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The most important presidential race in Brazilian history (plus statements from MST & PSOL)

 

 

By James N. Green

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — The unexpected strength of the far-right demagogue Jair Bolsonaro in the October 7 Brazilian elections sent shockwaves throughout the country. Capturing 46% of the popular vote in the first round of the presidential contest, Bolsonaro now faces a run-off race on October 28 against Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party, who trailed with 29.3% of the votes.

 

Attacks on peace court could help plunge Colombia back into war

 

 

July Henriquez, Human Rights Defender facing charges in Colombia

 

By James Patrick Jordan

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal In a brazen attack on Colombia’s peace accords, Attorney General Néstor Humberto Martínez Neira has brought charges against three former officials of the Special Peace Jurisdiction courts (JEP, by its Spanish initials). July Henriquez, Martha Lucía Zamora, and Ernesto Caicedo have been accused of falsifying documents and using their positions to enable Ivan Marquez and other former insurgents and peace negotiators to go underground. I discussed this development with Henriquez and Gustavo Gallardo, president of the human rights organization, Lazos de Dignidad (Links of Dignity). They characterize the charges as “absurd”. The JEP was created as part of agreements ending more than 52 years of Colombian civil war. It was given the responsibility to deal with questions regarding the general amnesty of armed actors, and to hear cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity, both of which are still prosecutable.

 

Venezuela under siege: Challenges from within and without

 

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alborada — The siege-like conditions which Venezuela has been subjected to from both foreign interference and domestic opposition present a myriad of challenges for the country to move forward.

 

On 5 October, Venezuela expert Steve Ellner gave a talk entitled ‘Venezuela under Siege: Challenges From Within And Without’ at the James Connolly Forum in Troy, New York. You can watch the full video here.

 

Plundering and profits: Moving beyond Dependency Theory

 

 

By Esteban Mora

 

October 13, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — In the on-going debate on imperialism on roape.net, Walter Daum distorts arguments that I have made in a response to this debate. In this blogpost I am going to try to expand on the subject, and at the same time, answer Daum’s critique.

Again, is imperialism still imperialism?

 

 

By Walter Daum

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — Esteban Mora begins his contribution to the roape.net discussion of the David Harvey-John Smith debate by asserting that the whole debate over who drains value from whom is misguided. While Smith says the West continues to drain the East and Harvey holds that the direction has been reversed, Mora believes that both claims rest on the ‘misconception’ arising from dependency theory that the imperialist North drains value from the imperialized South. [1] This, he says, is ‘not entirely accurate,’ and he goes on to make further claims which, as I see it, amount to arguing that imperialism as classically defined by Marxists does not exist – and for that matter never did.

 

Mutual profiting: Unpicking the Harvey-Smith debate

 

 

By Esteban Mora

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — The entire debate between David Harvey and John Smith on roape.net on whether East Asia and the Pacific (including China) or the Triad (US, EU and Japan) is ‘draining’ the other is based on several misconceptions. The debate is based on Paul Baran and dependency theories, which postulate a correlative profiting of the ‘central’ countries over the ‘peripheral’ ones. This means there is a ‘drain of value’ from South to North, and just as companies in the North augment their profits, they ensure that companies in the South diminish their own.  In simpler terms there is a correlative movement between rising profits in the North and falling profits in the South. So, this is what they look for in the relationship between BRICS or East Asia and the Western Triad, a relationship where there is a ‘drain’ or a flow of value from one region to the other. But these notions are not entirely accurate, and hence the terms of the debate

 

Solidaires score important breakthrough in Quebec election

 

 

“For the creation of the first country in the world founded with the indigenous.”

 

By Richard Fidler

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The October 1 general election campaign in Quebec unfolded as two distinct contests. One was the competition between the Liberals and Coalition Avenir Québec for control of the government. The other was a battle between the Parti québécois and Québec solidaire for hegemony within the pro-sovereignty movement.

 

 

What’s next for #MeToo? The McDonald’s strikes have an answer.

 

 

By Alex Press

 

October 6, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Vox — McDonald’s workers in several states are going on strike Tuesday over sexual harassment. Workers in some (but not every) McDonald’s in 10 cities — Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Orlando, San Francisco, and Durham — walked out at lunchtime. They say they won’t return until tomorrow.

 

Letter from Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST) to supporters on the Brazilian elections

 

 

By MST National Coordination

 

October 5, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We would like to share some of our views on this delicate moment of Brazilian politics in the last week of the election campaign:

 

The age of unreason or misology: The knowledge-practice relation and its political significance

 

 

By Raju J Das

 

September 29, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In many contemporary societies, there is a typical distrust of knowledge claims that are backed by reason and evidence. Correspondingly, there is a popular penchant for knowledge claims that have no basis in reason or evidence. It is as if post-modernism is being put into practice in popular circles.

 

Is Latin America still the US’s 'backyard'?

 

 

By Alexander Main

 

September 17, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CEPR — In late spring of 2008, the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations published a report titled “US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality.” Timed to influence the foreign policy agenda of the next US administration, the report asserted: “the era of the US as the dominant influence in Latin America is over.” At the Summit of the Americas in April the following year, President Barack Obama appeared to be on the same page as the report’s authors, promising Latin American leaders a “new era” of “equal partnership” and “mutual respect.” Four years later, Obama’s second secretary of state, John Kerry, went a step further, solemnly declaring before his regional counterparts at the Organization of American States (OAS) that the “era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.” The speech ― heralding the end of a nearly 200-year-old policy widely seen as a blank check for US intervention in the region ― was warmly applauded, and perhaps earned Kerry some forgiveness for having referred to Latin America as the US’s “backyard” a few months earlier.

 

The politics of hurricanes: how climate catastrophe victimises the poor

 

 

By Phil Hearse

 

September 17, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Climate change catastrophe is, as this article is written, facing hundreds of thousands on the eastern seaboard of the United States and on the Philippines island of Luzon, as Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut make landfall simultaneously. Mangkhut also threatens Hong Kong, South China and maybe Vietnam.

 

In the United States, Donald Trump has promised all necessary aid to the affected states – North and South Carolina and Virginia in particular. But the recent hurricane history of the United States is one of neglect and indifference towards poor and non-white populations – often the same people – not least by the Trump administration towards the people of Puerto Rico.

 

Philippines: A critique of Duterte’s ‘Cha-cha’ and federalism

 

 

By Sonny Melencio

 

September 9, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The draft charter, also called the “Bayanihan Constitution,” presented by the Constitutional Committee headed by former Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno to President Rodrigo Duterte, is neither imbued with Bayanihan spirit in its drafting or its implementation of federalism.

 

Bayanihan spirit means the entire community in action supporting the interests of all its members. The Bayanihan Constitution is not at all like this. It is not the result of consultation among the people, or the various sectors and communities that encompass the nation. It is the creation of a 22-person committee, all appointed by President Duterte himself. There has not been a single consultation where people have been asked about their views and proposals for a Charter change (Cha-cha).

 

Taking up the struggle: Defending electricity users in Mexico

 

 

By Nevin Siders

 

September 7, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalThe National Assembly of Electric Energy Users (ANUEE) imploded under the carrot-and-stick pressures the Mexican government applied in its privatization drive. Among the more forceful measures are changing the Constitution in an unending chain of neoliberal reforms that open ever wider sectors of the economy to private enterprise, each wrapped in a sweetening that their previous employees can become shareholders in one of the new companies — occasionally with a cooperative veneer.

 

The now neglected history of Soviet anti-colonialism

 

 

By Rohit Krishnan

 

September 7, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Africa is a Country — In 1920, prior to the second Congress of the Comintern, Lenin circulated a draft of his theses on “The Question of Colonized People and Oppressed Minorities.” The end-result of this was the inclusion in the “21 Conditions” for Comintern membership, of an obligation to provide “direct aid to the revolutionary movements among the dependent and underprivileged nations and in the colonies.” While often cited by Marxists as evidence of the Bolshevik’s commitment to anti-imperialism, few cite the role of colonized activists in its formation.

 

Race, class and socialist strategy

 

 

By Jeremy Gong and Eric Blanc

 

September 7, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Call — Marxists have long understood that the workplace is the primary strategic site of class struggle, and that class struggle is essential for cohering a radicalized working-class majority with the capacity and will to overthrow capitalism in favor of socialism. At the same time, Marxists recognize our moral responsibility to oppose — and the strategic necessity to fight — all forms of exploitation and oppression.

 

In the United States today, a revitalized socialist Left is giving these questions of strategy new importance and prompting people across the political spectrum to more clearly articulate a position toward the respective roles of race and class in their politics.

 

The US-Turkey standoff in context: Global capitalism and the crisis of hegemony

 

 

By Vassilis K. Fouskas and Bülent Gökay

 

September 3, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Turkey was thrust into a full-blown currency crisis when United States President Donald Trump hoisted tariffs on Turkey’s steel and aluminium exports to the US — the country’s most serious crisis since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power 16 years ago. The Turkish lira lost more than 40% of its value in the first two weeks of August, albeit its most recent humble recovery. The pretext for Trump’s punishing attack on Turkey, the seventeenth largest economy in the world, is the continued detention of the evangelical US Presbyterian missionary Andrew Brunson who was arrested in October 2016 on charges of espionage and accused of involvement in the attempted coup of July that same year.

 

At first sight, the US-Turkey standoff appears to be a uniquely Turkish problem triggered by a very public confrontation between two leading members of the “ring of autocrats” of the 21st century and worsened by the idiosyncratic and often misguided economic approach of both leaders. This is not the case. One cannot look at the Trump-Erdogan conflict in isolation from the global situation.

 

Is nuclear power a solution to the climate crisis?

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 1, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Faith that environmental catastrophe can best be avoided by technological gadgetry rather than a change in social relationships received a big shot in the arm with the May 2018 publication of Energy: A Human History by prolific author Richard Rhodes. After completing 18 of his 20 chapters, Rhodes begins his exploration of nuclear power by comparing Rachel Carson, Ralph Nader, and Helen Caldicott to anti-humanists such as Thomas Malthus, Paul Ehrlich and followers of Adolf Hitler.

 

This bizarre connection is based on the writings of one obscure author who predated Carson with a foreboding of destruction caused by the over-reproduction of “undesirable people.”Rhodes claims that the environmental movement unknowingly brought anti-humanist ideology into its visions of a simpler world. By advocating a society less dependent on complex technology, environmentalists are supposedly condemning untold millions of impoverished humans to disease and starvation.

 

A self-enriching pact: Imperialism and the Global South

 

 

By Andy Higginbottom

 

September 1, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review Of African Political Economy — Does the concept of imperialism explain major characteristics of the capitalist world in the 21st century?

Dissolving Empire: David Harvey, John Smith, and the Migrant

 

 

By Adam Meyer

 

September 1
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review Of African Political Economy — In January and early February 2018 on roape.net, we witnessed a debate between David Harvey (Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, History and Geography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, father of a range of disciplines around radical geography, and perhaps the single most recognizable Marxist name globally, beside Slavoj Zizek) and John Smith (formerly Kingston University, London, winner of the first Paul A. Baran–Paul M. Sweezy Memorial Award for an original monograph, Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century, and a working class activist).

 

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