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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.
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Paul Le Blanc: Organising for 21st century socialism -- Reflections on the history and future of Leninism
The following was presented by Paul Le Blanc to the "Organising for 21st century socialism" seminar in Sydney on June 8, 2013. The seminar was organised by the Socialist Alliance. Le Blanc also addressed meetings in Wollongong, Melbourne and Adelaide. Photo by Alex Bainbridge. A video of the presentation can be viewed at http://links.org.au/node/3396.
More by Paul Le Blanc can be found HERE.
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By Paul Le Blanc
In the first portion of these remarks I want to explain, first of all, why Leninism is worth talking about not only for understanding some of what happened in history, but also for helping change the world in the here-and-now of the early twenty-first century. I want to explain what I mean by the term Leninism, then touch on several historical controversies that may shed light on how to make use of this tradition in our ongoing political work. In the second portion of my remarks, I will offer thoughts on ways to apply and contribute to the Leninist tradition in our practical efforts for the coming period.
[This is a slightly edited text of a presentation made by Dave Holmes at the “Organising for 21st century socialism” seminar, held in Sydney, June 9, 2013 (pictured above, photo by Alex Bainbridge). Holmes is a leading member of the Socialist Alliance in Melbourne.]
By Dave Holmes
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Today I want to talk about how socialists need to work to win mass influence and how that relates to the unity process between Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative.
On May 21, 2013, in Melbourne we held a very well-attended joint forum where our two organisations presented their views on the unity process. There is a report of the meeting in the May 29 issue of Green Left Weekly.
I want to expand on some points touched on there and to raise some others. Hopefully most of what I say is uncontroversial but in any case I want to be clear and unambiguous on what I consider some key questions of socialist activity.
The solidarity tour, to run from December 4 to 13 this year, will be the first AVSN brigade since the election of President Nicolas Maduro following the death of Hugo Chavez.
Since 1998, when Chavez was first elected president, the Bolivarian revolution has achieved remarkable gains by putting control of Venezuela’s politics and economy back into the hands of the poor majority. Despite the challenges created by Chavez’s death, in particular the United States-backed opposition’s campaign to undermine the new president and government of Venezuela, this people power driven revolution continues to flourish, defying all attempts to destroy it.
Nicolás Maduro y Evo Morales encabezaron un acto organizado por movimientos sociales, sindicales y obreros en apoyo a Venezuela y la Revolución Bolivariana en Cochabamba. Foto: AVN.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3386.]
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The above talk was presented by Paul Le Blanc to the "Organising for 21st century socialism" seminar in Sydney on June 8, 2013. The seminar was organised by the Socialist Alliance. For the full text of the talk, go to http://links.org.au/node/3394. Film produced by Green Left TV.
More by Paul Le Blanc can be found HERE.
June 10, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Richard Seymour of the International Socialist Network in Britian was interviewed while at the Subversive Festival, May 4-18, 2013, in Zagreb. This is the result. Seymour blogs at Lenin's Tomb.
The Scottish Socialist Party's Colin Fox marching in the Edinburgh May Day, 2013.
June 17, 2013 -- Frontline, an independent Marxist magazine is Scotland, hosted a meeting recently which brought together socialists from different backgrounds to look at the question of building left unity in Scotland. In the first article below Frontline editor Alister Black reflects on the challenges ahead. Below are also articles from sections of the Scottish left that discuss the prospects for a better left in Scotland.
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Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra reviews the troops.
For more on Thailand and the Red Shirt movement, click HERE.
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
June 17, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One might be tempted to celebrate the fact that Tarit Pengdit, head of the Department of Special Investigations, has forwarded the cases against former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Sutep Tuaksuban to the public prosecutor. Tarit stated that there was ample evidence that they had ordered the killings of Red Shirt pro-democracy demonstrators in 2010.
By Pablo Stefanoni, introduction by Richard Fidler
June 13, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the following essay, Pablo Stefanoni, an Argentine journalist, thoughtfully explores some of the distinctive features of the politics of the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.
Stefanoni argues that a “left vs. right” reading of the processes now under way in Latin America does not adequately capture the origins and nature of the new governments purporting to go beyond neoliberalism; a satisfactory analysis must encompass a long-existing national-popular and anti-imperialist tradition, as well as a newer indigenista current building on post-colonial and subalternist readings that in turn complicate our understanding of the trends and challenges. But his central thesis is that a “left agenda” can contribute themes and proposals to the current debates that neither nationalism nor indigenism can adequately address.
June 16, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Providing facts and analysis, and publicising and organising Latin America solidarity activities in Australia, Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has sought to promote greater understanding and solidarity between the people of Australia and Latin America.
We are therefore delighted to publish Latin America Social Forum (Foro Social Latinamericano), a Spanish-language supplement produced regularly by the Latin America Social Forum in Sydney.
Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez holds up a medal presented by Miami Dade College.
You strangle us [for decades] and then you criticise us for the way we breathe. – Fidel Castro
Cubans came to our region as doctors, teachers, soldiers, agricultural experts, but never as colonisers. They have shared the same trenches with us in the struggle against colonialism, underdevelopment and apartheid. Hundreds of Cubans have given their lives, literally, in a struggle that was, first and foremost, not theirs but ours. As Southern Africans we salute them.
By America XXI
June 11, 2013 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal – On May 25, Washington’s advance across the region by means of the Pacific Alliance met a counterattack in Bolivia. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro relaunched the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA), signed bilateral agreements in 14 strategic fields and denounced the new imperialist offensive against the region.
The football supporter group "Çarşı" from Beşiktaş entering Gezi Park. Çarşı is at the forefront of the street battles, building on long experience of political activism and social mobilisation. Image by Kerem Öktem.
By Emrah Yildiz
June 4, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- More than 10,000 people took over the streets of Ümraniye, a working-class neighbourhood on the Asian side of Istanbul, at around 10 pm on Sunday June 2 to stand in solidarity with the demonstrators not only in the grounds of the Gezi Park in Taksim Square, but also with those demonstrating in 67 cities all over Turkey from Ankara and Izmir, to Adana and Hatay.
Gathering on the main avenue of the May 1 Mahallesi (district) of Ümraniye, a neighbourhood always imagined as a stronghold of AKP politics and home to a socially conservative lifestyle among the diverse districts of Istanbul, over 10,000 Ümraniye locals marched onto the main artery of Istanbul’s highway system connecting the European and Asian sides of the city via the Bosphorus Bridge, known as TEM in Turkey.
Por Federico Fuentes
01/06/13 -- America XXI -- El surgimiento del socialismo del siglo XXI está vinculado a Hugo Chávez más que a cualquier otra figura. En los primeros años de este siglo, con el mundo enfocado en las guerras de Estados Unidos en Irak y Afganistán, el socialismo aparecía moribundo, como una reliquia política del pasado relegada a la isla de Cuba.
June 9, 2013 -- Webguerrillero [es] -- The Saskaņas Centrs, a coalition of left-wing parties, has won 59% of popular vote in the municipal elections held in this Eastern European country. The coalition, whose name means "Harmony Center" is formed by the social-democratic party "Harmony" and the Socialist Party of Latvia (heir of the Communist Party, which was declared illegal in 1994).
The coalition belongs to the all-European Union (EU) political bloc European United Left-Nordic Green Left, which includes the major communist-leaning coalitions and parties, such as Greek SYRIZA, Cypriot AKEL, German Die Linke, French Left Front, Spanish United Left and Irish Sinn Féin, among others.
While the EU and the International Monetary Fund insist that Latvia is an example of the "success" of the draconian policies of "austerity for the poor, huge profits for the rich" that they sponsor and dictate all around, the reality is that Latvia has been ravaged by such policies (see the funny video above).
Review by Don Fitz
Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present and Future of Rationing
By Stan Cox
The New Press, 2013
June 3, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Climate & Capitalism -- Stan Cox got quite a few folks a bit hot and bothered when his book Losing Our Cool critiqued air-conditioning during the middle of the 2010 heat wave. Now, in the middle of massive joblessness and economic downturn, his new book, Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present and Future of Rationing, is based on the assumption that humanity needs to massively reduce consumption if it is to have any chance of surviving.
Is the guy nuts? Does he hate the working class and poor? Or does he have very keen vision into a topic that few progressives and socialists have even thought about? Peeking beneath the surface, Slice It has the potential to spark serious discussion about the role of social wages in challenging climate change as well as control over production during the transition to a post-capitalist society.
Away with confusion
June 4, 2013 -- Real News Network -- Today the uprisings witnessed a new development, when Turkey's Confederation of Public Workers Unions, KESK, consisting of 11 unions and approximately 240,000 members, declared their decision to stage a massive two-day strike. The action, which was originally planned for a later date in response to labor law modifications, was rescheduled to June 4 now, in response to the government's excessive use of police brutality and its increasingly undemocratic practices. For the full transcript, click HERE.
Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of Twenty-First Century Socialism
Por Roger Burbach, Michael Fox & Federico Fuentes
Zed Books, 2013.
Por Richard Fidler
[For more by Adam Hanieh, click HERE.]
By Adam Hanieh
June 3, 2013 -- The Bullet -- This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israel government. Officially known as the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the Oslo Accords were firmly ensconced in the framework of the two-state solution, heralding “an end to decades of confrontation and conflict”, the recognition of “mutual legitimate and political rights” and the aim of achieving “peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and … a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement”.
[More articles by Paul Le Blanc can be found HERE.]
By Paul Le Blanc
[This is a talk presented in London on May 31, 2013, at the Dangerous Ideas for Dangerous Times gathering.]
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- How can we move from capitalism’s violent oppressiveness to the economic democracy, the genuine freedom, the socialism that we desire? This question was central to the life and work of V.I. Lenin. In exploring that, I want to pin my remarks around quotations from Georg Lukács, plus an old US Trotskyist, Lenin himself, and a couple of young British activists.