Who is Raya Dunayevskaya?

Raya Dunayevskaya (1910–1987) is the founder of the philosophy of Marxist-Humanism. She concretized that philosophy during a lifetime in the revolutionary movement as she participated in all the freedom movements of our age—whether of workers, women, the Black dimension, and youth.

She became Leon Trotsky's Russian-language secretary in 1937 during his exile in Mexico, but broke with him in 1939 at the time of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Her simultaneous study of the Russian economy and of Marx's early writings (later known as the 1844 Humanist Essays) led to her 1941-42 analysis that not only was Russia a state-capitalist society, but that state-capitalism was a new world stage.

After more than a decade of developing the theory of state-capitalism, Dunayevskaya made a philosophic breakthrough. In two letters written May 12 and 20, 1953, she deepened her study of the Hegelian dialectic and saw in Hegel's Absolutes a dual movement—a movement from practice that is itself a form of theory and a movement from theory reaching to philosophy. She considered these 1953 letters to be the philosophic moment from which the whole development of Marxist-Humanism flowed. In 1955 she founded the organization News and Letters Committees and the newspaper News & Letters.

Dunayevskaya authored what came to be known as her trilogy of revolution:

  • Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today (1958)
  • Philosophy and Revolution: from Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao (1973)
  • Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution (1982).

In addition, she selected and introduced a collection of writings, published in 1985, titled:

  • Women's Liberation and the Dialectics of Revolution.

In the last year of her life she was working on a new book which she had tentatively titled, Dialectics of Organization and Philosophy: The 'Party' and Forms of Organization Born Out of Spontaneity.

Raya Dunayevskaya's speeches, letters, publications, notes, recordings and other items are located in the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University& in Detroit. Microfilm copies of the collection are available from the WSU Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs. Guides to collection are available from News & Letters. A selection of Dunayevskaya's books and other writings in print are available for purchase in the Literature section of this web site.

Critical Responses to Raya Dunayevskaya's Marxist-Humanism



RAYA DUNAYEVSKAYA in on-line News & Letters

Original writings by Raya Dunayevskaya appeared in News & Letters, the Marxist-Humanist newspaper she founded in 1955 until her death in 1987. News & Letters continues to select and edit documents from The Raya Dunayevskaya Collection for publication. Over 100 selections have been published on this website since 1997. Here is a list of Dunayevskaya's writings from News & Letters from 1997 to date. They can also be found in the context of the paper as a whole in “Back Issues.”


“Commentary,” 1976. Published originally in Paunch #44. Published online by Bill J. Harrell. Response to Harrell’s “Marx and Critical Thought.”

Letter to colleagues, May 28, 1968. Published originally as “Practicing Philosophy and Revolution” in News & Letters, June 1998. Published online by Grafic Girlz. http://www.graphicgirlz.com/qniii/pandr.htm

“Socialism or Barbarism,” Published originally in Correspondence, July 10, 1954. Published online at http://www.marxists.org/archive/dunayevskaya/works/1954/socialism-barbarism.htm

"Two Pages of History That Have Shown the Way to Freedom," April 23, 1955. Published as “Don't Forget Vorkuta: A Soviet Holocaust,” Mines & Communities Website. http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=1801

A Critique of Roman Rosdolsky. Published originally in News & Letters. Published by Hobgoblin(6), 2005. Also at http://www.thehobgoblin.co.uk/journal/h62004_RD_Rosdolsky.htm

Various selections, Raya Dunayevskaya Archive, Marxists.org Internet Archive. http://marxists.org/archive/dunayevskaya/index.htm

Various selections, Northern Illinois Marxist-Humanist Forum, http://www.struggle.net/mhf/index.htm

Various selections, libcom.org, http://libcom.org/tags/raya-dunayevskaya


Bondy, Egon, Preface, Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao, Bratislava: Iris, 1995.(Slovak)

Chattopadhyay, Paresh, "Introducing Raya Dunayevskaya," Marx's Philosophy of Revolution. In Dunayevskaya, Raya, Marx's Philosophy of Revolution, Nagpur, India: Spartacus, 2002. Part III of Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution.

Domanski, Olga, Preface, Women's Liberation and the Dialectics of Liberation, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1996. Also at Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0814326552/qid%3D953064123/sr%3D1-1/102-1399214-7220932

Dupré, Louis, Preface to the Morningside Edition, Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao, New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.

Figazza, Mariachiara and Amedeo Vigorelli, Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao, Milan: Feltrinelli, 1977. (Italian)

Fromm, Erich, Preface to the German Edition, Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao, New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.

Haug, Frigga, Foreword, Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution, Berlin: Argument, 1998. (German). Also in News & Letters(43)10, December 1998 (English). http://www.newsandletters.org/Issues/1998/Dec/12-98rosa.htm

Hudis, Peter and Kevin B. Anderson, Introduction, The Power of Negativity: Selected Writings on the Dialectic in Hegel and Marx, New York: Lexington Books, 2002.

Hudis, Peter, Epilogue, Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao, Bratislava: Iris, 1995.(Slovak)

Kovel, Joel, Foreword, Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today, New York: Humanity Books, 2000. ppxiii–xix.

Marcuse, Herbert, Preface, Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today, New York: Bookman, 1958. Also in current edition, New York: Humanity Books, 2000. pp xx–xxv.

McShane, Harry, Preface, Preface, Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today, London: Pluto Press, 1971.

Wang Ruoshui, Preface, Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 until Today, Shenyang: Liaoning Education Press, 1999. (Chinese) Also in News & Letters.

Rich, Adrienne, Foreword, Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1991. pp. xi-xx.


The Power of Negativity

Arthur, Chris, Studies in Marxism 9, 2002/3. pp. 106–109.

Bell, Franklin, Capital & Class 79. pp. 182–184.

Chinese student, "Reflections on Hegel, Marx and Mao," News & Letter(47)7, August-September 2002. http://www.newsandletters.org/Issues/2002/August-September/PhilD_Aug02.htm

Dmitryev, Franklin, Amazon.com, January 27, 2002. http://tinyurl.com/8x5un

Jeannot, Tom, The Owl of Minerva(36)1, Fall/Winter 2004–5. pp. 60–68.

Jenkes, John, "Dialectics as a way of life," International Journal of Philosophy(32)3, 2003. pp. 211–215. Excerpted in News & Letters, November 2003.

Johnson, Patricia, Review of Metaphysics(57)1, September 2003. pp.143–?.

Kelch, Ron, "Harris's Paradox and Dunayevskaya's New Beginning: Can Hegel's Method Shape a New Unity of Theory and Practice?" Clio(32)3, pp.304–330.

Kliman, Andrew, Rethinking Marxism(16)3, July 2004, pp. 343–346.

Le Blanc, Paul, "The Philosophy and Politics of Freedom," Monthly Review(54)8. http://www.monthlyreview.org/0103leblanc.htm

--------, untitled paper, New York: Socialist Scholars Conference, March 10, 2002

Messinger, Eli, Science and Society(68)1, Spring 2004. pp. 123–125.

Piper, Eric, "Raya Dunayevskaya's The Power of Negativity: Selected Writings on the Dialectic in Hegel and Marx," Historical Materialism(13)3, 2005. pp. 305-316.

Pomeroy, Anne F., "Raya Dunayevskaya: Absolute Idea as Class Consciousness," paper, Radical Philosophy Association Conference, Providence, R.I., 2002.

--------, "Why Marx, Why Now?: A Recollection of Dunayevskaya's Power of Negativity," Cultural Logic: An Electronic Journal of Marxist Theory and Practice (7), 2004. http://eserver.org/clogic/2004/pomeroy.html

Rockwell, Russell, Critical Sociology 29(2), 2003. pp. 237–262.

Rooke, Mike, "Dunayevskaya's Dialectic," "What Next?" http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/Latest/Reviews.html

Watson, Ben, "Mantra," Radical Philosophy 116, November/December 2002. pp. 39–41. Excerpted in News & Letters, April 2004.

The Marxist-Humanist Theory of State-Capitalism

Kliman, Andrew, Rethinking Marxism(6)2, Summer 1993,  pp. 140-144.

The Philosophic Moment of Marxist-Humanism

Portales, Gonzalo, title translated as "Raya Dunayevskaya: A Humanist Tradition of Marxism in America," Hegel-Studien, [volume and date forthcoming].

Women's Liberation and the Dialectics of Revolution

Rich, Adrienne, "Living the Revolution," Women's Review of Books(3)12, September 1986.

Welsh, John F., Quarterly Journal of Ideology(10)2, 1986.

Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution

Anderson, Kevin, Africa Today 4 (Denver, Colorado), 1982.

Azad, Neda, "Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution." Autumn 1984, Debacle (Calcutta).

Bar On, Bat-Ami, Idealistic Studies (Oswego, New York), January 1985.

Beasley, Dave Local 1930 Newsline (New York), March 1985.

Bermudez, María Elvira, Revista mexicana de cultura (Mexico), Aug. 18, 1985.

Cashdan, Laurie, "Feminism and the Anti-Nuke Movement," Direct Action (San Francisco), May 1983.

Dietrich, Gabrielle, Das Argument-Beiheft '85 (Berlin).

-----, The Marxist Review(18)3 (Calcutta), September 1985. pp. 153-176.

Dupré, Louis, Owl of Minerva(18)1, Fall 1986. pp. 77-78.

Haug, Frigga, "Soziale Bewegungen und Politik. Frauen-Politik." Das Argument-Beiheft '83 (Berlin).

Jackson, Ann Molly, Women's Studies News, March 1983.

Jaclard, Anne, "rosa and raya." off our backs (Washington), April 1983.

Kelly, George A., Political Theory (Beverly Hills, California), November 1983.

Landau, Michelle, "Review Essay: Woman as Revolutionary Reason." Women's Studies International Forum (Oxford), Vol. 7, No. 5, 1984.

-----, Hypatia, 1985.

Landau, Michelle and Terry Moon, off our backs (Washington, D.C.) August-September 1984.

Laschitza, Annelies, "Review: German scholar's view of Raya Dunayevskaya," News & Letters (48)1, January-February 2003, p. 2.

MacKenzie, Charlotte, "Rosa." May 6–12, 1983, City Limits (London).

Moon, Terry, National Women's Studies Association Newsletter, (College Park), Summer 1985.

Moon, Terry, off our backs (Washington, D.C.) August-September 1984.

Russo, Valerie, Dimensioni 30 (Rome), 1984.

Segota, Durica, "El universal (Mexico), Aug. 3, 1985.

s.n., La Jornada (Mexico), Aug. 25, 1985.

Philosophy and Revolution: From Hegel to Sartre and from Marx to Mao

Chambre, Henri, Slavic Review (New York), December 1974.

Dupré, Louis, Journal of the History of Ideas(35)4, Oct.-Dec. 1974. pp. 703-714. (Philadelphia), April 1974.

Friedman, Samuel R., Contemporary Sociology(34)1, January 2005. p. 77-78.

Gonzalez, Jose Emilio, Sin Nombre (Puerto Rico), January-March 1975.

Hampsch, George, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 7(4) (Honolulu, Hawaii), 1980.

O'Neill, John, Telos 22 (Buffalo, New York), Winter 1974-75.

Plant, Raymond, Owl of Minerva (Villanova, Pennsylvania), June 1974.

Potter, Bob, Peace News (London), April 5, 1974.

Torres, Virgilio, Uno Mas Uno (Mexico City), May 1979.

Vigorelli, Amadeo, Aut-Aut (Milan, Italy), July-October 1974.

Marxism and Freedom, from 1776 Until Today

Aubery, Pierre, La Revolution Proletarienne (Paris), January 1973.

Bertocci, Silvio, Il Popolo (Rome), Feb. 8, 1963.

Cadogan, Peter, Cambridge Forward (Cambridge, England), November 1960.

Foot, Paul, London Tribune (London), Aug. 21, 1964.

Heffer, Eric, The Socialist Leader (Glasgow, Scotland). Sept. 13, 1958.

Khan, M.T., Mankind (Hyderabad, India), November 1960.

Lichtheim, George, New York Review of Books (New York), Dec. 17, 1964.

Maclntyre, Alasdair, Universities and Left Review (Oxford, England), Autumn 1958.

Palmier, Jean-Michel,  Le Monde (Paris), Sept. 3, 1971.

s.n. , The Times Literary Supplement (London), Aug. 21, 1959.

Sordo, Margarita, Uno Mas Uno (Mexico City), Jan. 30, 1979.

Thompson, Fred, Industrial Worker (Chicago). March 17, 1958.

Yamada, Sobuku, Reader's Weekly (Tokyo), Oct. 19, 1964.


Afary, Janet, "The Contribution of of Raya Dunayevskaya, 1910-1987: A Study in Hegelian Marxist Feminism, Extramares(1)1, 1989. pp. 35-55.

--------, "Marxist-Humanism, An Interview With Raya Dunayevskaya," Chicago Literary Review(94)41, March 15, 1985. p. 16.

Anderson, Andrew, “The Johnson-Forest Tendency in the the US. Hegel Seminar, Nov. 20, 1998.

Anderson, Kevin, chapter 8, "From 1954 to Today: Lefebvre, Colletti, Althusser, and Dunayevskaya," in Lenin, Hegel and Western Marxism: A Critical Study, Univers2ity of Illinois Press: Urbana, 1995.

--------, "Marx Redux?" Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews(34)3, May 2005. pp. 233-240.

--------, "Recent Writings of R. Dunayevskaya, Hegel-Studien(21), 1986. pp. 186-188.

--------, "A Preliminary Exploration of the Dunayevskaya-Marcuse Dialog, 1954-79," Quarterly Journal of Ideology(13)4, 1989. pp. 21-28. See also Kellner.

--------, "Response to Kellner on the Dunayevskaya-Marcuse Dialogue," Quarterly Journal of Ideolgoy(13)4, 1989. pp. 31-33. See Kellner.

--------, "Remarks Given at Rosa Luxemburg conference, Paris, May 1983. Later published in Rosa Luxemburg Aujourd'hui.

-------, "Sources of Marxist-Humanism: Fanon, Kosik, Dunayevskaya," Quarterly Journal of Ideology(10)4, 1986. pp. 15-29.

Beasley-Murray, Jon, "Against Parochialism," Radical Philosophy 123, January/February 2004.

Dent, Shirley, "Disturbing the Silence," review of Adrienne Rich, Arts of the Possible, in New Humanist, Sept. 1, 2002.

Dumain, R., “Weird Blake Sightings: Raya Dunayevskaya,” Blake List Archive, Feb. 19, 1997. http://www.albion.com/blake/archive/volume1997/21.html

Easton, Judith, "Raya Dunayevskaya," Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain(16), Autumn/Winter 1987. pp. 7-12.

Gogol, Eugene, The Concept of Other in Latin American Philosophy Currents, Issues, Debates, Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 2003.

-----, Raya Dunayevskaya: Philosopher of Marxist-Humanism, Wipfandstock Publishers: Eugene, Oregon, 2003.

Greeman, Richard, "Raya Dunayevskaya: Thinker, Fighter, Revolutionary," Against the Current, January/February 1988.

Hudis, Peter, "Acheh: The Social Form of `Natural' Disaster," Politics and Culture, Issue 2, 2005. http://aspen.conncoll.edu/politicsandculture/page.cfm?key=376

--------, "The Death of the Death of the Subject," Historical Materialism(12)2, 2004. Critique of Moishe Postone, Time, Labor and Social Domination.

--------, "Developing a Philosophically Grounded Alternative to Capitalism," Socialism and Democracy(19)2, July 2005. pp. 91-98.

--------, Harry McShane and the Roots of Scottish Marxist Humanism, Glasgow(?): John MacLean Society, 1993(?)

-------, "Iraq and the Idea of Freedom," New Politics (forthcoming).

-------, "The Philosophic Ambiguities of C.L.R. James," Socialism and Democracy(19)2, July 2005. pp. 207-214.

--------, "Workers as Reason: The Development of a New Relation of Worker and Intellectual in American Marxist-Humanism," Historical Materialism(11)4, pp. 267–293.

Jeannot, Thomas M., "Dunayevskaya, Critical Theory, and the Quest for Radical Subjectivity," paper, Radical Philosophy Conference, Nov. 10, 2002.

--------, "Raya Dunayevskaya's Conception of Ultimate Reality and Meaning," Ultimate Reality and Meaning(22)4, December 1999. pp. 276-293.

Kelly, George Armstrong, Hegel’s retreat from Eleusis : Studies in Political Thought, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, c1978.

Kellner, Douglas, "A Comment on the Dunayevskaya-Marcuse Dialogue," Quarterly Journal of Ideology(13)4, 1989. p. 29. See Anderson in this section.

Kliman, Andrew, "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Correct It," in Luciano Vasapollo, ed., An Old Myth, Media Print Edizioni: Napoli, 2002. (Italian and English)

--------, "Introduction: Marx's Capital in the Struggle for a New Human Society," Hobgoblin(6), 2005. pp.3-5.

--------, review of Fred Moseley ed., Marx's Method in Capital: A Reexamination, in Rethinking Marxism 8(3), 1985, pp. 151-153.

Kovel, Joel, "Thinking the Unthinkable," Socialism and Democracy(19)2, July 2005. pp. 116-123.

Liukkonen, Petri, "Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919)," Calendar of Books and Writers, Pegasos, 1999: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/luxembur.htm

Moon, Terry, "Dunayevskaya, Raya," in Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. pp. 238-241. See also Schultz.

--------, and Franklin Dmitryev, "On the 150th Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto: Revolution in Permanence as Marx's Organizing Idea," Progressive Sociologists Network, 1998.

McLaren, Peter, Capitalists and Conquerors: A Critical Pedagogy Against Empire, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.

--------, Compañeras and Compañeros, eds., Red Seminars: Radical Excursions into Educational Theory, Cultural  Politics, and Pedagogy, Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 2005.

McLaren, Peter and Ramin Farahmandpur, Teaching Against Global Capitalism and the New Imperialism, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005.

McLaren,  Peter and Glenn Rikowski,  "Pedagogy for Revolution against Education for Capital: An E-dialogue on Education in Capitalism Today,” Cultural Logic: An E-Journal of Marxist Theory and Practice, January–February 2001. http://clogic.eserver.org/4-1/mclaren&rikowski.html

Pen, Jennifer, “Sexism and Heterosexism in Engels,” Queer Notions, December 1997. http://www.graphicgirlz.com/qniii/engels.htm

Plaut, Eric A. and Kevin Anderson, eds., Marx on Suicide, Northwestern University Press: Evanston, Ill., 1999. Also Neuer ISP Verlag: Köln, 2001.

Randall, Margaret, Gathering Rage: The Failure of Twentieth Century Revolutions to develop a Feminist Agenda, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1992.

Rich, Adrienne, What is Found There, [publication information forthcoming]. Pp. 234, 293.

Rockwell, Russell,  "Hegel and Critical Social Theory: New Perspectives from the Marcuse Archives," The Sociological Quarterly(45)1. pp. 141–159.

--------, "Hegel and Social Theory in Critical Theory and Marxist-Humanism," International Journal of Philosophy(32)1, 2003. pp. 91–??.

Schultz, Rima Lunin and Adele Hast, "Introduction," in Women Building Chicago 1790-1990, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. See also Moon.

s.n., "Raya Dunayevskaya Archive 1910-1987," The Marxist Internet Archive," n.d.: http://marxists.org/archive/dunayevskaya/index.htm

Shea, Marilyn, "Women in Chinese History," 1997: http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/womtxt.html#D

Watson, Ben "Phenomenology of One Size Fits All: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Frank Zappa," Zappanale 14, July 25, 2003: http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/zappo/OSFAweb.htm

--------, "The Absurdity of 'Marxist Interpretations of Culture': Out to Lunch addresses the academy (and disses György Lukács)", and several others, in Militant Esthetix. http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/critlit/mic/mictext.htm

Welsh, John F., "Reconstructing Capital: The American Roots and Humanist Vision of Marx's Thought," Midwest Quarterly 43, 2002. pp. 274–287.

Worcester, Kent, C. L. R. James: A Political Biography, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996.

This part of the News & Letters website is made possible by The Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund. The fund was initiated by John Dwyer, Dunayevskaya's colleague and partner, in 1988 following her death. Its aim is to make Dunayevskaya's writings available and discussed as widely as possible. For reprints, proposals, and information, contact:

The Raya Dunayevskaya Memorial Fund
228 S. Wabash, Suite 230
Chicago IL 60604 USA
Or email: rdmf@newsandletters.org

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