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Of the many issues facing the effort to rethink the idea of revolution today, few are more vexing than that of state power. Does social revolution center on the political seizure of state power? If it doesn”t, what must be done instead? Can a revolution transform human relations so fundamentally that we will not again be confronted with a statist bureaucracy after the overthrow of the old?
What is new today is not that the U.S. is willing to unilaterally invade other countries, but that Bush has declared the right to do so against any country, at any time, at any spot on the globe. There is a growing base for building a movement that is totally opposed to both Bush’s war against Iraq and his effort to plunge this country into permanent military adventurism. Yet to realize this potential it is essential for anti-war activists not to repeat the mistakes of the past by simply projecting a narrow, knee-jerk reaction to U.S. policies. We cannot afford to ignore the crimes of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein just because we oppose Bush. We cannot ignore the suffering of the Kurds just because some of their leaders are being used by the U.S. – Editors
A tribute to the Chinese philosopher and journalist Wang Ruoshui (1926-2002), who was persecuted from the 1960s onwards for defending socialist humanism. He came under particular attack in the 1980s for arguing that alienation existed under “socialism” in China. Later coming into contact with US Marxist-Humanists, Wang wrote the preface to the 1999 Chinese translation of Dunayevskaya’s Marxism and Freedom – Editors
The crisis afflicting the anti-war movement goes deeper than the dominance of one or another “vanguard” party, though they have done plenty of damage. Rather, the problem is political and conceptual: a failure to recognize that the present moment calls for a total view, in which opposition to U.S. imperialism is made absolutely inseparable from a critique of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism and a projection of the kind of new, human society we are for – Editors
A two-fold disaster descended upon the world with the cruel and inhuman terrorist attack on New York and Washington, D.C. on Sept. 11. The first was the terrorist attack, which created a level of destruction and mayhem not seen in a U.S. city since the Civil War. The second is the Bush administration’s response to it by declaring a “state of war” and engaging in total militarization, at home and abroad.
A review of Georg Lukacs’s recently discovered manuscript, published as Tailism and the Dialectic. This previously unpublished book was written as a defense of Lukacs’s History and Class Consciousness (1923) in response to attacks on it from within the Communist International by Abram Deborin and Laszlo Rudas. Originally composed in 1925 or 1926, Lukacs’s Tailism is somewhat of a disappointment in that it reduces the concept of subjectivity to a defense of the vanguard party. At the same time, Lukacs continues in muted form his earlier critique of Engels’s scientism and the book contains some brilliant insights on Hegel. It is unfortunate that philosophers like Slavoj Zizek and Trotskyist writers like Jonathan Rees have embraced Tailism uncritically today, using it to attack Rosa Luxemburg for having criticized Lenin’s single-party state – Editors
An analysis of the April 2001 rebellion in the Black community of Cincinnati in response to the police murder of a young man, Timothy Thomas. Though racial profiling, harassment, and murder of Blacks by the police have become an everyday fact of life in this country, Cincinnati included, the events that followed Thomas’ death were anything but normal. The ensuing events represented one of those unusual moments when the everyday becomes extraordinary, when what is considered normal suddenly becomes the object of discussion, argument, and critique. In response to Thomas’ death, Black Cincinnati exploded in the most massive urban upheaval since the Los Angeles rebellion of 1992 – Editors
Karl Marx penned his CRITIQUE OF THE GOTHA PROGRAM 125 years ago. This anniversary, however, is not the main reason to study this document. Rather, the need to seriously grapple with it today is occasioned by our desire to work out an alternative to capital. The question to be posed here is: how can we be convinced, and in turn convince others, that a new society based on a conscious collective effort to reevaluate and satisfy human needs can prevail over the current trampling of humanity and the environment at the service of the self-expansion of value?
This article argues that while the limitations of Hegel’s political reconciliation with existing reality has long been evident, the depth of Marx’s challenge to capital cannot be fully comprehended, let alone restated for today, without a re-encounter with Marx’s rootedness in and transcendence of Hegel’s concept of absolute negativity. The need to go beyond critiques of private property and the market by projecting ground for the negation of capital creates a compulsion to return to Hegel at his most ‘abstract’ level — the Absolute.
This article originally appeared in Capital & Class, No. 70, Spring 2000