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Brexit and the Left

 

 



By G.LL. Williams

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Brexit, the British vote to leave the European Union in 2016, has created a major political crisis in Britain and in the EU. This crisis has also created a dire political situation in Great Britain for the Left and for the Right. The Left has split between those supporting Britain leaving the EU and those supporting Britain staying in the EU. The close, but decisive, victory for Leave in the June Referendum, divide the British Left on the issue of the European Union and the place of Britain in Europe. This crisis has affected all the major forces of the British Left, including in the Labour Party and the other groups of the British Left. This crisis within the British Left needs to be confronted and tackled so that the British Left can unite on a common politics and a common programme about Brexit and Britain’s place in Europe. This issue and disunity is likely to cause serious problems for the British Left, unless it can be solved. The British Left cannot afford to be divided over Brexit and Europe. The Left needs a Brexit policy and a Brexit politics: it needs to come together on the politics of Brexit and present a united position on Brexit. A better position on Brexit will allow it to push for a better Britain today and for a better Britain in the future.

 

The US coup in Venezuela: New attempt to eradicate the Chavista Revolution

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

January 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — For over two years we have been told Putin’s Russia has interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections. We now find the US government has decided it can unilaterally invalidate the actual presidential elections in Venezuela and recognize a person of its choosing as president. This is just the latest US-backed coup attempt against a progressive Latin American government, following Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004, and every subsequent election), Bolivia (2008), Honduras (2009), Ecuador (2010, 2015), Paraguay (2012), and Nicaragua (2018).

France in Revolt: Sam Wainwright on the Yellow Vest movement

 

 

January 25, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Sam Wainwright (who has just completed an honours thesis titled "Crisis and Renewal in the French left) speaks about the Yellow Vest movement in France at the Socialist Alliance summer school on January 16.

 

Sam Wainwright is a member of the Fremantle Council and a member of the national executive of Socialist Alliance.

 

Is foreign military intervention in Venezuela imminent?

 

 

By James Jordan

 

January 24, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — According to conventional wisdom, there should be no serious talk of foreign military intervention in Venezuela. But these aren’t conventional times. The conventional playbook would adopt a strategy of foreign coordination of the Venezuelan opposition, economic sabotage, infiltration of the military, and manipulation of popular movements against the elected government. All this is being done, but, so far, unsuccessfully. The frustrations of the Bolivarian movement’s enemies are palpable. Does this mean intervention is imminent? And what would such an intervention look like?

 

Behind the popular revolt in Sudan

 

 

Below,
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing an interview with journalist and former Sudanese Communist Party activist Rashid Saeed Yagoub along with an article by Sudanese activist and writer Amgad Fareid Eltayeb outlining the current situation and background to the revolt in Sudan. This is followed by a solidarity statement issued by the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists.

 

Why did New Zealand suffer the worst casualty rate in World War I?

 

 

By Mike Treen

 

January 23, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Armistice Day, November 11, commemorates the day when the fighting stopped on the Western front in Europe.

 

As a participant in this lie of the “war to end all wars” New Zealand had achieved the unique result of suffering the highest military casualty rate of any nation involved in that war.

 

The French Yellow Vests: A self-mobilized mass movement with insurrectionist overtones

 

 

By Kevin B. Anderson

 

January 22, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — After rumbling on social media for weeks, the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement emerged suddenly on November 17, when no less than 300,000 protestors occupied roads, traffic circles in exurbs and rural areas. They wore the yellow safety vests the government requires all motorists to purchase, and which immediately became the emblem of the movement.  That week and the next, Yellow Vests also ventured into the heart of Paris, blocking the gilded Boulevard Champs-Elysées and almost reaching the nearby presidential palace.  From the beginning, women were unusually prominent in the local occupations and the street marches.  At the same time, the Yellow Vests chased away many politicians who visited their protest sites, including some from the left.

 

Venezuela: What’s been learnt won’t be easily forgotten - a conversation with Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann

 

 

January 21, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann, who holds degrees from Venezuelan and Ecuadorian universities, has been a human rights activist and militant leftist since the 1980s. A former vice-rector of the National Experimental Security University, he took part in the process of police reform initiated in 2006. Today Gonzalez Plessmann is part of the SurGentes collective and is working with the Pueblo a Pueblo project in Caracas’ San Agustin barrio. In this interview with Cira Pascual Marquina, he presents important insights into the revolutionary potential that Chavismo unleashed during the course of the Bolivarian Process. It’s a potential that, he thinks, could be set rolling again.

 

Is Russia imperialist?

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

January 21, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Russia is said to be an imperialist world power, one in conflict with the imperialist superpower that is the United States. Russia has been characterized in this manner both during the period of the Soviet Union and after the Soviet Union collapsed and separate states were formed. Russia is said to be imperialist both when it was a socialist state and now as a capitalist state.

 

Russia is also said to be a non-imperial capitalist state, one still struggling to recover from the crisis of the Soviet collapse and the political and economic catastrophe of the Boris Yeltsin years, when it degenerated into a near neo-colonial client looted by the US.[1]

 

Comintern project publishing appeal

 

 

Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai at the 1921 conference of Communist women

 

This letter from John Riddell and Mike Taber was first posted at John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary blog

 

*****

 

Dear friends,

 

Please join us in raising funds for the ninth installment of books in the Comintern publishing series The Communist Women’s Movement, 1920-1922. To help raise $3,000 in special editorial costs, go to https://www.gofundme.com/comintern-book-on-women

 

Jim Yong Kim’s mixed messages to the World Bank — and the world

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

January 19, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is an ex-leftist who claims that in the mid-1990s he wanted to shut down the Bank. At the time, it was an entirely valid, realistic goal of the 50 Years is Enough! Campaign and especially the World Bank Bonds Boycott. Kim’s co-edited Dying for Growth (2000) book-length analysis of the Bank’s attacks on Global-South public health offered very useful ammunition.

 

1918: Good bye to all that, but not for everyone

 

 

By Sam Gordon

 

January 19, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — With the passing of 2018 we witness the passing of 100 years since the end of World War I. This year the Europeans, the whiter parts of the former British Empire, now Commonwealth of Nations, and the United States bade a somber farewell to the “war to end all wars.”

 

Since the end of hostilities much has been written about the suffering endured by men in uniform between 1914 and 1918. Collections of poetry, biographies — possibly most notably Robert Graves’s Good Bye To All That — and volumes of fiction are stacked on library shelves. Historical analysis has made its way into the printed news, radio and television.

 

Some even venture that Australia and New Zealand gained their national identity during the conflict. I’ll leave others, better placed than me, to deliberate on that one.

 

Some, but less, coverage has been devoted to the outcomes of the conflict. It saw the end of some empires, the expansion of others, and in the case of the US, following the acquisition of lands held by Native Americans, the emergence into new theaters of exploitation.

 

The Cuban Revolution and the Canadian solidarity movement of the 1960's

 

 

 

January 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — What follows is chapter fifteen from volume one of Ernest Tate’s memoir, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s, published by Resistance Books, London. In this chapter, using archival sources, he describes in detail how a small group of Canadian revolutionary socialists in the Socialist Educational League, S.E.L., later to become the League for Socialist Action, L.S.A., of which he was a leader, organized in 1960 to defend the early Cuban Revolution against a right-wing propaganda offensive inspired by American imperialism, designed to quarantine it from the Canadian people. Their campaign in defense of Cuba, he writes, was one of the most successful of its kind in the English-speaking world.

The French yellow vest protests and the politics of alliances: what can be learned?

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

December 15, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It should not be surprising that the right in the form of Marine Le Pen and Donald Trump have attempted to give voice to the protests that have wracked France in recent days. In fact, the protests may signal a new stage that opens opportunities for the left at the international level. That is because the protests unify diverse non-elite sectors of the population and are directed against the economically privileged and the political establishment. Their rejection of a tax on fuel prices has now expanded to include an array of other economic demands such as a rise in the minimum wage, reduction of the workweek and improved retirement benefits. Furthermore, the protests skirt the right’s leading banners such as a halt to immigration, zero tolerance approach to law and order and other racist-driven formulations.

 

Central Europe and Central America: Will there be a historical convergence?

 

 

By Joyce McCracken

 

December 15, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — During October 1956 Soviet tanks rolled into the capital of the Hungarian People’s Republic, Budapest. Much has been written about the event. Discussions have ranged from Communist Party congresses, Fourth Internationalist gatherings, academic forums, and discussions in bars and over kitchen tables — essentially wherever lefties hang out in Europe and beyond.

 

A young English reporter, Peter Fryer, working for the Daily Worker, witnessed the event itself and the immediate aftermath. That paper was the forerunner of today’s Morning Star, which today proudly and justifiably claims to be the world’s only English language, socialist daily newspaper.

 

The story of what Fryer witnessed in Hungry can be read in his short book, Hungarian Tragedy. It makes harrowing reading.

 

Québec solidaire reviews the election and maps campaign on climate crisis

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

December 13, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Québec solidaire will make climate change the party’s main political campaign issue in the coming year, both in and outside the National Assembly. The campaign will build on the major proposals in the QS economic transition plan featured in the recent Quebec general election.

 

Meeting in Montréal December 7-9, the party’s National Committee (CN), which comprises delegates from its constituency associations and other membership bodies, debated and adopted a “political balance sheet” of the October 1 election, in which Québec solidaire doubled its share of the popular vote to 16% and elected 10 deputies to the National Assembly.

 

Britain: Gordon Brown’s self-exoneration rings hollow

 

 

Review by Alex Miller

 

My Life, Our Times
By Gordon Brown
Bodley Head, £16.99, 500 pages

 

December 13, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Gordon Brown went from being a creditable left-wing British Labour MP in the 1980s to Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) under Tony Blair from 1997-2007 and then Prime Minister from 2007, until his defeat at the hands of the Conservatives in 2010. As co-architect of New Labour, he became a champion of business elites, the private sector, the ultra-wealthy, globalisation, private finance initiatives (PFIs), public-private partnerships (PPP), privatisation, financialisation, and just about any neoliberal policy you care to mention.

 

In this dismal and depressing autobiography, he attempts to portray himself as a progressive opponent of neoliberalism and tries to relieve himself of culpability in New Labour disasters, such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Create two,three, many Rojava revolutions!

 

 

By Peter Boyle

 

December 10, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Hawzhin Azeez: Reflections of a Kurdish Feminist — Solidarity is a core value of the Socialist Alliance. Wherever we see people fighting tyranny or oppression our response is one of solidarity. Many of our founding members, including myself, had come to our socialist convictions when we were part of the powerful solidarity movement for the Vietnamese struggle against US imperialism.”

 

So when people started rising in the Middle East in the so-called “Arab Spring” revolts we jumped into solidarity action once again. Knee-jerk  solidarity with the oppressed, you could say. We were in the streets with the Egyptian community when it took to the streets around Australia and when the people in Syria rose up we helped organise one of the first solidarity actions in Sydney.

 

Linking class and gender theory

 

 

Reviewed by Pip Hinman

 

Social Reproduction Theory
Edited by Tithi Bhattacharya
Pluto Press $45

 

December 7, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The rise of #MeToo, the anti-rape culture movement in India, the US women's strike and the pro-choice movements that have rocked Ireland and Argentina reveal that a new generation of feminist activists — some of whom may not have heard of “second-wave feminism” nor read the debates — is now organising for change.

 

They are fighting back because their hopes and aspirations for a better, more equal life are being thwarted. They experience oppression as women and as workers. They may not all identify as feminist (thanks to liberal feminism), but they are fighters against women’s oppression nonetheless.

 

These are some of the people Tithi Bhattacharya hopes to reach with Social Reproduction Theory, a collection of essays that focus on developing and linking class and gender theory.

 

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