II. The capital relation

May 17, 2017

The capital relation is spelled out as alienated labor, automation, destruction of jobs, unraveling of the social fabric–fertile ground for reactionary ideology, scapegoating, and fascism. Yet the human Subject’s quest for freedom continues.

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Britain’s hate-driven referendum a victory for the Far Right

June 26, 2016

With Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the Far Right has been emboldened worldwide. As the economic and social crisis deepens, so does the brutality, while the Right seeks scapegoats for the results of capitalism’s objective laws, which only have force as long as humanity’s struggle to be free is not yet complete. The only solid ground for opposing this latest stage of reactionary retrogression is that of revolution in permanence.

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Marxist-Humanist organization and philosophy

May 6, 2015

Spelling out the philosophical breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolutes as the total uprooting of the old and the creation of new human relations, in concrete relationship to struggles for freedom in practice and in theory, is at the heart of projecting Marxist-Humanism, and therefore of its organizational life.

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Greek masses in peril

The rulers’ economic squeeze on Greece is intended to be an ideological prison for the working masses of Europe. Left tendencies aim to use the state to save capitalism or move toward socialism—rather than releasing self-activity of masses in motion as the prime mover of social transformation.

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Things fall apart

In the absence of successful social revolution, today’s total crisis is shown in a world capitalist order that is falling apart economically, politically, environmentally, and in thought. That does not mean that we can wait for capitalism to collapse and step aside for a new society. On the contrary. Its desperation makes it that much more vicious, and it threatens to doom all of humanity with it.

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Decaying social order shows need for philosophy, revolution

Introduction; I. Black Lives Matter; II. Things fall apart (A. Arab Spring: Revolution and war; B. Economic weakness and shifts in global politics; C. Whiff of fascism); III. Greek masses in peril; IV. Marxist-Humanist organization and philosophy.
The fact that the old, crumbling order will not go away quietly explains why we mark the 60 years of activity of the Marxist-Humanist organization News and Letters Committees—not as an anniversary but as an open window onto the needed philosophy of revolution, without which all revolutions and freedom movements remain incomplete.

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Black Lives Matter

May 3, 2015

The long-simmering outrage of Black masses has broken out into a movement against this racist society, particularly its pattern of racist killings by the police. It has not only reverberated internationally, but also made itself felt in the battle of ideas and the sphere of theory.

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Readers’ Views, July-August 2014, Part 1

July 7, 2014

From the July-August 2014 issue of News & Letters

RESPONSES TO MARXIST-HUMANIST PERSPECTIVES

The Marxist-Humanist Perspectives (N&L, May-June 2014) give a critical assessment of the polarization between the oppressive forces of capital’s social relations and humanity’s efforts to realize human dignity. It shows humans are not just passive victims of capital. First [=>]

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Low-wage workers strike, reach for a new way of life

July 1, 2014

The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.

A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.

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Don’t stop at raising wages

March 17, 2014

That there are two Americas when it comes to the economy and the wealth of our nation is no mystery to anyone. Everyone now knows the top 1% have essentially been the only beneficiaries of the latest “boom.” Journalists and economists take pains to point out how this jobless expansion has allowed the investors to recover from their losses of the 2008 financial collapse. Workers, though, are still left holding the bag.

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Capitalist economy is failing

March 15, 2014

Ongoing national strikes and demonstrations by fast food workers demanding a $15 an hour living wage show that workers’ reality is not the media-touted economic “recovery” enjoyed by the super-wealthy finance capitalists. In real life the 2008 depression drags on. In a punitive move, Congressional Republicans wouldn’t even allow a vote for long-term unemployment benefits to continue, in spite of the record 1.7 million, or 37% of the officially unemployed, who have been out of work for six months or longer. Previously, a rate anywhere near this was called an emergency, compelling an automatic extension of benefits.

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March-April 2014 News & Letters online

March 12, 2014

March-April 2014 News & Letters: Women fight for freedom against growing retrogression; On THE Philosophic Point and Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy; Capitalist economy is failing; Ukraine and Bosnia: historic uprisings; more…

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Call for News and Letters Committees Convention, 2014

March 11, 2014

News and Letters Committees has posted its

OFFICIAL CALL FOR CONVENTION

to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2014-2015

February 23, 2014

To All Members of News and Letters Committees

 

Dear Friends:

 

The sharpness of revolution and counter-revolution contending now, while the prolonged global capitalist economic crisis refuses to end, cries out for a philosophical [=>]

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Readers’ Views, Nov.-Dec. 2013, Part 1

December 14, 2013

Readers’ Views from Nov.-Dec. 2013 N&L: U.S. RACISM AND BLACK AND LATINO STRUGGLES; LABOR UNDER ATTACK; CTA vs. THE HOMELESS; DISABILITY AND HUMANITY; ABORTION IS A HUMAN NEED; EGYPT’S CONTRADICTIONS; DETROIT CRISIS; NUCLEAR PERIL; WHY A NEWSPAPER LIKE N&L?

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Tea Party wreaks havoc

November 15, 2013

That a minority faction of one party in one chamber of one branch of the U.S. government could pose a grave threat to the world economy reflects the depth of the capitalist crisis. The sheer nihilism of that Tea Party faction reflects the depravity of American racism, which, as Patrick Buchanan threatened, would not hesitate to “bring down like Samson” the world around it.

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Detroiters organize in class war

May 8, 2013

The entire state of Michigan voted against the harsh emergency manager law, Public Act 436, last November only to have the lame-duck state legislature vote it right back in before year’s end. On the day, March 28, that Act 436 took effect, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager fired the interim superintendent of schools. … Meanwhile, neighborhoods languish under mounting piles of trash, abandoned houses, stores, factories and vehicles. City services are reduced by mandatory budget cut “furloughs.” The challenge for Detroit residents is: can we stand up and organize ourselves for quality living and working conditions, some of which includes wresting support and services from our unelected new leaders? Can we articulate and realize a future Detroit developed for human needs?

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Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view

May 1, 2013

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 of the USSR. Such is the degeneracy of the globalized capitalist system, laden with destructive forces and sunk into structural crisis. The deep crisis is seen in the U.S. and abroad, economically, in unemployment and poverty, homelessness and hunger. It is seen politically, in new laws attacking workers and women, and new outbursts of racism. It is seen environmentally, with the advance of climate disruption and fake capitalistic solutions. It is seen in thought, as the lack of philosophy, of a total view, hampers the development of struggles from the U.S. to the revolutions of the Arab Spring facing counter-revolutions.

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Britain’s rulers keep failed policy of austerity

April 12, 2013

The “bedroom tax” will force those living in a property with a spare bedroom to take a cut in their housing benefit. Those in under-occupied properties can face a reduction of up to 14% in housing benefit for single rooms and 25% for two unoccupied rooms.

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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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News and Letters Committees Call for Plenum 2013

March 7, 2013

OFFICIAL CALL FOR PLENUM
to Work Out Marxist-Humanist Perspectives for 2013-2014

February 24, 2013

To All Members of News and Letters Committees

Dear Friends:

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 of [=>]

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Teachers and parents talk education

February 9, 2013

Editor’s note: Below we print excerpts from the News and Letters Committees panel discussion of teachers and education activists on the September strike by members of the Chicago Teachers Union. Daily mass demonstrations and solidarity from teachers and city residents extracted some concessions from the previously intransigent Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago–While [=>]

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Massive London march against austerity

December 9, 2012

London, England—The leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, was heckled on Oct. 20 at a mass demonstration here against austerity cuts.

The Labour Party leader had addressed the crowd to garner support for his stand against the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic and Conservative parties. Mr. Miliband claimed the government’s cutbacks were “too far and [=>]

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Yemen: famine, drones and freedom

November 30, 2012

World in View
by Gerry Emmett

Demands for freedom and dignity drove the Arab Spring. In Tunisia, in Tahrir Square in Egypt, in Daraa, Syria, and elsewhere these weren’t abstract, but concrete efforts to create new human relations under conditions of dictatorship, capitalist crisis, endemic corruption, spiraling food prices and environmental degradation. While bourgeois commentators have rushed [=>]

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Obama’s re-election doesn’t end clash of two worlds

November 26, 2012

by Franklin Dmitryev

The two worlds of the rulers and the ruled shone through the suffocating blanket of propaganda surrounding the election in which Barack Obama won a second term. A pronounced gender gap and long lines at the polls in African-American and Latino areas reflected the determination to defeat the reactionary Republicans and retain the [=>]

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November-December 2012 issue of News & Letters is now available on the web

November 24, 2012

Lead
Obama’s re-election doesn’t end clash of two worlds

The two worlds of the rulers and the ruled shone through the suffocating blanket of propaganda surrounding the election in which Barack Obama won a second term. A pronounced gender gap and long lines at the polls in African-American and Latino areas reflected the determination to defeat the [=>]

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Readers’ Views, September-October 2012, Part 1

October 15, 2012

CAPITALIST CRISIS AND REVOLT

I appreciated Franklin Dmitryev’s Lead article in the July-August N&L, on “Spain, Greece, Europe: Capitalist crisis and revolt,” for showing how the so-called “radical Left” is not really so radical. They think they can solve things through managing the economy and redistributing wealth, and channel energy into politics.

The boldfaced paragraph in the [=>]

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Study/discussion series: Global Crises, Global Rebellion, and the Needed Philosophy of Revolution

September 27, 2012

You’re invited to a nationwide series of five Marxist-Humanist discussions on:

Global Crises, Global Rebellion, and the Needed Philosophy of Revolution

Central to today’s reality is the worldwide capitalist economic crisis, the deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the context for occupations and revolutions across the globe. We will explore the meaning of this [=>]

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Reactionary U.S. election shows capital’s contradictions

September 10, 2012

by Ron Kelch

“We built it!” roared the delegates at the Republican Party convention in Tampa. It was the perfect expression of the presidential campaign and of capitalist thinking in general. The truth is that workers built the social wealth. Capitalists take it from the workers, and the government gets a portion.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan [=>]

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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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Specter of Depression: Mattick’s Business as Usual

July 30, 2012

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 [=>]

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Spain, Greece, Europe: capitalist crisis and revolt

July 10, 2012

by Franklin Dmitryev

When the bailout of banks in Spain, the Eurozone’s fourth largest economy, was announced on June 9, the immediate reactions revealed the two worlds that exist in every country. The Spanish masses intensified their protests, marching directly on both banks and government, while Greek and Spanish workers exchanged messages of solidarity against the [=>]

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July-August 2012 issue of News & Letters is on the web

July 8, 2012

News & Letters, Vol. 57, No. 4
July-August 2012

Lead: Spain, Greece, Europe: capitalist crisis and revolt

When the bailout of banks in Spain was announced on June 9, the immediate reactions revealed the two worlds that exist in every country. The Spanish masses intensified their protests, marching directly on both banks and government, while Greek and Spanish [=>]

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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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Paths of destruction

May 14, 2012

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

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
III. Paths of destruction

A. From war to war to war

War is one of the rulers’ most potent counter-revolutionary weapons when faced with economic crises and revolt. With a military stretched thin, one eye on China, and the failures of Iraq and [=>]

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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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‘We are all Greeks’

March 21, 2012

From the new March-April 2012 issue of News & Letters:

‘We are all Greeks’

On Feb. 12, open rebellion broke out in Athens. “Layoffs! Layoffs…You will save Greece without the Greeks!” protesters proclaimed against the Greek parliament’s approval of a new round of austerity measures, dictated as conditions for a new 130 billion euro loan [=>]

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Widening labor and peasant revolts threaten Chinese rulers

January 30, 2012

Lead article in the new January-February 2012 issue of News & Letters:

Widening labor and peasant revolts threaten Chinese rulers
by Bob McGuire

Open rebellion in the village of Wukan in December revealed the forced land seizures that have underpinned China’s industrial expansion as it has risen to serve as the world’s workshop. What rulers in [=>]

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Greeks fight austerity

December 3, 2011

From the November-December 2011 issue of News & Letters:

Greeks fight austerity

by Gerry Emmett

As Greek lawmakers passed a new austerity package on Oct. 19, rage boiled over in cities and towns throughout the country. A two-day general strike saw hundreds of thousands demonstrating against measures demanded by the European Union and [=>]

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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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Permanent army of the unemployed

October 3, 2011

Detroit–The unemployment crisis is reaching far into the future. Whereas many government and private economists have been predicting that the economy will pick up in the next quarter or the next year, new reports conclude that in 50 U.S. metropolitan areas, it will take at least a decade to regain employment lost since the 2008 [=>]

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Stand up, Chicago!

August 16, 2011

Chicago–Thousands of people rallied on June 14 under the banner, “Give It Back!” Three separate marches downtown, each led by a 12-foot-tall “corporate welfare king” puppet, met up outside a Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce summit. Then 24 people sat down in the street and were arrested. There were contingents of teachers, healthcare workers, janitors, anti-eviction [=>]

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Review: David Harvey on capitalism’s crisis

March 7, 2011

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

Review: David Harvey on capitalism’s crisis

The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capital by David Harvey (Oxford University Press, 2010).

The British geographer and social critic David Harvey, author of the influential The Limits to Capital (1982), has undertaken an admirable and timely task: a serious analysis [=>]

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