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Is fascism inevitable?

 

 

Can Democracy Survive Globalised Capitalism?
By Charles Kuttner
Norton Publishers, May 2018

 

By Phil Hearse

 

May 22, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Since the global financial crisis in 2007-8, and the consequent anti-capitalist mobilisations like the Occupy! movement and the struggle against austerity in Greece, there have been a series of books arguing for major reforms to capitalism. [1].

 

Charles Kuttner’s important new book is perhaps the most radical of these, making a trenchant critique of globalised capitalism and proposing sweeping reforms to rebuild a mixed economy which works in the interests of everyone (especially workers) and pumps life back into liberal demonocracy. Basing himself on the work of his hero Karl Polanyi [2] Kuttner’s basic message is that unless major reforms are made within capitalism, then fascism or right-wing authoritarianism is virtually inevitable.

 

1968: A crushing defeat for the Indonesian Left

 

 

By Vannessa Hearman

 

May 19, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso — In Indonesia, 1968 was a year of defeat for the Left. A military operation, called the Trident (Trisula) Operation obliterated attempts by remnants of the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI) to organise resistance against Suharto’s authoritarian New Order regime from bases in southern rural East Java. The strongest base, in remote South Blitar, was also a place of refuge, because leftists were being sought and detained or killed in the rest of Indonesia. The party had been, in 1965, the world’s third largest communist party. It was pro-China and was critical of the Soviet Union’s peaceful coexistence strategy in the Cold War. It had enjoyed a close relationship with Indonesia’s President Sukarno who was sympathetic to leftist ideas. From early October 1965, however, following its implication in the abduction and murder of seven army officers, the PKI has been subjected to violent army-led pogroms. In 1968 then, inspired by the rise of guerrilla movements in other parts of the world, the PKI leadership tried to salvage what was left of the party after vicious and murderous terror against its members and sympathisers.

 

Nuclear disaster at Chernobyl: reality and unreality

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

May 19, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — With the escalating doom of climate change hovering over us, it is tempting to push nuclear horror to the back of our minds. To those of us who grew up in the 1950s, it was omnipresent. Nuclear war could not exist without nuclear power and on April 26, 1986 the world experienced a form of nuclear horror it will never forget.

 

Why did Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explode on that day? Did operator error cause it? Was design flaw the reason? Should we look deeper into the Soviet system for the cause? Or should we look deeper still into the very existence of nuclear power?

 

Oppression of Pakistan’s caricatured feudalism

 

 

By Farooq Tariq

 

May 14, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal Large swathes of Pakistan are in the stranglehold of caricatured feudalism. These feudal relations are increasingly penetrated by finance capital as it imposes itself on social relations, politics and the economy itself. It has made the lives of millions miserable, deepening and brutalizing class exploitation. Rampant inequality and poverty remain chronic issues as millions can still be considered bonded labour. Such a harrowing situation is revealed by the fact that only five per cent of agricultural households in Pakistan own nearly two thirds of the farmland.

 

Socialist Party of Malaysia will survive

 

 

 

By S Arutchelvan

 

 

May 13, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Malaysiakini  — My bitter defeat in Semenyih and that of my other Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) comrades is not something unexpected, but the number of votes we got is quite depressing. Nevertheless, the victory of the people of all races in finally putting an end to Umno’s 61-year rule is overwhelming, and is a great antidote to our own defeat.

 

Denmark: Red-Green Alliance arms itself for vital 2019 election fights

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 12, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The annual conference of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA) — known inside the country as the Unity List: the Red-Greens — took place on April 27-29 during a moment of class struggle unusual in these times of weakened trade union organisation.

 

Rojava & the legacy of May '68

 

 

By Marcel Cartier

 

May 11, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Region  — May 1 was the day that the working people of the world took to the streets in millions. It was yet another global festival of the oppressed and downtrodden, as well as a day to struggle for the vision of the world we deserve. It was the day that serves as an annual reminder of our collective power, it gives us the chance to imagine an alternative form of organizing society as well. Every May 1st, our liberatory potential is on full display.

 

The Relevance of Marx at 200

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 10, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice  — May 5 is the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. However, what is there to celebrate? Surely, Marx is out of date now with the fall of the Soviet Union and the triumph of capitalism.

 

Turkey: After Afrîn, the Ottoman dreaming of Sultan Erdoğan

 

 

By John Tully

 

May 9, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tasmanian Times  — On March 18, Turkish troops supported by a 10,000-strong horde of Islamist militiamen stormed into the city of Afrîn in northern Syria. After an unequal eight-week struggle against the Middle East’s most powerful military force, the city’s lightly armed Kurdish defenders had little choice but to melt away and fight another day.

 

The city’s fall was inevitable. Afrîn is isolated from Kobanê and Jazira, the other predominantly Kurdish cantons to the east, and the Kurds had gambled unsuccessfully on international support against the illegal invasion. This was not unreasonable. The invasion was patently illegal, and the world also owes the Syrian Kurds a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices in ridding it of the cancer of ISIS.

 

Sadly, almost all of the world’s governments turned a blind eye to the aggression. Some of them directly or indirectly aided the Turkish aggressor.

 

Canada: A paragon of democratic national self-determination?

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

May 8, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left  — Madrid’s stubborn refusal to allow Catalans to vote on their independence prompted some commentators, paradoxically, to praise Canada’s support for Quebec self-determination.

 

“Quebec got off light,” wrote Louis Bernard,[1] a former top official in Parti québécois governments, referring to the Supreme Court of Canada judgment in the Reference re Secession of Quebec. After the almost-victory for the OUI in the 1995 referendum, he recalled, the federal government asked the Court to declare that Quebec had no right in Canadian or international law to choose unilaterally to “become a sovereign country, separated from Canada.”

 

The Communist International: Its present-day relevance

 

 

By John Riddell

 

May 7, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary  — Thirty-five years ago I undertook to translate and publish the record of the Communist International in Lenin’s lifetime, covering the preparatory years from 1907 to its foundation in 1919 and through 1923. Ten books totalling 7,000 pages are published or in preparation. This has been a team effort of more than 100 collaborators in several continents backed up with a broad community of readers, critics, and supporters.

 

ETA dissolution lifts last chains from Basque national liberation struggle

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 6, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal The military-terrorist organisation Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA) made public its “Statement to the Basque Country: declaration on harm caused” on April 20, an apology for the suffering arising from more than 40 years of violent operations that ended in a permanent ceasefire announced on October 20, 2011.

 

On May 3, ETA’s definitive dissolution was announced in a public declaration to the people of the Basque Country (Euskal Herria).

 

On May 4, at a ceremony held in the Iparralde (French Basque Country) region of Lapurdi, international mediators who have overseen ETA’s disarmament and dissolution took part in an event certifying the end of the organisation. The event consisted in the reading of the Arnaga Declaration, named after the villa in Kanbo (Canbo-les-Bains) where it took place.

 

1968 seen from Britain

 

 

By Phil Hearse

 

May 4, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint  — None of the key events of 1968 happened in Britain, but they impacted dramatically on the configuration of the Left. One socialist journal said it was “the year the ice cracked”. [1] But more realistically it was the culmination of a process of left political renewal started in 1956 when the near-simultaneous Hungarian revolution and the British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt shook the British Left to its core, resulting in the emergence of the “first” New Left. [2]

 

The Kurdish movement for radical change in Syria and the broader Middle East

 

 

By Chris Slee

 

A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State
By Meredith Tax
Bellevue Literary Press
New York 2016

 

April 3, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal When Meredith Tax saw pictures of gun-toting Kurdish women defending the northern Syrian town of Kobane against Daesh (so-called "Islamic State") in 2014, she was inspired to find out more. This book is the eventual outcome of her research.

 

The female fighters of the YPJ (Women's Protection Units) are part of a movement aimed at radical change in Syria and the broader Middle East. Tax explores the history of this movement in the context of the history of the Kurdish people.

 

Armenia: 'A mass movement the country never has seen before'

 

 

May 2, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from LeftEast  — A mass movement in Armenia pushed out the Prime Minister and former president Serj Sargsyan. Even if liberal currents are trying to channel the movement and gain electoral support, this event could also be a positive move for the oppressed youth and the working class in the country. We interviewed Hovhannes Gevorkian, an Armenian student of Law in Berlin and member of the Revolutionären Internationalistischen Organisation (RIO) of Germany. The interview was conducted by Philippe Alcoy (PA).

 

May Day: Workers’ struggles, international solidarity, political aspirations

 

 

May 1, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project  — For more than 100 years, May Day has symbolized the common struggles of workers around the globe. Why is it largely ignored? The answer lies in part in labour’s long repression of its own radical past, out of which international May Day was actually born a century ago. It is more important than ever, in the face of relentless capitalist austerity and emerging authoritarian forces on the right, that the labour movement reconnect with this history and forge linkages with the international labour movement in the remaking of a socialism for our times.

 

Download May Day: Workers’ Struggles, International Solidarity, Political Aspirations Socialist Interventions Pamphlet No. 15.

 

Project Life: Cuba’s action plan prepares for climate change

 

 

“An important biological species is facing the risk of extinction given the rapid 
and progressive elimination of its natural conditions for life: humanity” 
—Fidel Castro Ruz (Earth Summit, Río de Janeiro, June 12, 1992)

 

By Yisell Rodríguez Milán and Danae González Del Toro

 

April 30, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism, an earlier translation first appeared at Granma  — What is to be done about high temperatures, rising sea levels, and increasingly powerful hurricanes? What can we do to be less vulnerable to climate change? Preliminary observations by groups of specialists in the country indicate that sea level has increased on the island an average of 6.77 centimeters since 1966, a process that has accelerated during the last five years. Since the middle of the last century, the average annual temperature has risen 0.9 degrees Celsius, and the coastline is today more fragile than ever. This reality calls for action, and Cuba is acting on the premise of preparing, to avoid lamenting later.

 

Marx, naturalism, anachronism and the disenchantment of nature

 

 

By Blair Vidakovich

 

April 30, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A key debate that is occurring in analytic philosophy at the moment is whether to agree to the popularly-accepted conception of naturalism. Naturalism, in its orthodox and popular version, forces us to accept an austere and disenchanted picture of the universe and the place of humans in it. Normativity, on this conception, is not a part of the universe at all. There are versions of austere naturalism (‘bald’ naturalism, as John McDowell puts it)[1] that admit of epistemic normativity—the position that if some epistemic fact is true, then we ought to believe it—but these are really no different in kind.

 

Don’t blame the socialists, Malaysia’s liberals split the opposition

 

 

By Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj

 

April 28, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from MalaysiaKini  — With the 14th general election fast approaching, there are many Malaysians, especially urbanites, who feel that a change of government is at hand.

 

Several among them have urged Parti Sosialis Malaysia not to “create three-cornered contests,” but to take stock of the big picture and go along with the opposition Pakatan Harapan coalition.

 

This would mean standing down all PSM candidates except for myself – I alone will be allowed by Harapan to contest Sungai Siput under the logo of the PKR.[1]

 

To our friends and supporters who urge this course of action, I would like to point out three facts.

Pakistan: Intimidations, threats and arrests before the historic Lahore public meeting in solidarity with Pashtuns

 

 

By Farooq Tariq

 

April 28, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalOn 22nd April, over 10,000 packed the historic Mochi Darwaza (Cobbler’s Gate) ground in Lahore to listen to leaders of Pashtun Tahafuz (Protection) Movement and Lahore Left Front. The meeting took place despite all efforts of the district management to stop it. They rejected two application of PTM and LLF for permission to hold the rally on “security” grounds.

 

A night before the public meeting, 10 leaders of PTM and Awami Workers Party were arrested from a hotel where they were staying. After massive spontaneous demonstrations and mass social media campaign in various part of the country, the leaders were released in few hours.

 

Those arrested included Ali Wazir, a main leader of PTM and a member of Pakistani Marxist’s, The Struggle group, Nisar Shah chairmen Jammu Kashmir Awami Workers Party, Fanoos Gujjar, president of Awami Workers Party and Ismat Shah Jahan, the president of Women Democratic Front.

 

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