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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal seeks to promote the exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of "socialism" that arose in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela, as well as the continuing example of socialist Cuba, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is a journal for "Socialism of the 21st century", and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.

Links is also proud to be the sister publication of Green Left Weekly, the world's leading red-green newspaper, and we urge readers to visit that site regularly.

Please explore Links and subscribe (click on "Subscribe to Links" or "Follow Links on Twitter" in the left menu). Links welcomes readers' constructive comments (but please read the "Comments policy" above).

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Create one, two, many Rojava revolutions!

 

 

By Peter Boyle

 

December 10, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Hawzhin Azeez: Reflections of a Kurdish Feminist — Solidarity is a core value of the Socialist Alliance. Wherever we see people fighting tyranny or oppression our response is one of solidarity. Many of our founding members, including myself, had come to our socialist convictions when we were part of the powerful solidarity movement for the Vietnamese struggle against US imperialism.”

 

So when people started rising in the Middle East in the so-called “Arab Spring” revolts we jumped into solidarity action once again. Knee-jerk  solidarity with the oppressed, you could say. We were in the streets with the Egyptian community when it took to the streets around Australia and when the people in Syria rose up we helped organise one of the first solidarity actions in Sydney.

 

Linking class and gender theory

 

 

Reviewed by Pip Hinman

 

Social Reproduction Theory
Edited by Tithi Bhattacharya
Pluto Press $45

 

December 7, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The rise of #MeToo, the anti-rape culture movement in India, the US women's strike and the pro-choice movements that have rocked Ireland and Argentina reveal that a new generation of feminist activists — some of whom may not have heard of “second-wave feminism” nor read the debates — is now organising for change.

 

They are fighting back because their hopes and aspirations for a better, more equal life are being thwarted. They experience oppression as women and as workers. They may not all identify as feminist (thanks to liberal feminism), but they are fighters against women’s oppression nonetheless.

 

These are some of the people Tithi Bhattacharya hopes to reach with Social Reproduction Theory, a collection of essays that focus on developing and linking class and gender theory.

 

Value in a divided world

 

 

By Neville Spencer

 

Modern Imperialism, Monopoly Finance Capital and Marx’s Law of Value
By Samir Amin
Monthly Review Press, 2018

 

December 7, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — One of the most obvious and abhorrent features of the global economy is the stark division of the world into a wealthy “North” and a poor “South” — a division that Egyptian-born economist Samir Amin often referred to as one of “centre” and “periphery”.

 

Amin, former director of the Third World Forum in Senegal, is renowned as one of the most significant theorists in the field of global economics, uneven development and imperialism. His work is a major reference point in explaining the origin and nature of the North/South divide.

 

Modern Imperialism, Monopoly Finance Capital and Marx’s Law of Value was published shortly before his death in August. It comprises his 2010 work The Law of Value Worldwide and several essays explaining and expanding upon the themes of that work.

 

Interview with Indian socialist, feminist and student leader Sucheta De

 

 

December 7, 2018 
 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Sucheta De is a former JNU President and current President of the All India Students Association. She is a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation and has experience in fighting the reactionary policies of the Modi government against women, students and the poor.

 

Sucheta De will be speaking at the Socialist Alliance's national conference in January 2019. More information at socialist-alliance.org

 

This interview was conducted at a CPIML Liberation conference earlier this year.

 

Trotsky’s revolutionary ideas – originality or continuity?

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

 

 

December 2, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Although I consider myself a Trotskyist (just as I consider myself a Leninist and a Marxist), there is something that has gotten me into trouble with some friends who also identify as Trotskyists.[1]

 

What Is Trumpism?

 

 

By Barry Sheppard

 

December 2, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Among socialists and the broader left there have been a range of views about what Donald Trump represents. These range from that Trump is an aberration and that things will return to “normal” once he is gone, to that Trump is working toward establishing fascism.

 

I reject the first view. Since 2008 politics in the U.S. and much of the world has undergone an important shift. There is no return.

 

Those who hold the latter view point to Trump’s overt racism and misogyny, his threats to unleash new wars (even nuclear war), his championing of restrictions on democratic rights, his open America First nationalism, his urging his audiences to attack protesters and reporters, his attacks on the press and so forth. Fascist ideology indeed encompasses these traits, but carries them to an extreme.

 

Antonio Gramsci and the Modern Prince

 

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

 

December 1, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – In this period of global crises and ferment, radical and revolutionary activists are reaching for modes of organization and political practice that can help advance their struggle for human liberation. For growing numbers, the political and organizational perspectives of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin are becoming a pole of attraction – providing an increasingly desired coherence and revolutionary edge. Yet the Leninist tradition can most fruitfully be understood not as providing dogmatic Truths fashioned by a revolutionary genius, but rather as a collective project and process, creatively fashioned and made relevant by insightful, passionate activists engaging with a variety of contexts. 

 

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) offers an incredibly rich way of articulating and applying Leninist perspectives.

Cuba's first military doctors

 

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

December 1, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Cuba's deployment of military doctors to Africa in the 1960s was secret, known only at the highest level of government.  Accounts of these hidden efforts were not published until the beginning of the 21stcentury. 

 

Portugal: Convention gears up Left Bloc for year of critical fights

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 20, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalIn 2019, European and legislative elections will take place in Portugal in a national political context different from any other in the European Union (EU), where austerity policy still prevails and the rise of the racist and xenophobic right seems unstoppable.

 

'Being treated like slaves': Why migrant exploitation exists

 

 

By Mike Treen

 

November 16, 2018 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Recently Unite Union discovered a case of migrant exploitation where the workers talked about being “treated like slaves”.

 

In a capitalist society labour is meant to be “free” – unlike the forced labour associated with slavery. Workers are not meant to be the property of an individual owner. But it is also meant to be free in the sense that the worker is not bound to the land like feudal conditions. Then the serfs had no right to leave the land but the owner had no right to evict them either. Creating a class of “free labour” under capitalism involved the forced eviction of peasants from the land.

 

Right-wing coup or popular revolt? The April 2018 Nicaraguan uprising examined

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 16, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This document investigates the causes of the student protests that broke out on April 18 against the Nicaraguan government’s decree changing the regulations governing the country’s Institute for Social Security (INSS). The subsequent conflict has to date claimed at least 269 lives.

 

The research focuses on the period from April 18 to April 30 because what actually happened in these first days of the conflict is key to reaching a conclusion about which of two opposing accounts of its cause is most believable. The first account is that of the Nicaraguan government. This is that the events amounted to an attempt at a right-wing coup against a democratically elected administration , a coup successfully defeated with the minimum possible use of force. The INSS changes were merely a pretext for launching the coup attempt. For the opposition, by contrast, the events amounted to a revolt against a regime that suppressed protest with violence: police and paramilitary forces using military-grade weaponry were deployed to crush peaceful demonstrations that in reaction to state repression escalated into a popular uprising for justice and democracy.

 

Catalonia: The struggle over strategy in the independence movement

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

October 26, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal Last December 21, the three parliamentary forces supporting Catalan independence-- Together for Catalonia (JxCat), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the People’s Unity List (CUP)--together won a 70-65 seat majority in the 135-seat Catalan parliament. Six months of drawn-out negotiations over forming a pro-independence government followed.

 

During this period Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena, instructing magistrate with regard to alleged offences in relation to the October 1, 2017 Catalan independence referendum, prohibited JxCat and ERC MPs in preventive detention and exile from standing for Catalan president or as ministers in any new Catalan government. Llarena’s work was backed up by the Spanish Constitutional Court, acting at the behest of the former People’s Party (PP) government of prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

 

Revolutionary Rojava: An polyethnic, feminist and anti-capitalist experiment

 

 

By Rachel Evans

 

October 26, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal As Syria enters its eighth year of civil war, the Bashar al-Assad regime, backed by Russia and Iran, must be held to account for its role in the killing of 500,000 people. In a bloodbath that has reaped unspeakable horrors, more than 5 million Syrians have been forced to flee the country, with a further 6 million internally displaced. The barbaric Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), grew out of this chaos and at one point controlled a third of Syria. Amid this savagery, however, a beacon of hope emerged in north-eastern Syria in 2012 – the polyethnic liberated zone of Rojava (Western Kurdistan).

 

‘October Song’ – A challenging portrayal of the Russian Revolution

 

 

Review of Paul Le Blanc, October Song:Bolshevik Triumph, Communist Tragedy, 1917-1924, Chicago: Haymarket, 2017, 479 pp., US$19.56.

By John Riddell

 

Ocotber 26, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentaries — Amid a flock of volumes marking the Russian revolution’s centenary last year, Paul Le Blanc’s October Song is set apart by its unique method. Working from English-language sources, Le Blanc offers us an anthology of assessments and viewpoints on the revolution with “a strong inclination to privilege older things” – that is, testimony and opinions from its early years.

 

The result is a kaleidoscope of observations, some by respected historians and many by unknown or forgotten voices, which, taken together, constitute a far-ranging debate over the meaning of these world-shaking events.

 

Québec solidaire prepares to confront a new government of austerity and social and ethnic polarization

 

 

By RIchard Fidler

 

October 25, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Québec solidaire’s 10 members of the National Assembly, elected October 1, took their oath of office on October 17 in two parts.

 

Karl Kautsky: From Pope to Renegade

 

 

Eduard Bernstein and Karl Kautsky, 1910

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

October 25, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with author's permission — At the height of the Second International, Karl Kautsky was recognized by socialists and anti-socialists alike as “The Pope of Marxism” for his popularization and systematization of Marxist ideas. The great figures of the day looked to him for guidance, whether Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, V. I. Lenin, or Eugene Debs. Since Kautsky was such an authoritative voice on Marxism, his subsequent betrayal was so deep that later communists could be forgiven for mistaking his first name as “Renegade” (as Lenin bitterly called him). Although Kautsky fell into obscurity following the Russian Revolution, in the last few years there has been a revival of interest in his politics in both academia (notably by the scholar Lars Lih) and on the political left. This raises questions about the meaning of Kautsky’s orthodox Marxism and about what, if anything, a renewed revolutionary left should adopt from it as our own?

 

Food sovereignty without animal liberation?

 

 

By Dinesh Wadiwel

 

October 25, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Animal Liberation Currents — Food is a powerful frame for progressive politics. This is because so much contemporary injustice appears connected with issues relating to food: its production, its circulation and its availability. Globally, different forms of food deprivation shape the everyday lives of the poor.[1]

 

The dawn of our liberation: The early days of the International Communist Women’s Movement

 

 

By Daria Dyakonova

 

‘If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism,
then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.’ — Inessa Armand[1]

 

October 13, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentaries — On July 30, [1920] in the evening, slender columns of women workers wearing red kerchiefs and holding banners make their way to the Bolshoi Theater from remote districts and outskirts of Moscow. The slogans on the banners run: ‘Through the dictatorship of the proletariat in all countries to the full emancipation of women.’

 

The most important presidential race in Brazilian history (plus statements from MST & PSOL)

 

 

By James N. Green

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — The unexpected strength of the far-right demagogue Jair Bolsonaro in the October 7 Brazilian elections sent shockwaves throughout the country. Capturing 46% of the popular vote in the first round of the presidential contest, Bolsonaro now faces a run-off race on October 28 against Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party, who trailed with 29.3% of the votes.

 

Attacks on peace court could help plunge Colombia back into war

 

 

July Henriquez, Human Rights Defender facing charges in Colombia

 

By James Patrick Jordan

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal In a brazen attack on Colombia’s peace accords, Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira has brought charges against three former officials of the Special Peace Jurisdiction courts (JEP, by its Spanish initials). July Henriquez, Martha Lucía Zamora, and Ernesto Caicedo have been accused of falsifying documents and using their positions to enable Ivan Marquez and other former insurgents and peace negotiators to go underground. I discussed this development with Henriquez and Gustavo Gallardo, president of the human rights organization, Lazos de Dignidad (Links of Dignity). They characterize the charges as “absurd”. The JEP was created as part of agreements ending more than 52 years of Colombian civil war. It was given the responsibility to deal with questions regarding the general amnesty of armed actors, and to hear cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity, both of which are still prosecutable.

 

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