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’This place is a thousand times worse than Guantanamo’
Excerpts from a report on the torture of students arrested At Tehran University from Akhbar Rooz
Translator’s note: During the early morning hours of June 15, 2009, The dormitory of Tehran University was attacked by Iranian security forces and plainclothes policemen. Five students were killed and many were arrested. Below is a report which describes the ordeal of the arrested students.
The blatant theft of the June elections has touched off the biggest crisis for the Islamic Republic of Iran in over two decades. Large sectors of the Iranian people have come into the streets to protest, especially youth, women, and intellectuals. Already, the population is beginning to lose its fear, at least in major cities like Isfahan, Tabriz, and Shiraz, and especially Tehran, where protestors have repeatedly confronted the fundamentalist Basiji militia, in some cases driving them off the streets.
The Sichuan earthquake is very terrible; it killed so many people within a brief second, especially many students of middle schools and primary schools, and even some kindergartens. You can imagine how deeply many families are damaged under the policy of population control. The number of victims is increasing every day. The official figure is about 50,000, but most of people in China do not think so.
The German Ideology (1845), often seen as the most materialistic of Marx’s early writings, has been taken up mostly by structuralist and orthodox Marxists, but this work is especially important in terms of understanding Marx’s views on gender and the family to Marxist-Humanists as well.
“Far from expressing a sequence of never-ending progression, the Hegelian dialectic lets retrogression appear as translucent as progression and indeed makes it very nearly inevitable if one ever tries to escape regression by mere faith.”—Raya Dunayevskaya (1)
It may seem ironic that a moment so typified by the crisis of capital calls for a serious critique of the crisis on the Left; however, in the present moment it has become impossible to take on the crisis of existing society without facing the limitations found in prevailing leftist responses to it.
My main argument is that blaming “greedy capitalists” for the present crisis is completely misguided, misleading, and counterproductive… And we will continue to deflect attention from the inhumanity of capital itself so long as focus on such epiphenomenonal factors as greedy capitalists instead of the structural contradictions of the global capitalist system.
Statement of the U.S. Marxist-Humanists
Israel’s war on Gaza killed 1300 Palestinians, over 400 of them children. Its military has committed war crimes on a vast scale. These included indiscriminate shelling and air strikes against a civilian population of 1.4 million people with nowhere to flee. The Israeli armed forces deliberately targeted schools, hospitals, mosques, and United Nations agencies. Israeli forces also used white phosphorus shells in civilian areas, another war crime. In what amounts to a macabre battlefield “experiment,” they additionally used a horrific new weapon, the Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME), which slices up people within a small radius. DIME is likely to be banned under the Geneva Convention.
Israel’s invasion and devastation of the Gaza Strip is one more illustration of that nation’s barbaric behavior toward weaker peoples and nations. Far from the small beleaguered land represented in its own propaganda and that of its US supporters, nuclearly-armed Israel’s war machine is unmatched in the region, allowing it to attack its neighbors with impunity.
The U.S. Marxist-Humanists organization bases itself upon the unique philosophic contributions that have guided Marxist-Humanism since its founding in the 1950s. We do so by working out a unity of theory and practice, worker and intellectual, and philosophy and organization. We aim to develop and project a viable vision of a truly new, human society that can give direction to today’s many freedom struggles. We ground our ideas in the totality of Marx’s Marxism and Raya Dunayevskaya’s body of ideas.
Why Philosophy? Why Now? On the Revolutionary Legacies of Raya Dunayevskaya, CLR James and Anton Pannekoek
It is not enough to follow the negative rejections of vanguardism made by Pannekoek, CLR James and Castoriadis, which are defined by what they critique in such a way as to never figure out how to present organizational responsibility for philosophy as the critical mediation.
An exploration of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit 200 years after its publication, with particular attention to Dunayevskaya’s interpretation of Hegel’s absolute knowing as a new beginning rather than a closed totality – Editors
A look at labor struggles in auto and other industries in light of the deepening economic crisis, especially the housing bubble – Editors
A decade and a half after the end of apartheid, South Africa remains caught in an assortment of contradictions — foremost of which is the growing friction between the government of Thabo Mbeki and the rise of new freedom struggles. Most striking about those struggles is how seriously many take the ideas of liberation – Editors
Resistance on the part of labor, students, women, ethnic minorities, and intellectuals is growing in the face of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s repression and Holocaust denial, and the economic crisis. New philosophical discussions are taking place around Islamic reformism and around the translation of Marxist works by Dunayevskaya and Lukacs, among others. – Editors
Israel’s invasion of Lebanon last summer will have a lasting impact not only on the Middle East but also on the world. Hezbollah is not only becoming the main power in Lebanon, but the war has also made the Iranian government into a major power in the region.