Now available at the News and Letters Committees website as a pdf file:
Raya Dunayevskaya’s classic explication of Marxism is finally available in Arabic. 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, and now Arabic. The new translation was made possible by the Victor Serge Foundation, based in Montpellier, France. Its director, Richard Greeman, who co-wrote the Preface with Maati Monjib, spoke at a book-launch meeting in Morocco. You can see excerpts of his report “On socialism and freedom in Morocco” in the July-August 2011 issue of News & Letters.
In Marxism and Freedom, Raya Dunayevskaya, with clarity and great insight, traces the development and essential features of Marx’s analysis of history. The essence of Marx’s philosophy, as she points out, is the human struggle for freedom, which entails the emergence of a proletarian revolutionary consciousness and the discovery through contradiction and self-development of the means for realizing complete human freedom.
Freedom for Marx meant freedom not only from capitalist economic exploitation but also from all political restraints. Dunayevskaya reveals how completely Marx’s original conception of freedom was perverted through its adaptations by Stalin in Russia and Mao in China, and subsequent totalitarian states. The exploitation of the masses persisted under these regimes in the form of “state capitalism.”
Yet despite the profound derailment of Marx’s philosophy, Dunayevskaya points to developments such as the Hungarian revolt of 1956, and the Civil Rights struggles in the United States as signs that the indomitable quest for freedom on the part of the oppressed including women and youth cannot be forever repressed.
As Joel Kovel wrote in the foreword from the current Humanity Books edition: “We fight, in Dunayevskaya’s vision, to realize the full being, inner and outer, of the oppressed. Once this is grasped, no bureaucratization, no state capitalism, no recycling of domination, can stain the radical project. Nor can this project be extinguished by the triumph of reaction such as we have witnessed in recent years…. There is a magnificence about Raya Dunayevskaya’s thought, well illustrated in this, her path-breaking volume, which provides a real ground for that hope. It is a ground that remains to be built upon.”