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The great power grab: Imperialism and the war in Ukraine - a discussion between Alex Callinicos and Gilbert Achcar



By Alex Callinicos

March 27, 2022  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Worker — The mainstream media present the war in Ukraine as a struggle between “democracy”, represented by Ukraine and its Western backers, and “authoritarianism” in the shape of Vladimir Putin’s regime in Russia. But this is much too simplistic.

For example, probably Ukraine’s most enthusiastic backer is the far right government in Poland, which is under investigation by the European Union for its authoritarian tendencies. Putin is supported by India, which, despite its own brutish fascist ­government, remains a multi-party democracy.

Contribution to the development of an ecosocialist program



By Fourth International

23 February 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Fourth International — This text was presented to open a discussion on the international situation at the International Committee meeting and will form the basis for future elaboration.

Manifesto: Feminist resistance against war (plus comments by Catherine Samary)



March 14, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Feminists against war — The undersigned:

We profoundly condemn the military invasion led by the Putin regime in Ukraine, which has already left thousands of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, and which provokes a sharpening of the confrontation between imperialist blocs at the global level.

We reject the positions issued in recent days that deepen the warmongering spiral. We reject the decisions that involve adding more weapons to the conflict and increasing war budgets. We reject security narratives that reinforce authoritarian logic and militarization. Not in our name.

We must remember that NATO is co-responsible for the situation created by its global expansionism and militaristic security narrative. Weapons perpetuate war, perpetuate barbarism and perpetuate suffering. There is no greater security than peace.

With this manifesto we collect the call launched by Russian feminist groups and join the Feminist Resistance against War! In this way, we recover the feminist thread of history that has participated in struggles against reactionary wars, from the movement led by Rosa Luxemburg in 1914, the Greenham Common anti-nuclear weapons camp of the 1980s, or the Women in Black movement against war, to name a few.

European Network Solidarity with Ukraine and against war



We, collectives of social movements, trade unions, organisations and parties, from Eastern and Western Europe, oppose war and all neo-colonialism in the world, want to build a network from below, independent of any government.

Germany: We still need anti-imperialism — Why Die Linke shouldn’t abandon a principled anti-war stance



By Christine Buchholz

March 14, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine is a catastrophe. But it’s no surprise that the German government and security policy establishment is using it to push through its long-held demands for rearmament.

Some leftists have adopted the appeal of Hedwig Richter, a historian at the Bundeswehr University Munich, to “harmonize the wish for freedom and the will for defence”. Die Linke should reject this along with the notion that it needs to “change with the times” by jettisoning its principled pro-peace positions. A condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression is just as needed as a critique of NATO and German military build-up.

Britain: What sort of anti-war movement do we need today? (Plus response from Stop the War Coalition)



By Dave Kellaway and Geoff Ryan

March 23, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti*Capitalist Resistance — In our first draft of this article we started by outlining in some detail the differences on the left about Ukraine. We outlined the now well-rehearsed arguments about:

  • relative importance of NATO expansion versus Putin’s imperial project,
  • supporting the armed resistance or de-escalation/no arms from the West
  • is it an inter imperialist war or a just war against an imperialist invader?.
  • do we stand with the Ukrainian people or avoid taking sides because the US/UK/EU/NATO ‘supports’ the same side
  • are we for or against sanctions and can we target them at the oligarchs and Putin’s clique?
  • do we defend ‘independence’ rights of people in Donbass or Crimea or support Ukrainian sovereignty and self-determination?

But to be honest that was a big mistake. Our website is full of detailed articles on all those issues.

‘National security’ or protect people here and now?



By Dave Holmes

March 27, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Arguing for Socialism — As the lives of residents along Australia’s east coast were smashed by unprecedented floods, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was talking up “national security”. The Coalition government has committed to spending hundreds of billions of dollars on beefing up our armed forces.

“Our world is becoming increasingly uncertain, so it’s important we take steps now to protect our people and our national interest over the coming decades”, Morrison said in a March 10 speech. The website of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet claims that “National security is all about keeping Australians safe and secure.”

[Updated] Why did Ukraine suspend 11 ‘pro-Russia’ parties? (plus statements by Sotsyalnyi Rukh)



By Volodymyr Ishchenko

March 21, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Al Jazeera — During the weekend, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s government suspended 11 Ukrainian political parties citing their alleged “links with Russia”. While the majority of the suspended parties were small, and some were outright insignificant, one of them, the Opposition Platform for Life, came second in the recent elections and currently holds 44 seats in the 450-seat Ukrainian Parliament.

It is true that these parties are perceived as “pro-Russian” by many in Ukraine. But it is important to understand what “pro-Russian” means in the country today.

[Updated] The dangerous tide of Russophobia (plus Richard Seymour on 'The Belligerati'/'An epidemic of dehumanization')



By John Clarke

March 20, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Counterfire — Putin’s invasion of Ukraine should certainly be condemned by all on the left but the broader context of global rivalry and Nato expansion can’t be left out of the picture. Certainly, the present invasion shouldn’t held up as a unique act of aggression, while the even bloodier role of the US led Western powers, in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan, is disregarded.

In this regard, a long simmering mood of Russophobia has now reached dangerous levels absurdity in the West. Those in power are certainly inflicting punitive and enormously damaging sanctions on the Russian economy but the extent to which a rising tide of xenophobic backwardness has emerged in response to this political lead is quite horrifying.

Ukraine’s government dismantles labour rights during the war (plus statement by Sotsyalnyi Rukh)



By Serhiy Guz

March 20, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from openDemocracy — Ukraine’s proposed new law to deregulate labour rights, which the government sees as part of the combined effort to thwart the Russian invasion, has set the administration at odds with the country’s trade unions.

There are fears that the new law, which has been approved by parliament but is yet to be signed into law by President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, could continue after the war is concluded and lead to further exploitative working conditions in Ukraine.

Cuba prepares for disaster



By Don Fitz

March 24, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The September 2021 Scientific American included a description by the editors of the deplorable state of disaster relief in the US.  They traced the root cause of problems with relief programs as their “focus on restoring private property,” which results in little attention to those “with the least capacity to deal with disasters.”  The book Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change in Cuba: Adaptation and Management (2021) came out the next month. It traced the highly successful source of the island nation’s efforts to the way it put human welfare above property.  This collection of 14 essays by Emily J. Kirk, Isabel Story, and Anna Clayfield is an extraordinary assemblage of articles, each addressing specific issues.  

Latin American extractivism – A review



Review of Latin American Extractivism: Dependency, Resource Nationalism, and Resistance in Broad Perspectives, edited by Steve Ellner. Lanham, Maryland, Rowman and Littlefield, 2021.

By Denis Rogatyuk

March 24, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Latin American Extractivism is a compilation of articles analysing the political economy of resource nationalism and policies of natural resource extraction by left-wing and right-wing governments, with Venezuela-based academic Steve Ellner serving as the editor. It is a well-timed response to the chorus of ‘neo-extractivist’ academics that, for more than a decade, had been criticising the governments of the Pink Tide across Latin America for allegedly being ‘rentier states’ that continued down the road of their neoliberal predecessors and embraced a socio-economic model that sought industrialisation and economic development over the preservation of the environment. 

The war in Ukraine and the dilemmas of the western left



By Darya Saburova

March 17, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti-Capitalist Resistance — I am not a specialist, in the academic sense of the term, neither of Russian-Ukrainian relations nor of geopolitical questions. I am doing a thesis in philosophy. But I was born in Kyiv where I lived for 20 years before arriving in France. My family is currently in Ukraine. My mother left Kyiv on February 28, but many friends and relatives of friends still remain in the capital, either because they are responsible for the elderly and sick, or because they have chosen to defend their city and to help those who remained behind. Other friends have already fled and are preparing to file asylum applications in Poland, Germany or France. Since the first day of the invasion, I have mainly followed local news, via Ukrainian media and various Telegram channels, or directly via the testimonies of my relatives. This is one of the reasons why I decided to write this text, in order to talk about the extent of the destruction, the living conditions of the people currently there, and the networks of solidarity and resistance in which the Ukrainian population is massively involved.

Why blaming NATO is not westsplaining



By Dragan Plavšić

March 15, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Counterfire — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a war of imperial subjugation. Its brutality is only too familiar from the terrible wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We must condemn it, demanding a ceasefire and Russia’s withdrawal. We must also demand that the UK welcomes refugees with the open arms it has so often shamefully folded, most recently to fleeing Syrians and Afghans.

But we can’t leave things there.

Six FAQs on anti-imperialism today and the war in Ukraine



By Gilbert Achcar

March 19, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — The following are six questions related to the position stated in my “Memorandum on the radical anti-imperialist position regarding the war in Ukraine

Book: Contemporary European Left Party Movement



By Suksam Park

March 24, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Neoliberalism, which has been promoted for over 30 years, is an attack of the state and capital on labor and welfare. Precarious workers, youth unemployment, the climate crisis, and disaster capitalism symbolized by COVID-19, negate the legitimacy of this system. 

Although leftists recognize and argue that capital is inflicting pain on countless people, the left remains marginalized and fragmented in most countries.

If capitalism is in crisis and the people’s suffering is severe, why is the left marginalized? What efforts have leftists made, and what should be done? This book started with these questions, leading to a discussion about the existence, situation, and strategies of the current left.

As the title suggests, this book analyses the contemporary European left in its various shapes and situations since the 1990s. The ultimate purpose of the book is the growth of left forces.

Alain Krivine (1941-2022): Optimism of the will



By Léon Crémieux

March 16, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Fourth International — Our comrade Alain was, for more than 40 years, at the heart of the life and leadership of our International and its French section, while contributing to the construction of other sections. He was one of the main spokespersons for our ideas and our internationalist struggles, always seeking to maintain the political achievements of our movement, to build it patiently, while always pushing to open up to new experiences, new mobilizations, with a permanent concern for unitary action and the absence of sectarianism.

Ukraine: “Stopping the war is the absolute priority”



Interview with Volodymyr Ishchenko by Jerko Bakotin

March 17, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from  Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has thrown that country, and indeed the entire post-1989 order, into chaos. As Russian tanks and guns continue to assault Ukrainian cities in the face of surprisingly stiff resistance, a renewed sense of unity and purpose has emerged among Ukrainians — and among Western elites. Many erstwhile supporters of Putin in the EU have turned against him, while politicians from across the political spectrum unite in gestures of solidarity with Ukraine both material and symbolic.

At the same time, new divisions are cropping up on the Left. Although those on the Left actively supporting the Russian invasion remain a small minority, voices from Eastern Europe and elsewhere have faulted leftists in the West for underestimating Putin’s imperial ambitions and downplaying the threat he posed to Ukraine and other Eastern European neighbours — a threat that has now become all too real for the people of Kharkiv, Mariupol, and other parts of Ukrainian under Russian assault.

Ukrainians fiercely resist brutal Russian invasion



By Geoff Mirelowitz

March 16, 2022 March 13, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from World-Outlook — Moscow is escalating its savage assault on Ukraine in the face of worldwide opposition to the invasion ordered by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Any idea that Russia’s military could score a quick victory and rapidly impose a successful occupation of the country has proven false. Ukrainian resistance has been stiff and determined.

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