Who We Are

Marxist-Humanist Initiative (MHI) aims to contribute to the transformation of this capitalist world by projecting, developing, and concretizing the philosophy of Karl Marx (1818-1883) and its further development in the Marxist-Humanism articulated by Raya Dunayevskaya (1910-1987).

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and today’s many other social, political and economic crises, make this a moment to engage people in discussion of these ideas. In the US, we are faced with the threat of Trumpism triumphing in all-out authoritarianism, extinguishing our right to carry on these discussions. Yet at the same moment, the multiracial Movement for Black Lives has spread to every corner of the country and the world, launching a flood of activism and new ideas that deepen the concept of freedom.

MHI is dedicated to the task of proving theoretically that an alternative to capitalism is possible. We are distinguished by our economic analyses, in which we do not merely assert, but demonstrate, that the only opposite to the current world economic system is its abolition and replacement with one not based on the production of “value.” Because capitalism cannot be fundamentally reformed, attempts to reform it lead to an intensification of state-capitalism, not to socialism.

We are not a political party. Nor are we trying to lead the masses, who will form their own organizations, and whose emancipation must be their own act. But we have seen that spontaneous actions alone are insufficient to usher in a new society. We seek a new unity of philosophy and organization in which mass movements striving for freedom lay hold of Marx’s philosophy of revolution and recreate society on its basis.

Our ideas and actions, as well as our structure and rules, are guided by the interests of working people and freedom movements of people of color, LGBTQ people, other minorities, women, youth, and all those around the world who are struggling for self-determination in order to freely develop their own human natures. We have no interests separate and apart from theirs. To this end, we open our website to the widest possible dialogue with people around the world. We intend to practice, as well as espouse, a two-way road between our organization and people outside it as essential to developing a single dialectic in the relationship of theory to practice—and as the way to assure the survival of Marxist-Humanism.

MHI was founded in 2009, following the collapse of previous Marxist-Humanist organizations. Our collective is working to create an organization so firmly rooted in its philosophy that it will not succumb to diversions that may arise from personal agendas, and that will be capable of developing and concretizing that philosophy over the long haul, regardless of who its members may be. It is no simple matter to create a democratic organization that is at the same time effective and able to resist efforts to divert it from its goals. We are aware that Marx never achieved an organization based on his philosophy, and that Dunayevskaya’s organization disintegrated following her death. But we have made progress on this matter, with our Principles and By-Laws, and by recognizing that Marxist-Humanism cannot be carried on by chance, or by individuals alone. An organization is needed to test and prove ideas. We invite all to join us in this discussion and initiative.


Karl Marx stood for a new society in which the full and free development of every individual forms the ruling principle. In our new 88-page pamphlet, Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation), Marxist-Humanist Initiative brings this revolutionary humanist philosophy to bear on the singularly critical task of this moment: opposing and defeating Trumpism and other resurgent far-right tendencies.

We encourage everyone to read this pamphlet, to share it widely, and to discuss it with colleagues, friends, family––and with us. Beating back and transcending the latest wave of reaction requires wide and deep discussion among everyone fighting to protect liberal-democratic rights and to continue the struggle until we achieve full freedom for all human beings.

Only $5 + shipping charges. Order your copy here.

It may not be possible to stop US president Donald Trump before he launches the country and the world into a monstrous war, even a nuclear war––and the threat Trump poses to Americans’ civil rights and liberties could be just as fatal. MHI’s Perspectives detail these dangers, but also the strength and determination of the Resistance to defeat Trumpism. We offer the Resistance our ​full support, but warn that it must remain independent––of the Democratic Party and of tendencies on the “left” that would divert it onto an “anti-neoliberal” path. Its goal of ending Trumpism must not be subsumed under others’ agendas and myths about how to defeat capitalism.

These Perspectives challenge the idea that the left can win over Trump’s base and turn white nationalists towards revolutionary socialism. We review a wealth of research which shows conclusively that Trump’s election was not a “white working class” revolt against neoliberalism. Yet that myth remains a key talking point of a newly-resurgent left-populist current. Left-populism seek to win adherents by appealing to popular superstitions and myths, and by offering easy-but-incorrect answers in response to popular discontent. Yet a politics rooted in emotional appeals and myth-making hinders genuine understanding of our current crisis and how to transcend it, and it reproduces existing divisions between mental and manual labor and between leaders and the led. Thus, “post-truth politics” is a real barrier to the self-development of the working class as an independent force for human liberation.

The Perspectives argue that, far from being a revolt against neoliberalism, Trump’s election was an expression of a white-nationalist strain of US politics that long predates neoliberalism. Analysing Marx’s writings on Irish independence and the US Civil War, we arrive at a unique conclusion regarding Trumpism and the so-called “white working class.” To fight white nationalism in the tradition of Marx, ​the way to solidarize with the “white working class” is by helping the Resistance to decisively defeat Trumpism and other far-right forces. Their defeat will help liberate the “white working class” from the grip of reaction and thereby spur the independent emancipatory self-development of working people as a whole.


Please help us out!

Giving to charity is good, but social revolution is better. Please donate to help us with expenses. We have no rich members or supporters, and we have to pay plenty to maintain our website and other necessities. You can send us a donation via PayPal or by check.

See https://marxisthumanistinitiative.org/donate

MHI Panels at NYC Conference

Conference Panels: No War but the Class War

Saturday, June 1, 2024 @ Long Island University. Brooklyn, New York.

2:30-4:15 pm EDT: “Karl Marx Had Your Number: His writings slam today’s left tendencies”

4:45-6:30 pm EDT: “What is Holding Back a Mass Movement Against the Imminent Danger of Trumpist Fascism?”

Conference hosted by Historical Materialism and Institute for the Radical Imagination.

MHI will have a literature table and flyers. Come by to meet us!

For more info, see our article on the conference.

Zoom Meeting: Mexican Masses Fight Authoritarianism

Sunday, May 19, 1-3 pm EDT (6-8 pm BST)

“Mexican Masses Fight Authoritarianism on the Eve of the June Elections”

Discussion led by Francisco Palacios

Send your request to attend at least 3 days in advance to obtain the Zoom link and reading material; state briefly your interest in MHI and your location.

ChatRFH: Special 100th Episode of Radio Free Humanity

This milestone ep. in September consisted of a dialogue between the co-hosts and the online audience via the “chat,” and was streamed live as well as recorded. The recording is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPhLS7oAF2k

“Envisaging Socialism”: Zoom Roundtable Discussion

The recording of the discussion, which took place on March 25, 2023, can be watched here. Panelists include Andrew Kliman and 8 other contributors to recent special issue of the Journal of Global Faultlines. See article for more info.

Request Invitation to Meetings

MHI holds monthly meetings via Skype, some meetings open to guests. If you wish to be invited to a meeting, write to MHI’s email and tell us a little about yourself and why you wish to attend.

Email: mhi@marxisthumanistinitiative.org


online version:

Resisting Trumpist Reaction
(and Left Accommodation)

Now also available as a pamphlet for $5. Order here. Now also available as a video series.

cover of 2018 Perspectives, _Resisting Trumpist Reaction (and Left Accommodation)_

Our Perspectives thesis includes:

• Trumpism in Power, Aided by the Soft-on-Trump Left, Threatens Life and Liberty
• The Resistance: A Permanent State of Revolt Against Trumpism
• Economic Mythology of Left-Populist Alternatives to Neoliberalism
• Combatting “Post-Truth Politics,” in Practice and in Theory
• Combatting White Nationalism: Lessons from Marx
• Individual Responsibility for the Collective Development of Marxist-Humanism




Co-hosted by Gabriel Donnelly & Andrew Kliman. Features in-depth interviews and analyses, plus commentary on the news. New episodes every two weeks.



“Raya Dunayevskaya: Biography of an Idea”

MHI is happy to distribute this documentary film by Alex Fletcher. It explores many major concepts of the philosopher, activist, and feminist Raya Dunayevskaya, who developed Marxist-Humanism over much of the last century, up until her death in 1987. The 79-minute film contains rare video clips of her speeches and offers glimpses of material in her archives, as well as featuring interviews of 3 MHI members who belonged to Dunayevskaya’s organization during her lifetime.

Film now available here. Review and trailer here.

Contact us if you would like MHI to join a discussion at your screening:

Kliman-Harvey Marx Debate

“Capitalism’s Crises: A Debate”

Contributions by Andrew Kliman, David Harvey, and Doug Lain. Appendix by Raya Dunayevskaya.

The recent debate between Harvey and Kliman (and Marx!) is collected here in one place. 54-page pamphlet. Price $5 + postage.

Order through Literature page.

Marxist-Humanist Initiative