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Philippines: Building a socialist-green-progressive electoral slate

 

 

By Sonny Melencio

November 25, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rappler — Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) fielded almost a complete slate from presidency, vice presidency, senators, and partylist in the 2022 elections. Our slate consists of labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman for president, activist parliamentarian and Laban ng Masa chairperson Walden Bello as vice president, workers’ advocate Luke Espiritu as senator, and environmental leaders Roy Cabonegro and David D’Angelo also as senators. 

We are also running as PLM partylist in Congress, with nominees coming from public sector unions, people’s organizations, women, and urban poor groups. We have a few local candidates contesting political clans and dynasties in areas such as Carmona, Cavite; Caloocan City; Zambales; and others.

Fielding candidates for top posts is a bold and daring move for Left groups. It has never been done before. The closest experience is the running of eight senatorial candidates by Partido ng Bayan (PnB) in 1987, shortly after the EDSA People’s Power Revolution in 1986.

Basque independentist left: pain caused by ETA ‘should never have happened’

 

 

By Dick Nichols

November 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The casual observer of the Spanish Basque Country (Euskadi) might have thought that the October 18 declaration of left-independentist alliance EH Bildu and its largest affiliate Sortu would have been welcomed by all sides of politics (see English version here).

The statement, which was read in Spanish by EH Bildu coordinator general Arnaldo Otegi and in Basque (euskara) by Sortu general secretary Arkaitz Rodríguez, delivered what many have long sought from the abertzale (patriotic) left: acknowledgment of the suffering caused by the 43-year-long military-terrorist actions of its armed wing, Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA). 

Reform or revolution? The lessons of Chile — a contribution to a debate

 

 

By Geoff Mirelowitz

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from World-Outlook — September 11 marked the 48th anniversary of the 1973 bloody military coup, backed by Washington, which overthrew the elected Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) government led by Salvador Allende in Chile.

On September 12, Jacobin, a magazine that describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture,” published an interview by Mia Dragnic with Tomás Moulian titled, “Salvador Allende Was Overthrown Because His Government Showed Chile Could Be Transformed.” Moulian is a sociologist today. According to Jacobin, he was “one of the leading militants of the Popular Unitary Action Movement (MAPU Obrero Campesino), a left-wing party that played a key role in Allende’s Popular Unity government,” and a “pre-candidate for the Communist Party in the 2005 presidential election.”

Eric Blanc’s article, “Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons from the Russian Revolution,” also originally appeared in Jacobin in July.

What are the ‘right lessons’ for socialists? A reply to Eric Blanc

 

 

By Mike Taber

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary via World-Outlook — Eric Blanc is a serious and dedicated socialist historian and activist who doesn’t hesitate to jump into the fray and take positions he knows are controversial. Such an attitude is commendable, even if I disagree with his conclusions. His latest article, “Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons from the Russian Revolution” — published in Jacobin and reprinted on John Riddell’s website — is no exception and merits careful examination.

In his article Blanc aims to set the record straight on V. I. Lenin and the Russian Revolution, and to demolish the “myth of Bolshevik exceptionalism,” which he asserts is “wrong for our own time.” Instead, he seeks to establish the “right lessons” socialists should take from the history of the fight for “socialist transformation.”

Socialists should take the right lessons from the Russian Revolution

 

 

By Eric Blanc

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from World-Outlook — Socialists have rightly taken inspiration from the Russian Revolution for generations, but many of the lessons drawn from it are wrong for our own time. To make change today, we need to take democratic socialism seriously as a theory and practice.

Radicals have lived under the political shadow of the Russian Revolution for more than a hundred years. Inspired by the example of 1917, generation after generation of socialists sought to learn and implement what they took to be the core political lessons of the Bolsheviks.

Though millions of activists gave everything to this project and played important roles in winning gains for working people across the world, Leninist parties have never come close to making their own revolution in advanced capitalist democracy. The tragedy of the Bolsheviks’ inspiring example was not only that they so quickly succumbed to the horrors of Stalinism, but that they over-projected a revolutionary approach ill-suited for parliamentary contexts.

‘The Return of the Dialectics of Nature’: 2020 Deutscher Prize Lecture by John Bellamy Foster (plus discussion)

 

 

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This is a prerecording of the 2020 Deutscher Prize Lecture by John Bellamy Foster. The title of the lecture is: “The Return of the Dialectics of Nature: Marxian Ecology and the Struggle for Freedom as Necessity.” In addition to this lecture a remote panel discussion was held on November 12, 2021.

The road ahead: Cuba after the July 11 protests

 

 

By William M. LeoGrande, John M. Kirk and Philip Brenner

November 11, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Center for Latin American & Latino Studies — Fifteen months before the island-wide protests that rocked Cuba on July 11, 2021, Rowman and Littlefield published Cuba at the Crossroads, which we edited. The book explored several challenges the country was facing—though at the time of writing COVID-19 was not among them—and anticipated that change would be inevitable. Contrary to a common narrative that Cuba is mired in the twentieth century unable to adapt to new circumstances, Cuba at the Crossroads highlighted changes that had occurred in the six years since we had edited A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castro. But most observers did not appreciate how angry many Cubans have become over the slow pace of change and the government’s seeming lack of understanding of the suffering Cubans were experiencing. The unprecedented outpouring of protests on July 11 surprised analysts and even the protest organizers themselves. 

Neoliberalism, trade unions and the left with Sam Gindin

 

 

November 11, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The Scarlet Standard are joined by Sam Gindin, a legendary Canadian labour researcher, author, and organizer, to chat about a wide-range of topics involving the state of labour in North America. They try to dissect the pesky truth of neoliberalism, the limits of unions, and what is next for the left under Biden.

Path to extinction or path to a livable future?

 

 

By Don Fitz

November 6, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As climate change leads humanity’s march to Armageddon, data surfacing during late 2021 suggests that the march could be much briefer than previously thought. “Nature is starting to emit greenhouse gases in competition with cars, planes, trains, and factories,” asserts Robert Hunziker. The Amazon has switched from soaking up CO2 to emitting it. Likewise, the Arctic has flipped from being a carbon sink to becoming an emission source. Permafrost is giving off the three main greenhouse gases (GHGs): CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. So much Siberian permafrost is melting that buildings are collapsing as methane bombs explode, resulting in craters 100 feet deep.

Venezuela: United States continues meddling with election

 

 

November 6, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Green Left — Then-Special Representative Elliott Abrams declared last year that Donald Trump's administration was "working hard" to oust Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro from office.

Now, Abrams (currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations), along with the Joe Biden administration, is urging the Venezuelan opposition to participate in the state and local elections on November 21. Washington’s change of tack, however, is a far cry from renouncing the right to intervene in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Climate: COP26 - Enough blah blah, only struggle pays off

 

 

By Daniel Tanuro*

November 2, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The increasing number of climate disasters around the world is the result of a warming of “only” 1.1° to 1.2° Celsius above the pre-industrial era. From reading the IPCC’s special 1.5°C report[1], any reasonable reader will conclude that everything, absolutely everything, must be done to keep the Earth well below this level of warming. Beyond that, the risks increase very rapidly.[2] There is even a growing possibility that a cascade of positive feedbacks will cause the planet to tip irreversibly towards a “hothouse” that would eventually result in sea levels thirteen or even several dozen metres higher than they are today.[3] An unimaginable dystopia... certainly incompatible with the existence of seven billion human beings on Earth!

India: How not to fight fascism

 

 

By Kavita Krishnan

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Liberation — On September 28, Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary, Kanhaiya Kumar announced his decision to leave the CPI and join the Congress party. He joined Congress along with Congress-backed Gujarat MLA and Left-leaning Ambedkarite leader of the Dalit movement Jignesh Mevani.

Kanhaiya acknowledged he was “born in the CPI”, but that he felt the need to leave it and join the Congress since the Congress is the only party that can “lead in the ideological war to save the idea of India.”He said that today’s India needs Bhagat Singh’s courage, Mahatma Gandhi’s unity, and BR Ambedkar’s quest for equality, and implied that it was in the Congress that these three essential elements could unite and find a home.   

We wish Kanhaiya and Jignesh nothing but success in the political careers of their choice. But the political arguments about fighting fascism offered by Kanhaiya beg several questions and call for closer scrutiny.

Philippines: Activist academic Walden Bello to runs as Laban ng Masa VP

 

 

By Laban ng Masa

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Laban ng Masa — Laban ng Masa Chairperson Walden Bello officially filed his papers to run for Vice President through an authorized representative in Manila today. Bello, a former member of the House of Representatives, is an internationally renowned expert in development and economics and a legendary activist against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Running under Laban ng Masa and Partido Lakas ng Masa, he is substituting PLM Vice Presidential candidate Raquel Castillo. He is teaming up with presidential candidate Ka Leody de Guzman to forward a comprehensive agenda not just for regime change but also systemic change.

Bello’s tenure as the Chairperson of the Committee on Overseas Workers' Affairs from 2010 to 2015 was marked by his aggressive promotion of the welfare of OFWs that included his rescuing them from the civil war in Syria.

As Chávez said, ‘Let's not change the climate, let's change the system!’: A conversation with Max Ajl

 

 

By Cira Pascual Marquina

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — This week and through November 12, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow, Scotland. COP26 brings together heads of state and other prominent figures to talk about climate change. However, the conference won’t address the central environmental problem: capitalism. In this interview we talk to Max Ajl, author of A People’s Green New Deal (Pluto Press, 2021), which examines the capitalist roots of the environmental crisis, and addresses its impact on countries of the Global South such as Venezuela.

A Postnihilist Manifesto: Making Afghanistan and other margins the locus for world emancipation

 

 

By Saladdin Ahmed 

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Just before her execution, in 1919, the internationalist revolutionary thinker Rosa Luxemburg, in a speech in Berlin, said, “if the proletariat fails to fulfill its class duties, if it fails to realize socialism, we shall crash down together to a common doom.”[1] Around the same time, Walter Benjamin, at the age of twenty-seven, wrote, “Only for the sake of the hopeless ones have we been given hope.”[2] After about twenty years, on an autumn day, fascism brought death to Benjamin too, who was another excluded voice in Europe, yet certainly one of its gentlest souls of all times. 

Those desperate calls for creating real hope in a world that is stuck in despair and moving into an abyss remain ever more relevant. The geographies of intensive suffering have shifted here and there, but ultimately the crash down has only become worse,[3] and the only true hope is the one that will emerge from amid the doomed and the hopeless ones. 

Green Designs for 21st Century Socialism

 

 

By Richard Westra

October 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Before turning to the subject matter at hand two abiding issues in Marxist thinking need to be addressed. First, when Marx inveighed against Utopian Socialist futuristic model building, he never intended it to become a mantra dissuading socialists from thinking practically about socialist institutional design. Rather, Marx simply insisted that such endeavors only be undertaken after knowledge of the then forming capitalist economy had been produced. This is the task of Marx’s magisterial economic writing Capital that he devoted much of his life to completing. Second, while Marx’s pithy theory of historical materialism in the (in)famous Preface spells out in broad brush terms the general process of historical change: “At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production,” in Capital Marx offers a far more precise means of conceptualizing the specific historical transformation from capitalism to socialism.

Challenge capitalist use of agriculture as a weapon of domination

 

 

By Don Fitz

October 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It is time to take action against corporate methods of agriculture which poison the food our families eat, threaten the survival of soil ecosystems, destroy the livelihood of farmers, crush farmworker organizing efforts and subjugate entire countries. Here are a few of the many ways that people are challenging capitalist agriculture, from the very theoretical to the very concrete.

The core problem of agriculture is 10,000 years old. Cultivation of annual grain crops inevitably degrades the soil ecosystem and depletes soil organic matter. Perennial grain crops and cropping systems now being developed can resolve this, making food-producing ecosystems as resilient as natural ecosystems.

In India, the small and marginal farmers who comprise 83% of farm households suffer brazen commercialization of the countryside. The steady withdrawal of state support causes a decline in incomes. Yet, a growing network of people's collectives and agro-ecological approaches are reinvigorating Indian farming and augmenting incomes.

Ecosocialism 2021: System change not climate change

 

Three days of workshops and panels, featuring local and international speakers.

Get Tickets

This event will be available both online and in person at locations including Brisbane, Cairns, & Perth.

The Communist International: A critical analysis

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The soviet seizure of power under Bolshevik leadership, in October 1917, surprised many socialists outside of Russia, particularly in Western Europe where the tendency was to anticipate socialist victory through the election of a socialist majority and parliamentary adoption of the kind of program outlined by the prominent Marxist intellectual Karl Kautsky in The Road to Power.

Food sovereignty: A manifesto for the future of our planet

 

 

By La Via Campesina

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from La Via Campesina — 

Food Sovereignty is a philosophy of life.

It offers a vision for our collective future, and defines the principles around which we organize our daily living and co-exist with Mother Earth. It is a celebration of life and all the diversity around us. It embraces every element of our cosmos; the sky above our heads, the land beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the forests, the mountains, valleys, farms, oceans, rivers and ponds. It recognizes and protects the inter-dependency between eight million species that share this home with us.

We inherited this collective wisdom from our ancestors, who ploughed the land and waded the waters for 10,000 years, a period in which we evolved into an agrarian society. Food Sovereignty promotes justice, equality, dignity, fraternity and solidarity. Food Sovereignty is also the science of life – built through lived realities spread across countless generations, each teaching their progeny something new, inventing new methods and techniques which sat harmoniously with nature.

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