• 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 Stalin’s 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 Lenin’s “Abstract of Hegel’s 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 Lenin’s 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 Tendency’s newspaper, Correspondence. For Grace Lee, Stalin’s death ended in depoliticalization. For Dunayevskaya, it was a world-shaking event which—in the weeks between Stalin’s death and the East German Revolt—led to her philosophic breakthrough on Hegel’s 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 Company’s Homestead Plant e. Article on nationwide communication workers’ strike against Bell Telephone. Typescript.

  • 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 “Lenin’s Outline of Hegel’s 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 Lenin’s Philosophic Notebooks, see Bulletin of News and Letters Committees, Lenin’s Abstract of Hegel’s 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 Lenin’s 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 Dunayevskaya’s translation of Lenin’s Philosophic Notebooks and her accompanying notes on them in Feb. and March 1949.

  • 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

    Dunayevskaya’s 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.

  • (5) Lenin, The Theoretic Mistakes of the Narodniki

    the greater part of Chapter One of Lenin’s Development of Capitalism in Russia. Published as “Origins of Capitalism in Russia,” N.I., Oct. 1943, Nov. 1943, Dec. 1943.

  • (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.

  • 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.

  • (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 “Worker’s 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 Worker’s Journal. See Vol. IX, Sec. II.)

  • (5) Correspondence newspaper:

  • b. Printed

    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.

  • Section I — Fourteen Letters from Leon Trotsky to Rae Spiegel (Raya Dunayevskaya). June 12, 1937 to Dec. 12, 1939

    Subjects include Trotsky’s acceptance of Rae Spiegel as Russian secretary; work on the Russian Bulletin of the Opposition; research work for Trotsky’s 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 Spiegel’s translation of Trotsky’s Civil War speeches on the Red Army. Jan. 5, 1933.(5) Letter by Leon Trotsky to Harold Isaacs on Rae Spiegel’s work on Trotsky’s preface to Isaacs’ Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution. Feb. 5, 1938.(6) “The Man Trotsky,” by Rae Spiegel. Typescript of article. 1938.