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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal seeks to promote the exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of "socialism" that arose in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

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).

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Inquiries to Links

Due to illness affecting Links editor, Terry Townsend, publishing of pieces and communcation may be slower than usual, although we will endenvour to keep a stready flow new pieces and respond to queries as rapidly as possible. Please send queries or submissions to contact (AT) links (DOT) org (DOT) au.

Greece: SYRIZA 2.0? Split looms as third memorandum passes

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

August 21, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- By any normal logic Greece’s SYRIZA-led government should be sinking in the opinion polls. On July 12, at the Brussels summit of Eurozone leaders, it agreed to implement a set of draconian preconditions for obtaining a third €86 billion bail-out—effectively reversing the opposition to austerity on which it had been elected on January 25.

Legislation enabling the implementation of the memorandum, covering 35 “prior actions” required of the government, was adopted by the Greek parliament on August 14, with 64 MPs voting against. Of SYRIZA’s 149 MPs, 32 voted no to the deal—including Left Platform leader Panagiotis Lafazanis, parliament speaker Zoe Constantopoulou and former finance minister YanisVaroufakis—and 11 abstained, with one MP absent.

John S. Saul on South Africa's struggle for liberation: success and failure

By John S. Saul, Johannesburg

August 5, 2015 – University of Johannesburg, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It is true that I’m from Canada and only arrived in Africa, in Tanzania to be specific, in 1965 at the age of 27; nonetheless, it was in Africa that I grew up, at least politically. Not, initially, in South Africa but in Tanzania, where I taught for many years and in working with Mozambique’s FRELIMO in exile; in visiting the liberated areas of a new Mozambique in Tete Province in 1972; and, later, in teaching in a liberated Mozambique at the Universidade de Eduardo Mondlane.

Ecuador: Zombie neoliberalism threatens 'Citizen's Revolution'

Rafael Correa (right) with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (left) and Bolivia's President Evo Morales.

For more on Ecuador, click HERE.

By Denis Rogatyuk

August 15, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Ecuador'sPresident Rafael Correa and social movements behind Ecuador’s “Citizens' Revolution” are engaged in yet another battle against the South American country's entrenched elites.

Supporters of Correa marched through the capital of Quito on August 12 to the presidential palace, where they intend to maintain a permanent presence to help defend the elected government.

The next day, violent opposition protests led to 86 police officers being injured, the interior ministry said, along with 20 civilians and three members of the press.

What originally began as demonstrations by the country's right-wing opposition against a proposed new inheritance tax laws targetting the country's richest 2% have now turned into a full-blown attempt at a “soft coup”.

Triumph, disarray, defeat – German workers 1918-1933

Berlin November 1918: Workers and sailors join in revolutionary uprising.

Berlin November 1918: Workers and sailors join in revolutionary uprising.

The German Left and the Weimar Republic
By Ben Fowkes
Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2015
399 pages, US$28.

Click for more on the Communist Party of Germany; click for more by or about John Riddell

Review by John Riddell

Lessons from Greece: Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler debate SYRIZA

August 13, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, also posted at LeftStreamed -- In this video of a debate, Leo Panitch and Richard Fidler discuss alternate views on recent developments in the fight against austerity waged by SYRIZA and the Greek people.

Moderated by Susan Spronk, associate professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Panitch is Canada research chair in comparative political economy at York University, Toronto. Fidler is life-long socialist, activist and writer who blogs at

China's slowdown foreshadows global slowdown

shrinking chinese economy

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

August 14, 2015 -- Reports from the the economic Front, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- China’s economy is dramatically slowing and this has significant consequences for world growth. The figure above provides a good visualisation of the slowdown and why official statistics likely overstate China’s current official growth rate of 7%.

Engels as dickhead? Great novel, bad history

Mrs Engels
By Gavin McCrea
Melbourne: Scribe, 2015,
352 pages, A$29.99

Read more on the Marx household

Review by Barry Healy

August 13, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For those hankering to know what Friedrich Engels’ erect penis looked like, page 37 of this novel is for you. “In its vigours, it points up and a bit to the side”, says Lizzie Burns, the first-person narrator of the entire story.

She goes on: “Its cover goes all the way over the bell and bunches at the end like a pastry twist. Before he does anything he spits on his hand and peels this back.” Engels is quite enamoured of his member, it seems.

Gavin McCrea’s Lizzie Burns is a brilliant narrative voice and his writing sparkles. Lizzie’s rich brogue and her incisive humour are wonderful.

Foreign investment retreats from Africa: Gaming, naming and shaming ‘licit financial flows’

Vast public subsidies may be pumped through the new “Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa”

Click for more by Patrick Bond.

By Patrick Bond, Durban

August 10, 2015 – a version was first published in TeleSUR English, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- Foreign direct investment (FDI) is always prefaced with the two words ‘much needed”, my colleague Sarah Bracking insisted last week at a Zimbabwe NGO conference. “Have you ever heard FDI referenced without those two words?” We all shook our heads.

Zimbabwe: Media tears for Cecil the Lion; Itai Dzamara and missing activists ignored

By Wonder Guchu

August 11, 2015 -- The Namibian, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The world today knows more about the Zimbabwean lion Cecil, killed by North American dentist Walter Palmer, than they do about the Zimbabwean journalist and human rights activist Itai Dzamara, who has been missing since March 9 this year.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on August 10 criticised the killing of Cecil, saying the animal was a key part of the country's heritage. Our wildlife, all our animals, belong to us. They should not be shot with a gun or with an arrow", Mugabe told thousands who gathered at a shrine on the outskirts of the capital Harare to commemorate Heroes' Day. "Even Cecil the lion is yours. He is dead. He was yours to protect and he [was] there to protect you."

Cecil was lured from the Hwange National Park and then shot with a bow before he was finished off with a gun. His head was cut off and skin taken away as trophies. Cecil left 13 cubs and a brother Jericho. 

Chavez non c’è più ma il Chavismo è destinato a restare

[English at]

Di Federico Fuentes

4 agosto 2015 -- ZNet Italy -- Se Hugo Chavez non fosse morto nel 2013, l’ex presidente venezuelano il 28 luglio avrebbe compiuto 61 anni. Tuttavia, anche se Chavez non c’è più, la sua impronta indelebile sul panorama politico del Venezuela, sopravvive.

Il 6 dicembre i venezuelani andranno alle urne per la ventesima volta da quando Chavez era stato eletto presidente per la prima volta nel 1998. L’elezione di dicembre per l’Assembela Nazionale si avvia a diventare   un’altra fondamentale battaglia tra le forze che per 15 anni hanno appoggiato o si sono opposte a Chavez.

Per le forze chaviste, la vittoria è vitale per la difesa  e l’intensificazione della loro “rivoluzione bolivariana.”

Per l’opposizione, il successo rappresenterebbe un passo importante verso la rimozione del successore di Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, o tramite un referendum  prima della scadenza del suo mandato nel 2016 o per mezzo del possibile uso del parlamento per metterlo in stato di accusa.

Nella maggio parte dei paesi, le persone in carica devono fare i conti  con un prevalente umore anti-politico riflesso nella maggiore mutevolezza  dei votanti e nei più rapidi  cambiamenti  di governo. Anche l’Australia, relativamente tranquilla, ha visto quattro diversi governi nello scorso decennio.

Venezuela: Chávez elment, de a chavizmus megmaradt

[English at]

Írta: Federico Fuentes

2015. augusztus 06 -- Green Left Weekly/Latin-Amerika Társaság -- A 2013-ban elhunyt Hugo Chávez egykori venezuelai elnök és forradalmi szocialista július 28-án lett volna 61 éves. Bár Chávez eltávozott, emléke a venezuelai politikai színtér kitörölhetetlen része maradt.

December 6-án Venezuela huszadik alkalommal fog az urnákhoz járulni azóta, hogy Chávezt 1998-ban először elnökké választották. Eközött a két időpont között a szegénypárti átalakítási folyamat jelentősen visszavetette a szegénységet és hatalommal ruházta fel a szegény többséget.

Komoly akadályokkal is felmerültek, amely akadályozzák és veszélyeztetik a „bolivári forradalom” – ahogyan a Chávez által vezetett folyamatot hívják – fennmaradását.

A decemberi nemzetgyűlési választás egy újabb kritikus ütközetet jelent azok között, akik 15 éven keresztül támogatták vagy ellenezték Chávezt.

A chavista erők számára létfontosságú a győzelem, hogy megvédjék és elmélyítsék a forradalmat.

Atomic bombings of Japan were a crime against humanity

Doves were released over the Hiroshima peace memorial park during the August 6, 2015, ceremony. Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images. 

By Rupen Savoulian

August 9, 2015 -- Antipodean Atheist, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- This month marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in August 1945.

Scottish Socialist Party to affiliate with new left alliance

By the Scottish Socialist Party,

August 8, 2015 -- Scottish Socialist Party, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Scottish Socialist  Party (SSP) National Council members have voted in favour of the party becoming an affiliate of a new electoral alliance for the Scottish elections next year.

Party co-spokesperson Sandra Webster highlighted the potential for socialism to grow in this alliance.

At our NC ... the comrades present voted to enter an alliance with the soon to be renamed Scottish Left Project. All of our comrades should be proud of their passionate discussion and resolution. The SSP look forward to being at the heart of the alliance hoping socialists may be elected to Holyrood in 2016. I look forward to continuing to build the SSP and building a movement that is truly grassroots.

Venezuela: Chavez gone, but Chavismo here to stay

By Federico Fuentes

August 5, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Had Hugo Chavez not passed away in 2013, the former Venezuelan president and revolutionary socialist would have turned 61 on July 28. However, though Chavez is gone, his indelible imprint on Venezuela’s political landscape endures.

On December 6, Venezuelans will go to the polls for the 20th time since Chavez was first elected president in 1998. Between then and now, a process of pro-poor transformation has significantly cut poverty and empowered the poor majority.

It has also confronted serious obstacles blocking further advances and threatening the survival of the “Bolivarian revolution”, as the process pushed by Chavez is known.

The December election for the National Assembly is shaping up to be another critical battle between forces that for 15 years either supported or opposed Chavez.

For the Chavista forces, victory is vital to defending and deepening the revolution.

Puerto Rico, la Grecia americana

[English at]

Por Barry Sheppard, traducción Faustino Eguberri para VIENTO SUR

31 de julio de 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, Viento Sur -- Mientras el mundo entero tiene su atención fija en el espectáculo que dan el FMI, la CE y el Banco Central Europeo (la troika) aplastando al pueblo griego, hay otros numerosos ejemplos de poderosos países imperialistas que utilizan la "crisis de la deuda" para extraer más riquezas de los países más débiles que ellos, así como de países imperialistas más pobres.

Un caso típico es el de la colonia de Puerto Rico (3,6 millones de habitantes). En una entrevista concedida al New York Times, el gobernador de la nación caribeña declaró: "Nuestra deuda, que asciende a 73 mil millones de dólares, no es pagable. No hay otra opción. Sería feliz si hubiera otra opción más fácil. Pero no es cuestión de política, sino de matemáticas". Puerto Rico no ha podido pagar un plazo de más de mil millones de dólares que vencía el pasado 1 de julio.

Malaysia: Democracy movement calls Bersih 4 mass protest for August 29-30

PSM general secretary Sivarajan Arumugam (second from left) protests workers' conditions in Malaysia.

By Peter Boyle

August 6, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- The Malaysian democracy movement, BERSIH, has called its fourth major mobilisation — named Bersih 4 — for August 29-30, 2015, amid increasingly desperate and repressive attempts by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government of PM Najib Razak to suppress investigations of his alleged involvement in a multi-billion corruption scandal embroiling the debt-ridden state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

A 36-hour, overnight protest is being planned in the capital Kuala Lumpur and simultaneous solidarity events are being organised in other Malaysian cities and all around the world. Previous BERSIH protests have drawn hundreds of thousands out into the streets since 2007 despite police repression.

Nicos Poulantzas: State, class and the transition to socialism

Click for more on Nicos Poulantzas and more by Doug Enaa Greene.

By Doug Enaa Greene

August 5, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- We live in an era where too much of the left, both in the USA and abroad, remains stuck to old orthodoxies and failed strategies. Marxism is reduced to holy writ and rote, devoid of any ability to either interpret or change the world.

In order to win, the left desperately needs to break away from past habits and recover the ability to raise questions anew by using Marxist methodology to formulate strategy. In this endeavour, there are a number of thinkers we can profitably learn from; one of whom is Nicos Poulantzas. Despite the limitations and contradictions within Poulantzas' methods, he was not afraid to ask the right questions and to develop new strategies.

To that end, it is worth looking at Poulantzas' work in three areas: the state, class and the transition to socialism.

I. Biography

Barry Sheppard: Screwed by vulture funds, Puerto Rico is the Washington's 'Greece'

For more on Puerto Rico, click HERE, and more by Barry Sheppard.

By Barry Sheppard

July 27, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker.

A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

Puerto Rico, which remains a territory of the US, has missed a July 1 deadline on a payment of more than $1 billion.

United States: Kshama Sawant wins 52% of vote in primary

Kshama Sawant's 2015 primary election night speech. As of the close of counting August 7, Kshama's total vote was 51.88%.

Click HERE for more on Kshama Sawant and other socialist municipal election campaigns.

By Tom Crean, Seattle

August 5, 2015 -- Socialist Alternative, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  -- A fired-up crowd of more than 200 supporters of Socialist Alternative Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant gathered in the Melrose Market Studios in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood to hear the result of the non-partisan primary for the Seattle City Council election.

Many thousands more around Seattle and the nation were anxiously awaiting the outcome of the first stage of the most important electoral battle for the left in the United States in 2015, to hold the seat Kshama won in 2013 as the first open socialist elected to a council in a major urban area in decades.

Porto Rico. La «Grèce» américaine

[English at]

Par Barry Sheppard

18 juillet 2015 -- A l'encontre -- Pendant que le monde entier a eu son attention fixée sur le spectacle montrant le Fonds monétaire international, la Commission européenne et de la Banque centrale européenne (la « Troïka ») en train d’écraser le peuple grec, il y a de nombreux autres exemples de pays impérialistes parmi les plus puissants qui utilisent une «crise de la dette» pour extraire plus de richesse de pays plus faibles qu’eux, ainsi que de pays non impérialistes plus pauvres.

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