VOLUME III: 1949-1955 — FROM THE MINERS GENERAL STRIKE TO THE EAST GERMAN REVOLT; FROM THE APPEARANCE OF DIFFERENCES IN THE JOHNSON-FOREST TENDENCY TO THE HISTORIC RE-EMERGENCE OF MARXS HUMANISM
Section I 1949-1953 Workers Revolts and Philosophic Breakthroughs
The critical four years, 1949-1953, began with a new stage of production, Automation, and of revolt, the Miners General Strike. They ended with Stalins death, in April 1953, followed by the East German revolt of June. Within the Johnson-Forest Tendency, Dunayevskaya was active in the 1949-1950 Miners General Strike, while at the same time translating Lenins Abstract of Hegels Science of Logic, included in his Philosophic Notebooks. Those Abstracts and her commentary on them became part of a three-way philosophic correspondence between herself, James, and Grace Lee (Boggs), 1949-1951. The strike and the translations made Dunayevskaya pose two new vantage points for the book she was working on with James and Lee: the American proletariat and Lenins Philosophic Notebooks. Three years later the death of Stalin suddenly brought forth extremely different analyses on the parts of Grace Lee and Raya Dunayevskaya. This was reflected in the very first issue of the Tendencys newspaper, Correspondence. For Grace Lee, Stalin’s death ended in depoliticalization. For Dunayevskaya, it was a world-shaking event whichin the weeks between Stalin’s death and the East German Revoltled to her philosophic breakthrough on Hegels Absolute Idea as a movement from practice as well as from theory. That philosophic breakthrough revealed in embryo the split-to-be within the Johnson-Forest Tendency that came in 1955. It as well reflected back to the period 1949-1953 to show the inadequacy of a state-capitalist theory without Marxist-Humanist philosophy.
A. The Miners' General Strike of 1949-1950
(1) Articles by F. Forest that appeared in the Militant:
a. Pa. Miners Determined to Continue Battle b. The Miners Wives c. Auto Union Relief Caravan Hailed in Coal Mining Town d. Walkout Closes Steel Companys Homestead Plant e. Article on nationwide communication workers’ strike against Bell Telephone. Typescript.
(2) Letter to a Miner
by Forest, March 14, 1950. On the strike and the form of a possible article on coal.
(3) Minutes of Tri-State (West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio) meeting
with F. Forest on the strike.
B. Philosophic Vantage Points
(1) First English Translation of Lenin's Abstract of Hegel’s Science of Logic
by Forest, 1949. Translated from Leninski Sbornik, IX (1929), XII (1933), Moscow. An 82-page typescript plus nine additional pages on Lenins Outline of Hegels lectures on the History of Philosophy. Her comments on them begin within the period of translation. (See Raya Dunayevskaya, C.L.R. James and Grace Lee (Boggs): Philosophic Correspondence. 1949-51, Vol. III, Sec. 1C.) They continue with that discussion led by Dunayevskaya on the form of the book-in-the-making. (See Discussion led by Raya Dunayevskaya on new form of book-in-the- making from two vantage points, Vol. III, Sec. IB.) They lead to her own encounter with Hegelian philosophy. (See Letters on the Absolute Idea, Vol. LII, Sec. IE.) (For first English publication of Lenins Philosophic Notebooks, see Bulletin of News and Letters Committees, Lenins Abstract of Hegels Science of Logic, Vol. IV, Sec. 1, and Appendix to 1958 edition of Marxism and Freedom.)
(2) Discussion led by Raya Dunayevskaya on new form of book-in-the-making from two vantage points: American proletariat and Lenins Philosophic Notebooks,
Feb. 15, 1950. A discussion involving Dunayevskaya, Grace Lee, C.L.R. James and J. Zupan, a worker.
C. Raya Dunayevskaya, C.L.R. James and-Grace Lee (Boggs): Philosophic Correspondence, 1949-51
Thirty-five unpublished letters between Dunayevskaya, James and Lee written from February 1949 through January 1951. The correspondence begins with Dunayevskayas translation of Lenins Philosophic Notebooks and her accompanying notes on them in Feb. and March 1949.
D. Second Draft of Book, 1952
This is the second draft, by Forest, of what was then called The Lenin Book. A 66-page manuscript on Lenin and Marx.
E. Letters on the Absolute Idea
Two letters, by Dunayevskaya, of May 12 and May 20, 1953, written to Hauser (Grace Lee). These two letters are considered by Dunayevskaya to form the decisive philosophic point of departure for our age.
F. Preparation for book on State-capitalism and Marxism
Dunayevskayas preparation included translating works of Marx, Lenin, Luxemburg and Plekhanov, stretching through the 1940s and ’50s.
(1) Marx, from the first edition of Capital,
Table of Contents page and Appendix to Chapter 1, Sec. 1, The Form of Value. Translated from the first Russian Edition of 1872 (based on German edition of 1867). One page Table of Contents; two pages of notes; Appendix of 17 pages.
(2) Marx, The Results of the Direct Process of Production
Chapter 6, the original unpublished ending of Capital. Translated from Arkhivv Marksa-Engelsa, Vol. II (VII), Adoratsky, ed., Moscow, 1933. One-page Introduction plus 30 pages.
(3) Marx, from Theories of Surplus Value, Vols. II and III
From Vol. III: Part 3, I. Thomas Malthus; II. The Disintegration of the Ricardian School; VII. Profit, interest and Vulgar Economy. From Vol. II: Part 2, III. Accumulation of Capital and Crisis (continued). 32 pages.
(4) Marx, On A. Wagner.
Translated from Arkhivy Marksa-Engelsa, Book Vol. V, Ryazanov, ed., Moscow, 1930. Two pages followed by 13 pages.
(5) Lenin, The Theoretic Mistakes of the Narodniki
the greater part of Chapter One of Lenins Development of Capitalism in Russia. Published as Origins of Capitalism in Russia, N.I., Oct. 1943, Nov. 1943, Dec. 1943.
(6) Lenin,One Step Forward, Two Steps Back.
Translated from Lenins Collected Works, Russian edition, Vol. 30. Seven pages.
(7) Excerpts from Resolutions of the Russian Marxist Congresses 1898-1932
the first through the eleventh Congress (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party; Bolsheviks; United Congress; Russian Communist Party). Translated from Protokily S’esdov Y Konferentaii VKP (B), Moscow, 1932. Five pages.
(8) Luxemburg, excerpts from her 1913 work, Accumulation of Capital.
Translated from the Russian edition.
Section II 1951-1955 — From the Establishment of Correspondence Committees to the Split between Johnson and Forest
Upon leaving the SWP, the Johnson-Forest Tendency experimented with existing as a separate organization, Correspondence Committees. Raya Dunayevskaya became chairman of the Committees. First a mimeographed, then a printed paper, Correspondence, was issued.
(1) Report and Discussion on Break with SWP (1951?) and The End of an Epoch (1951?).
The former document contains Our Ten Years and The Historical Significance of our break from American Trotskyism; the latter was a letter by J.R. Johnson to a British Marxist.
(2) Our Organization: American Roots and World Concepts
an unfinished rough draft, presented by Raya Dunayevskaya for discussion at first Convention of Correspondence Committees, July 1953.
(3) Indignant Heart, by Matthew Ward (Charles Denby), 1952.
The first part of an autobiography of a Black auto worker on his life in the South, in the Northern auto plants, and in the radical movement. After publication of Part I, Charles Denby became editor of News & Letters, writing his Workers Journal column in its pages. (Part II of the autobiography was written in the late 1970s and published in 1978 together with Part I as Indignant Heart: A Black Workers Journal. See Vol. IX, Sec. II.)
(4) The People of Kenya Speak for Themselves, by Mbiyu Koinange
dated 1955. actually written in 1953 and circulated in manuscript through 1954.
(5) Correspondence newspaper:
Nov. 1951 to June 1953, biweekly. Selected articles include dispute with Grace Lee on the significance of Stalin’s death.
Oct. 1953 to March 1953, biweekly. Selected articles. Raya Dunayevskaya’s column was called Two Worlds: Notes from a Diary, but was unsigned, as was her analysis of the Beria Purge in the lead article of the first issue, which resulted in a continuing dispute in the following issues.
APPENDIX I: LEON TROTSKY: LETTERS, CONVERSATIONS, UNPUBLISHED DOCUMENTS
Section I — Fourteen Letters from Leon Trotsky to Rae Spiegel (Raya Dunayevskaya). June 12, 1937 to Dec. 12, 1939
Subjects include Trotskys acceptance of Rae Spiegel as Russian secretary; work on the Russian Bulletin of the Opposition; research work for Trotskys book, Stalin; Moscow Frame-up Trials.
Section II — Twelve Letters and one telegram from Rae Spiegel to Leon Trotsky. June 10, 1937 to Nov. 10, 1939
Subjects include work for the Russian Bulletin; work in the Black community in the U.S.A.; research on 1907 RSDLP Congress for Stalin book.
Section III — Rae Spiegel’s translations of Leon Trotsky’s writings; other translations, articles and related letters. 1937-38.
(1) Ninety Years of the Communist Manifesto: Preface to the First Edition of the Manifesto in the Afrikaans language, by Leon Trotsky. Typescript of English translation. Oct. 30, 1937. Includes letter from Trotsky to Shachtman on the translation.(2) D.I. Mendeleyev and Marxism, by Leon Trotsky. Typescript of the English translation. (n.d.) Includes letter from Trotsky to Shachtman on the translation.(3) The Meaning of Hegel, by George Plekhanov. Translation produced while Rae Spiegel was with Trotsky. Microfilm copy is from first publication of the essay in Fourth International, 1949.(4) Letter by Leon Trotsky to Max Shachtman on Rae Spiegels translation of Trotskys Civil War speeches on the Red Army. Jan. 5, 1933.(5) Letter by Leon Trotsky to Harold Isaacs on Rae Spiegels work on Trotskys preface to Isaacs Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution. Feb. 5, 1938.(6) The Man Trotsky, by Rae Spiegel. Typescript of article. 1938.
Section IV — Leon Trotsky, Sara Weber, Rae Spiegel: correspondence on Russian secretary; on the Russian Bulletins; on Red Army articles. Sept. 2, 1937-Aug. 17, 1938.
Section V — Russian Bulletin of the Opposition. Dec. 1932 issue.
Actual miniaturized copy. Also included is rough list by Rae Spiegel of contents of all issues of Russian Bulletin, 1929-39.
Section VI — Leon Trotsky: Letters, Conversations, Unpublished Documents, 1930-37.
Includes Trotskys correspondence with Andres Nin, James P. Cannon, Max Shachtman, Martin Abern.