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Ten revolutionary books to read under quarantine

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

April 16, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice — Many people can’t leave the house to COVID-19. But we can prepare for coming struggles. Here are 10 books to learn about Marxism. 

This pandemic is ecological breakdown: different tempo, same song

 

 

By Vijay Kolinjivadi

April 13, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Uneven Earth — In late 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) emerged from a wet market in Wuhan in the province of Hubei in China. At the time of writing, it has resulted in cases approaching 1 million and the deaths of over 42,000 people worldwide. Only a couple months ago, the world was taken aback by unprecedented bushfires in Australia, massive youth movements striking for stronger action to tackle climate change, and a groundswell of protests across the world demanding greater democracy, an end to state oppression, and against debilitating economic austerity in places ranging from Hong Kong, to India, to Chile, respectively.

Covid-19: the ecological dimension

 

 

By Alan Thornett

April 13, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread rapidly around the world and remains out of control – other than in those countries, led by China, that had (crucially) moved early and decisively to control it, and had prepared for such a situation in advance. The biggest governmental failures, on the other hand, are by administrations led by right-wing populists like Johnson and Trump who started, in effect, as virus deniers, but were forced belatedly to recognise Covid-19 as a serious threat after their actions had ensured that hundreds of thousands of people would lose their lives unnecessarily.

Such pandemics, we have to be clear, are an integral part of the global ecological crisis we are facing, and must be seen and treated as such. They are not just happening at the same time.

When oil markets go viral

 

 

By Adam Hanieh

April 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso — The ecological dimensions of COVID-19 have become increasingly prominent in much recent discussion, with several important contributions exploring the pandemic in relation to capitalist agribusiness, widespread loss of biodiversity, and the destruction of natural ecosystems. There is, however, a further element to COVID-19’s ‘ecology’ that deserves much greater attention: the ways the escalating pandemic intersects with, and is simultaneously acting to accelerate, a profound shock to the fossil fuel industry. Global oil markets are undergoing an unprecedented transformation as a result of this shock, and while longer-term trajectories remain open, this moment will undoubtedly shape the politics of oil – and the prospects of mitigating climate change – for decades to come.

Keith Bolender’s ‘Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba’: A case study of corporate media disinformation

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

April 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Some alternative media have exposed the US government and its corporate media fake news reporting on Russian “election interference,” on Venezuela, the war on Syria, China’s Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Nicaragua and Palestine, among others. But one of the longest running media disinformation campaigns has been directed at Cuba. It is well covered in Keith Bolender’s Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba. This thoroughly documented work is a good antidote to the constant anti-Cuba disinformation we are subjected to, which inevitably influences all of us. According to a well-known quote, itself falsely attributed to Nazi leader Goebbels, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

The Eurozone’s coronavirus debt crisis

 

 

By Emma Clancy

April 11, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tribune Magazine — After the Eurogroup meeting concluded last night, Eurogroup President and Portuguese Finance Minister Mário Centeno tweeted: “The Eurogroup answered the call from our citizens for a Europe that protects. We agreed to 3 safety nets (for workers, businesses & public finances) adding up to half trillion euro, and a plan for the recovery to ensure we grow together & not apart once the virus is behind us.” 

South Africa: A programme of action in the time of Covid-19 – a call for social solidarity

 

 

April 10, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alternative Information and Development Centre — We, as civic organisations, trade unions, organisations of informal workers, faith-based organisations and community structures in South Africa, call on all people, every stakeholder and sector, to contain the infection, reduce transmission and mitigate the social and political impacts of the Covid-19 virus. We put forward the following Programme of Action for all of us to work towards in the coming days.

The government retains a critical role in coordinating actions and distributing resources, yet its efforts will not be enough if we do not hold it to account and commit to a broad, bottom-up, public effort at this time. In a society as unequal as ours, we must work together to ensure that all safety measures are shared equitably.

Coronavirus: the need for a progressive internationalist response

 

 

By Transnational Institute

April 10, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from TNI — This pandemic health crisis impacts a world already in crisis. It will have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in our society and particularly in the Global South unless we mobilise and demand a just response to the pandemic. It is a wake-up call that the current capitalist economic system is not fit to protect the health of us as individuals or as societies.  We must learn the lessons to defeat COVID-19, address the multiple crises we face―from accelerating inequality to the climate crisis―and build the just sustainable society we all desire.   

Socialist Alliance (Australia): How we must confront the COVID-19 crisis

 

 

By Socialist Alliance 

April 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Alliance — The COVID-19 pandemic has already infected more than 1.2 million people and taken almost 70,000 lives around the world. Unless urgent measures are taken here, it could overwhelm Australia’s health system, as it has in other countries, at the cost of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

How can lives be saved? How can people’s livelihoods be protected? Here is what has to be done so that we can protect our health and livelihoods in the face of this immense challenge.

Socialist Alliance (Australia): Suppressing the spread of COVID-19

 

 

By Socialist Alliance

April 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Alliance — Socialist Alliance supports rapid action to suppress the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in order to save as many lives as possible.

While mitigation, the declared strategy of the federal and state governments, will save lives compared to doing nothing, it will still result in many deaths because it assumes the majority of the population will still acquire the virus.

In contrast the strategy of "suppressing" the virus seeks to completely stop community transmission with extensive testing, tracking and quarantine.

A period of “lock down” or "shut down" can be used to support either the mitigation or suppression strategies. Socialist Alliance supports a period of shut down in Australia that includes schools and all non-essential industries where there is a risk of virus transmission (including construction and fossil fuel exports) in order to suppress the virus while seeking to accomplish the following:

Philippines: For socialist solutions to the capitalist crises

 

 

By Reihana Mohideen

April 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Angmasa — We can’t go back to normal, because the normal that we had was precisely the problem —  this graffiti, scrawled on a wall in Hongkong, has become a universal slogan capturing the essence of the crisis we face, now being revealed to millions more people, under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has illuminated many normally invisible social and economic relationships of capitalist society and has exposed much of its exploitative and irrational nature. The neoliberal capitalist state is unable to deal with crises even when it would benefit capitalist society to do so. The corona crisis has highlighted the fact that continuing on the capitalist path, including some reformed social democratic version of it, is no longer an option. It’s suicidal.

Philippines: Emerging cracks within the Duterte factions?

 

 

By Sonny Melencio

April 7, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Angmasa — On March 23, both houses of Congress passed the ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One Act’ granting President Rodrigo Duterte additional or special powers to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Duterte signed it into law two days later, but declared that he was delegating most of his powers to various departments in government, save for two powers he reserved for himself. These are the power to direct the operation of private establishments, and the power to require businesses to prioritize contracts for materials and services necessary for the crisis. These are actually the coercive type of powers that Duterte wants to secure and monopolize for himself.

The coronavirus is stirring the impulse to communism

 

 

 

By Aleksandr Buzgalin, translated by Renfrey Clarke 

 

“There would never be happiness, but for the help of misfortune”
Russian popular saying

 

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the most acute problems of our collective life, its main contradictions.

One aspect of this is constantly being exacerbated by the mass media: we have come to fear one another. We dream of cutting off international contacts. We want to refrain from personal communication. In everything, we see the hand of the Chinese (Americans, Italians, Russians – insert as required). One more step, and racism will start appearing. We have begun talking about the birth of a “new world”, in which people are not just scared to shake hands with one another, but are afraid of one another in general…

Socialist Party of Malaysia: Look after the poor and self-employed during COVID-19 crisis

 

 

By Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj

March 30, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The poorest 1/3 of Malaysians have exhausted their savings. The Covid-19 response must provide social assistance payments and somehow restart the activities of the micro and small enterprises.

The world is being buffeted by a serious three-faceted crisis. The first aspect and the precipitating cause of this crisis is the Covid-19 pandemic that sweeping the world.

The pandemic is causing a massive overload on the medical services even in the richest countries in the world. The death rates in Italy, currently one of the most badly affected nations, has already exceeded 10 percent of total diagnosed cases in that country – far above the 1percent seen in countries such as South Korea which acted early to contain the epidemic.

Malaysia is handling this health crisis much better than many other countries and hopefully we will be able to arrest the upward trajectory in the number of new cases within the next week and avoid the stressing our medical services to breaking point.

This is a global pandemic – Let’s treat it as such

 

 

By Adam Hanieh

March 29, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso — In the face of the COVID-19 tsunami, our lives are changing in ways that were inconceivable just a few short weeks ago. Not since the 2008-2009 economic collapse has the world collectively shared an experience of this kind: a single, rapidly-mutating, global crisis, structuring the rhythm of our daily lives within a complex calculus of risk and competing probabilities.

Pakistan: A left strategy against coronavirus

 

 

By Ammar Ali Jan & Zahid Ali

March 29, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pakistan Left Review — We are passing through one of the gravest crises faced by humanity to which no one can afford to be indifferent and neutral. It is clear that the crisis is exacerbated due to the priorities of our ruling elites, who relentlessly pursue fantasies of regional domination rather than the welfare of the public. We have tanks, missiles, even a nuclear arsenal, but do not have enough beds, ventilators and medicine for our patients.

The state is in crisis, due to an accumulation of structural weaknesses and lack of political will. There is confusion and disarray in nearly every sector of social life, as the patriarch guardian of our civilization, the state, has revealed itself to be incompetent and cruel in the most pressing of times. Our society, for all intents and purposes, is passing through a stateless existence in the midst of an emergency. The essential work being carried out by health-workers is despite the presence of the state, not due to it.

The COVID-19 crisis in the Spanish state: "We can't go on living as per usual"

 

 

Interview with Dick Nichols

March 28, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As the Spanish state attempts to deal with its spiralling COVID-19 death toll—over 4000 as of March 27 and second only to Italy in Europe—Federico Fuentes spoke to Dick Nichols, Green Left’s Weekly’s European correspondent based in Barcelona, about the debates engulfing country, the government's response, including its "nationalisation" (or not) of private hospitals, and how, among all the anguish, people’s solidarity is shining through.

South Africa: Coronavirus and capitalism — structural foundations and opportunities for systemic change

 

 

By Dale T. McKinley 

March 26, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Understandably, the dominant focus (conceptually and practically) of most governments,  media outlets and the general public both globally and in South Africa, has been on understanding and confronting the immediate impact and effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In particular, this focus has been directed at global as well as national impacts and responses related to human health and economic relations.

For the most part however, what has been missing is an understanding of the pandemic’s more foundational causes. Further, how, as we move through this unprecedented crisis, such an understanding can potentially provide fertile ground for some of the conceptual and practical, systemic changes we so desperately need.

At the heart of the multi-level crises that this virus has unleashed is the fact that so little is known about it and that it is not an isolated case. The reasons for this are there to find if we look hard enough.

Ecosocialism or barbarism: an interview with Ian Angus

 

 

Interview with Ian Angus

March 26, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — In an interview with roape.net, ecosocialist and writer Ian Angus discusses the environmental crisis, the Anthropocene and Covid-19. He argues that new viruses, bacteria and parasites spread from wildlife to humans because capital is bulldozing primary forests, replacing them with profitable monocultures. Ecosocialists must patiently explain that permanent solutions will not be possible so long as capital rules the Earth.

Take the plant, save the planet (PDF pamphlet)

 

 

By Socialist Interventions

March 26, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — On November 26, 2018, General Motors announced a number of plant closures in North America, the largest of which was in Oshawa, Ontario. The Oshawa facility, once the largest auto complex on the continent, was to end all its assembly operations by the end of 2019.

The issue is not simply a matter of bringing the environmental movement and the labour movement together; each must be transformed if the sum is to be more than the currently limited parts. The environmental movement must raise itself to a new level by concretely engaging the working class and the labour movement must escape what for it has become an existential crisis. The threats and opportunities of the environmental crisis offer a chance for labour revival, but only if this incorporates a renewed approach to organizing, struggle, radical politics, and the maximization of informed membership participation.

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