VII. Tasks

May 17, 2017

From the May-June 2017 issue of News & Letters

I.    Trumpism as an excrescence of world capitalism’s crises
The capital relation
U.S. forces of revolt as reason; philosophy as force of revolution
International crises
Lies, facts and ground
The Russian Revolution, 100 years ago and its meaning today

…Continued from Part VI. The Russian Revolution, 100 years ago and its meaning today

VII. Tasks

Organizational tasks as always are meant to include, not exclude, friends and new contacts who are not yet Marxist-Humanists:

Work with the new book on the Russian Revolution in sales, in discussions, in the battle of ideas, by writing and speaking in ways that concretely relate to events, movements and contradictions today.

Complete our preparation of the selected writings by Dunayevskaya on Karl Marx, on the 200th anniversary of his birth next year.

Continue to publish the only Marxist-Humanist newspaper in the world, and in doing so strive to jam up the articulation of Marxist-Humanist philosophy, the elicitation of both the negative and the positive in voices from below, and the confrontation with today’s crises and contradictions.

Expand our base of donors who pay for growing subscriptions for prisoners that we would otherwise be unable to fulfill. Keeping up with the needed correspondence is a collective task.

Publish two new pamphlets: a new edition of Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers: ‘We want to be validated as human,’ and a pamphlet on revolution and counter-revolution in Syria.

Continue to work with the online Archives in the Raya Dunayevskaya Collection and in the entire run of News & Letters from its inception in 1955, publicizing, projecting, and digging into them.

Although we do not have a daily newspaper, this crisis-ridden period compels us to strive to act as if we do—in part by making fuller use of our website and our Facebook page. None of these tasks can be conceived as separate from organizational growth based on the philosophy of Marxist-Humanism, which is needed to fight retrogressive ideologies and to help action find its direction by releasing the positive in the negative, and to make the concrete projection of a liberatory banner an integral part of our daily activities.

—The Resident Editorial Board, April 18, 2017

One thought on “VII. Tasks

  1. One should understand the Draft Perspectives (DP) as a totality: It goes from the critique of worldwide fascism, to show how “its roots lie within capitalism”—this is, within the system that alienates human labor and nature—, to reveal the “transformational subjectivity inherent in objective reality, as a negative containing a positive that needs to be released”. This transformational subjectivity are the “spontaneous actions and uprisings […] catching […] an idea [of liberation] whose time has come”. Finally, the DP speak of the need of this transformational subjectivity to fully embrace its meaning as a dialectic of freedom—an organization of thought that must not be separated from the construction/growth of an actual organization.

    The totality of the DP is not so just because all its parts are “put together” and “fit well”, but in a higher (dialectical) sense: “Every beginning must be made within the absolute, just as all advance is merely the exposition of it, in so far as its in-itself is the Notion” (Hegel, “Absolute Idea”, Science of Logic). “Translating” this, we could say that the Notion of masses fighting for freedom, which is not fully brought to the fore until the second half of the DP, was indeed there from the beginning, as the truth of the critique toward today´s fascism —which means that a full-blown critique is not that of intellectuals throwing facts against the “evilness” of capitalism, but one that is embodied in the actions and thoughts of masses that not just resist capitalism, but strive to build something new.

    We see thus the meaning of mass protests arising from within them: women in U.S. and the rest of the world fighting against sexism and for reproductive justice, while showing their profound connections with Black and immigrants’ movements; workers battling against their own unions and resisting in all ways possible to automation, outsourcing and unemployment; the humanism of the Syrian Revolution; people in Hungary and other countries from Europe resisting against the far-right regimes and showing their support to immigrants, etc.

    The DP also pose that, although there is an urge for dialectical philosophy to meet the movements from below—or, better to say, to arise from and to be fully embraced by them—, “there is never a […] ‘direct translation of Hegel.’ Instead, let us work out, by watching the actualities of a path to revolution, and […] what is at stake in the dialectics of liberation and the dialectics of organization.” In other words: We can´t “apply” dialectics. We have to recreate it by listening to and understanding what the movements from below have to tell us, as well as by helping this movements to fully embrace/unleash their self-development toward freedom. This is precisely the meaning of one of the last phrases of the DP: “It is crucial to recognize both the indispensability of the movement from practice and at the same time the indispensability of its unity with theoretic preparation for revolution, if we are to help change the objective course of the world”.

    In summary, a very powerful statement. Still, I would have liked that the parts dedicated to critique fascism—particularly, Trumpism— were shorter, and the ones that grasp the meaning of the movements from below, longer and wider. The analysis of other important parts of the world in rebellion, like Latin America or Africa, perhaps could have been included.

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