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Sudan’s season of revolution



By Magdi el Gizouli


July 5, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — The last ten days of Ramadan, Islam’s fasting month, are supposed to be a period of spiritual transcendence. By this time, the discipline of fasting and nightly prayer is expected to have smoothed over the ugly creases of the believer’s soul in preparation for a new beginning. Likewise, it is the year’s peak shopping season, as families prepare for the Eid festivities and the associated cycles of gift exchanges. Not this year in Khartoum. Instead the remarkably peaceful city had on appointment with a ‘katla’, vernacular Sudanese for mass and senseless killing.


Gee Whiz! Communism is sure gonna be keen!



Aaron Bastani
Verso, 2019


Reviewed by Ian Angus


July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism — When I was ten years old, I read and re-read a stack of decades-old Modern Mechanix magazines that I found in my grandfather’s basement. Throughout the Great Depression, MM regaled its readers with breathless accounts of technological marvels that were going to change the world, very soon.


Issue after issue promised the kind of things that were later parodied in The Jetsons TV show — flying cars, air conditioned cities, weather control, robots and the like.


A new theory of strikes for a new labour movement



By Fahmi Panimbang


July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Progress in Political Economy — The idea of mass strikes within the Marxist tradition has been most powerful against capitalism. With the idea of strikes, Marx wants to bring about an epistemological change in the working class, “so they would know that they are, together, ‘the agent of production’, and that if they stopped, then production stopped.” Different models of mass strikes have been practised and reterritorialised worldwide from its origins in Western Europe. There has been debate on how the working class today responds to the current changes of capitalist development.


Everything you need to know about the Hong Kong protests



Kevin Lin interviews Au Loong YuChris ChanLam Chi LeungChun-Wing LeeAlexa and Student Labour Action Coalition.


July 6, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission — Hong Kong's government tried to rush through a bill that would limit civil liberties. Instead they triggered a tidal wave of protests — some of the largest in modern history.


On June 9, Hong Kong was convulsed by a million-strong march against a proposed amendment that would allow suspects to be extradited from the former British colony to mainland China, along with other countries. The government — chaired by the Beijing-approved chief executive Carrie Lim — insists that political dissidents and activists would be unaffected by the amendment. But the measure set off a firestorm, igniting public anger even as the government rushed to push it through the Legislative Council by July.


Capital paralysis: The scope and impact of Washington-imposed sanctions on Venezuela in the context of international law



By Richard Balzano, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


ABSTRACT: This work presents a comprehensive definition of modern sanctions through a synthesis of scholarly interpretations, followed by an outline of international legislation pertaining to sanctions and collective punishment, and a scope and evolutionary sequence of Washington-imposed sanctions on Venezuela. The article then explores the polarized arguments for the causes of Venezuela’s economic crisis and makes a determination that Washington-imposed sanctions cross the threshold of international law. While a case can (and should) be made that sanctions are issued in concert with “democratic intervention” (subversion) and a collaborative Washington-media narrative to hyperbolize Venezuela’s economic state as a means to make intervention palatable to domestic and international observers, those elements are introduced but that determination is outside the scope of this article. 


Ada Colau re-elected as Barcelona mayor—but at what price?



By Dick Nichols

June 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Compare these two scenes, which took place in Barcelona’s central St James Square after the election of the city’s mayor, the first four years ago and the second on June 15.

On June 13, 2015, successful candidate Ada Colau, former spokesperson of the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH) and leader of the radical mass-meeting based movement Barcelona Together (BeC), takes ten minutes to lead the city’s 41 newly elected councillors in their traditional walk across the square from the town hall to the Catalan government building on the other side. An enormously enthusiastic crowd presses in on all sides to greet her, to endless shouts of Si, se puede! (“Yes, we can!”)—a celebration of the conquest of Barcelona Council by BeC’s anti-establishment, participatory, ecological and feminist. radical municipalism.

Fast forward to June 15, 2019. This time the newly successful Colau crosses the square to a chorus of whistles, boos, and ugly sexist abuse from a small group. The councillors wearing their red sashes of office walking with her is also one representative short. Missing is Joaquim Forn, leader in the council of Together for Catalonia (JxCat), party of exiled Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont.

Against green capitalism



By Hêlîn Asî


June 29, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Make Rojava Green Again — This year the discussions and struggles for the climate have gained enormous attention and outreach. The importance and seriousness of the situation, although long known, has been emphasized in recent months by young people around the world. The “Fridays for Future” movements have grown into a notable and remarkably young global mass movement – with local actions in many European countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, Turkey, Rojava, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico. The weekly strikes are led and organised by young people. The goals are concrete: the fastest possible exit from coal, a complete switch to renewable energies, consistent taxation of greenhouse gas emissions and compliance with the relevant international agreements. Global warming should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is now clear to many that these are not unrealistic, utopian goals, but the only way out of the current situation.


Not on our side: On Bernie Sanders and imperialism



By Doug Enaa Greene


June 27, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with the author's permission — On February 19, 2019, Vermont Senator and “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders announced his plans to run for the Democratic Party nomination for President. The announcement was met with cheers from large swaths of the American left who identify with his support for expanded labor rights, Medicare for All, free college, and a litany of other  progressive issues. Those appear to be very compelling reasons to back the Sanders’ campaign. However, when it comes to American imperialism and war, Sanders may offer slightly different rhetoric than other Democratic candidates or Donald Trump, but his record proves him to be no alternative at all.


Popular classes as a key factor in the struggle against the deportation of asylum seekers in Israel



By Dr. Dov Khenin & Uri Weltmann


June 27, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the April 9 elections to the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), the right-wing won a landslide victory, with the various parties of the left finishing with their worst result in history (totalling no more than 20 seats out of 120). While all believed that Benjamin Netanyahu had secured his fifth term as Prime Minister, the crisis in Israeli politics has resulted in him being unable to form a coalition and calling snap elections for September 17. Early polls suggest that the left will not have the upper hand in this next round of elections, and the prospects for progressive social transformations in Israel seem to be very remote. This raises the question: can we even expected to see social and political struggles in Israel that have the potential to deal a defeat to Netanyahu?


Indian Communists on Modi's re-election



Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  republishes two recent editorials from ML Update, the weekly newsletter of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, reflecting on the challenges facing the left after Narendra Modi's re-election


Fighting the far right in Germany



June 16, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Sibylle Kaczorek, a member of Germany’s main left party, Die Linke, and an activist with Stand Up Against Racism! (Aufstehen gegen Rassismus!) speaks with Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal’s Dick Nichols.

Trotsky’s ideas in Cuba



Interview with Frank Garcia Hernandez by Rob Lyon


June 16, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Action —  On May 6 to 8, 2019 the first International Academic Conference examining the life and ideas of the great Ukrainian revolutionary and leader of the Russian revolution Lev Davidovitch Bronstein, now universally known as Leon Trotsky, was held in Havana, Cuba. The Conference was organized by the Juan Marinelo Cultural Center in conjunction with the Cuban Institute of Philosophy, and was hosted by the Casa Benito Juarez in Old Havana.


Sponsoring organizations included the Trotsky House and Museum in Mexico City, the Editions Carlos Marx, of Mexico, and the Center for the Study Investigation and Publication of the Thoughts of Leon Trotsky, in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Elections in Spain: Podemos implodes, Catalan right to decide reasserted

Photo: Manuela Carmena and Ada Colau.


By Dick Nichols

June 6, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In the May 26 European elections, the greatest losses by an affiliate of the United Left Group/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European parliament were incurred in the Spanish state by the radical force Unidas Podemos. The fact that the European contest coincided with elections for Spain’s 8131 municipalities, for 12 of its 17 state governments (“autonomous communities”), for its Moroccan enclaves Ceuta and Melilla and for island administrations in the Balearic and Canary Islands, only helped multiply the damage.

The question hanging over all these contests was whether they would confirm the basic trends of the April 28 Spanish general election: gains for the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) at the expense of Unidas Podemos; a rising vote for the far-right Vox at the expense of the EPP’s Spanish affiliate, the People’s Party (PP); and continuing support for Catalan pro- independence forces, with the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) gaining at the expense of Together for Catalonia (JxCat).

European parliament election: the far right stopped — for now


By Dick Nichols

June 5, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In the end, the European establishment parties’ almighty scare campaign about the threat of a far-right surge at the May 26 elections to the European parliament worked out quite nicely for them. True, guarding the power structures of the neoliberal European Union (EU) has become trickier now that the duopoly of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) has ended in a loss of 72 seats[i], but the centre has held—for now.

The liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), supported by French president Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche, partly came to the rescue with its 40 extra Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): that gain made these champions of a federal EU the biggest winner. In addition, although the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) grew by a 21 seats on the back of a rising wave of concern about global warming, its more conservative flank may well be vulnerable to S&D and ALDE pressure not to touch the pillars of EU institutional stability.

What happened to the International Socialist Organization?

By Paul LeBlanc


May 28, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — What happened to the International Socialist Organization (ISO) is that it self-destructed. The outgoing leadership of the outgoing organization presented this fact to the world in its statement of April 19, 2019, “Taking Our Final Steps”. For many who are committed to the socialist cause, whatever criticisms or reservations they might have had regarding the ISO, this is truly a defeat. One of the purposes of what follows is to explore how and why this happened, and what it means for those who take seriously the struggle for revolutionary socialism.

For some years the ISO had existed as the largest and strongest revolutionary socialist organization in the United States. As its foremost leader, Ahmed Shawki, emphasized more than once, the primary take-away from this indisputable fact was that revolutionary socialism was a pitifully weak force in the United States. And yet, the disappearance of this organization certainly merits more than a shrug.

Does Lonmin’s inclement death resolve – or reload – the Marikana massacre?

An obituary for the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’



By Patrick Bond 

May 28,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  On Tuesday, the world’s third largest platinimum mining house, Lonmin, will like die, remembered as the exemplar of multinational corporate irresponsibility. As a people’s trial hosted by the Marikana Solidarity Network gets underway outside Carlton House Terrace in London, where Lonmin’s shareholders vote on a friendly takeover deal (albeit with extremely dubious characteristics), many critics are shaking their heads – and fists – at the extraordinary financial and political circumstances.

On Cannon, Shachtman and early US Trotskyism: Bryan Palmer's talk to the Havana conference on Leon Trotsky

Max Schachtman and James Cannon.

Image: Max Shachtman with James P. Cannon.

May 19, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  What follows are Bryan Palmer’s notes for his presentation to the May 6th-8th, three-day conference in Havana, Cuba, organized to commemorate the centennial of the founding of the Third International, with a discussion of the topic, “Leon Trotsky and Trotskyism”.  The second volume of Palmer’s major biography, James P. Cannon: Revolutionary Continuity and Class-Struggle Politics in the United States, 1890 – 1974, will be published by Brill at the end of 2019, and will be published soon thereafter in soft-cover, by Haymarket Books. It is titled James P. Cannon and the Emergence of Trotskyism in the United States, 1928-1938.


Remarks to the Trotsky Conference, Havana

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