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United States: Trump, Texas, and the MAGA drive for power

 

 

By Max Elbaum

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Organizing Upgrade — Donald Trump dispensed with even the pretense of paying tribute to workers on Labor Day. Instead his three word Labor Day Statement, blasted out to his supporters everywhere via the right-wing media machine, was blunt about his political priorities: “Fix 2020 First.”

The Paris Commune as an historical turning point: On its 150th anniversary

 

 

By Seiya Morita

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  This year marks the 150th anniversary of the victory and defeat of the Paris Commune. Many articles have already been published around the world bringing back this historic event and developing new insights. This article is written as one of them.

Against overproduction

 

 

[This is the final part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social ThoughtZNet and Links.  The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here.  The second portion was a response by Fitz to Pollin’s articles.  The third portion was a rejoinder by Pollin to Fitz’s response.]

By Don Fitz

Robert Pollin repeats a message often seen in writings defending alternative energy (AltE): while they briefly shake their heads at capitalist waste, they deny an overproduction problem.  In his response to my article on “Be Careful What Energy You Wish For,” his message comes through that there are no limits on what can be done to the Earth’s ecosystems that AltE can’t solve.  

For a global renewable-dominant energy system

 

 

[This is the third part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social ThoughtZNet and Links. The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here. The second portion was a response by Don Fitz which can be read here.  The final portion will be a closing statement by Fitz.]

By Robert Pollin

Don Fitz’s response to my two interviews that Z generously republished makes two major assertions:  1) Reducing overall consumption and working fewer hours provides a viable path on its own to stabilizing the global climate; and 2) Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are not really “clean” even though they supply energy without generating CO2 emissions.  I will address these in turn.

As I state at the outset of my first posted interview, on “degrowth,” I strongly agree that “a significant share of what is produced and consumed in the current global capitalist economy is wasteful, especially much, if not most, of what high-income people throughout the world consume.”  Fitz is merely setting up a straw-person in suggesting that I think otherwise.  

Be careful what energy you wish for

 

 

[This is the second part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social Thought, ZNet and Links. The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here.  The third portion will be a short rejoinder by Pollin to this article.  The final portion will be a short closing statement by Fitz.]

By Don Fitz

Climate change is an existential problem confronting humanity and Robert Pollin offers well thought-out plans in his first and second articles.  There is only space here to respond to these themes: (1) We can reach zero CO2 emissions by 2050; (2) An enormous expansion of alternative energy (AltE) can create far more jobs than would be lost by eliminating fossil fuels (FF); and (3) Without stating so explicitly, he implies that negative aspects of AltE would be tiny.  

Two interviews with Robert Pollin on the climate crisis and a Global Green New Deal

 

 

[This is the first part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz for ZNet.  The second portion will be a response by Don Fitz.  The third portion will be a short rejoinder by Pollin to that article.  The final portion will be a short closing statement by Fitz.]

Interviews with Robert Pollin conducted by C.J. Polychroniou

China: Neither imperialist nor part of the Global South

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

September 9, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — China’s insertion in the global capitalist system has prompted many critical analyses among the Marxist left. Most debated is a simple but basic question: is China socialist, or capitalist? Some are unequivocal. For example, a recently published “manifesto” of a group centered at the University of Manitoba[1] states grandiosely that “no country represents working people’s advance – economic, technological, ecological and social – more than China….” Its ruling Communist party “has made China the indispensable nation in humankind’s struggle for socialism, offering aid and inspiration as a worthy example of a country pursuing socialism,” more precisely, a form of “market socialism.”

New Zealand: How to end the race and class inequalities destroying working people’s lives

 

 

By Mike Treen

September 9, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Daily Blog — A recent study found that Māori had twice the mortality from various cancers than non-Māori.

This statistic isn’t new. I came across a similar finding in my notes from three decades ago. Cancer deaths twice that of Pākeha, while medical interventions were half that of Pākehā.

So we have to take a long, hard look at why the system has failed Māori despite three decades of progress in certain areas. There’s been a significant growth in professional and middle-class layers among Māori which is a good thing. There’s been an expansion in Māori-run businesses and assets under Māori control that deliver services directly to Māori people.

Yet, despite this progress, Māori continue to die from preventable diseases at 2-3 times the rate for non-Māori.

How housing illustrates the nature of the multiple crises we face

 

 

By Mike Treen

August 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Converge — Probably only one number is needed to explain the current housing crisis. Total mortgage lending increased 50% in the year to June 2021 to reach $97,797 million compared to $65,129 million for the June 2020 year. Most of the new lending went to speculators rather than new home buyers. This is all a direct consequence of Government policies that give almost complete free rein to banks to create and allocate debt without almost any control. This has been compounded by the Reserve Bank printing money to buy bonds and drive down interest rates. It offers banks virtually free money to lend to whoever they want.

Afghanistan: The United States’ longest war was founded on false pretences

 

 

By Bulent Gokay

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The war in Afghanistan ended as it had started, with total ambiguity of its objectives as well as what it achieved. The official US narrative in 2001 was that “everything changed” on the day four airliners were hijacked and nearly 5,000 people murdered. The US intervention in Afghanistan, by this account, was hastily improvised in less than a month. However, the decisions shaping the US military campaign in Afghanistan in 2001 show a remarkable continuity based on an ongoing pre-September 11 evolution in the US foreign policy. As a matter of fact, the US operations in Afghanistan did not begin twenty years ago, but in 1978, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s former National Security Adviser, defended US intervention, in the form of secret support for Islamic extremists fighting in Afghanistan:

Reframing Lenin: on the question of revolutionary organization

 

 

By Nathan Moore

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The “organization” question is an important one for revolutionaries. Revolution—the overthrow of capitalism and the reconstitution of society on a more humane socialist basis—will require militants among the working class consciously organizing together to help influence broader social struggle. Absent a politically confident working class that is organized to fight for political power internationally in order to democratically organize production on a global scale, revolution will fail and more reactionary alternatives will fill the political void. 

Trotskyism in Cuba (PDF book)

 

 

Trotskismos em Cuba – Retrato de um Encontro Nojosa Edições, São Paulo, 2021 (digital book).

Collected texts organized by Flo Menezes of the I Encuentro Académico Internacional León Trotsky: vida y contemporaneidad – un abordaje crítico, from May 2019, in Havana, Cuba. 

Texts by Don Esteban Volkov (Trotsky's grandson) and notable Communist and Trotskyist militants such as: Frank García Hernández, Paul Le Blanc, Éric Toussaint, João Batista Aragão Neto, Roberto Massari, Simón Rodríguez, Bryan Palmer, Alan Woods, Sándor John and others. Now updated to include text from Ernest Tate (1934-2021) (Texts in Portuguese, Spanish and English)

Download here

Using Cuba’s protests as a chance to denounce the left

 

 

By Aviva Chomsky

August 23, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — Covid-19 has brought economic and social crises to much of the world, and nowhere more than the Third World where poor infrastructure, poverty, resource export dependence, inequality, and lack of accountability are endemic. Protests against scarcity, structural violence, police brutality, and corruption erupted everywhere from the United States to Colombia, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina, just to mention a few. Those in Latin America rarely merited notice in the U.S. news media—until they happened in Cuba.

The Earth is burning

 

 

By Phil Hearse

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti*Capitalist Resistance — From Oregon in the United States, to Antalya and Bodrum in Turkey, to some of the coldest areas of Siberia, in the last month wildfires have been devastating thousands of acres amidst temperatures above 40°C. The flip side of this has been simultaneously catastrophic floods in Germany and China. As this article was being prepared, wildfires threatened to ignited huge coal stocks at the Milas power station in Turkey.

At the end of January this year, mainstream pro-capitalist politicians probably felt a sigh of relief. Donald Trump had been evicted from the White House and a vaccine to combat the corona virus had been discovered —indeed three of them together. Normal service for world capitalism could be resumed.

A political x-ray for possible dialogue in Cuba

 

 

By Jesús Arboleya

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Progreso Weekly — Protests that occurred on July 11 in Cuba have reinforced the idea of the need for a national dialogue in order to articulate a new consensus and expand existing democratic mechanisms. As it is difficult to specify an agenda and identify its possible actors, it is worth trying to discern the political currents existing in the country and their broader interests.

Since the triumph of the Revolution, Cuban political life has been so intense and all-encompassing that very few have been able to avoid placing themselves in one of the great conglomerates in dispute — those who support the socialist system and/or its adversaries. Let us analyze the balance of these forces and their possible disposition to the dialogue that is proposed.

Cuba’s crisis, our response

 

 

By Margaret Randall

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — The recent protests in Cuba, especially those on July 11, 2021 have provoked consternation in some and hope in others. The protests, which began in the Havana suburb of San Antonio de Los Baños, the eastern city of Palma Soriano, and quickly spread nationwide, are the first examples of visible large scale discontent since the demonstrations that took place in 1994 at the height of the economic crisis brought on by the Soviet Union’s collapse.

United States: Michael Harrington’s failure of vision

 

 

Interview with Doug Greene,

August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice — An interview with Doug Greene, the author of a new biography of Michael Harrington, A Failure of Vision: Michael Harrington and the Limits of Democratic Socialism (London: Zero Books, 2022)

Afghanistan: The end of the occupation

 

 

By Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale 

August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anne Bonny Pirate — A lot of nonsense about Afghanistan is being written in Britain and the United States. Most of this nonsense hides a number of important truths.

First, the Taliban have defeated the United States.

Second, the Taliban have won because they have more popular support.

Third, this is not because most Afghans love the Taliban. It is because the American occupation has been unbearably cruel and corrupt.

Fourth, the War on Terror has also been politically defeated in the United States. The majority of Americans are now in favor of withdrawal from Afghanistan and against any more foreign wars.

Fifth, this is a turning point in world history. The greatest military power in the world has been defeated by the people of a small, desperately poor country. This will weaken the power of the American empire all over the world.

Colombia: When the fascists get offended

 

 

By David Escobar, translated by Carlos Pedraza, Maya Hernández & James Jordan

“It is the mark of a weak position, not a strong position, that its holder, when challenged, takes offense”. - J.M. Coetzee in Essays on Censorship.

August 4, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This chronicle tells of aggressions, death threats, armed assaults, harassment, theft of information, and physical and psychological torture that happened to us, a group of activists, health providers and journalists, in the city of Cali, during the coverage of the National Strike in Colombia, in the year 2021.

The stories are narrated sequentially, with some temporal skips, and the common thread is the perspective of the chronicle’s author, who had to abandon the city due to the high risk in which he found himself after investigating and publicizing a short documentary about police brutality, stigmatization, massacres, and disappearances of protestors.

Creating a democratically run economy: Lessons from World War II price control struggle

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

August 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Many activists in the United States are working to build a movement for a Green New Deal transformation of the economy.  Not surprisingly, a growing number look to the World War II conversion of the US economy from civilian to military production for inspiration and policy ideas.  The conversion experience shows that a rapid, system-wide transformation of the U.S. economy is indeed possible. It also demonstrates that state capacities and action are critical; the successful conversion required state planning, public financing and ownership, and state direction of economic activity.  At the same time, with very few exceptions, the conversion process was structured in ways that minimized any serious challenge to existing class relations.1 

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