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British politics in tumult

 

 

By Susan Pashkoff

 

September 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — It is a tumultuous time in British politics.Parliament returned from its summer recess on September 3 to a new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, elected by only Tory members following Theresa May resignation as Prime Minister.

 

The Tory government had a working majority of 1 at this point (including the MPs of the Democratic Unionist Party; DUP). Johnson lost this the very same day when Phillip Lee (a Tory remainer MP) dramatically crossed the floor to join the Liberal Democrats while the Prime Minister was addressing Parliament. The Parliamentary Conservative and Unionist Party continued to shrink further over the days ahead.

 

Parliament closed again on September 9 after sitting for only 6 days. During that time Johnson suffered 6 consecutive defeats at the hands of both MPs and the Lords, provoked continued demonstrations across Britain and presided over what looks like the worst crisis the Tories have ever suffered.

 

United States: What the Sanders' campaign opens

 

 

By Dianne Feeley

 

September 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Solidarity — Bernie Sanders’ campaign of four years ago put socialism on the U.S. political agenda for the first time in generations. He’s on the trail again, explaining what a “democratic socialist” vision means, beginning with building mass movements and supporting unions and union organizing.

 

Bernie distinguishes his vision from others running in the Democratic primary in several ways.

The revolution has emerged: Sudan’s acute contradictions

 

 

By Emma Wilde Botta

 

September 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — In April, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, was ousted in a military coup. With the head of the regime cut off, a power struggle ensued between the military junta and the popular movement demanding civilian rule. In August, the main opposition coalition and the transitional military council formally signed a power-sharing agreement following nine months of nationwide protests and brutal repression by paramilitary forces. The massive struggle from below offers a powerful example of how to fight against authoritarianism and for democracy.

 

Public transport can be free

 

 

By Wojciech Kębłowski

 

September 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tribune — If we are to believe transport experts and practitioners, abolishing fares for all passengers is the last thing public transport operators should be doing. For Alan Flausch, an ex-CEO of the Brussels public transport authority and current Secretary General of International Association of Public Transport, “in terms of mobility, free public transport is absurd.”

 

According to Vincent Kauffmann, a professor at University of Lausanne and one of key figures in sustainable mobility, “free public transport does not make any sense.” Getting rid of tickets in mass transit is judged “irrational,” “uneconomical” and “unsustainable.”

 

Make public transport free

 

 

By Chris Saltmarsh

 

September 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tribune — Last week, to uproar from the right-wing press, teen activist Greta Thunberg set sail in a zero emissions yacht on a two-week trip across the Atlantic to reach the UN climate talks in New York. Taking her role as figurehead of the global school strikes for climate movement seriously, Greta shuns air travel for its high levels of emissions production, recently completing a tour around Europe entirely by train.

 

Imperialism in the Anthropocene

 

 

By John Bellamy Foster, Hannah Holleman and Brett Clark

 

September 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — On May 21, 2019, the Anthropocene Working Group, established by the Subcommision on Quaternary Stratigraphy of the International Commission on Stratigraphy, voted by more than the necessary 60 percent to recognize the existence of the Anthropocene epoch in geological time, beginning around 1950. It defined this new “chronostratigraphic” epoch as “the period of Earth’s history during which humans have a decisive influence on the state, dynamics, and future of the Earth System.” Anthropogenic change, beginning in the mid–twentieth century, was designated as the principal force in the accelerated evolution of the entire Earth System. The Anthropocene Working Group will proceed next to the designation of a specific “golden spike,” or stratigraphic location, standing for the Anthropocene in the geological record, with the aim of getting the new epoch officially adopted by the International Commission on Stratigraphy in the next several years.[1]

 

‘Dual Power,’ then... and now?

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

September 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Global capitalist crisis, impending ecological disaster, and new responses by popular movements in some regions, particularly in Latin America, inspire radical thinking about the need to go “beyond capital.” But how to attain the desired “system change” — today, an ecosocialist regime in place of capitalist rule — continues to be a matter for debate and experimentation.

 

A fight on two fronts: On Jean-Luc Godard’s 'La Chinoise'

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene and Shalon van Tine 

 

September 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cosmonaut — Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise (1967) is not an ordinary film. On the surface, La Chinoise seems simple enough: it tells the story of French students in the 1960s who form a Maoist collective, live together, have political discussions, and eventually turn to revolutionary violence. However, the film is difficult to follow since it not only lacks a coherent narrative structure, but the viewer is bombarded with slogans, images, and ideas on everything from popular culture to revolutionary politics. Anyone who attempts to analyze their meaning will easily feel buried by all the sights and sounds that Godard packs into it. Considering the chaotic nature of La Chinoise, the slogan found at the beginning — “We should replace vague ideas with clear images” — may well appear out of place, if not ironic.[1]

 

Why is the far right rising globally and how can it be confronted?

 

 

September 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Real News Network — Walden Bello, author of "Counterrevolution: The Global Rise of the Far-Right," argues that the far-right is in ascendancy at the moment not only in reaction to the failures of neoliberalism, but also because of the failures of liberal democracy. In part 2, he addresses the role of neoliberalism, the strategies of the far-right to gain and maintain power, and how progressive forces might confront the far-right.

 

The coming economic crisis, “unorthodox” monetary policy, and Donald Trump

 

 

By Mike Treen

 

September 7,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Daily Blog NZ — What is behind the “unorthodox” monetary policies of the US and other Central Banks?

 

There is much discussion today around how effective monetary policies are in regulating the ups and downs of the business cycle.

 

Monetary policies are run by the Central Banks of the respective countries with the US Federal Reserve operating like the world’s central bank. Their principal tools are the setting of certain interest rates they can control or influence and creating or reducing the supply of token money.

 

The US Federal Reserve resumed monetary creation policies earlier than expected at its July 30/31 meeting including a cut in what is known as the federal funds rate from 2.5% to 2.25%. They also halted the repurchase of the massive amounts of token money issued between October 2008 and October 2015 in response to the global financial and economic crisis of that time.

 

To understand what is happening we need to understand the interaction of three types of money in existence today.

 

Kashmir, solidarity and the Canadian state

 

 

August 19, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — In his essay, “India’s Kashmir Crackdown Poses Risk of War,” John Riddell argues that India unilaterally revoked the autonomy of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, flooding the region with troops, imposing a curfew, and shutting down all communications, and imposing direct rule by New Delhi, India’s Hindu nationalist government, under the leadership of Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), radically increased the dangers of regional war. The Indian left immediately denounced the measures and called Jammu and Kashmir occupied territories (further drawing parallels to Occupied Palestine). In turn, this raised questions of international solidarity for the anti-war movement, and in Canada the demands to be placed on the Canadian state. Here Richard Fidler and John continue to discuss the Indian intervention into Kashmir and solidarity responses in Canada.

 

Kavita Krishnan: Kashmir is one big prison

 

 

August 19, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from GreenLeftTV — Kavita Krishnan, from the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, speaks about her participation in a fact-finding mission to Kashmir in the face of the siege and crackdown by the Modi government of India.

 

Rebuilding the hegemony of Chavismo: A conversation with Gerardo Rojas

 

 

By Cira Pascual Marquina

 

August 18,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Gerardo Rojas is a Barquisimeto‐based Chavista intellectual and blogger. His work as an organizer began in the early 1990s, when he was in middle school. Later in that decade, Rojas participated in the occupation of a building in the barrio where he was born, which became a community center and later, in 1998, the first community radio in Venezuela. Rojas was one of the founders of Voces Urgentes in 2002, a communication collective, and participated in the organization of one of the first urban communes, Ataroa Socialist Commune, in 2007. More recently, he was vice minister at the Ministry of Communes.

 

The meaning of Kashmir

 

 

By Ammar Ali Jan

 

August 17,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The News — Modi’s decision to revoke Article 35-A and Article 370 of the Indian constitution has fulfilled one of the cornerstones of Hindutva ideology – the forceful assimilation of Kashmir. The audacity of ambition combined with unprecedented secrecy amplified the menacing character of this event. Couching the operation as part of the fight against terror, arresting the entire political leadership of Kashmir, and cutting off communications throughout the valley indicates the colossal nature of the legal and political rupture taking place in the region.

 

Washington intensifies its collective punishment of Venezuelans

 

 

By Kevin Young

 

August 17,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — On August 5, the Trump administration issued an executive order escalating its sanctions against Venezuela. The order froze all Venezuelan government assets in the United States and threatened third parties around the world with punitive action if they trade with the Venezuelan government.

 

The next day, National Security Adviser John Bolton delivered a speech to a meeting of foreign governments in Lima, Peru. “We are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with the Maduro regime: proceed with extreme caution,” he said. “There is no need to risk your business interests with the United States.”

 

In response, the Nicolás Maduro government cancelled its negotiations with self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, which had been scheduled for later that week in Barbados. The Venezuelan foreign minister plausibly speculated that Washington was “trying to dynamite the dialogue.”

 

The move is the Trump administration’s latest escalation of its coup campaign in Venezuela.

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part II—Movement Building

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — In Part I in this series on lessons to be learned from the New Deal, I described the enormous economic and social costs of the first years of the Great Depression and the reluctance of business and government leaders to pursue policies likely to threaten the status quo.  I did so to demonstrate that we should not assume that simply establishing the seriousness of our current multifaceted crisis, especially one that has yet to directly threaten capitalist profitability, will be enough to win elite consideration of a transformative Green New Deal.

 

I also argued that it was the growth of an increasingly militant political movement openly challenging the legitimacy of the police, courts, and other state institutions that finally transformed the national political environment and pushed Roosevelt to change course and introduce his early New Deal employment and relief programs.  In this post, I examine the driving force of this movement, the movement of unemployed.

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part I–Confronting Crisis

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — The New Deal has recently become a touchstone for many progressive efforts, illustrated by Bernie Sanders’ recent embrace of its aims and accomplishments and the popularity of calls for a Green New Deal.  The reasons are not hard to understand. Once again, growing numbers of people have come to the conclusion that our problems are too big to be solved by individual or local efforts alone, that they are structural and thus innovative and transformative state-led actions will be needed to solve them.

 

The New Deal was indeed a big deal and, given contemporary conditions, it is not surprising that people are looking back to that period for inspiration and hope that meaningful change is possible.  However, inspiration, while important, is not the same as seeking and drawing useful organizing and strategic lessons from a study of the dynamics of that period.

 

Paul Le Blanc: Bernie Sanders, US politics & socialism today

 

 

August 13, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from GreenLeftTV — Long time socialist activist & author Paul Le Blanc discusses the current juncture in US politics, the Bernie Sanders campaign and the prospects of organising for socialism.

 

Öcalan’s Strategic Success on Imralı

 

 

Mahmut Şakar interviews Civaka Azad, attorney for Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan's attorney.

 

August 11, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ANF English — On May 2, 2019, Öcalan’s lawyers had contact with their client for the first time since almost eight years. Another visit on the prison island of Imralı came to pass on May 22. Before these visits, altogether 810 requests for visit had been rejected since July 2010. With that, Öcalan holds the “European record” for confinement without access to any legal representation. The visits in May were won by a months-long hunger strike by activists and sympathizers of the Kurdish movement. The prohibition of visits that the defense team had been subjected too was lifted by a court on April 17, 2019. One month later, the Turkish Minister of Justice, Abdülhamit Gül announced that from then on, there would be no limitations for visits to Öcalan by his lawyers. In a joint declaration, Öcalan and his three fellow prisoners pointed to the urgent necessity of democratic negotiations for the solution of the conflicts in Turkey and the Middle East. The problems and wars in the region ought to be addressed not by violence, but by the “methods of democratic negotiations, beyond any polarization and culture of conflict,” Öcalan and his fellow prisoners Hamili Yıldırım, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysel Aktaş demanded.

 

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