Marxism and Freedom was originally published in What are the distinctive themes introduced by Dunayevskaya and further developed in her later writings? She showed that for Marx everything centers on overcoming the perverse relation of subject and object in the labor process under the capitalist mode of production. Thus, the mastery of the capitalist over the worker is based on the mastery of things over man, of dead labor machines over living labor.

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Background[ edit ] Of Jewish descent, Dunayevskaya was born Raya Shpigel in the Podolian Governorate of the Russian Empire present-day Ukraine and emigrated to the United States in her name changed to Rae Spiegel and joined the revolutionary movement in her childhood. By the following year she found a group of independent Trotskyists in Boston , led by Antoinette Buchholz Konikow , an advocate of birth control and legal abortion.

Along with theorists such as C. Toward the end of her life, she stated that what she called "my real development" only began after her break with Trotsky. Much of her initial analysis was published in The New International in — James she being "Freddie Forest" and he "J. Johnson", named for their party cadre names. Socialist Workers Party[ edit ] Differences within the WP steadily widened, and in , after a brief period of independent existence during which they published a series of documents, the tendency returned to the ranks of the SWP.

Their membership in the SWP was based on a shared insistence that there was a pre-revolutionary situation just around the corner, and the shared belief that a Leninist party must be in place to take advantage of the coming opportunities. By , with the failure of their shared perspective to materialize, the tendency developed a theory that rejected Leninism and saw the workers as being spontaneously revolutionary.

This was borne out for them by the U. In later years, they were to pay close attention to automation , especially in the automobile industry , which they came to see as paradigmatic of a new stage of capitalism. This led to the tendency leaving the SWP again to begin independent work.

In she initiated a decades long correspondence with the Critical Theorist, Herbert Marcuse, in which the necessity and freedom dialectic in Hegel and Marx became a focal point of contention. She considered these letters to be "the philosophic moment" from which the whole development of Marxist Humanism flowed.

News and Letters Committees[ edit ] In Dunayevskaya moved to Detroit, where she was to live until In — she and C. James engaged in a split[ clarification needed ]. The organization split in and the U.


Raya Dunayevskaya

First edition publ. Blacks, workers, women, and youth struggling for freedom were not faceless masses to be led, she held, but the source of new stages of cognition because in their very actions was embedded a theory of human liberation. One example of this is the West Virginia Miners General Strike of , where Dunayevskaya pointed out that instead of merely demanding higher wages, the workers were asking questions such as, "What kind of labor should man do? The book aimed to "establish the theory of Marxism on native grounds". The Montgomery Bus Boycott , the abolitionist movement, the American Civil War , and the fight for the eight-hour day by American workers were seen by her as revolutionary American struggles which provided fertile ground for the Humanism of Karl Marx. The new stage of Automation in production—whether in the mines with the "continuous miner" a machine the miners called a "mankiller" or in the auto shops—with its consequent speed-up, was also seen by Dunayevskaya as a new stage in American worker revolt.


Marxism and Freedom, From 1776 Until Today




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