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How housing illustrates the nature of the multiple crises we face

 

 

By Mike Treen

August 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Converge — Probably only one number is needed to explain the current housing crisis. Total mortgage lending increased 50% in the year to June 2021 to reach $97,797 million compared to $65,129 million for the June 2020 year. Most of the new lending went to speculators rather than new home buyers. This is all a direct consequence of Government policies that give almost complete free rein to banks to create and allocate debt without almost any control. This has been compounded by the Reserve Bank printing money to buy bonds and drive down interest rates. It offers banks virtually free money to lend to whoever they want.

Afghanistan: The United States’ longest war was founded on false pretences

 

 

By Bulent Gokay

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The war in Afghanistan ended as it had started, with total ambiguity of its objectives as well as what it achieved. The official US narrative in 2001 was that “everything changed” on the day four airliners were hijacked and nearly 5,000 people murdered. The US intervention in Afghanistan, by this account, was hastily improvised in less than a month. However, the decisions shaping the US military campaign in Afghanistan in 2001 show a remarkable continuity based on an ongoing pre-September 11 evolution in the US foreign policy. As a matter of fact, the US operations in Afghanistan did not begin twenty years ago, but in 1978, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s former National Security Adviser, defended US intervention, in the form of secret support for Islamic extremists fighting in Afghanistan:

Reframing Lenin: on the question of revolutionary organization

 

 

By Nathan Moore

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The “organization” question is an important one for revolutionaries. Revolution—the overthrow of capitalism and the reconstitution of society on a more humane socialist basis—will require militants among the working class consciously organizing together to help influence broader social struggle. Absent a politically confident working class that is organized to fight for political power internationally in order to democratically organize production on a global scale, revolution will fail and more reactionary alternatives will fill the political void. 

Trotskyism in Cuba (PDF book)

 

 

Trotskismos em Cuba – Retrato de um Encontro Nojosa Edições, São Paulo, 2021 (digital book).

Collected texts organized by Flo Menezes of the I Encuentro Académico Internacional León Trotsky: vida y contemporaneidad – un abordaje crítico, from May 2019, in Havana, Cuba. 

Texts by Don Esteban Volkov (Trotsky's grandson) and notable Communist and Trotskyist militants such as: Frank García Hernández, Paul Le Blanc, Éric Toussaint, João Batista Aragão Neto, Roberto Massari, Simón Rodríguez, Bryan Palmer, Alan Woods, Sándor John and others. Now updated to include text from Ernest Tate (1934-2021) (Texts in Portuguese, Spanish and English)

Download here

Using Cuba’s protests as a chance to denounce the left

 

 

By Aviva Chomsky

August 23, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — Covid-19 has brought economic and social crises to much of the world, and nowhere more than the Third World where poor infrastructure, poverty, resource export dependence, inequality, and lack of accountability are endemic. Protests against scarcity, structural violence, police brutality, and corruption erupted everywhere from the United States to Colombia, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina, just to mention a few. Those in Latin America rarely merited notice in the U.S. news media—until they happened in Cuba.

The Earth is burning

 

 

By Phil Hearse

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti*Capitalist Resistance — From Oregon in the United States, to Antalya and Bodrum in Turkey, to some of the coldest areas of Siberia, in the last month wildfires have been devastating thousands of acres amidst temperatures above 40°C. The flip side of this has been simultaneously catastrophic floods in Germany and China. As this article was being prepared, wildfires threatened to ignited huge coal stocks at the Milas power station in Turkey.

At the end of January this year, mainstream pro-capitalist politicians probably felt a sigh of relief. Donald Trump had been evicted from the White House and a vaccine to combat the corona virus had been discovered —indeed three of them together. Normal service for world capitalism could be resumed.

A political x-ray for possible dialogue in Cuba

 

 

By Jesús Arboleya

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Progreso Weekly — Protests that occurred on July 11 in Cuba have reinforced the idea of the need for a national dialogue in order to articulate a new consensus and expand existing democratic mechanisms. As it is difficult to specify an agenda and identify its possible actors, it is worth trying to discern the political currents existing in the country and their broader interests.

Since the triumph of the Revolution, Cuban political life has been so intense and all-encompassing that very few have been able to avoid placing themselves in one of the great conglomerates in dispute — those who support the socialist system and/or its adversaries. Let us analyze the balance of these forces and their possible disposition to the dialogue that is proposed.

Cuba’s crisis, our response

 

 

By Margaret Randall

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — The recent protests in Cuba, especially those on July 11, 2021 have provoked consternation in some and hope in others. The protests, which began in the Havana suburb of San Antonio de Los Baños, the eastern city of Palma Soriano, and quickly spread nationwide, are the first examples of visible large scale discontent since the demonstrations that took place in 1994 at the height of the economic crisis brought on by the Soviet Union’s collapse.

United States: Michael Harrington’s failure of vision

 

 

Interview with Doug Greene,

August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice — An interview with Doug Greene, the author of a new biography of Michael Harrington, A Failure of Vision: Michael Harrington and the Limits of Democratic Socialism (London: Zero Books, 2022)

Afghanistan: The end of the occupation

 

 

By Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale 

August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anne Bonny Pirate — A lot of nonsense about Afghanistan is being written in Britain and the United States. Most of this nonsense hides a number of important truths.

First, the Taliban have defeated the United States.

Second, the Taliban have won because they have more popular support.

Third, this is not because most Afghans love the Taliban. It is because the American occupation has been unbearably cruel and corrupt.

Fourth, the War on Terror has also been politically defeated in the United States. The majority of Americans are now in favor of withdrawal from Afghanistan and against any more foreign wars.

Fifth, this is a turning point in world history. The greatest military power in the world has been defeated by the people of a small, desperately poor country. This will weaken the power of the American empire all over the world.

Colombia: When the fascists get offended

 

 

By David Escobar, translated by Carlos Pedraza, Maya Hernández & James Jordan

“It is the mark of a weak position, not a strong position, that its holder, when challenged, takes offense”. - J.M. Coetzee in Essays on Censorship.

August 4, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This chronicle tells of aggressions, death threats, armed assaults, harassment, theft of information, and physical and psychological torture that happened to us, a group of activists, health providers and journalists, in the city of Cali, during the coverage of the National Strike in Colombia, in the year 2021.

The stories are narrated sequentially, with some temporal skips, and the common thread is the perspective of the chronicle’s author, who had to abandon the city due to the high risk in which he found himself after investigating and publicizing a short documentary about police brutality, stigmatization, massacres, and disappearances of protestors.

Creating a democratically run economy: Lessons from World War II price control struggle

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

August 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Many activists in the United States are working to build a movement for a Green New Deal transformation of the economy.  Not surprisingly, a growing number look to the World War II conversion of the US economy from civilian to military production for inspiration and policy ideas.  The conversion experience shows that a rapid, system-wide transformation of the U.S. economy is indeed possible. It also demonstrates that state capacities and action are critical; the successful conversion required state planning, public financing and ownership, and state direction of economic activity.  At the same time, with very few exceptions, the conversion process was structured in ways that minimized any serious challenge to existing class relations.1 

There is no silver lining to South Africa’s Zuma insurrection

 

 

By Benjamin Fogel 

August 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Observatorio Internacional Lauro Campos — South Africa’s immense poverty and inequality have been weaponized by former president Jacob Zuma and his supporters through a massive economic sabotage campaign. Any response must address the miseries saturating the country as well as the chaos now unleashed.

South Africa is not a normal country. Almost half of the labor force is unemployed; the number rises to 76 percent for young people, who have no hope for their future. South Africa has the highest inequality rate in the world, with extreme wealth living next to extreme poverty. It is a country in which violence, state dysfunction, and broken services are normal. It is a country that lacks a strong opposition party, despite the fact the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government is no longer able to govern.

South Africa: Historic rupture or warring brothers again?

 

 

By Mandy Moussouris and Shawn Hattingh

August 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Everything we are now is built upon all that we were and where we came from. The same can be said for countries, any analysis has to look backwards before it can begin to understand the influences and causes of the present. This makes analysis intrinsically complex and often, almost impossible. At some point we are forced to simplify, look for patterns and analyse situations with a focus on where the key locus of power lies.

An analysis of the recent events taking place primarily in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng has to be done with this in mind. It is impossible to follow every strand of the complexity that is South Africa, but at the same time the link between the spate of large scale looting that took place and two very obvious conflicting ruling class power bases that currently exist in the country is undeniable. To claim that there was an exercising of working class power is to fundamentally misunderstand the powers at play and where the locus of power at this point in history actually lies.

Trotsky, Krupskaya and the Bolshevik tradition

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

August 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This contribution will touch on Leon Trotsky’s relationship to the Bolshevik organization headed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. To gain insights into this, we will consider some of the critical reflections of Nadezhda Krupskaya, one of the founders of the Bolshevik tradition, and a central figure within it. All too often, she has been perceived as “merely” the companion of Bolshevism’s central figure, Lenin. In fact, she came to this relationship as a Marxist revolutionary in her own right. For decades she had a far more alert and interactive engagement with Lenin, intellectually and politically, than is sometimes acknowledged. She was also an outstanding educator influenced by Leo Tolstoy and John Dewey. After the Bolshevik Revolution, she became part of the new People's Commissariat of Enlightenment, headed by Anatoly Lunacharsky.[1] 

The West's campaign against China

 

 

By Dave Holmes

July 30, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Arguing for Socialism — Socialists are not the only ones who talk about a new cold war between the US and China. It is becoming a commonplace in the mainstream media.

But we have an explanation for it. All the endless propaganda and punitive measures against China are part of a campaign by Western imperialism, principally the United States, to isolate and contain China and reassert Washington’s hitherto uncontested hegemony — economically, militarily and politically.

Despite its enormous power, the US is in relative decline. Just compare its position now to that at the end of World War II. Then it was the unchallenged world superpower — the only one. Now China is a an emerging superpower. It is challenging the US, both economically and militarily. And the US is beset by truly massive, glaring social problems, obvious to everyone.

Social explosion in Cuba: The ignored signals

 

 

By Alina Barbara López Hernández, translated by Observatorio Internacional

July 24, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from La Joven Cuba — It hurts to see the social explosion in Cuba; however, it is not at all surprising. The social sciences may not be exact, but they are not blind. If those in power close their eyes to reality, we women and men of science must not do so. Our credibility and, more importantly, the lives of many people and the future of the country are at stake.

Britain: Cuba Solidarity Campaign statement on the current situation in Cuba

 

 

By Cuba Solidarity Campaign

July 22, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cuba Solidarity Campaign — The Cuba Solidarity Campaign calls on the US government to suspend the blockade of Cuba to allow emergency medical and humanitarian aid into the country in order to ease the economic and health crisis the island is experiencing.

The current emergency is a result of the ongoing US blockade, an additional 243 sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuba has shown incredible resilience in the face of six decades of economic warfare by the US government in the form of a blockade intended to strangle the economy and create hunger and hardship in an attempt to destabilise the country.

From Cuba: a description of the protests

 

 

By the Editorial Board of Comunistas, translated by Héctor Sierra, revised by Richard Fidler.

July 22, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from Comunistas — Six days after the events and after a thorough analysis, Comunistas reveals its official position on the protests that took place in Cuba last Sunday, 11 July:

Almost simultaneously and with greater or lesser intensity, on Sunday 11 July, Cuba experienced a series of social outbreaks that encompassed at least six of the 14 provinces that make up the country. In the 62 years since the triumph of the revolution led by Comandante Fidel Castro, Cuba had not faced a situation like this.

Cuba today: Homeland, people and sovereignty

 

 

By Julio César Guanche

July 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from On Cuba News — Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel has just called for “the unity of all Cubans, for respect among Cubans, and that we strip ourselves of any feelings of hatred.” Given the concrete circumstances of last Sunday, his statement may be very important.

At the same time, three historic days have already been documented in verified videos that will never be erased from our collective memory. Every effort—civic and patriotic—must be made to process the situation in ways that lead to positive solutions rather than worsen the crisis the nation is undergoing.

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