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Trump versus the Venezuelan Revolution

 

 

Rally in Caracas against Trump's military threats

 

By Shamus Cooke

 

Trump’s threats against Venezuela escalated recently from the economic to the military: after announcing sanctions he threatened that all military options were “on the table.” Trump’s actions were perfectly timed to lend support to the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela, whose ongoing violent rebellion aims to topple the government of democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.

 

The apex of violence was focused on stopping the recent elections to the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), convened by President Maduro to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution with the goal of resolving the current social-economic crisis.

 

The ANC was tasked to become the most powerful governmental body while in session. Part of Maduro’s motivation in convening the ANC was to break the political deadlock that started when the U.S.-backed opposition gained control of the Venezuelan parliament, the National Assembly.

 

Marx and Engels on ecology: A reply to radical critics

 

 

Marx and the Earth: An Anti-Critique
by Paul Burkett and John Bellamy Foster
Haymarket Books, 2017

 

Reviewed by Chris Williams

 

August 15, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Socialist Review — A long-standing critique of the writings of Marx and Engels has been their supposed lack of concern for or even analysis of the environmental damage caused by capitalism. Worse, even as they envisaged and fought for a world of human freedom, their conception of socialism showed a comprehensive disregard for how humans interact, or should interact, with nature.

 

Crisis and Breakdown

 

 

 

“Either the socialist transformation is, as was admitted up to now, the consequence of the internal contradictions of capitalism, and with the growth of capitalism will develop its inner contradictions, resulting inevitably, at some point, in its collapse, (in that case the “means of adaptation” are ineffective and the theory of collapse is correct); or the “means of adaptation” will really stop the collapse of the capitalist system and thereby enable capitalism to maintain itself by suppressing its own contradictions. In that case socialism ceases to be an historic necessity. It then becomes anything you want to call it, but it is no longer the result of the material development of society."

 

Rosa Luxemburg

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

Philippines - Ellecer Carlos: 'Duterte's drug war constitutes a crime against humanity'

 

 

Ellecer Carlos will a featured speaker at the Radical Ideas conference
that will be held on August 18-20 in Melbourne, Australia

 

By Ellecer Carlos

 

August 11, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ang Masa Para sa Sosyalismo - Online — On behalf of the In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Representatives McGovern and Hultgren, as well as all the other good members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for their support to the human rights protection of the Filipino people. The concern, involvement and solidarity by people abroad is very important during these very challenging times.

 

Filipinas: renace la resistencia contra la dictadura

 

 

Walden Bello (centro) y Sonny Melencio (derecha)

 

12 de agosto de 2017
Sin Permiso traducido por Enrique García — El pasado 20 de julio tuvo lugar en el Benitez Hall, Universidad de Filipinas en Diliman, la Conferencia Nacional contra la Dictadura (NCAD), que pretende articular un frente de izquierdas contra la evidente evolución del régimen del presidente Duterte hacia la dictadura mediante la extención del Estado de Guerra impuesto en Mindanao. Recogemos las intervenciones de dos viejos amigos y colaboradores de Sin Permiso (en cuyos archivos se pueden consultar varios de sus artículos), Sonny Melencio y Walden Bello (en la foto), dos veteranos luchadores contra la dictadura de Marcos y los sucesivos regímenes EDSA. SP

 

Estados Unidos: Sanders y los Demócratas

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

Por Barry Sheppard

 

12 de agosto de 2017 — Viento Sur — En junio, Bernie Sanders escribió un artículo en la sección “toma de posición” del New York Times titulada “How Democrats Can Stop Loosing” (Cómo los demócratas podrían dejar de perder, 13/06/2017).

 

En dicho artículo escribía: “En 2016, el Partido Demócrata perdió la presidencia frente a un candidato que es, quizás, el menos popular en la historia estadounidense. Los Demócratas perdieron también el Senado y la Cámara en favor de los Republicanos, cuyo programa extremista está muy alejado de las orientaciones de la mayor parte de los estadounidenses en el plano político. Ahora los Republicanos controlan casi las dos terceras partes de los puestos de gobernador y han ganado cerca de 1000 escaños en diferentes legislativos de los Estados durante los nueve últimos años. En 24 Estados, los Demócratas no tienen casi ninguna influencia."

 

United States: Successful convention moves Democratic Socialists of America to left

 

 

By Dan La Botz

 

August 10, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — The socialist movement in the United States took a big step forward this past weekend as almost 700 delegates representing over 25,000 members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) met at the organization’sbiennial national convention in Chicago. This convention, the first since DSA more than tripled in size following last year’s election, brought together delegates from all of the country’s major cities and many towns large and small.Most were new members who had joined in the last year either came out of the Bernie Sanders campaign or joined in reaction to the frightening prospect of the Donald Trump presidency. The convention cohered the hundreds of new members into a national organization in what was virtually a re-founding of the DSA. It gave them the experience of beginning to run their own organization, and the delegates adopted constitutional changes and policy resolutions that moved the organization to the left.

 

Venezuela: Socialist trade unionist on the Constituent Assembly and recent terrorist attack on military base

 

 

August 9, 2017 — 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Interview with Stalin Perez Borges, activist with LUCHAS (United League of Chavista Socialists) and member of the Consultative Council of the Bolivarian Socialist Workers’ Central (CBST), conducted by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

Stalin Pérez Borges (LUCHAS): 'El reto de la constituyente es el de dar el Golpe de Timón a la izquierda'

 

 

9 de Agosto de 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Entrevista a Stalin Pérez Borges, militante de LUCHAS (Liga Unitaria Chavista Socialista) y del Consejo Consultivo de la Central Bolivariana Socialista de los Trabajadores y Trabajadoras (CBST) hecho por Federico Fuentes para Links Revista International de Renovación Socialista.

 

The struggle for Catalan independence: an interview with People’s Unity List (CUP) joint national spokesperson Quim Arrufat

 

 

August 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Born in the rural Seu d’Urgell in 1982, People’s Unity List (CUP) joint national spokesperson Quim Arrufat became a well-known and respected figure in Catalan politics during his time as one of the CUP’s first three MPs in the Catalan parliament (2012-2015).

 

In an October 2012 interview with the Catalan web site Vilaweb, he described his organisation, which is committed to Catalan independence and socialism, as “urban Zapatistas”.

 

France: The left after the elections

 

 

Three pieces from the French left — by Roger Martelli, Flavia Verri and Samy Johsua, and Pierre Rousset — looking at French politics after the elections of Emmanuel Macron

 

Spain: Debate erupts in Podemos around agreement to join PSOE government

By Dick Nichols

August 6, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On September 26 last year, José García Molina, the secretary-general of Podemos in the central Spanish autonomous community (state) of Castilla-La Mancha, announced that his party’s agreement keeping the regional Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government in office had «died of disappointment and shame».

According to García Molina, the agreement had expired «waiting for one of its signatories to breathe life and inspiration into it, waiting for justice to be done to what had been presented and signed, but most of all it died from shame at realising some people’s lack of commitment to their promises and undertakings.» This was despite the Castilla-La Mancha government’s claim that of the 72 points agreed with Podemos as a basis for its support, 49 had been completed and 19 were in the process of being implemented.

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.

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