Readers’ Views, January-February 2013, Part 1

From the January-February 2013 issue of News & Letters:

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 have created for capital are objects of enslavement. The difference between technology as it is and when it will be a tool, is where we want to go. Substance is experienced by Subject. What we see is determined historically. We don’t understand all of nature. We only understand what we can. It is our experience of the world, not what it actually is. It is not whether things are predetermined, it’s that we choose what we feel is freedom, we choose what is human.
D. Chêneville
Oakland, Calif.

***

African Americans lived through what happened in the U.S., but I don’t think it should only be “American Civilization on Trial.” The whole world should be on trial. The whole world is suffering under capitalism.
Iranian American
Los Angeles

***

I’m now beginning to grasp that all the conditions for the death of capitalism can be in place but, like an animated corpse, it will go on and on until it gets a hefty, revolutionary push from a massive, subjective force of its own creation: the laboring class. I thought the falling rate of profit meant no one needs to do anything, that capitalism would do itself in. Knowing that the masses of workers need to shove capitalism over the cliff doesn’t mean it will ever happen. For one thing, it isn’t just workers who have to rise up. The perversions of capitalism are so deep that all of humanity must take part in delivering the final blow.
David
Bay Area

***

A Jan. 8 New York Times article exposes the dangerous, ineffective, slow, self-serving, brainless and heartless way the Japanese Government is handling cleanup nearly two years after so many citizens of Fukushima lost their families and homes. It also failed to protect citizens in the rest of Japan (and the world) from harmful radiation. Lessons from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island are barely, haphazardly applied.
From Syria to Haiti to the U.S., the dynamic is similar. We need a new way of looking at the world, an evolution of humankind into a new creature for whom human development is the most important value. That’s why I stay with News and Letters Committees. Besides working on the surface—putting out a newspaper with real news, speaking at rallies and marches, being in international solidarity with those who seek freedom—News and Letters goes below the surface to where people think. We never stop trying to describe the present situation because that’s the very first step in changing it.
January
Chicago

OCCUPY AND REVOLUTION

It should be no surprise that the first major act of Mayor Bloomberg in response to Hurricane Sandy was to reopen the New York Stock Exchange, that bastion of capitalist greed. Bloomberg did not evacuate the City hospitals until after the storm had hit, endangering thousands of patients. Public housing, located in regions close to the water, did not have power for over a week after the rest of the city. Seniors and disabled were hit especially hard. The most effective force in helping people was “Occupy Sandy,” not the nonexistent bureaucratic social welfare agencies. Bloomberg did not cancel the New York City Marathon until mass outrage made him.
We need a revolution to reverse the course of calamity before we go past the point of no return. We need a revolution that will create new forms of human and social relations, under the banner of a New Humanism, that of Karl Marx.
A Sandy survivor
Queens, New York

***

This year is the 50th anniversary of the publication of American Civilization on Trial. It’s not just a number that compels us to look at it today. The outpouring of response to Trayvon Martin’s murder last February forced “mainstream” America to confront that his experience was the reality for masses of Black and Latino Americans, especially young men. When Occupy Wall Street burst forth last fall, attracting hundreds of thousands of young people, idealistic and enthusiastic about developing new human relations, it wasn’t long before people of color and women felt the need to form caucuses, some of them separate from the larger General Assemblies.
Occupy supporter
Detroit

***

We have had feminist General Assemblies because we need more dialogue. We need a space to uncover relations, such as how capitalism dominates us. A horizontal structure can still be exclusive. Feminist initiatives are not just about how many women are speaking but whether the ideas are taken seriously.
Woman occupier
New York

WOMEN’S LIBERATION

What set the rape in India apart from others was both the horrible brutality of it and then the government’s completely wrong response to the demonstrations. But if anyone thinks it’s so much better in the good old USA, think again. Here one in six women have been raped or suffered an attempted rape while for women in the U.S. military it is one out of three women who reports sexual assault—not from the enemy, but from her male comrades-in-arms. Here we have politicians pontificating about “legitimate rape” and quoting phony or non-existent science to insist that a raped woman can’t get pregnant. Date rape is rife on U.S. campuses and often the poorest women, those who live in public housing, are raped repeatedly. I’m so glad to see the massive demonstrations in India. They are not only against individual rapists but “rape culture”—their whole society’s attitude and actions towards women. We need the same thing here.
Women’s Liberationist
Chicago

***

Wherever we look, women are subjected to political and cultural oppression. I recognize that many men, brought up believing that women have a social position beneath them, will find it difficult to accept a totally different way to relate to women. My own continuing transformation began in earnest when N&L sent me an article on women’s liberation that enabled me to move from an abstract idea of equality to a more concrete interpretation of what women’s liberation looks like in the context of Marx’s concept of the man/woman relation.
Faruq
Crescent City, Calif.

***

Something that often amazes us in Europe is the weird rules that we hear from the U.S., absurd and sometimes inhuman ones. You see that in the article on “Rape and people with Disabilities” in the Nov.-Dec. N&L. This poor child and her family. I can’t believe it. The U.S. advertises itself as the “most developed country.” It should only be called “the most economically developed.”
Young feminist
Spain

MALI CRISIS

It’s horrible that Islamic fanatics have hijacked a genuine freedom movement, the one you wrote of in the July- Aug. 2012 article, “Mali’s contradiction.” The article takes up how the Tuareg people have been fighting for self-determination for years in a national movement for liberation. While the French, with help from the U.S., are now fighting the “reign of terror” that fundamentalist groups have inflicted on the people, I doubt they are the least bit interested in helping the Tuareg in their struggle for freedom and a land they can call their own and feel safe in.
A reader
Los Angeles

HEGEL’S ABSOLUTE METHOD

Some turn away from philosophy, blaming it as inadequate because ideas remain “lofty,” and are not realized. In contrast, Marx said the world needs to be made philosophical. The Paris Commune made it clear to Marx that the way the world presents itself to us is a function of human relations. The power of abstraction is what sets humans apart. We encounter each other and nature through abstractions, through the meaning we give the other and the world.
Old-time Marxist-Humanist
California

***

Workers’ self-activity is very close to Hegel. It’s unfair to workers that their movements are called “spontaneous,” as though revolutions are “sparked” and people are just “tired.” There is a lot of thought that goes into the spontaneity.
Worker
Bay Area

***

Marx held that thought reflects the world. That means theory is not something smart guys give others to carry out, but the other way around. It’s the masses in motion that give the intellectuals something to think about. Hegel is tracing the thought of philosophers, but they got their ideas from people engaged in creating the worlds out there.
David M’Oto
Oakland, Calif.

***

There’s no other news organ in circulation today that gives its readers the algebra of revolution. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1953 letters detailing her amazing breakthrough on the Hegelian dialectic has given humanity the philosophical foundation necessary to not only transcend oppressive capital relations but also build a new society on new human foundations.
Prisoner
Pelican Bay, Calif.

WORK AND ALIENATION

News & Letters reported mass protests against the opening of a $1.6 billion copper processing plant in Shifang, China (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L). There are hundreds of mass protests daily in China. Timothy Tang, who is protesting the opening of a chemical plant in Ningbo, said: “A lot of us don’t need high growth rate, we don’t need more high rises. We want blue skies and clean air to make our lives better. If high growth rates bring these kinds of negative impact, we’d rather the economy not grow at all.” In other words: quality of life instead of capitalism’s production for production’s sake which results in labor doing work, work, work, in order to survive. Quality of life means labor becomes a space for human development and not just for survival. It means there is no unemployment.
Japanese American
California

 

Normal
0

false
false
false

EN-US
X-NONE
X-NONE

MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

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 have created for capital are objects of enslavement. The difference between technology as it is and when it will be a tool, is where we want to go. Substance is experienced by Subject. What we see is determined historically. We don’t understand all of nature. We only understand what we can. It is our experience of the world, not what it actually is. It is not whether things are predetermined, it’s that we choose what we feel is freedom, we choose what is human.

D. Chêneville

Oakland, Calif.

***

African Americans lived through what happened in the U.S., but I don’t think it should only be “American Civilization on Trial.” The whole world should be on trial. The whole world is suffering under capitalism.

Iranian American

Los Angeles

***

I’m now beginning to grasp that all the conditions for the death of capitalism can be in place but, like an animated corpse, it will go on and on until it gets a hefty, revolutionary push from a massive, subjective force of its own creation: the laboring class. I thought the falling rate of profit meant no one needs to do anything, that capitalism would do itself in. Knowing that the masses of workers need to shove capitalism over the cliff doesn’t mean it will ever happen. For one thing, it isn’t just workers who have to rise up. The perversions of capitalism are so deep that all of humanity must take part in delivering the final blow.

David

Bay Area

***

A Jan. 8 New York Times article exposes the dangerous, ineffective, slow, self-serving, brainless and heartless way the Japanese Government is handling cleanup nearly two years after so many citizens of Fukushima lost their families and homes. It also failed to protect citizens in the rest of Japan (and the world) from harmful radiation. Lessons from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island are barely, haphazardly applied.

From Syria to Haiti to the U.S., the dynamic is similar. We need a new way of looking at the world, an evolution of humankind into a new creature for whom human development is the most important value. That’s why I stay with News and Letters Committees. Besides working on the surface—putting out a newspaper with real news, speaking at rallies and marches, being in international solidarity with those who seek freedom—News and Letters goes below the surface to where people think. We never stop trying to describe the present situation because that’s the very first step in changing it.

January

Chicago

OCCUPY AND REVOLUTION

It should be no surprise that the first major act of Mayor Bloomberg in response to Hurricane Sandy was to reopen the New York Stock Exchange, that bastion of capitalist greed. Bloomberg did not evacuate the City hospitals until after the storm had hit, endangering thousands of patients. Public housing, located in regions close to the water, did not have power for over a week after the rest of the city. Seniors and disabled were hit especially hard. The most effective force in helping people was “Occupy Sandy,” not the nonexistent bureaucratic social welfare agencies. Bloomberg did not cancel the New York City Marathon until mass outrage made him.

We need a revolution to reverse the course of calamity before we go past the point of no return. We need a revolution that will create new forms of human and social relations, under the banner of a New Humanism, that of Karl Marx.

A Sandy survivor

Queens, New York

***

This year is the 50th anniversary of the publication of American Civilization on Trial. It’s not just a number that compels us to look at it today. The outpouring of response to Trayvon Martin’s murder last February forced “mainstream” America to confront that his experience was the reality for masses of Black and Latino Americans, especially young men. When Occupy Wall Street burst forth last fall, attracting hundreds of thousands of young people, idealistic and enthusiastic about developing new human relations, it wasn’t long before people of color and women felt the need to form caucuses, some of them separate from the larger General Assemblies.

Occupy supporter

Detroit

***

We have had feminist General Assemblies because we need more dialogue. We need a space to uncover relations, such as how capitalism dominates us. A horizontal structure can still be exclusive. Feminist initiatives are not just about how many women are speaking but whether the ideas are taken seriously.

Woman occupier

New York

WOMEN’S LIBERATION

What set the rape in India apart from others was both the horrible brutality of it and then the government’s completely wrong response to the demonstrations. But if anyone thinks it’s so much better in the good old USA, think again. Here one in six women have been raped or suffered an attempted rape while for women in the U.S. military it is one out of three women who reports sexual assault—not from the enemy, but from her male comrades-in-arms. Here we have politicians pontificating about “legitimate rape” and quoting phony or non-existent science to insist that a raped woman can’t get pregnant. Date rape is rife on U.S. campuses and often the poorest women, those who live in public housing, are raped repeatedly. I’m so glad to see the massive demonstrations in India. They are not only against individual rapists but “rape culture”—their whole society’s attitude and actions towards women. We need the same thing here.

Women’s Liberationist

Chicago

***

Wherever we look, women are subjected to political and cultural oppression. I recognize that many men, brought up believing that women have a social position beneath them, will find it difficult to accept a totally different way to relate to women. My own continuing transformation began in earnest when N&L sent me an article on women’s liberation that enabled me to move from an abstract idea of equality to a more concrete interpretation of what women’s liberation looks like in the context of Marx’s concept of the man/woman relation.

Faruq

Crescent City, Calif.

***

Something that often amazes us in Europe is the weird rules that we hear from the U.S., absurd and sometimes inhuman ones. You see that in the article on “Rape and people with Disabilities” in the Nov.-Dec. N&L. This poor child and her family. I can’t believe it. The U.S. advertises itself as the “most developed country.” It should only be called “the most economically developed.”

Young feminist

Spain

MALI CRISIS

It’s horrible that Islamic fanatics have hijacked a genuine freedom movement, the one you wrote of in the July- Aug. 2012 article, “Mali’s contradiction.” The article takes up how the Tuareg people have been fighting for self-determination for years in a national movement for liberation. While the French, with help from the U.S., are now fighting the “reign of terror” that fundamentalist groups have inflicted on the people, I doubt they are the least bit interested in helping the Tuareg in their struggle for freedom and a land they can call their own and feel safe in.

A reader

Los Angeles

HEGEL’S ABSOLUTE METHOD

Some turn away from philosophy, blaming it as inadequate because ideas remain “lofty,” and are not realized. In contrast, Marx said the world needs to be made philosophical. The Paris Commune made it clear to Marx that the way the world presents itself to us is a function of human relations. The power of abstraction is what sets humans apart. We encounter each other and nature through abstractions, through the meaning we give the other and the world.

Old-time Marxist-Humanist

California

***

Workers’ self-activity is very close to Hegel. It’s unfair to workers that their movements are called “spontaneous,” as though revolutions are “sparked” and people are just “tired.” There is a lot of thought that goes into the spontaneity.

Worker

Bay Area

***

Marx held that thought reflects the world. That means theory is not something smart guys give others to carry out, but the other way around. It’s the masses in motion that give the intellectuals something to think about. Hegel is tracing the thought of philosophers, but they got their ideas from people engaged in creating the worlds out there.

David M’Oto

Oakland, Calif.

***

There’s no other news organ in circulation today that gives its readers the algebra of revolution. Raya Dunayevskaya’s 1953 letters detailing her amazing breakthrough on the Hegelian dialectic has given humanity the philosophical foundation necessary to not only transcend oppressive capital relations but also build a new society on new human foundations.

Prisoner

Pelican Bay, Calif.

WORK AND ALIENATION

News & Letters reported mass protests against the opening of a $1.6 billion copper processing plant in Shifang, China (Sept.-Oct. 2012 N&L). There are hundreds of mass protests daily in China. Timothy Tang, who is protesting the opening of a chemical plant in Ningbo, said: “A lot of us don’t need high growth rate, we don’t need more high rises. We want blue skies and clean air to make our lives better. If high growth rates bring these kinds of negative impact, we’d rather the economy not grow at all.” In other words: quality of life instead of capitalism’s production for production’s sake which results in labor doing work, work, work, in order to survive. Quality of life means labor becomes a space for human development and not just for survival. It means there is no unemployment.

Japanese American

California

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-priority:99;
mso-style-qformat:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin-top:0in;
mso-para-margin-right:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt;
mso-para-margin-left:0in;
line-height:115%;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

This entry was posted in Marxist-Humanism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s