News & Letters,
August - September 2008
U.S. criminalizes undocumented to attack workers' movement
In the biggest raid on a workplace in U.S. history, hundreds of Federal agents swooped down on the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, Iowa, on May 12 to seize some 697 undocumented workers. The immigrant without papers has become the new Other within our borders. The near police-state actions of the Federal government in Iowa resulted in the jailing of some 387 Guatemalan and Mexican workers. At the same time, Postville brought forth resistance to the unjust conditions of immigrant life and labor in this "land of the free."
Afghan war heats up
Far from winding down, the war in Afghanistan is becoming more deadly. More U.S. soldiers and their NATO allies are being killed in Afghanistan than in the war in Iraq. However, in both countries high levels of civilian death tolls from terrorist violence and, especially in Afghanistan, indiscriminate U.S. bombings have continued unabated. In the first three months of 2008, nearly 700 civilians were killed in Afghanistan alone. In 2001 Afghanis celebrated the overthrow of the Taliban's ruthless totalitarian rule, but now Afghanistan has seen a Taliban resurgence.
War in Georgia: dangerous new world
The war which broke out between Russia and Georgia on Aug. 8 represents one of the most significant confrontations between the U.S. and Russia since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. It will have serious and dangerous ramifications far into the future.
Georgia's U.S.-allied Mikhail Saakashvili government tried to settle militarily the matter of South Ossetian separatism. South Ossetians, who live in a former Soviet administrative region, looked to Russia for support. When Georgia attacked brutally the Ossetian city of Tskhinvali, the Russian military was more than prepared to take advantage.
From the Writings of Raya Dunayevskaya
Hegel's summons: Grasp revolutionary spirit of the age
To commemorate the anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we present excerpts of a lecture given by Raya Dunayevskaya in Tokyo on Jan. 2, 1966, to a group of activists and writers from Zenshin, an anti-Stalinist organization of the Japanese New Left. Her trip to Japan in 1965-66 included a speech in Hiroshima and discussions and meetings with student youth, autoworkers, anti-war activists, and Marxists grouped around the anti-Stalinist Zengakuren movement.
On 'Freedom, necessity and post-capitalist society'
Hegel as an Enlightenment thinker sought to teach the transformative power of philosophy upon social life. Hegel's philosophy was emancipatory inasmuch as he theorized that the acquisition of social intelligence within a class-divided culture occurred most genuinely among theorizing members of the society having subordinate, rather than superordinate, political standing. Russell Rockwell's essay (see June-July 2008 N&L) points to the work of Raya Dunayevskaya for theoretical leverage in moving us toward post-capitalist society. Dunayevskaya is taken with Hegel's Absolute Idea ("It is the business of philosophy to recognize it . . .") and socialism is interpreted as one of its forms, expressed in such movements as "the [Paris] Commune, the Soviets, the CIO."
The dialectic of freedom and necessity in post-capitalist society impinges on the nature of labor in its relationship to self-activity, which according to Marx is the essence of true wealth. Russell Rockwell's "Freedom, Necessity, and Post-Capitalist Society" stresses the movement to freedom beyond social necessity--and, at the same time, beyond the sphere of labor in material production, toward creative self-activity, what Marx termed "the absolute movement of becoming."
Freedom in a fortnight? A view from the trenches in Zimbabwe
Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA/MOZA) was born in the community and seeks to draw the attention of preoccupied politicians to people's needs, namely bread and butter issues; or as WOZA likes to put it, bread and roses issues--bread representing food and roses representing the need for lasting dignity.
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