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Popular classes as a key factor in the struggle against the deportation of asylum seekers in Israel

 

 

By Dr. Dov Khenin & Uri Weltmann

 

June 27, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the April 9 elections to the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), the right-wing won a landslide victory, with the various parties of the left finishing with their worst result in history (totalling no more than 20 seats out of 120). While all believed that Benjamin Netanyahu had secured his fifth term as Prime Minister, the crisis in Israeli politics has resulted in him being unable to form a coalition and calling snap elections for September 17. Early polls suggest that the left will not have the upper hand in this next round of elections, and the prospects for progressive social transformations in Israel seem to be very remote. This raises the question: can we even expected to see social and political struggles in Israel that have the potential to deal a defeat to Netanyahu?

 

Indian Communists on Modi's re-election

 

 

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  republishes two recent editorials from ML Update, the weekly newsletter of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, reflecting on the challenges facing the left after Narendra Modi's re-election

 

Fighting the far right in Germany

 

 

June 16, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Sibylle Kaczorek, a member of Germany’s main left party, Die Linke, and an activist with Stand Up Against Racism! (Aufstehen gegen Rassismus!) speaks with Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal’s Dick Nichols.

Trotsky’s ideas in Cuba

 

 

Interview with Frank Garcia Hernandez by Rob Lyon

 

June 16, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Action —  On May 6 to 8, 2019 the first International Academic Conference examining the life and ideas of the great Ukrainian revolutionary and leader of the Russian revolution Lev Davidovitch Bronstein, now universally known as Leon Trotsky, was held in Havana, Cuba. The Conference was organized by the Juan Marinelo Cultural Center in conjunction with the Cuban Institute of Philosophy, and was hosted by the Casa Benito Juarez in Old Havana.

 

Sponsoring organizations included the Trotsky House and Museum in Mexico City, the Editions Carlos Marx, of Mexico, and the Center for the Study Investigation and Publication of the Thoughts of Leon Trotsky, in Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

Elections in Spain: Podemos implodes, Catalan right to decide reasserted

Photo: Manuela Carmena and Ada Colau.

 

By Dick Nichols

June 6, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In the May 26 European elections, the greatest losses by an affiliate of the United Left Group/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European parliament were incurred in the Spanish state by the radical force Unidas Podemos. The fact that the European contest coincided with elections for Spain’s 8131 municipalities, for 12 of its 17 state governments (“autonomous communities”), for its Moroccan enclaves Ceuta and Melilla and for island administrations in the Balearic and Canary Islands, only helped multiply the damage.

The question hanging over all these contests was whether they would confirm the basic trends of the April 28 Spanish general election: gains for the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) at the expense of Unidas Podemos; a rising vote for the far-right Vox at the expense of the EPP’s Spanish affiliate, the People’s Party (PP); and continuing support for Catalan pro- independence forces, with the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) gaining at the expense of Together for Catalonia (JxCat).

European parliament election: the far right stopped — for now

 

By Dick Nichols

June 5, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In the end, the European establishment parties’ almighty scare campaign about the threat of a far-right surge at the May 26 elections to the European parliament worked out quite nicely for them. True, guarding the power structures of the neoliberal European Union (EU) has become trickier now that the duopoly of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) has ended in a loss of 72 seats[i], but the centre has held—for now.

The liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), supported by French president Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche, partly came to the rescue with its 40 extra Members of the European Parliament (MEPs): that gain made these champions of a federal EU the biggest winner. In addition, although the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) grew by a 21 seats on the back of a rising wave of concern about global warming, its more conservative flank may well be vulnerable to S&D and ALDE pressure not to touch the pillars of EU institutional stability.

What happened to the International Socialist Organization?

By Paul LeBlanc

 

May 28, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — What happened to the International Socialist Organization (ISO) is that it self-destructed. The outgoing leadership of the outgoing organization presented this fact to the world in its statement of April 19, 2019, “Taking Our Final Steps”. For many who are committed to the socialist cause, whatever criticisms or reservations they might have had regarding the ISO, this is truly a defeat. One of the purposes of what follows is to explore how and why this happened, and what it means for those who take seriously the struggle for revolutionary socialism.

For some years the ISO had existed as the largest and strongest revolutionary socialist organization in the United States. As its foremost leader, Ahmed Shawki, emphasized more than once, the primary take-away from this indisputable fact was that revolutionary socialism was a pitifully weak force in the United States. And yet, the disappearance of this organization certainly merits more than a shrug.

Does Lonmin’s inclement death resolve – or reload – the Marikana massacre?

An obituary for the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’

  

 

By Patrick Bond 

May 28,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  On Tuesday, the world’s third largest platinimum mining house, Lonmin, will like die, remembered as the exemplar of multinational corporate irresponsibility. As a people’s trial hosted by the Marikana Solidarity Network gets underway outside Carlton House Terrace in London, where Lonmin’s shareholders vote on a friendly takeover deal (albeit with extremely dubious characteristics), many critics are shaking their heads – and fists – at the extraordinary financial and political circumstances.

On Cannon, Shachtman and early US Trotskyism: Bryan Palmer's talk to the Havana conference on Leon Trotsky

Max Schachtman and James Cannon.
 

Image: Max Shachtman with James P. Cannon.

May 19, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  What follows are Bryan Palmer’s notes for his presentation to the May 6th-8th, three-day conference in Havana, Cuba, organized to commemorate the centennial of the founding of the Third International, with a discussion of the topic, “Leon Trotsky and Trotskyism”.  The second volume of Palmer’s major biography, James P. Cannon: Revolutionary Continuity and Class-Struggle Politics in the United States, 1890 – 1974, will be published by Brill at the end of 2019, and will be published soon thereafter in soft-cover, by Haymarket Books. It is titled James P. Cannon and the Emergence of Trotskyism in the United States, 1928-1938.

 

Remarks to the Trotsky Conference, Havana

Leon Trotsky and cultural revolution

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 13, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cosmonaut — The argument that a “cultural revolution” is a necessary part of a socialist revolution is generally associated with Mao Zedong and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) that he initiated in China. However, Leon Trotsky, in a vastly different way than Mao, stated that Russia needed a cultural revolution. According to Trotsky, a cultural revolution was needed along with industrialization to construct socialism. Trotsky’s industrialization plan for Russia would increase the social weight of the proletariat. A cultural revolution would raise the masses’ cultural level by eradicating mass illiteracy and superstition and change their habits and customs, which would make the working class fit to rule society.

 

Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution and defending the Cuban, Algerian and Vietnamese revolutions against imperialism

 

 

 

By Ernest Tate

 

Remarks prepared for the Havana Conference, May 6-8, 2019, on the occasion of the centennial of the founding of the Third International, on the topic of “Leon Trotsky and Trotskyism”.

 

An open letter to Extinction Rebellion

 

 

 

 

This letter was collaboratively written with dozens of aligned groups. As the weeks of action called by Extinction Rebellion were coming to an end, our groups came together to reflect on the narrative, strategies, tactics and demands of a reinvigorated climate movement in the UK. In this letter we articulate a foundational set of principles and demands that are rooted in justice and which we feel are crucial for the whole movement to consider as we continue constructing a response to the ‘climate emergency’.

 

Dear Extinction Rebellion,

 

The emergence of a mass movement like Extinction Rebellion (XR) is an encouraging sign that we have reached a moment of opportunity in which there is both a collective consciousness of the immense danger ahead of us and a collective will to fight it. A critical mass agrees with the open letter launching XR when it states “If we continue on our current path, the future for our species is bleak.”

 

Trotsky in Cuba, 2019

 

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

 

May 12, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  More than one friend has expressed the hope that I would write a report on my experience in attending an international conference on Leon Trotsky held in Havana, May 6-8, 2019 – so I have felt even more compulsion to craft such a report than I would have otherwise. Since I have come down here earlier than the dates of the conference, I find that I have time to begin shaping such an account as I am living through what I describe. My take on all of this is influenced, naturally, by my understanding of the Cuban Revolution – which can be found in “Origins and Trajectory of the Cuban Revolution,” in my collection Revolutionary Studies (Chicago: Haymarket 2017), first published in the journal Against the Current, January/February 2007 (which can be found online https://solidarity-us.org/atc/126/p319). My experience now seems to me consistent with what I wrote then.

 

Spanish elections: The right defeated and Catalonia’s right to decide re-asserted

 

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 12, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — How strongly would the filthy brown tide of reactionthe vote for the racist, xenophobic, islamophobic, anti-feminist, homophobic, pro-gun and above all anti-Catalan outfit Vox—run at the Spanish April 28 general election?  That question was on everyone’s lips in the last week of the campaign.

 

Clara Zetkin’s defense of the united front

 

Zetkin Wiki-2

Clara Zetkin in the 1920s

 

By John Riddell 

 

May 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary Blog — An internationally respected revolutionary leader since the 1880s and a close collaborator of Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin (1857-1933) became part of the newly formed Communist International (Comintern) in 1919. In 1921, she joined with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leon Trotsky in helping to win the Comintern to an effort to unify working people and their organizations in joint struggle against the evils of capitalism. This policy was termed the “united front.” (See “Clara Zetkin’s Struggle for the United Front”.)

 

How indigenous genocide contributed to climate change

 

 

By Gerardo Honty

 

May 7, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alainet — Those who deny climate change caused by mankind tend to cite the so-called “Little Ice Age” as one of their arguments to defend the hypothesis of the natural origin of climate changes. The Little Ice Age, as it is known, to distinguish it from the great ice ages, covers a period from 1350 to 1850 approximately, when there was a significant lowering of the global average temperature with respect to the five previous centuries. The planet was emerging from a period known as the “Medieval Climate Optimum” and both processes have led the so-called “sceptics” or “deniers” to deduce from this, among other factors, the natural origin of present climate change. The warming that we are witnessing today, they deduce, comes from a new cycle of solar activity and not from human activity.

 

A Green New Deal must deliver global justice

 

 

By Asad Rehman

 

May 5, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper —  For too long the severity and scale of the climate crisis has been deliberately understated, but October’s release of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Global Warming of 1.5°c finally sent shockwaves into the populations of rich countries. The urgent need for action was clear with the world now in ‘decade zero’, when every decision taken in the coming years will determine the extent to which the critical 1.5°c guardrail is breached triggering run away climate change. Despite these warnings the UN estimates that current emission targets will put the world on a trajectory of at least 3.4°c and possibly up to 7°c warming.

 

Michael Harrington and his afterlives

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 5, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cosmonaut — Michael Harrington (1928-1989) was the most important advocate for democratic socialism in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century. He is widely, and deservedly, recognized for writing The Other America, a seminal exposé of poverty in the United States. However, Michael Harrington was not simply a public intellectual but a political activist who developed a vision to make democratic socialism into a major force in American life. His strategy was to realign the Democratic Party by driving out the business interests and transform it into a social democratic party. This new party of the people would then not only represent the interests of the vast majority and pass genuine reforms, but begin the transition to democratic socialism. Michael Harrington’s politics and vision have outlived him and they remain the “common sense” of much of the American left, shaping debates in the organization he founded, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

 

Lenin, the Labour Party, and Democrats

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 5, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with permission — There is a relatively common justification among large sections of the American left who offer various levels of support to the Democratic Party that they are merely creatively applying Lenin’s tactics to the present moment. The argument is familiar: the British Labour Party had the allegiance of the trade unions and millions of workers. And in order not to be isolated from the mass of workers, Lenin argued that British communists should affiliate to the Labour Party and support its candidates in elections. In present day America, it is claimed that the Democrats are an equivalent to the Labour Party since they have the support of organized labor and that their candidates, especially “democratic socialist” ones, deserve the support of socialists in order to advance working-class interests. However, this is a false equivalence. The Labour Party of 1920 and the Democratic Party of 2019 are fundamentally different organizations, with the former owing its origin to trade unions and the latter being a thoroughly bourgeois institution.

 

Québec solidaire vows to fight CAQ government’s racist bill

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

April 27, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Blog — As it had threatened during last fall’s election campaign, the newly-elected Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has introduced legislation to prohibit a wide range of persons “in authority,” including teachers, from wearing symbols of their religious beliefs while exercising their functions.

 

Those affected include judges, prosecutors, police, and jail guards, but also teachers, childcare providers, public transit operators, health and social service workers, municipal and administrative tribunal and board officials, etc.

 

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