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Know your enemy: How to defeat capitalism




By Michael A. Lebowitz, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/[1]

“Anyone can succeed”

In a capitalist society, there is always a good explanation for your poverty, your meaningless job (if you have a job), your difficulties and your general unhappiness. You are to blame. It is your failure. After all, look at other people who do succeed. If only you had worked a little harder, studied a little more, made those sacrifices.

State–labor relations and the emergence of grassroots workers’ organizations in China



By Jenny Chan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The International Sociological Associations Research Committee on Labour Movements

This article is an excerpt from Jenny Chan’s chapter “Worker Organizing in China: Challenges and Opportunities”, in Robert Ovetz (editor), Workers’ Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: Strategies, Tactics, Objectives , Pluto Press, 2021

June 20, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In China, as in many countries, rights are enshrined by law in such a way that workers are expected to act as firefighters” who self-enforce their rights by sounding the fire alarm” at labor departments and courts to force senior officials to uphold labor standards. If workers sound the alarm by filing cases and the government consistently enforces worker protections, employers may anticipate the risk of a dispute and avoid the problem. But if enforcement is lax and punishment is mild, because local governments often prioritize attracting investment rather than enforcing laws and regulations, employers will likely ignore the letter and spirit of the law, and conflict will be prevalent. A persistent pattern is that although desperate workers sound the fire alarm, serious problems such as nonpayment of wages and abuse by management continue and remain unresolved. At the heart of poor working conditions,” Eli Friedman and Ching Kwan Lee show, is the fundamental imbalance of power between workers and employers at the point of production.

Imperialist Keynesianism: Biden’s program for rehabilitating United States capitalism



By Ashley Smith

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tempest — In his address to Congress, Joe Biden celebrated his American Rescue Plan and promoted his American Jobs and American Families plans. The capitalist media declared it the end of Reaganomics and a return to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Liberalism.

Longtime liberals and recent converts greeted Biden’s program with breathless celebration. Joan Walsh declared that Biden “wrapped up FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, plus  Obama’s good ideas and some of Senator Bernie Sanders’s better ones, into a Scranton-inflected agenda for racial and economic justice. It went beyond anything he promised running for president.”

Rob Wallace on the political economy of pandemics



By Rob WallaceJipson John, and Jitheesh P. M.

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from MR Online — Rob Wallace is an evolutionary biologist and a public health phylogeographer based in the United States. His writings have attracted international attention owing to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Wallace is one among a few epidemiologists who, since the turn of this century, have been warning the world about the outbreak of deadly pandemics. His writings challenge the orthodox understanding of the origin and spread of infectious diseases. He goes deep and unearths the sociological reasons behind the spillover of dangerous pathogens from wildlife reservoirs to human habitats. He writes: “The cause of COVID-19 and other such pathogens is not found just in the object of any one infectious agent or its clinical course, but also in the field of ecosystemic relations that capital and other structural causes have pinned back to their own advantage.” Wallace and his colleagues raise a radical critique of the capitalist mode of production. As an epidemiologist, he has also researched the spillover of some of the other deadly infectious diseases of our times, including Ebola, Zika and swine flu (H1N1 flu). Wallace has produced an extensive research output on how big farms, free trade agreements, global capital circuits and deforestation cause “Big Flu” and other deadly pandemics.

Immunity is liberty: Vaccine internationalism during a pandemic



By Amitabha Sarkar

June 19, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transnational Institute — The current vaccine crisis in the midst of a pandemic could be a tipping point for the current order of global governance. The global policy response and vaccine rollout have proven too inept to counter the catastrophic moral failure of affluent countries’ vaccine hoarding. The WHO Director General’s performative pleas for vaccine equity have done little to move an intransigent system of global governance to address an emergency of this scale. What do these overlapping and related failures mean at national and international levels? 

Identity and liberation: A critical Marxist difference



By Neil Faulkner and Rowan Fortune.

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti-Capitalist Resistance — Depending on how it is defined, postmodernism can vanish into empty catchalls or fail to encompass ideas, philosophers, art styles, and tendencies associated with it. The idea itself is unstable, and often not especially useful. Even just taken in politically relevant forms, associated notions of identity politics, queer theory, intersectionality, and privilege theory are extraordinarily heterogeneous in themselves. This is how we loosely defined it in System Crash (2021):

Postmodernism – a portmanteau of related theories centred on the basic idea that no single over-arching ‘grand narrative’ is capable of explaining the world as a whole – has encouraged a multiplication of ‘discourses’ and ‘identities’ as a means towards self-valuation, self-assertion, and self-empowerment.

(Video) No life like it: A tribute to the revolutionary activism of Ernie Tate



An internationalist tribute to the life, activism and legacy of Ernie Tate (1934-2021).

The weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism of the weapon: What knowledge do we need for revolution against capitalism



By Raju J DasLinks International Journal of Socialist Renewal 

Abstract: Ideas are needed for social change. But what kind of ideas is the question. The capitalist system is destroying lives and livelihood. It is destroying the environment. It cannot be reformed. It must go. It will not go without a revolution. If we do not see ‘signs’ of a revolution, that is not because we do not know how the capitalist economic structure works and produces its adverse effects on the people and the environment. We, more or less, have this knowledge that explains and critiques the system. Explanatory critique of the system is not enough. What we lack is knowledge about the obstacles to revolution. Among other things, we need to know what is stopping a united revolutionary struggle against the system. This short paper, written as a birthday gift to Karl Marx, aims to address this matter.

Learning from history: community-run child-care centers in United States during World War II



By Marty Hart-Landsberg

June 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — We face many big challenges.  And we will need strong, bold policies to meaningfully address them.  Solving our child-care crisis is one of those challenges, and a study of World War II government efforts to ensure accessible and affordable high-quality child care points the way to the kind of bold action we need. 

The Big Tech monopolies and the state



June 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic swept through the global economy, the average observer could have been forgiven for missing a critical piece of news: by May 2020, the combined market capitalization of the four largest US tech companies reached one fifth of the entire S&P 500. Four companies – Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Facebook – now account for 20 per cent of the combined value of the 500 largest US corporations – an unparalleled level of market concentration. Forty years ago, these corporate entities were either just beyond being plucky start-ups, or did not even exist. Monopolistic tendencies are not limited to the tech sector. In 1975, the largest 100 US companies accounted for nearly half of the earnings of all publicly listed companies; by 2015, their share reached 84 per cent.

The Niall Ferguson model: why is China imitating Western imperialism?



By Gwenaël Velge

June 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In his recent article in The Spectator, “The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?”, prominent historian Niall Ferguson opens his argument by noting that “Americans have long been haunted by the osmosis of war” — the idea that enemies may in fact converge and resemble each other — but concludes that there was never any reason to worry because, “needless to say, all this turned out to be very wrong indeed”. But perhaps he would do well not to dismiss such phenomenon too quickly and pay more attention to his own openly imperialist enmity and intellectual osmosis with regards to the authoritarian imperialist traits of Chinese policy.

Winners, losers and human rights abusers in Colombia’s National Strike



By James Patrick Jordan, Alliance for Global Justice

June 4, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  It is just over a month since Colombia’s National Strike (Paro Nacional) began. The international community is appalled by the endless reports of atrocities and abuses by the ESMAD riot police and Colombian Armed Forces (which combine the military and police under one command), and the right-wing gangs allied with them. As always, we must point out that US funding enables these outrages.

At the same time, we are inspired and encouraged by the tenacity and continued momentum of the popular movements and the victories that they have achieved. Along with the anger and grief we all must feel, there is something else we should recognize: popular movements are winning this struggle!

Catalonia: Coalition government formed after prospect of mass disaffection forces independence parties into agreement



By Dick Nichols

May 25, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On May 17,with negotiations over forming a Catalan government bogged down and a repeat election looming, the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (Junts) reached an unexpected agreement for coalition government. Hammered out in two days of secret meetings between ERC national coordinator Pere Aragonès and jailed Junts national secretary Jordi Sànchez, the accord was ratified on May 19 by the ERC National Council and by a plebiscite of Junts members (83% to 17%).

Four days later, the 135-seat Catalan parliament voted 74 to 61 to invest Aragonès as premier (president) of the Catalan government (the Generalitat). As the ERC’s lead candidate in the February 14 Catalan elections, he will head a 14-member cabinet made up half-and-half by the appointments of the two parties. Catalonia’s third pro-independence force, the radical People’s Unity List (CUP), voted to invest the government but not to participate in it.

United States: An internationalist critique of the Green New Deal



By Tyler Okeke

May 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Hampton Institute — In 2019, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unsat the powerful Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley and spurred a wave of progressive congressional campaigns. Soon after being sworn in, Ocasio-Cortez partnered with Senator Ed Markey to introduce House Resolution 109, popularly known as the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal is an ambitious framework for environmental, economic, and racial justice in the United States. It aims for a speedy transition to net zero emissions through the use of renewable energy sources and green technology, a federal jobs guarantee, and a whole host of other social programs like paid medical and family leave, medical care for all, and expanded access to unions. Though not the first of its kind, the political movement on which the policy rides has won the Green New Deal more than a hundred co-sponsors in Congress.

What would a Deep Green New Deal look like?



By Don Fitz

May 22, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The Green New Deal has attracted perhaps the greatest attention of any proposal for decades. It would guarantee Medicare-for-All, Housing-for-All, student loan forgiveness and propose the largest economic growth in human history to address unemployment and climate change.

But the last of these hits a stumbling block. Creation of all forms of energy contributes to the destruction of nature and human life. It is possible to increase the global quality of life at the same time we reduce the use of fossil fuels and other sources of energy. Therefore, a “deep” GND would focus on energy reduction, otherwise known as energy conservation. Decreasing total energy use is a prerequisite for securing human existence.

Cuban Communist Party congress: Talking about the party



By Rafael Hernández. Introduction and translation by Walter Lippmann.

May 22, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CubaNews — The Cuban Communist Party’s VIII Congress, held in Havana in April 16-19, 2021, found the island confronting perhaps its greatest challenges since the revolutionary government came to power in 1959. Washington’s multi-faceted blockade has been intensified more than ever before, and the Covid-19 pandemic struck a cruel body blow to the island’s tourism economy, its principal source of foreign hard-currency income.

As the island’s sole political party, the PCC has faced a seemingly endless array of problems. Its historic leadership, lead by Raúl Castro, was stepping aside to make room for a new generation raised in and products of, Cuba’s revolutionary system.

Palestinians, Kurds and confusion



By Sarah Glynn

May 20, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Medya News — Two middle-eastern peoples are struggling for their survival against fascistic colonial powers. Both face selfish indifference as to their plight from the so-called “international community”, and both call out for international solidarity from ordinary folk around the world as the only force that can help shift the powers weighted against them. But solidarity between the two peoples themselves is mired in confusion. It is a confusion deliberately nurtured by the powers that oppress them, and cutting through the confusion is a vital part of the struggle for both the Kurds and the Palestinians.

Spanish state: behind the hard right’s win in the Community of Madrid



By Dick Nichols

May 11, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It is far too early to be confident about whether the overwhelming victory of the right and far right in the May 4 Community of Madrid election is a harbinger of things to come in the Spanish state.

That the result marks a turn of the political tide is, of course, the hope and forecast of the victorious right-wing People’s Party (PP) and the racist far-right Vox. Just as inevitably, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and the forces to its left—the Greens-like More Madrid and the radical Unidas Podemos (UP)—desire and predict that this apparent surge of reaction will prove to be a short-lived, Madrid-specific, nightmare.

Irrespective of which of the tendencies revealed on May 4 turn out to be long-lasting or fleeting, we need to register them and ask why they emerged.

May Day 2021: Vaccinate the workers from the savage capitalist virus with people’s solidarity, democracy and social protection




Joint Statement of the Southeast Asian Left

Translation of the joint statement in other languages: Bahasa MalaysiaChinese

After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, working people around the world have been suffering and victimized by the global capitalist system that failed to protect people’s lives and livelihood. The pandemic has unleashed the severe economic recession around the world, with an increasing number of people losing their jobs or suffering from reduced income. The crisis is deepening social inequalities and injustices.

The deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused the COVID-19 pandemic that infected over 150 million people and took over 3 million lives around the world, but the savage capitalist virus that feeds on the exploitation of labour and natural resources has deepened the impact of the global health crisis and ruined the lives of millions.

'No life like it': A tribute to the life, activism, and legacy of Ernie Tate



April 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We warmly welcome you to join us for a tribute to the life, activism and legacy of Ernie Tate (1934-2021).

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