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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.
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1917: The View from the Streets #5 - Women’s Day 1917: How a women’s protest strike launched the Russian revolution
March 6, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago today, on or about March 6 (February 21), the Petrograd Mezhrayonka (Interdistrict Committee) distributed the following leaflet regarding International Women’s Day (IWD).
Although the origins of IWD were in the United States, German Social Democrat Clara Zetkin proposed in 1910 the annual celebration of the holiday on March 8 (February 23 in Russia). The holiday was first celebrated on this date in 1911 in Germany and several other European countries. Russia followed with a small demonstration in 1913, but IWD was overshadowed in Russia by May Day and the anniversary of Bloody Sunday (January 9, 1905).
In 1917, Russia’s various socialist groups failed to unite behind common slogans for International Women’s Day and therefore were unable to carry out a joint action. Without a printing press at the time, the Bolsheviks did not issue any leaflets for IWD.
With Flynn Murray, Charlie Post, Jen Roesch and Bhaskar Sunkara
March 2, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from We Are Many— As Trump enters the White House, millions of people are looking for a way to fight back against what is sure to be an all-out assault on the rights of women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and the working class as a whole. Our effectiveness in the struggle ahead requires clear strategy and tactics and a commitment to work together to cohere a strong socialist pole of attraction within the emerging movements against oppression and austerity.
Following the historic national mass mobilizations taking place during the inauguration weekend, the Democratic Socialists of America, the International Socialist Organization and Solidarity invite you to join us for a comradely discussion and debate on the next steps for socialists in the Trump era.
Introduction by Ian Angus, Climate and Capitalism
March 2, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism — The Next System Project, chaired by Gus Speth and Gar Alperovitz, promotes “thinking boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades.” Its website features a variety of essays on topics related to that goal.
A recent contribution by Australian scholar-activist Hans A. Baer will be of particular interest to readers. In Toward Democratic Eco-Socialism as the next World System, Baer argues for a “concept of democratic eco-socialism [that] constitutes a merger of the earlier existing concepts of democratic socialism and eco-socialism.”
By Eric Blanc
March 1, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Historical Materialism — Assessing Bolshevik policy before Lenin’s return to Russia in April 1917 has long been one of the most heated historiographic controversies in the socialist movement.
By Eric Toussaint, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Teresa Rodríguez, Angela Klein, Stathis Kouvelakis, Costas Lapavitsas, Zoe Konstantopoulou, Marina Albiol, Olivier Besancenot, Rommy Arce, et al.
February 28, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt — This collective text (full list of signatories here) initiated by Eric Toussaint, of the CADTM campaign for the abolition of the debt of the global South has been collectively discussed and co-signed by personalities and activists from more than 15 European countries representing a wide range of forces of the radical and anticapitalist Left: Podemos and Izquierda Unida in Spain, the Portuguese Left Bloc, the Left Party, the NPA and Ensemble in France, Popular Unity and Antarsya in Greece, the radical Danish left and activists from countries such as Cyprus, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Hungary. It is signed by MEPs from different parties and countries, by the head of finance of the City of Madrid, by the former president of the Greek Parliament, by a series of members of the Commission For the truth on the Greek debt. All the signatories are involved in the ongoing discussions about a “plan B” for Europe.
By Tony Iltis
February 27, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, the US has been involved, at first, through arming and supporting groups opposing the dictatorship of Bashar Assad, and supporting allies in the region doing likewise; and since 2014, through its direct involvement in leading an international coalition in an air war against ISIS.
Small numbers of US Special Forces and CIA operatives are also in Syria, supporting different, mutually antagonistic groups in the multi-sided conflict.
The US role in Syria often appears confused and contradictory. This seems set to increase under the new US administration.
By Nizar K. Visram
February 27, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — At the 28th Summit meeting of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 30 January 2017, Morocco's readmission to the continental body generated heated discussion. At the end of the day the Kingdom of Morocco managed to win over sufficient member states on its side and it was allowed to join the fold unconditionally.
Morocco left the Organization of African Unity (OAU), precursor to the AU, in 1984 after the OAU recognized the right to self-determination and independence for the people of the Western Sahara and admitted the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) that was proclaimed in 1976 by the Sahrawi people's Polisario Front.
It was in keeping with the OAU principle not to recognize the occupation of any part of the continent that it admitted the SADR to its membership. While SADR claimed sovereignty over the Western Sahara territory, Morocco saw it as an integral part of its own territory. Thus, rather than accept SADR's independence, Morocco left the OAU.
Since then Morocco has refused to join the AU unless the organization withdraws the membership of SADR.
By Lars T. Lih
In place of an introduction
February 25, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — The following essay was written in 2011 for circulation among colleagues. I have decided to publish it unchanged in 2017 for two main reasons. First and foremost, the essay explains and documents the views of Lenin, the Russian Bolshevik Alexander Bogdanov, and Karl Kautsky on a crucial issue: the proper relations between workers and intellectuals within Social Democracy. It therefore serves as an extension of my earlier attack on the “textbook interpretation” of Lenin’s views.
By Liz Mason-Deese
February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Viewpoint Magazine — When women in Argentina, and across Latin America, decided to go on strike on October 19, 2016, the mobilization surpassed all expectations. Organized in only a matter of days, the call resonated across Latin America and hundreds of thousands of women across the continent went on strike, marched, and protested. The strike was an immediate response to the brutal rape and murder of sixteen year old Lucía Perez in Mar del Plata as well as a series of other femicides and violent repression at the National Women’s Meeting in Rosario.
With the slogans “not one less” and “we want ourselves alive,” they were striking not only for an end to violence against women, but also to highlight the connection between this violence and the economic violence of the devaluing of women’s labor. This insistence on the relationship between male violence and the devaluing of women’s labor was one of the strike’s central messages and organizing principles.
By Katarzyna Bielińska-Kowalewska
February 24, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics —In Poland the law on abortion is one of the most restrictive in the European Union, sex education does not exist, and contraception is both expensive and hard to obtain because a medical prescription is often needed.
According to a 1993 law, abortion is allowed only in three cases: when pregnancy is a threat to a woman’s life or health; when there is a high possibility of severe malformation or illness of a fetus, confirmed by a prenatal exam; or when a pregnancy is the result of a crime (rape, incest, or pedophilia). In other cases it is criminalized. A doctor or anyone else who helps a woman to perform an abortion, including a partner, a family member, or a friend, may be punished with three years of imprisonment. A woman who has aborted is not prosecuted. For more than 20 years this very restrictive law has been called a compromise by conservative, liberal, and social-democratic politicians.
By Doug Greene
February 23, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with the author's permission — Marxist theory is not the same thing as the popularization of socialist or communist ideas but is (at its best) an open-ended, creative, and continually developing theoretical framework for understanding and changing the world. As Lenin put it, "without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement." However, in order for Marxist theory to fulfil its goal, ways must be found to popularize it for millions so they can understand and apply it.
By Andrea Levy and Corvin Russell
February 23, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — If there is a single theme that has distinguished left politics in Canada and Québec at least since the 1960s, it is the aspiration to national sovereignty. For both the social-democratic and radical left in Québec, the pursuit of social justice is inextricably bound up with national liberation and the creation of a sovereign state emancipated from the colonial chokehold of the Canadian federation. Meanwhile, a considerable part of the left in English Canada for decades similarly conceived the liberation of the Canadian economy and foreign policy from domination by the superpower to the south as the starting point of any viable left project.
By Chris Williams
February 22, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Worker with the author's permission — IN THE age of Trump, the person writing those words has much to teach us about the impending scientific struggles of our own time."Please let us remember that to investigate the constitution of the universe is one of the greatest and noblest problems in nature, and it becomes still grander when directed toward another discovery."
US: International Women’s Strike platform (plus 'For a Feminism of the 99% and a militant International Strike on March 8')
February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Women's Strike USA — The International Women’s Strike on March 8th, 2017 is an international day of action, planned and organized by women in over 30 different countries.
In the spirit of solidarity and internationalism, in the United States March 8th will be a day of action organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed towards working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women.
March 8 will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement that organizes resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad.
By Ni Una Menos Collective
February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Viewpoint Magazine — Last October 19, the call for a women’s strike to protest the femicide of sixteen year old Lucía Pérez, who was stabbed to death, connected male violence with forms of labor, economic, social, and territorial violence and precarization, and denounced them as a new “pedagogy of cruelty” on women’s bodies (in a scene with undeniable colonial echoes).
That femicide occurred the day after the 31st National Women’s Meeting in Rosario (Argentina), in which 70,000 women participated and, in a closing march, occupied forty street blocks. The meeting only appeared in the press because it was repressed at the end. At the beginning of that same month, women in Poland convoked a national strike rejecting the changes that were being imposed in local legislation to further restrict access to legal abortion.
Following the October 19 Women’s Strike and the formation of alliances of women from different parts of the world, the call emerged for an International Women’s Strike on March 8.
By Socialist Resistance
February 20, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — The vote in Britain for leaving the European Union and the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election are part of the same process and not coincidental events. What we are witnessing is a worldwide shift to the right, represented by Trump, the rise of the so-called ‘populist’ right in Europe, by Modi in India, by the decline and semi-collapse of ‘socialism for the 21st century’ in Latin America and by morbid phenomena like the rise of Isis and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an openly death squad government.
As in all periods of intense crisis there is a political polarisation and the emergence also of significant forces to the left, represented in Europe by the Corbyn trend in the Labour Party, Podemos in Spain, the continued strength of the Portuguese Left Bloc and Communist Party, Syriza in Greece and in a different way Bernie Sanders in the United States.
1917: The View from the Streets #4: ‘For a provisional revolutionary government of workers and poor peasants'
February 15, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — 100 years ago this week, in February 1917, the Bolshevik Petersburg Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party issued the following proclamation as a response to Menshevik appeals to workers to come out in support of the Duma (parliament) on the day of its convocation (see Document #3).
The Bolshevik committee warned workers not to trust attempts to ally them with Duma liberals, calling instead for a one-day strike on February 23 (10) to commemorate the second anniversary of the trial of the Bolshevik deputies to the State Duma. The Petersburg Committee had forgotten, however, that many factories would be closed on that date, because it fell during a Russian religious holiday.
By Awami Workers Party
February 13, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The Awami Workers Party (AWP) expresses grief over the loss of 16 lives in yet another terrorist attack in Lahore.
The AWP Spokesperson Farooq Tariq in a statement here on Monday condemned the failure of law enforcement agencies in foiling the terrorist attack despite forewarning. He expressed sympathies with the families of those killed and injured in the terrorist attack.
In South Africa, enter stage left: Jacob Zuma’s ‘Radical Economic Transformation’ alternative factoids
February 14, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — South Africa’s two main warring political blocs – the forces of Fiscal Patronage (‘Zuptas!’ in local parlance, referring to the immigrant Gupta family’s curious influence over the president’s family and government) versus the forces of Fiscal Prudence (‘Treasury neoliberals!’ to critics) – are still represented by two men who have begun to stumble on terrain potholed by what a Donald Trump aid terms ‘alternative facts.’