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Ideas for the struggle #5 - Minorities can be right

 

 

By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

1. Democratic centralism implies not only the subordination of the minority to the majority, but also the respect of the majority towards the minority.

 

Walter Benjamin, Louis-Auguste Blanqui and the apocalypse

 

 

Paris Commune

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

September 27, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Wedge with the author's permission — In the Spring of 1940, as the Nazis conquered France and were the dominant power on the European continent, the exiled German Marxist philosopher Walter Benjamin wrote his final work, Theses on the Philosophy of History. In a moment of political defeat, with fascism triumphant, the parties of the far left lying prostrate and subjugated, Benjamin penned the following words:

 

The subject of historical cognition is the battling, oppressed class itself. In Marx it steps forwards as the final enslaved and avenging class, which carries out the work of emancipation in the name of generations of downtrodden to its conclusion. This consciousness, which for a short time made itself felt in the “Spartacus” [Spartacist splinter group, the forerunner to the German Communist Party], was objectionable to social democracy from the very beginning. In the course of three decades it succeeded in almost completely erasing the name of Blanqui, whose distant thunder [Erzklang] had made the preceding century tremble. [1]

 

South African workers mobilize to challenge neoliberal policies

 

 

By Irvin Jim

 

September 25 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) Special National Congress in December 2013 resolved: “There is no chance of winning back the Alliance to what it was originally formed for, which was to drive a revolutionary programme for fundamental transformation of the country, with the Freedom Charter as the minimum platform to transform the South African economy.”

 

Recent events have fully vindicated this view.

Being a Kurdish-Turkish mistake

 

 

Portrait of Saladin the Great

 

September 24, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open DemocracySaladdin Ahmed, an assistant professor of Philosophy at Mardin Artuklu University in Turkey, interviewed by Robert Leonard Rope

 

Robert Leonard Rope(RLR): Please briefly describe your background. Were you named after Saladin the Great? And what was it like to teach at a university in Turkey?

 

Saladdin Ahmed (SA): I never know how to answer questions about my background mainly because my identity has always been shaped around negations rather than the promotion of a certain upbringing. I wouldn’t say I have an identity crisis, but I would say identity, at least in today’s world, is itself a crisis.

 

The voice for change – On Hong Kong’s 2016 Legislative Council election results

 

 

Nathan Law was one of five candidates who ran for election advocating self-determination and were elected on this basis.
By Au Loong-Yu

 

September 23 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières — The 2016 LegCo election results show a strong call for change. Although politically and socially divided among themselves, it was the first time in Hong Kong history that five candidates ran for election advocating self-determination and were elected on this basis. If we take into consideration that a further two elected legislators proposed a weaker version of self-determination, then we must recognize that there is a sea change in Hong Kong’s political landscape. In total the candidates who ran on the platform of demanding for self-determination garnered 22.2% of the vote (including those who lost the election) – the vote here only means the regional direct election votes; it excludes the functional constituency vote and the super district board vote.

 

Catalonia and Spanish state: million-strong rally brings showdown closer

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

September 22, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On September 11, Catalonia’s national day (the Diada), between 870,000 and a million-plus came out to show their support for Catalan sovereignty and—for the majority of those present—for Catalan independence from the Spanish state.

 

The fifth annual mass mobilisation for Catalan statehood since 2012, again organised by the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and the Catalan cultural association Òmnium Cultural, confirmed that this social movement remains by far the largest in Europe.

 

It continues to pose a threat to the Spanish state and will also become an increasingly critical issue for a European Union that continues to reel under the blows of Brexit, its brutal handling of refugees and economic stagnation in many major regions.

 

1916: Use workers’ power to end the war

 

 

By Käte Duncker, introduction by John Riddell

 

September 21, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/John Riddell: Marxist Essays and Commentaries — 100 years ago today, a leading antiwar socialist in Germany explained the need for revolution to end the First World War. Her audience was delegates to the last unified national conference of the Social-Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), held in Berlin on September 21-23, 1916.

 

Pakistan: Awami Workers Party second congress finance appeal

 

 

September 20, 2016 — Awami Workers Party — Dear friends, well-wishers and all those who struggle for a better world!

 

In less than four years, the Awami Workers Party (AWP) has emerged as Pakistan's preeminent left-wing political force, reinvigorating the progressive political tradition after many years in the wilderness.

 

As many of you will know, to run a leftist organization in Pakistan is as challenging a task as any in the world. This is a country that has long been a 'frontline state' of imperialism, run by a venal elite including a praetorian army, and overwhelmed by a brand of right-wing religious militancy that has eroded an already fragile social fabric.

 

The AWP represents an attempt to bring together the best traditions of left politics in the 20th century with a new generation of activists politicized by the anti-globalization and anti-war movements of the early 21st century.

 

Trotsky and Gramsci on revolutionary strategy

 

 

Gramsci and Trotsky: Strategy for the Revolution in the West
Emilio Albamonte and Matías Maiello
Argentina: Left Voice, 2016
158 pages

 

Review by Doug Enaa Greene

 

Ideas for the struggle #4 - Should we reject bureaucratic centralism and simply use consensus?

 

 

By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

1. For a long time, left-wing parties operated along authoritarian lines. The usual practice was that of bureaucratic centralism, influenced by the practice of Soviet socialism. Most decisions regarding principles, tasks, initiatives, and the course of political action to take were restricted to the party elite, without the participation or debate of the membership who were limited to following orders that they never got to discuss and in many cases did not understand. For most people, these practices are every day becoming increasingly more intolerable.

 

Oppose little Brexit Britain – Defend free movement

 

 

We need to campaign actively against little Brexit Britain and the stripping away of our rights, and chief among those campaigns must be to defend the right to free movement.

 

US Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on why "lesser evilism" is a loser


 

 

September 17, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Against the Current — Against the Current interviews Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president in 2016.

 

The Communist Manifesto: A weapon of war

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

September 16, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — With the exception of the Bible, no other work in history has been more praised and denounced, analyzed and criticized, both seriously and superficially, than the Communist Manifesto.

Northern nastiness: Far right becomes second party in German chancellor Merkel's home state

 

 

By Victor Grossman

 

September 15, 2016
 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Left Berlin — Old German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck once said – or so goes the legend: “If the world ever perishes I’d want to be in Mecklenburg where everything happens fifty years late.” The alarm bells are now loudly ringing, warning that this once feudally most backward part of Germany between Berlin and the Baltic Sea may prove something like the opposite!

 

The elections on Sunday (Sept. 4) were an unmitigated disaster! The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), running for the first time, rang up an amazing 21.9 % of the vote, putting it in second place behind the Social Democrats and beating out Angela Merkel in her own home state!

The best homage we can pay Fidel: look outward together in the same direction

 

 

By Marta Harnecker

 

September 14, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Over half a century ago, as Latin American households were celebrating the start of a new year, some good news arrived from Cuba: a guerrilla army with a social base among the peasantry triumphed on the Caribbean island, liberating the country from the tyrannical Batista regime. A political process began that not only aimed to overthrow a dictator, but sought to follow a consistently revolutionary line: genuinely transform society for the benefit of the great majority.

 

A Tate Gallery for the New Left: Portraits, Landscapes, and Abstracts in the Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s

 

Revolutionary Workers Party national secretary Ross Dowson,
campaigning to become Mayor of Toronto, Canada, 1948.

 

Ernest Tate, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s: A Memoir – Volume 1, Canada 1955–1965 (London: Resistance Books, 2014)

 

Ernest Tate, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 60s: A Memoir – Volume 2, Britain 1965–1970 (London: Resistance Books, 2014)

 

By Bryan D. Palmer

 

Working class power & feminism: An interview with Alia Amirali (Awami Workers Party, Pakistan)

 

 

Alia Amirali speaking at a Awami Workers Party rally in Hunza in support of jailed activist Baba Jan.

 

September 13, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tanqeed — Writer and labor organizer, Sara Jaffri, and left-wing political worker and the Punjab Deputy General Secretary of the Awami Workers Party, Alia Amirali talk organizing, feminism and class in Pakistan.

 

Struggle over the Cuban press intensifies

 

 

By Marce Cameron[1]

 

September 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cuba's Socialist Renewal -- On June 28, 37-year-old Karina Marron, the deputy editor of Granma, the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) daily, made some candid remarks at a closed-door meeting of the Cuban Journalists Union (UPEC). The Cuban media reported on the event, but airbrushed out of their coverage Marron’s more incendiary and newsworthy comments. That selectivity was a case of either actual censorship or self-censorship on the part of Cuban journalists and editors.

 

Ideas for the struggle #3 - To be at the service of popular movements, not replace them

 

 

By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

1. We have previously stated that politics is the art of constructing a social and political force capable of changing the balance of forces in order to make possible tomorrow that which today appears to be impossible. But to be able to construct a social force political organizations must demonstrate a great respect for grassroots movements, and contribute to their autonomous development, leaving behind all attempts at manipulation. They must take as their starting point the fact that they are not the only ones with ideas and proposals; on the contrary, grassroots movements have much to offer us, because through their daily struggles they have also learned things, discovered new paths, found solutions and invented methods which can be of great value.

 

Bolivia’s government sides with workers in conflict with bosses in mining cooperatives

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

September 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The articles below describe and analyze a major confrontation in Bolivia in recent months that ended tragically in several deaths and blew up an uneasy alliance between the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government headed by Evo Morales and an incipient bourgeoisie in the mining industry. The government responded to the crisis by strengthening its alliance with the proletarian forces in the mining industry and taking further steps to regain state control over the industry.
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