanity in doubt

March 16, 2022

Putin’s invasion confronted fierce resistance in Ukraine and opposition on Russian streets. The war reveals a changed world of competing centers of capital–which is in a state of stalled accumulation globally, devolving into militarism, other-hating fascism and fomenting new forms of genocide–signaling the future this system holds if left unchecked.

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Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine puts the future of humanity in doubt

March 8, 2022

Putin’s invasion confronted fierce resistance in Ukraine and opposition on Russian streets. The war reveals a changed world of competing centers of capital–which is in a state of stalled accumulation globally, devolving into militarism, other-hating fascism and fomenting new forms of genocide–signaling the future this system holds if left unchecked.

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Essay: Marx’s demystified dialectic and the ‘new society’

February 2, 2022

Ours is an age of total crises and pervasive angst about humanity’s future. Marx’s recreation of Hegel’s freedom Idea, a humanism that is directly part of life and nature, is a unifying pull of the future in freedom movements and presages “the new society” Dunayevskaya saw in Hegel’s Idea.

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Readers’ Views: November-December 2021, Part One

November 19, 2021

Readers’ Views on Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives 2021-2022; Labor shortage?; Workers as reason; Support El Milagro workers!; Detroit women’s march; Chapelle’s sexism; Afghans dead and buried; Betrayal of Haitians; and Which side are you on?

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Reading Altizer’s apocalyptic theology

November 18, 2021

Finzel and Kelch review “Satan and Apocalypse,” the latest work by the “Death of God” theologian Thomas J.J. Altizer, which explores the intersection between William Blake’s revolutionary vision and Hegel’s dialectic of Manifest Religion. What makes Hegel so contemporary, the reviewers argue, is that his absolute Idea as new beginning never bows to any given reality but holds fast to the positive in the ongoing creative power of the negative.

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New focus on Hegel’s ‘naturalism’ impels another look at Marx

September 29, 2021

In conversation with Karen Ng’s book “Hegel’s Concept of Life,” Ron Kelch takes up the concept of life and “naturalism” and their relationship to freedom in Hegel, Marx, and Marxist-Humanism. Whether one takes Marx’s starting point of freedom with respect to human life activity that is inextricably part of nature or Hegel’s beginning again from Nature as mediation, the self-determination of the unifying Idea cannot be taken for granted in the face of the spontaneous self-bringing forth of liberty.

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Editorial: Amazon union vote hides workers’ reality

May 8, 2021

In the union vote at Amazon in Alabama, the overriding issue was the dehumanization of laboring activity underlying Amazon’s brutal working conditions. The tyrannical conditions begin from an algorithm that runs an army of robots that don’t get sick in a pandemic.

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Readers’ Views: May-June 2021, part one

Readers’ Views on: Atlanta Racist Femicide; Women Rise in Australia; Chauvin and Racist Usa: Guilty!; Attacks on Civil Liberties; Black Lives Matter; Amazon Workers Resist; Berta Presente!; Burmese Masses Revolt; The Empire Strikes Out; Maâti Monjib Released!

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Trump’s election obsession shreds a flawed democracy

January 11, 2021

Amid COVID-19 deaths and economic decline, a fascist mob stormed the Capitol. If U.S. democracy lives to see another day, it was because of the unprecedented turnout of Black voters, reflecting the mass movement on the streets that continues to put that democracy on trial.

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Count every vote!

November 28, 2020

In virtually every Bay Area city at least several hundred came out to “Count Every Vote” rallies on Nov. 4, the day after the election with the feeling, as one speaker put it, “vacillating between anxiety and hope.”

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Outrage in San Francisco

May 31, 2020

Since May 29, there have been ongoing demonstrations sparked by the outrage over the police murder of George Floyd. They spread throughout the many San Francisco Bay Area cities including ones not especially known for activism like Walnut Creek.

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Mental health strike

March 17, 2020

Four thousand mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO held a five-day strike, once again calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.

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Healthcare workers strike!

December 31, 2019

On Dec. 16, 4,000 mental health workers at Kaiser Permanente HMO in Oakland went on a five-day strike, calling attention to a serious lack of resources to provide timely care.

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Idle No More in San Francisco

September 2, 2019

Report on a panel discussion in Oakland, Calif., with Idle No More featuring Kanahus Manuel, organizer of “tiny house warriors” to stop the Trans Mountain pipeline.

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Karol Modzelewski 1937-2019

June 26, 2019

Modzelewski‘s living legacy is that he never wavered, in theory or practice, from the principle of a freedom-filled future rooted in the self-activity of the masses of workers themselves.

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Karol Modzelewski, 1937-2019

May 10, 2019

We mourn the passing of a great revolutionary, Karol Modzelewski, one of the leaders of Solidarity in Poland when it was a mass organization of workers against the state.

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Oakland, Calif., teachers strike!

March 14, 2019

On Feb. 22 over 3,000 Oakland teachers went on strike, demanding better wages, smaller class sizes, more nurses and counselors and a stop to school closings. Many students and their families showed up on the picket lines.

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Editorial: Is nuclear war on the horizon?

March 6, 2019

The retreat from even modest efforts to control nuclear weapons has brought humanity closer than ever to annihilation. President Donald Trump’s suspension of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Vladimir Putin’s Russia gins up an already accelerating new arms race.

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Election deepens illegitimacy of Trump’s minority rule

December 3, 2018

A Marxist-Humanist view of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections that highlights the illegitimacy of Trump’s rule, showing how it is the rule of a minority won because of anti-democratic voter suppression, gerrymandering, racism, sexism, extreme anti-immigration rhetoric, hate speech and lies. It highlights the other America that opposes such neo-fascism.

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Frantz Fanon warns Ali Shariati

December 2, 2018

A new book, “Frantz Fanon: Alienation and Freedom,” reveals that Frantz Fanon warned leftist Islamist Ali Shariati that, despite Islam’s anticolonialist potential, without the spirit of emancipation it risked diversion to sectarianism, approaching the past rather than future, like African nationalisms.

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The struggle for the meaning of history

September 19, 2017

On Aug. 27 in Berkeley, Calif., thousands came out to protest an “alt-right,” “No to Marxism,” demonstration including Black Lives Matter, feminists, Muslims, immigrants, leftists, and ordinary citizens against “hate.”

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Humanity confronting annihilation

September 3, 2017

The peace march on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to commemorate over 70,000 lives lost at the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on Aug. 9 in Livermore, Calif., bring up questions of Marxism, humanism, and the alternative necessary new society.

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‘Care not cages’

April 27, 2017

Immigrant rights and prisoner rights activists held a demonstration outside the largest immigrant detention facility in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

February 3, 2017

In-person report of demonstration of several hundred in Oakland that was part of a National Day of Action to Free Mumia Now and Free Hep-C Meds for All Prisoners.

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The movie Loving, Karl Marx and ‘real life’

January 28, 2017

Review of the movie “Loving” and the relationship the review’s author sees to Marxism. The movie recounts the interracial romance and interracial marriage between African-American Mildred Jeter Loving and white Richard Loving and the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision which outlawed the ban on interracial marriage.

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No! to ‘Urban Shield’

December 1, 2016

First hand report of demonstration at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton to protest the growing militarization of police departments and their attacks on minority communities.

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Shut down all of today’s Alcatrazes!

September 14, 2016

On Aug. 23, California’s Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity coalition leafletted the staging area for trips to Alcatraz prison raising discussions with locals and tourists about how solitary confinement is torture.

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Making of a disabilities rights activist

July 9, 2016

Disability rights activist Becky Taylor, who has cerebral palsy, demonstrates through her life, and largely thanks to her supportive family, that the differently abled are self-determing free agents and human beings.

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Philip Zimbardo and Marx’s Humanism

August 30, 2015

A discussion with Philip Zimbardo followed the San Francisco premiere of “The Stanford Prison Experiment,” a movie based on his notorious 1971 experiment. It raises questions about the meaning of being human, which for Marx turned on needing human beings as free beings whose self-determining, free, conscious activity is not a mere means but the first necessity of life.

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Marx and Transgender

March 11, 2015

Leelah Alcorn’s last words, making her suicide an appeal for Transgender people to be “treated like humans” and to “fix society” if her death is to “mean something,” were stunning.

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European racism and economic decay

January 27, 2015

In today’s economic crisis, Europe is haunted by the specters that were supposed to be overcome by the European economic union and the single currency Eurozone: the 20th century tendency to degenerate into vile nationalism, genocidal racism and the barbarism of total war.

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Debate On Middle East, Revolution And Counter-Revolution

November 23, 2014

From the November-December 2014 issue of News & Letters

Readers’ Views, Part 3

I loved the way “Israel decimates Gaza as world faces global counter-revolutions” (Sept.-Oct. N&L) begins by highlighting how Gazans’ suffering represents global counter-revolution. The Left often takes the side of the underdog, the “lesser of the evils” fighting “U.S. or [=>]

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Racist election deepens reactionary direction of U.S.

November 20, 2014

The U.S. government took an ominous, reactionary political turn in the 2014 midterm elections, with Republicans taking control of the Senate. Extreme pro-war Senators like Joni Ernst in Iowa and Tom Cotton in Arkansas join veterans like Senator “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” John McCain, who will now control the Armed Services Committee and is hell-bent for new “boots on the ground” in Syria and Iraq. The whole Republican campaign—including these pro-war, pro-fossil-fuel, pro-“fetus is a person” candidates—ran on a cynically deceptive anti-Obama mantra….

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