‘The Monster Machine’—Raya Dunayevskaya on Capitalist Production, 1960

A January 1960 text by Raya Dunayevskaya—”State Capitalism and the Bureaucrats“—has just been released by the Marxists Internet Archive. This article originally appeared in The Socialist Leader, the newspaper of the Independent Labour Party. Although long past its heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, the ILP maintained a newspaper until it re-merged into the Labour Party in 1975.

Dunayevskaya had just visited Italy to attend an international conference of tendencies adhering to a state-capitalist (regarding the USSR) position, which was organized by Onorato Damen. The text of speeches she delivered to workers in Genoa and Milan on this occasion can be found in the microfilmed Raya Dunayevskaya Collection (see #9470 and #9474). Dunayevskaya also visited the UK on this trip, meeting with Peter Cadogan, who was instrumental in publishing her Nationalism, Communism, Marxist Humanism and the Afro-Asian Revolutions in Britain in 1960, and the Scottish Marxist-Humanist Harry McShane.

The text is a stirring indictment of the theory and practice of what can be called the high era of automated production. This piece is notable for Dunayevskaya’s discussion of such figures as sociologist C. Wright Mills, the philosopher Hannah Arendt, and Norbert Weiner, the father of now largely forgotten school of cybernetics. Note that in this piece she cites her 1947 manuscript, Marxism and State Capitalism (see The Raya Dunayevskaya Collection, #472-#504). This was the text that was to be developed into Marxism and Freedom, published in 1958.

The British-English spelling of the article as published has been retained here.

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One thought on “‘The Monster Machine’—Raya Dunayevskaya on Capitalist Production, 1960

  1. Pingback: From the archive of struggle no.66 « Poumista

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