Climate change, capitalism, and Trump

September 5, 2018

Climate change, capitalism, and Trump

Presentation to the Chicago Local of News and Letters Committees
By Franklin Dmitryev, August 27, 2018

“…the spirit of the time, growing slowly and quietly ripe for the new form it is to assume, disintegrates one fragment after another of the structure of its previous world. That it is tottering to [=>]

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Review: Specters of Revolt

March 12, 2018

Richard-Gilman Opalsky is a rare intellectual who recognizes revolt as a form of theory. Does his book “Specters of Revolt” grasp theory in a one-sided way and restrict the movement of negation of the negation? .

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Iranian workers, youth reach for new radical beginnings

January 28, 2018

The recent uprisings in Iran start where the 2009 revolt left off. This analysis focuses on the rebellious working-class youth as well as the interconnections to the Arab Spring, Vladimir Putin’s interference, Donald Trump’s racist agenda, and the philosophic-historic significance of the Bosnian and Syrian struggles against genocide.

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New book: Dunayevskaya on Russian Revolution

August 29, 2017

On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, a new book collects writings by Raya Dunayevskaya on the Revolution, counter-revolution, and their consequences, aiming to help create new revolutionary beginnings today. .

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Review: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’

June 5, 2017

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.

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Essay: Marx’s Marxism vs. Trump-Putin’s barbarism

March 21, 2017

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.

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Letter from Mexico: Indigenous organize to contest 2018 vote

The National Indigenous Congress in Mexico announced that 430 communities had created an Indigenous Governing Council to prepare for selecting a woman to contest the presidential election in 2018, not with the goal of taking power through the ballot box, but to elicit the voices and actions from below.

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Chinese translation of Marxism and Freedom available on pdf

December 18, 2016

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

Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today: Chinese translation

Raya Dunayevskaya’s classic explication of Marxism in Chinese. 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, Japanese, [=>]

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Essay: The masses in Latin America face a duality

November 30, 2016

The essay takes a critical look at the “Latin American Pink Tide” (a decade of progressive governments in South America), its limits and contradictions, and poses the question: Is there a way forward that does not substitute statism for the action and thought of the masses?

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Review: Nature’s God

November 26, 2016

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.

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Humanism: a way forward for prisoners

September 17, 2016

Prisoner and hunger striker Faruq looks at the way forward after the historic California prisoners’ hunger strike and emphasizes the importance of “the banner of our humanism that allowed the forging of a tremendous unification across the racial divides.”

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Essay: Epigones discard Marxist-Humanist philosophy

September 12, 2016

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.

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Review: We were feminists once

September 6, 2016

Review by feminist Adele of Andi Zeisler’s book, We Were Feminists Once: from Riot Grrrl to Covergirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement, exploring how a once revolutionary feminism is being taken over by “marketplace feminism.”

In 1995 Andi Zeisler

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Philosophic Dialogue: Dialectic of the party or dialectic of philosophy and organization?

July 5, 2016

Eugene Gogol explores the point that the radical heart of Hegelian dialectics is the negation of the negation–the positive within the negative that constructs the new society. He traces this idea in Marx and Lenin and then how Raya Dunayevskaya saw this dialectic expressed in her breakthrough on Hegel’s Absolutes, where she ascertained a dual movement: a movement from practice that is itself a form of theory and the movement from theory to philosophy.

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Essay: Revolutionary feminism and Hegel’s notion of Life

March 15, 2016

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.

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Review of Feminism Unfinished

August 30, 2015

A review by Adele of “Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements,” by Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.: New York, 2014). This book is a brief overview of the history of the feminist movement in the U.S. from the period after women’s right to vote was won in 1920 until the present.

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Letter from Mexico: Zapatistas on praxis

May 1, 2015

The Zapatistas are not just creating a new world in practice, but in theory—as we have seen by the radical concept Compa/Work Day (CWD), which opens new possibilities to emancipatory social movements. Or, better to say: They can develop revolutionary theory because they develop simultaneously a revolutionary practice (and vice versa).

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From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: The dialectic and women’s liberation

April 30, 2015

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.

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Philosophic Dialogue: On the 1953 letters

March 8, 2015

In Hegel we witness subjectivity coming out of objectivity, and the opposite movement. Dunayevskaya’s May 20, 1953, Letter interprets the Hegelian dialectic in a revolutionary way. What philosophical-political conclusions can be made?

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Essay: ‘We all can’t breathe’–Reflections on Marx’s Humanism and Fanon

January 29, 2015

As a Black man, I asked myself: Why—through the dialectical crises of the social relations of production and the subsequent implosion of multiple outlived modes of production—has racism persisted? Why, despite the relations of property literally bursting asunder, does racism survive? How and why does racism, sexism, homophobia survive revolution after revolution? Will we again be left behind after the next revolution?

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Men Explain Things to Me — a review

“Men Explain Things to Me” by Rebecca Solnit is a book of seven essays that eloquently describe how patriarchy attempts to distract us from the fact that seemingly isolated incidents and seemingly separate oppressions are part of a system of profound and devastating violence.

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From Ferguson to Staten Island: The logic of racism is genocide

December 5, 2014

Protests erupted after the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner were let off. They mark a new moment of rebellion against a social order in which Black youth are made to live continuously suspended over an abyss of non-existence.
The passion to tear up this deeply racist society by the roots calls for the fullest development in activity and thought.

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Essay: The Syrian Revolution and its philosophy

November 30, 2014

The confrontation between differing classes and worldviews has been most intense in Syria, making it the test of world politics—and of philosophy and revolution. The Syrian Revolution has pushed thought about revolution to a new level.

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Grenada 30 years after U.S. invasion

November 17, 2013

Revolution in Grenada caught the world’s attention in 1979. The New Jewel Movement, which linked itself to the Black Power movement, had upset Britain’s neo-colonialist succession (though Grenada stayed in the British Commonwealth) and appeared to be a beacon for revolutions to follow in the Caribbean.
What happened on one tiny island 30 years ago raised issues at the time that transcended the borders of Grenada to the idea of revolution throughout the Caribbean, the Third World and beyond.

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American Civilization on Trial

April 8, 2013

Raya Dunayevskaya’s sublimely researched American Civilization on Trial: Black Masses as Vanguard (ACOT) deserves a place among the U.S.’s most honest historical treatises.

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Now off the press: The Crossroads of History: Marxist-Humanist Writings on the Middle East by Raya Dunayevskaya

February 5, 2013

Now off the press:

Excerpts from the Foreword:

Nobody, least of all Marxists, foresaw the great historic divide which would be opened by the Arab Spring beginning in 2010. When Mohammed Bouazizi and Hussein Nagi Felhi killed themselves to protest the miserable conditions of life for Tunisian youth, they set off a year of revolutionary struggle that [=>]

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The 200th anniversary of Hegel’s absolute method

November 29, 2012

Essay
by Ron Kelch

All revolutions, in the sciences no less than in general history, originate only in this, that the spirit of man, for the understanding and comprehension of himself, for the possessing of himself, has now altered his categories, uniting himself in a truer, deeper, more intrinsic relation with himself.

–Hegel

Today’s global search for a new [=>]

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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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Fanon and Marx

April 8, 2012

When Terry Moon in her column in the last is­sue asks, “How deep does the dialectic need to become when the subject is woman, is Black woman?” she calls for more discussion of Fanon and Women’s Liberation.

Fanon, in breaking with Sartre’s Existentialist Marxism—which acknowledged only one Subject, labor, and consigned the Black dimension to a [=>]

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István Mészáros and the Dialectic

March 19, 2012

Essay
by Eugene Walker

István Mészáros, Social Structure and Forms of Consciousness. Volume I, The Social Determination of Method. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010.

Global depression conditions have once again brought to the fore capitalism’s grave contradictions, and with it, new interest in the work of Karl Marx. This is not alone a theoretical question. The massive protests in [=>]

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