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Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela, as well as the continuing example of socialist Cuba, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is a journal for "Socialism of the 21st century", and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.
Links is also proud to be the sister publication of Green Left Weekly, the world's leading red-green newspaper, and we urge readers to visit that site regularly.
Please explore Links and subscribe (click on "Subscribe to Links" or "Follow Links on Twitter" in the left menu). Links welcomes readers' constructive comments (but please read the "Comments policy" above).
This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.
By Don Fitz
December 31, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The sub-freezing temperature was dropping. As the snow began to fall, many felt their hands were too cold to hold signs during the December 17 action. Two dozen had answered the Green Party call to picket the mayor of St. Louis for his efforts to close down New Life Evangelistic Center, the city's homeless “shelter-of-last-resort.” They knew things would be much worse for those forced to sleep in the cold if the shelter were shut down. The action was one in a series of efforts to draw attention to the city government's continual onslaught against those with no place to go.
By Doug Enaa Greene
December 30, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Socialist Review with the author’s permission –– Antonio Labriola, if he is known today at all, is remembered as a minor Marxist theorist in the Second International, overshadowed by such well known figures as Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, or Eduard Bernstein. Sometimes Labriola will be mentioned as a formative influence on the Marxism of Antonio Gramsci and Leon Trotsky. Yet Labriola deserves to be known and studied based on his own merits. He provided a critique of Second International orthodox Marxism, arguing that it divorced theory and practice, engaged in sterile, dogmatic systematization, and held to an economically deterministic form of Marxism. Labriola revived Marxism as an open philosophy of praxis, that is, as a critical and revolutionary method. He did not take for granted the inevitability of historical progress, but argued that it was necessary for socialists to intervene actively in shaping it.
By Steve Ellner
December 30, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Steve Ellner’s blog with the author’s permission –– Many analysts have belittled the seriousness of Donald Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric and even such jingoistic proposals as the construction of a wall along the Mexican border. They point to Trump’s appointments of such global players as Rex Tillerson and Steven Mnuchin as evidence that Trump cannot and will not turn his back on global commitments and realities.
Along these lines, William I. Robinson (whose work I have always admired and used extensively in the classroom) argues that Trump represents the rise of neo-fascism, but in no way threatens to put a halt to, or a break on, globalization. As proof, he points to the global dimensions of Trump’s own capitalist holdings.
In contrast to Robinson, I argue that globalization is still basically a tendency rather than an all-encompassing reality and that the nation state is a fundamental element, which has to be at the center of any analysis of the world’s political economy.
By Uriel Barrera
December 17, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In life, Fidel did not allow the establishment of a personality cult around him; so let’s make this painful occasion a tribute to his memory.
By Malik Miah
December 16, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — So much is said about why Donald Trump won the presidency, and the anger of the white working class. White supremacists are overjoyed by his victory. White Americans who believed that they had suffered so-called “reverse discrimination” from Blacks, Latinos and undocumented immigrants proclaimed the defeat of “identity politics.” Many feel confident to strike out verbally and at times physically against Muslims and others.
Much less is written or discussed about the failures of liberalism and the Obama presidency for Blacks and other minorities who voted for Hillary Clinton as a lesser evil.
By Youngsu Won
December 12, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 10, downtown Seoul was lit up by candles once again. One million people turned out for candle light rallies across the country, a day after President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. In Seoul, a huge crowd of eight hundred thousand people gathered at Gwanghwamoon Square and marched toward the Blue House (presidential palace).
A wave of historically unprecedented mobilisations by South Korean indignados forced parliament to impeach the incompetent and corrupt president. It was a significant victory for peoples power. However, in the wake of this historical triumph, the popular struggle is heading into uncertain terrains.
By Cinzia Arruzza
December 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Listening to the media, you would think that yesterday’s Italian referendum results were yet another victory of right-wing populism against democracy. The situation, however, is much more complex than this, and the No victory is a victory for democracy and for the defense of social rights worth celebrating.
By Youngsu Won
December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 9, Parliament voted in favor of a presidential impeachment by 234 votes to 56, with 7 invalid votes and 2 abstentions. Over 30,000 protesters were present to celebrate the impeachment. The votes in favor of impeachment exceeded what was expected, though it was slightly lower than the 81% support for impeachment among public opinion.
By Marta Harnecker, translated by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
By Barry Sheppard
December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Native Americans and their allies won an important battle in their fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline going through historic tribal lands of the Sioux, and under part of the Missouri River where the Sanding Rock Sioux reservation gets its drinking water.
By Patrick Bond
December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Standard&Poors (S&P) gave South Africa a fearful few hours of anticipation last Friday, just after dust from the political windstorm of the prior week settled. The agency downgraded the government’s securities that are denominated in the local currency (the rand) although refrained from the feared junk status on international securities. It was a moment for the ruling business and political party elites’ introspection, but in heaving a sigh of relief they are not looking far enough.
By S. Balasubramanian
[For more background on South Korea's çivic revolution, read Youngsu Won's previous article here.]
By Youngsu Won
December 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — December 3 saw another mega-protest hit President Park Geun-hye’s regime, with more than 2.32 million angry South Koreans participating in the 6th national candlelight protest called in recent weeks. Concerns of a lower turn out were swept aside, with the turnout surpassing the recently set record of 2 million people for the largest mobilisation in the country's history. Protesters demanded Park’s immediate and unconditional resignation. The massive outpour of anger has put back in motion an impeachment process that Park had hoped to derail.
By Youngsu Won
December 3 — Green Left Weekly / Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — South Korea is currently in a vortex of an unprecedented political crisis.
As hundreds of thousands take to the street in South Korea calling for the downfall of the government, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing below a series of interviews with activists from workers, students, womens, community and artists movements that are taking to the street. The interviews were first published in World Current Report, which is produced by the Seoul-based International Strategy Center.
By Claudio Katz, translation and notes by Richard Fidler
December 6, 2016 — Life on the Left — With Fidel’s death Latin America’s principal revolutionary figure of the last century has left us. Amidst our great sorrow at his passing it is difficult to assess his stature. But while emotion clouds any evaluation, the Comandante’s influence can be appreciated with greater clarity now that he has left.
South Korea's parliament is set to vote on whether to impeach President Park Geun-hye after a political scandal triggered off a mass wave of outrage - including a 2-million strong nationwide demonstration, the largest in the country's history. As part of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal coverage of the crisis, we are republishing below, with permission, two articles from the latest World Current Report, published by the Seoul-based International Strategy Center.
By Hilary Wainwright
December 3, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — Back in the 1970s, with unemployment rising and British industry contracting, workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace came up with a pioneering plan to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. The ‘Lucas Plan’ remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.
November 1 article " European financial system: next crash just around the corner?"
December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Thanks to Jurriaan Bendien for his comment, and my apologies for not finishing this reply earlier. A lot has been happening in the Spanish state that needs covering and it also took me quite a bit of research to work out what I make of the issues Jurriaan raised.
To begin, I agree that it was misleading to write that “the chief pressure squeezing bank profitability has come directly from the real economic conditions, from the subdued demand for loans” (emphasis added here). Real economic forces such as the level of consumer demand don’t operate directly on the banking sector as they do on firms producing commodities for sale on the market, but indirectly, mainly through changes in interest rates.
However, I still hold to the point I was trying to make with that wrongly worded sentence. That is, of the forces shaping bank profitability it is the subdued demand for credit that is most driving actual levels of lending to business and, as a consequence, also compressing banking sector profitability in Europe.
December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this month, an organizing committee of Bolshevik-influenced students issued this underground proclamation calling on students in Russia who were opposed to the war to come together with workers and peasants to put a provisional revolutionary government in power. The organizing committee linked revolutionary student circles at higher educational institutions in Petrograd, Russia. Its proclamation reflects the impact of the Zimmerwald movement upon leading student revolutionary activists in Russia. It was originally published by Alexander Shlyapnikov in 1923.