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Sonny Melencio: A dangerous situation in the Philippines

 

 

Talk presented by Sonny Melencio (right) at the opening session of the National Conference Against Dictatorship (NCAD), Benitez Hall, UP Diliman, July 20, 2017.

 

July 25, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ang Masa Para sa Sosyalismo - Online — This is an initiative appropriate to the times. President Duterte has just confirmed that he’s raring to establish a dictatorship. He wants to extend martial law in Mindanao until December this year. And his chuwariwariwap boys in Congress had agreed to this. And now even Vice Leni said don’t be suspicious of his intentions, because he’s out to do good. Seems like he’s out to no good for me.

 

Philippines: Walden Bello on fighting fascism

 

 

Intervention by Walden Bello at National Anti-Dictatorship Conference, University of the Philippines at Diliman, July 20, 2017.

  

July 25, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ang Masa Para sa Sosyalismo - Online — Fascism comes in different ways in different countries, and even within the same country, it can appear in a different manner at a later date than it did earlier. The common view of how fascism comes to power is what we may brand the Marcos model of “creeping fascism.” First, there are the violations of civil rights and political liberties, then comes the lunge for absolute power, then indiscriminate, massive repression. Duterte reverses this process. First, there is massive repression, in this case, the indiscriminate killing of over 10,000 suspected drug users. Then the power grab, in this case the declaration of martial law, the first phase of which we have witnessed with the imposition of military rule in Mindanao. Finally, there's the suppression of basic political and civil rights and liberties in an atmosphere that has been largely sanitized of political opposition. As opposed to creeping fascism, this is “blitzkrieg fascism.”

 

October 1917 and its relevance: A discussion with China Miéville

 

 

Eric Blanc interviews China Mi
éville

 

July 25, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Historical Materialism with the author's permission — For those interested in engaging with the history of the Russian Revolution in the hope of more effectively challenging capitalism, a tension between the universal and the particular looms large. The difficulty that inevitably arises is how to disentangle what was historically specific about Russia 1917 and Bolshevism from what might reflect a more generalised tendency. To quote award-winning author China Miéville’s recent October: The Story of the Russian Revolution (Verso): ‘This was Russia’s revolution, certainly, but it belonged and belongs to others, too. It could be ours. If its sentences are still unfinished, it is up to us to finish them.’

 

1917: The View from the Streets #16 & 17 - ‘Workers and soldiers: Everything is working in our favor’

 

 

July 22, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this week, the Bolsheviks responded to the ‘July Days’ setback by calling on working people to ignore provocations and expose rightist slanders.

 

The July demonstrations subsided quickly due to the Provisional Government’s success in painting the Bolsheviks as German-sponsored saboteurs of the Russian war effort; an upsurge in violence associated with the demonstrations; and news that loyal troops were on their way to Petrograd. The government quickly shut down Pravda, evicted the Bolsheviks from their party headquarters, and arrested many of their leaders. Lenin escaped arrest by going underground and fleeing in disguise to Finland. The two documents below represent the Bolsheviks’ responses to the rapidly developing situation.

 

Selection, translation, and annotation by Barbara Allen

 

Venezuela: Time for left to take a stand

 

 

By Greg Wilpert

 

July 17, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from TeleSUR English — Venezuela is heading towards an increasingly dangerous situation, in which open civil war could become a real possibility. So far over 100 people have been killed as a result of street protests, most of these deaths are the fault of the protesters themselves (to the extent that we know the cause).

 

The possibility of civil war becomes more likely as long as the international media obscure who is responsible for the violence and the international left remains on the sidelines in this conflict and fails to show solidarity with the Bolivarian socialist movement in Venezuela.

 

1917: The View from the Streets #14 & 15 - The 1917 July Days uprising: Soviet leadership clashes with ranks

 

 

July 16, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this week, between 16-20 [3-7] July 1917, a protest movement of workers and soldiers in Petrograd was repelled by military and police attacks, with hundreds of casualties.

 

The July Uprising or July Days came about due to the failure of the Russian military offensive in June, a worsening of the crisis in Petrograd’s food and fuel supply, and a crisis of confidence in the government after two Liberal (Kadet) ministers resigned over their opposition to Ukrainian autonomy. In the wake of the offensive’s collapse, massive unrest arose in the Russian army, which could no longer fight effectively. The uprising began among soldiers in the Petrograd garrison who feared transfer to the front, but it also involved workers who were already on strike over low wages. Workers and soldiers demanded “all power to the soviets” and raised other radical slogans.

 

Stalin’s man in the British Foreign Office: The lives of Guy Burgess

 

 

Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess
By Andrew Lownie
Hodder & Stoughton, 2015, 427 pages

 

Review by Phil Shannon

 

July 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess was, as his very name suggests, cut from Establishment cloth, and he effortlessly climbed the ladder of Britain’s top institutions – Eton, Cambridge, the BBC, MI5, MI6, the Foreign Office – impressing all the right people in mid-twentieth century. Because of their “class blinkers”, however, as Andrew Lownie quotes Burgess in Stalin’s Englishman, none of his elite peers suspected that one of their own could be a communist secretly spying for the Soviet Union for over a decade.

 

Why can't the left get Venezuela right?

 

 

By Shamus Cooke

 

July 14, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — As Venezuela's fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the U.S. seem to care.

The Oath: The story of the Jewish Bund

 

 

Jewish Bund demonstration during the Russian Revolution of 1917

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

We swear an endless loyalty to the Bund.

Only it can free the slaves now.

The red flag is high and wide.

It waves in anger, it is red with blood!

Swear an oath of life and death!

Di Shvue

 

Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi: 'Independence will provide us with the tools for advancing alternative social policies'

 

 

 

 

 

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (or ETA, “Basque Homeland and Freedom”) a Basque independence movement on April 8 put a definitive end to its campaign of establishing an independent socialist Basque state through armed struggle. In a statement bearing the organisation’s seal and initials, the group declared itself a disarmed organisation, praising the work of Basque civil society and existing Basque institutions in supporting the peace process, while condemning the Spanish and French authorities for what they perceived to be “stubbornness” in not allowing the group to lay down its weapons. 

 

 

 

Working classes and the rise of the new right: Socialist politics in the era of Trump

 

By Socialist Project

 

July 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The success of xenophobic right-wing political forces today calls for the development of a socialist praxis fit for this perilous political moment. Taking this seriously requires that we address the inroads of the far right into working class constituencies that were bastions of trade unionism for much of the 20th century, and traditionally voted heavily not only for New Deal Democrats, or Labour and Social Democratic parties on the centre-left but even, as in France, for Communist parties.

 

The political conjuncture inaugurated in 2016 in the imperial centres of global capitalism, first with the UK’s break with the European Union initiated by the Brexit referendum and then the “America First” patriotic chauvinism that accompanied the election of a political scoundrel like Donald Trump, reflects deepening contradictions in neoliberalism. We should not however expect that the actual practices of global neoliberalism are about to end with this new political conjuncture. Rhetoric aside, thus far the essential orientation of both Trump’s and Theresa May’s politics has been toward hard-right market-building sustained by broad state support for an even more unfettered movement of capital.

 

The New Conjuncture

 

Arnold August on Trump's Cuba policy: what will happen in coming months?

 

 

By Arnold August

 

July 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Resumen Latinoamericano — The official June 16 statement was barely uttered when the majority nationwide opposition to the Trump Cuba policy was once again reignited. Indeed, it was already extremely active and vocal before the Little Havana, Miami venue and date were announced on June 9. By stage-managing the event in Little Havana, Trump was preaching to the choir, one that does not even include the rest of Florida, where the majority of Cuban-Americans oppose the blockade, or at least support the Obama policy of making the blockade somewhat more flexible. Trump’s trademark manner of hand-picking events to spread the word across the country will not work. His Cold War rhetoric will not detract the forces that want to increase trade and travel to Cuba.

 

On the 20th Anniversary of the Handover: An interview with Au Loong-yu on the current political situation in Hong Kong.

 

 

 July 6, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Borderless MovementRobin Lee interviews Au Loong-Yu, a long term activist, writer and member of the Pioneer, a Hong Kong socialist organisation, about the political situation in Hong Kong twenty years after Hong Kong’s reunification with China.

 

Thinking back to the handover, what were your expectations at the time and how do they compare with the situation in Hong Kong today. Were you expectations met?

 

Marxism: The philosophy of praxis

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

To Harrison and Sam.

 

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”
-Karl Marx

"Marxism is the theory of the proletarian movement for emancipation."
-V. I. Lenin

 

Green politics at an impasse

 

 
In light of recent discussions surrounding the Australian Greens and its future direction, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing an edited version of a talk looking at the origins and politics of the Greens presented by Lisa Macdonald to the Socialist Activists and Educational Conference, held in Sydney, January 3-7, 1996. 

 

By Lisa Macdonald

 

On December 1-2, 1995, the German Greens' annual congress in Bremen split over the question of sending German troops as part of imperialism's "peace-keeping" force in Bosnia. Led by Joschka Fischer, a leader of the right-wing realo current in the Greens, 38% of the delegates and most of the parliamentarians supported the sending of troops. Just two years earlier, only 10% of delegates at an extraordinary party meeting voted for the same motion. 

 

In an open letter to delegates in the lead up to the 1995 congress, Fischer accused party members of "fleeing from reality" in opposing troop deployment. In the end, more than 40 of the Green deputies defied the conference decision and voted with the conservative Kohl government to send the troops. 

 

How did this sorry state of affairs in the German Greens — a party founded just 16 years ago on the four principles of environmental sustainability, peace and disarmament, social justice and grassroots democracy — come about so rapidly and so completely? 

 

Answering this question requires an understanding of the basic content and trajectory of Green politics as it has developed in the world to date. Such an assessment must also be the starting point for any discussion about how to advance the red-green political project on the eve of the 21st century.   

 

Reinaldo Iturriza: ‘Es el capital político del chavismo lo que está en juego’

 

 

[English version available here.]

 

4 de julio de 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  Reinaldo Iturriza, militante revolucionario y sociólogo, se ha dedicado por muchos años a trabajar con movimientos populares en Venezuela y escribir sobre la emergencia del chavismo como un movimiento político de los pobres. Entre 2013 y 2016 fue Ministro del Poder Popular para las Comunas y los Movimientos Sociales, y luego de Cultura, en el gabinete de Presidente Nicolas Maduro.

 

Junto con militantes de diversas organizaciones revolucionarios de base y movimientos sociales, Iturriza se ha postulado con el apoyo de la Plataforma Constituyente Popular como candidato para las elecciones a la Asamblea Constituyente, a realizarse el 30 de julio.

 

The Left and Venezuela

 

 

By Claudio Katz[1]

 

SUMMARY

 

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The media keep silent about the violence of the Venezuelan opposition and the prevailing repression by the right-wing governments of Latin America. The Right’s strategy of an institutional coup faces serious limits, but the Left must address this new threat, supporting anti-imperialist decisions and making a distinction between the capitalist boycott and the government’s ineffectiveness.

 

Adhering to social-democratic standards, the post-progressive “critical left” objects to Chavismo, dismissing the danger of a coup, and mistakenly identifying authoritarianism as the main danger. The dogmatists overlook the main enemy and converge with the conservatives or slip toward passive neutrality.

 

The Right only wants elections it is sure it will win. In these very adverse conditions, the Constituent Assembly re-opens opportunities and points to a re-encounter with radical intellectual thought.

 

Full Text (pdf) here

 

Showdown in Catalonia: Can the independence referendum actually happen?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

June 26, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Nothing alarms Spain’s establishment more than the prospect of the unity of the Spanish state being threatened by the desire for self-determination of the peoples that live within its borders. “Spain: One, Great and Free” — the catchcry of the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) — is still the guiding principle and ruling emotion of this elite, even under the regionalised “state of autonomies” created by the 1978 post-dictatorship constitution.

 

This reality explains why prime minister Mariano Rajoy, head of the People’s Party (PP) government, announced at its inauguration on August 30 last year that “Spain’s most serious challenge” is the possibility of secession by Catalonia. So the June 9 announcement by Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont of the date and question of his government’s promised referendum on Catalonia’s future relation with Spain inevitably had the Madrid establishment media (dubbed “the cavern” in progressive circles) in a frenzy.

 

'Letter from Afar', corrections from up close: Censorship or retrofit?

 

 

In March 1917 Alexandra Kollontai, then in Oslo, provided a link between Lenin,
still in Switzerland, and the Bolsheviks in Russia.

 

By Lars Lih

 

June 26, 2017  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — The standard “rearming the party” interpretation of Bolshevism in 1917 is a gripping and highly dramatic narrative that goes something like this: Old Bolshevism is rendered irrelevant by the February revolution, the Russian Bolsheviks flounder until Lenin returns home and rearms the party, and the party is subsequently divided over fundamental issues throughout the year. Party unity is restored—to the extent that it was restored—after the other leading Bolsheviks cave in to Lenin’s superior force of will. Only by these means was the party rearmed by a new strategy that proclaimed the socialist nature of the revolution—an essential condition for Bolshevik victory in October.

 

Bolivia: Final statement of the World Conference of the Peoples “For a World Without Borders towards Universal Citizenship”

 

 

June 24, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Dawn News — This is the final statement of the World Conference of the Peoples For a World Without Borders towards Universal Citizenship, which took place at Tiquipaya, 400 kilometers from La Paz between June 19-20:

 

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