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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Attacks on organizing

April 6, 2013

The number of unionized workers in the U.S. last year dropped by 400,000 members, to 14.3 million workers. Assaults on unions like right-to-work legislation in Indiana and Michigan and laws narrowing the right to union representation in Wisconsin had a huge impact on unions. The most important development is the transformation of union leadership from being militant fighters to contract concessionary specialists and corporation supporters.

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Meatcutters stand up

April 5, 2013

Trade Fair, a supermarket in Astoria, Queens, with a unionized meat department, is engaged in a scurrilous effort to break the union. But the union members at Trade Fair supermarket are standing firm.

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ATU orders bus drivers back to work

April 4, 2013

ATU orders bus drivers back to work: The strikers kept up the picket lines through a cold New York winter, defying rain, snow, and Bloomberg. The decision to order the drivers and matrons back to work in February came without any input from the strikers.

read the rest!

Some cuts don’t heal

March 20, 2013

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

As Congress’s latest self-imposed sequestration crisis makes clear, not all cuts are the same. A campaign slogan of California Nurses’ Association (CNA) goes: “Some Cuts Don’t Heal.”

The looming full launch date of Obamacare in 2014 has the HMO industry imposing cuts, patient care be damned, in a race to the bottom to [=>]

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March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web

March 16, 2013

The March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters is available on the web.

News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 2
March – April 2013

Lead

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

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 [=>]

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Readers’ Views, January-February 2013, Part 1

March 9, 2013

RAVAGES OF CAPITALISM SHOW NEED FOR NEW WORLD

The article on “Climate chaos and capitalism” (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L) is very relevant, especially the conclusion about how capitalism’s contradiction is that the growth of the economy, of capitalist production, means more global warming and climate change worldwide.
Activist for humans and environment
Los Angeles

***

The technologies we [=>]

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Teachers and allies fight restructuring

February 20, 2013

Lake County, Ill.—Recently, teachers in my district received a warning that the district would be undergoing “restructuring” for the 2013-14 school year. When the superintendent visited our school after the winter break, she informed us that scores were still not reaching our goal and that sweeping changes would be necessary.

She needed to submit a “bold [=>]

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Forced labor in China

February 19, 2013

In January, as Xi Jinping’s term as head of the Communist Party of China was beginning, the head of the Political and Legal Committee kinda sorta promised the end of “re-education through labor.” Local police have been able send at their discretion those “disrupting public order” to labor camps since the 1957 crackdown on the [=>]

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Walmart workers strike

February 18, 2013

Walmart employees and their supporters strike outside of a Walmart store in Pico Rivera, California on Tuesday November 20, 2012. Photo by AURELIO JOSE BARRERA. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ufcwinternational/8204683606/in/pool-walmartstrikers|ufcwinternational

Workers struck at Walmart in Pico Rivera, Calif., on Nov. 20, demanding an end to retaliation against workers who speak out. On Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, [=>]

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From South Africa: Hunger games real for unemployed

February 17, 2013

Capetown, South Africa—During the Christmas break we received the most shocking news from KwaZulu-Natal. The provincial traffic department advertised 90 positions for trainee traffic officers. More than 150,000 people applied, most of them between the ages of 18 and 20.

On Christmas Day 34,000 people received text messages saying that they had been shortlisted for these [=>]

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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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Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution

February 3, 2013

Lead
by Gerry Emmett

“However partial the industrial revolt may be, it conceals within itself a universal soul: political revolt may be never so universal but it hides a narrow-minded spirit under the most colossal form.”

–Karl Marx, “On the King of Prussia and Social Reform”

The world’s rulers would like to declare an end to the earth-shaking, world-historic events of the Arab Spring, that completely unforeseen social revolt that [=>]

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January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters is now online

February 2, 2013

Lead
Uprisings in Egypt and Syria confront counter-revolution

Slightly over two years since the beginning of Egypt’s revolution, those heady days can seem distant. The current government of Mohamed Morsi was able to push through a reactionary Constitution. It includes anti-working class Articles allowing for child labor and forced labor, in certain circumstances; limits the right to [=>]

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The Cuban Missile Crisis and its test of movements’ negative character

November 28, 2012

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s note: On the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we present Raya Dunayevskaya’s analysis of how it tested not only the rulers’ rash folly but the anti-war movement’s short-mindedness–a lesson still urgent today. She wrote this piece as a Political Letter on Oct. 25, 1962, titled “Marxist-Humanism vs. [=>]

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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 2

October 16, 2012

From the September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters:

Readers’ Views, Part 2

REVOLUTIONARY SYNDICALISM DISCUSSION CONTINUES

The discussion article on “Revolutionary Syndicalism” (July-August N&L) reminds me of when it was considered a major force of revolution. There was a syndicalist party, the Socialist Labor Party (SLP), that thought we could vote in socialism. [=>]

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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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From Hiroshima/Nagasaki to Fukushima

October 6, 2012

Evanston, Ill.—On Aug. 5 a unique and wonderful commemoration related the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Titled “Hiroshima commemoration presentation: From Hiroshima to Fukushima,” it was sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS), North Shore Peace Initiative and Chicago Peace [=>]

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Solidarity with South Africa’s miners

October 2, 2012

Photo by David M’Oto for News & Letters

Oakland, Calif.—On Aug. 24, 100 activists converged on Oscar Grant Plaza to express solidarity with the South African miners’ struggle in Marikana and outrage over the police slaughter of 34 striking workers at Lonmin Platinum Mine there. Signs read: “This Was Not An Aberration” and “Capitalism [=>]

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Jazz for justice

September 30, 2012

New York—It’s in the air, an edgy current that awakens the spirit. When did it start? Was it the Arab Spring? The Occupy Movement? What? Where?

May Day 2012 was a day of expectation. New York musicians marched, played music, fed the soul with protest and pride, marched on the jazz clubs. What do the musicians [=>]

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Abortion victory is won in Mauritius

September 25, 2012

LALIT supporters at a March 6 ceremony for Sharonne and photographicjournalist Marie-Noelle, two mothers who died from illegal abortions. Photo: LALIT, Sealia Thevenaud.

Port Louis, Mauritius—LALIT is the only political party that has, over the decades, campaigned for abortion decriminalization, and finally, in June, Parliament passed a new Abortion Law to replace the 1838 [=>]

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South African miners

September 20, 2012

World in View

by Gerry Emmett

The Marikana platinum mine massacre of 34 miners, near Rustenburg, South Africa, has outraged the revolutionary working class. That outrage is compounded by the government’s decision to charge 270 survivors with the murders of their fellow workers, who were shot by police. The workers were dragged to court, many still bloodstained [=>]

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Shifang protest

September 19, 2012

Chinese officials in Sichuan province bowed quickly to mass protests and withdrew plans on July 3 for construction of a $1.6 billion molybdenum copper processing plant in Shifang town. Thousands of demonstrators faced tear gas and police batons beginning on July 1, surrounding government buildings and installations in Shifang to stop the project and the [=>]

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Black lung disease increasing in youth

September 16, 2012

Detroit, Mich.–An alarming increase in black lung disease (pneumoconiosis) among coal miners is raising serious questions about the effectiveness of coal dust suppression in the nation’s mines. Since the 1980s, cases of the disease have quadrupled in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. Whereas before it had primarily affected older miners, studies by the Center for Public Integrity, the [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Chevron refinery’s ‘acceptable risks’

September 15, 2012

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

On Aug. 6, a huge toxic plume, caused by a massive fire from a leak at the Chevron refinery, spread over Richmond, Calif. Immediately afterward, the hot topic of discussion on the local TV news became what this would do to gas prices, not what it has done to the environment and [=>]

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South Africa Marikana mine massacre

September 14, 2012

Marikana, South Africa–Aug. 18: It’s now two days after the brutal, heartless and merciless cold bloodbath of 45 Marikana mine workers by the South African Police Services. This was a massacre!

Mining has been central to the history of repression in South Africa. Mining made Sandton to be Sandton and the Bantustans of the Eastern Cape [=>]

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Discussion article: Voices from Occupy: West Coast port shutdowns and forms of labor struggle

September 12, 2012

Discussion article

by Javier, Advance the Struggle

The defeat of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 21 at the highly automated Export Grain Terminal (EGT) in Longview, Wash., shows how capitalism is transforming the workplace. It is a part of capitalism’s permanent offensive. So what happened?
Longview, Wash. Longshoremen stopping a train headed for Export Grain Terminal.

The [=>]

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Historic roots of far Right threat to U.S.

September 11, 2012

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Editor’s Note: Originally the lead article in the June-July 1964 issue of News & Letters, this article analyzed trends and events of retrogression and the resistance to it that are still remarkably current in today’s Tea Party-infested USA. Footnotes are added by the editors.

* * *

The easy victory of Barry Goldwater [=>]

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September-October 2012 issue of News & Letters is online

September 9, 2012

Lead

Reactionary U.S. election shows capital’s contradictions

“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 [=>]

read the rest!

Readers’ Views, July-August 2012, Part 2

August 15, 2012

RICH AND DUNAYEVSKAYA: A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP

Thanks for your In Memoriam to Adrienne Rich. It revealed a dimension that many who were appreciative of her poetry and feminism may not have known—Rich’s exploration of Marx’s ideas through her reading of Raya Dunayevskaya. One piece Rich wrote was titled “Dunayevskaya’s Marx.” It was crucial how you [=>]

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Vets used and abused

August 3, 2012

Memphis, Tenn.—When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the military did find weapons of mass destruction in the form of chemical weapons. This was not made public, because the weapons had been a gift to Saddam Hussein from the U.S. Since the canisters still showed they were U.S. government property, they were destroyed, by the [=>]

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Using robots to attack labor upsurge in China

July 29, 2012

Workers who created a wave of strikes in China from auto and electronics to steel over the past two years have confronted the power of private capital, the state and the Communist Party. In 2011 alone, China’s State Council acknowledged 500 large-scale “mass incidents” per day, including peasant resistance to land grabs as well as [=>]

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Sutter nurses strike!

July 28, 2012

Photo by David M’Oto

Oakland, Calif.—Sutter Health nurses throughout Northern California walked off the job for one day on June 13. Hundreds of nurses and some doctors marched and rallied in front of Oakland’s Summit Medical Center and Berkeley’s Alta Bates Hospital.

Summit will not even renew the previous contract because they insist on a [=>]

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NYC May Day march

July 27, 2012

New York—There was a large May Day rally and march in New York City—but you would not have known it from reading The New York Times. The march of around 10,000 was a convergence of individuals, organizations, and participants in actions earlier in the day, primarily targeting sites of labor disputes and financial headquarters.

Although the [=>]

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Fukushima nuclear worker’s testimony

July 26, 2012

Editor’s note: “S,” an organizer of nuclear workers for the Precariat Union in Tokyo, currently works at Daiichi and Daini as a subcontract worker. He spoke on March 4 to about 200 people in New York City on a panel, “Eyewitnesses to Fukushima,” sponsored by Shut Down Indian Point Now! (SDIPN!).

Eighty percent of nuclear [=>]

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Workshop Talks: Capitalism trashes union democracy

July 16, 2012

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

The “Great Recession” we’re living in will continue so long as we accept that there is no alternative to capitalism. It is a lie perpetuated by the dominant ideology.

In the past year, the Occupy Movement has given many of us hope that things can change. One idea in the movement is that [=>]

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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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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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In the belly of the beast

May 12, 2012

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

Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2012-2013
II. In the belly of the beast

A. Occupy and anti-Occupy

The very new phenomenon of the Occupy Movement brought this moment of revolutionary new beginnings squarely to the U.S. Though not now a revolution, it nevertheless transformed the political atmosphere in the [=>]

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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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Parents, students protest schools hit list

April 15, 2012

From the March-April 2012 issue of News & Letters

Chicago—Several hundred people rallied against Chicago’s school “turnarounds” on Feb. 20 and marched to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house. Many marchers wore stickers over their mouths that read “Silenced” or “Ex­cluded,” symbolizing how the mayor and his school board have run roughshod over schools without listen­ing [=>]

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Rally for locked out sugar, tire workers

April 12, 2012

Chicago—Locked out workers from American Crystal Sugar plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa joined locked out workers from Cooper Tire in Findlay, Ohio, and came to Chicago on Feb. 25 as one stop in their regional tour to raise support, “From Fargo to Findlay: A Journey for Justice.” Workers from Chicagoland met them at [=>]

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Justice still overdue for 29 murdered coal miners

April 10, 2012

Detroit—A new break in late February signaled a giant step forward in the prosecution of officials at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, where a methane gas and coal dust explosion two years ago killed 29 miners in the worst mine disaster in 40 years. The break came when federal prosecutors filed [=>]

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Chinese model is not workers’

March 23, 2012

Workshop Talks
by Htun Lin

As I watched the news of a state visit by the designated next President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, sealing important trade deals with the U.S. President, I couldn’t help but think about another “state visit,” to China, by Andy Stern, former President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Stern [=>]

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March-April 2012 News & Letters is online

March 13, 2012

Lead

Syrian revolution fights Assad’s genocide, world powers watch

The Syrian Revolution is a serious challenge to the order in the region and beyond. Israel, Iran, and Saudi Arabia all have much to lose from the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s Baathist family dynasty, as do their imperialist patrons.

From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya

Women as thinkers and revolutionaries

Working-class [=>]

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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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Speakout for the 99%

March 1, 2012

Chicago—Dozens of activists from Occupy Chicago, Jobs with Justice, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Iraq Veterans Against the War, News and Letters Committees and other groups rallied outside the American Economic Association (AEA) conference here on Jan. 6.

The establishment economists were invited to share a sidewalk meal of Rahm-en noodles (named in honor of anti-labor [=>]

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