News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 4
July – August 2013
The mass protests in Turkey, the presidential election in Iran and, above all, the continuing struggle for the Syrian revolution express the depth of today’s social crisis. These crises are interpenetrated and inseparable. The stakes are high.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya:
July-August marks the 60th anniversary of the historic strike in the Russian slave labor camp in Vorkuta. Following Dunayevskaya’s May 1953 Letters on Hegel’s Absolutes, the 1953 revolts in Russia and East Germany were formative events for Marxist-Humanism. Here she describes how “two new pages in history were written: whoever before June 17,  had heard of a mass revolt against a totalitarian dictatorship?”
Since February, prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have carried on a massive hunger strike to protest indefinite detention in abusive conditions with no end in sight…. On July 8th California prisoners being held in solitary confinement at the Pelican Bay “security housing unit” (SHU) for indeterminate periods will resume their hunger strike.
The persisting economic crisis has spurred new interest in Karl Marx including “Communization Theory” which projects Marx’s dialectic as a total break with capitalism but without posing a need for dialectical mediation beyond capitalism.
The media has been awash with articles on U.S. government surveillance since the bombshell revelations by Edward J. Snowden. The data mining by large U.S. corporations gets less attention. It relies not only on sophisticated electronic devices, but on the currency of fear and sheer intimidation which would make a Big Brother tyrant proud.
Events in Turkey appeared spontaneous, but are a continuation of a long history. It was not the psychology of Prime Minister Erdogan that created opposition, but the institutionalized fascism within a “deep state.”
What began as local protests against an increase in public transportation costs has grown into massive protests in dozens of Brazilian cities with hundreds of thousands in the streets of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the largest demonstrations since protests against military rule in the 1980s.
People may imagine that teachers here hit the beach or kick up their heels poolside, sipping cocktails and working on a suntan. For me and many other teachers, though, Monday will be the kickoff to the summer routine of registering for unemployment benefits and looking for work, as, once again, a year’s contract has come to an end.
MORE ARTICLES … (see the pdf version)
“Woman as Reason: Stop military abuse”
“Women World Wide”
“Left Forum panel: ‘Low-wage workers forward'”
“‘Listen, Wendy’s — the people are fighting'”
“L.A. garment workers solidarity with Dhaka”
“New battle after Trade Fair lockout ends”
“Grim high-tech future”
“Reclaiming May Day?”
“Tom Rockmore’s Marx After Marxism”
“Turkey: Chicago is with you!”
“Conflict at Left Forum”
“Countering far-right racism in the UK”
“SHU hunger strike”
“Yemen’s Change Square”
“NY: Peoples’ Board of Ed”
“Chicago teacher speaks”
“Devil’s Tango, nuclear energy’s dance with death”
p. 12, World in View:
“Premeditated murder in Bangladesh”
“Greece: workers’ TV”
“Latin America in view: Bolivia’s statism, Guatemala’s genocide trial in disarray, Honduras coup anniversary”
“Labor in China”