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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 Hawzhin Azeez
February 2, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Kurdish Question — Zahra Shexo bends over her sewing machine and meticulously, but expertly allows the course material to run through her fingers and under the pointed needle of the machine. The sound of over a dozen women’s laughter and conversation intermixes with the repetitive mechanical sounds of the sewing machines in the large room. The sewing room is a Kaleidoscope of different coloured materials, samples, threads and other necessary sewing items. Zahra is the current administrator of the textile cooperative Amargi in Kobane city.
Pakistan: Awami Workers Party condemns Trump's travel ban on citizens and residents of 7 Muslim-majority countries
By Farooq Tariq
January 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The Awami Workers Party condemns the travel ban on citizens and residents of 7 Muslim-majority countries instituted by the administration of President Donald Trump. While the ban has been instituted in the name of securing the United States from terrorism, the order is in effect, a collective ban on a particular religious community from those countries – Muslims – including legal residents of the United States, from entering the United States. It is also painfully ironic that the bulk of the countries affected by the ban – including Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Libya – are those that the US and its allies, including Saudi Arabia, have invaded or bombed in recent years, creating thousands of refugees in the process.
By Teressa Rose Ezell
Januar 31, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A Lakota prophecy tells of a mythic Black Snake that will move underground and bring destruction to the Earth. The “seventh sign” in Hopi prophecy involves the ocean turning black and bringing death to many sea-dwelling creatures. It doesn’t take an over-active imagination to make a connection between these images and oil pipelines and spills.
It’s troubling enough that the growing “Black Snake” has branched out at an alarming rate, forming a massive subterranean coast-to-coast web. But to make matters worse, the nefarious reptile seems to suffer from leaky gut syndrome, so that it functions as a toxic underground sprinkler system, spreading gas, oil, and poisonous by-products everywhere it goes—including into waterways and drinking water sources.
By Cat Moir
“After one has enjoyed the first taste of Marxist criticism, one will never again be able to stand ideological hogwash.” – Ernst Bloch, Spirit of Utopia, 1918
January 30, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Wedge with the author's permission — The relationship between art and society has always been a central question for artists, thinkers and activists on the Left. In the twentieth century, it was commonplace to believe that art has the power to change the world. It was this conviction that motivated Georg Lukács to defend the literary realism of writers like Thomas Mann over the stylistic innovations of a James Joyce. For Lukács (1977: 33), literature was “a particular form by means of which objective reality is reflected,” and as such it was “of crucial importance for it to grasp that reality as it truly is.” By displaying social reality in all its contradictory complexity, Lukács believed, art could serve the interests of class struggle and social emancipation.
Michael Lebowitz: If you don’t understand the second product, you understand nothing about Marx's Capital
Presentation by Michael A. Lebowitz
January 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following talk was given at the International conference "150 years Karl Marx’s Capital - Reflections for the 21st century" held in Athens, Greece on January 14-15, 2017. Organised by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - Athens Office in cooperation with Theseis, the conference discussed the actuality of Marx’s theoretical system of the critique of political economy 150 years on from the publication of Capital Volume I.
By Ashley Fataar
January 28, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News — The relatively recent history of Zimbabwe’s working class and its supporters is very rich and provides answers to the challenges for the future. The working class as a whole provided inspiration to the fights against unemployment and oppression. It is worth re-looking that history to provide some answers.
By Rajni Lallah
January 28, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News — The last general election in December 2014 brought an unexpected landslide victory for the Peoples’ Alliance of the Mauritian Socialist Movement (MSM) – Mauritian Social Democratic Party (PMSD) - Liberating Party (ML, split from the Mauritian Militant Movement), cobbled together in haste just before the Labour Party Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam dissolved parliament in preparation for the general elections. Since then, in the space of 18 months, no less than three finance ministers in turn have been appointed, removed and replaced by the new Prime Minister Aneerood Jugnauth. The new government in the space of two years has become more and more unpopular as its inability to come up with the “economic miracle” it pledged to bring during the 2014 electoral campaign becomes clear. The 86-year-old Aneerood Jugnauth is due to retire as Prime Minister and to be replaced by another minister, his son, who is the leader of the MSM, the largest party in the Alliance. This situation has generated conflict between the two men as leaders, as father and son, between clans in the MSM organised around the two leaders, and between different parties within the government Alliance.
January 27, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following interview with Marta Harnecker was conducted by journalist Tassos Tsakiroglou for the Greek newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton prior to Harnecker's participation in the international conference "150 years Karl Marx's Capital: Reflections for the 21st Century", held in Athens, Greece, January 14-15, 2017. Links is making available the original English version of the interview.
Reviewed by Doug Enaa Greene
October 1917 – Workers in Power.
Paul Le Blanc, Ernest Mandel, David Mandel, François Vercammen, and contemporary texts by Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin, Leon Trotsky.
Edited by Fred Leplat and Alex de Jong
London: Merlin Press, the IIRE and Resistance Books, 2016. 256 pages
By Ian Angus
January 26, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism –– About 11,700 years ago, the last ice age of the Pleistocene ended and a new time of relative warmth and climate stability began, an epoch that geologists call the Holocene. Now, a large body of scientific evidence shows that “the Earth has been pushed out of the Holocene Epoch by human activities.” A new and unprecedented time of sweeping global change, the Anthropocene, is now underway.
“Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice, to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.
“The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is posting below a special appeal for our former editor Terry Townsend (above). Links would not be the valuable resource it is today without Terry's tireless efforts and dedication over many years. We hope readers can perhaps give something back by donating to the appeal. Donations can be made via the Links Paypal account by clicking on the "Donate" button on the left hand side of the page or by emailing townsend[dot]terry[at]gmail.com
The appeal has been written by Terry’s life companion, Lisa Macdonald
January 23, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – The forces arrayed against Donald Trump’s presidency and neo-fascist movement range from the Central Intelligence Agency to oppressed minorities, and will soon encompass the whole world once his climate change threats are carried out. From above, conflicts will continue with moderate Republicans, Democratic Party elites, so-called Deep State opponents including neoconservative factions of the military, exporting companies concerned about protectionism, and deficit hawks worried about excess spending on filthy-Keynesian infrastructure.
‘1917: The View from the Streets’: Leaflets of the Russian revolution #2 – ‘The Day of the People’s Wrath is Near’
a revolutionary current of Russian Social Democracy.
January 22, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website – 100 years ago today, on January 22 (9) 1917, an estimated 150,000 workers in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) carried out a protest strike against the war and the tsarist autocracy, a foreshock of the Russian revolution that broke out six weeks later (see “Historian’s summary” below).
The following call for this action was circulated during the previous days by the Social Democratic Interdistrict Committee (Mezhraionka). January 22 (9) was the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in 1905, when the tsarist government used military force to violently suppress a peaceful demonstration. (See “Note on Russian dates,” below).
The Interdistrict Committee members wanted to rally all Marxist Social Democrats to unite the factions of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, in order to present a united socialist front against the war, the autocracy, and liberal attempts to draw workers into a patriotic effort to support the war. During 1917 the Mezhrayonka fused with the Bolshevik current.
Translation and annotation by Barbara Allen.
By Alvaro Garcia Linera
January 20, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from WorldCrunch –– The mad rush toward a world without borders and relentless squeezing of the nation-state in the name of liberating commerce is coming to an end. Before the gasps of the globalized elite, the near-religious conviction that all societies were bound to coalesce into a single economic, financial and cultural whole has collapsed.
Britain's decision to abandon the European Union, the most important state unification project of the past 100 years, coupled with Donald Trump's electoral victory that rode on vows to boost protectionism, build a monumental wall to stem migration, and ditch trade pacts have annihilated the biggest and most successful liberal dreams of our time. And when you think the protagonists of this historic reversal are the two principle countries that 35 years ago trumpeted the advent of global trade as humanity's salvation, we inevitably find ourselves in a world bereft of a dream that impelled it for a century.
By Gavin Rae and Czesław Kulesza
January 19, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform! Europe –– It has been over a year since the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) took over complete governmental control in Poland. The presidential election won by Andrzej Duda in May 2015 and the victory of PiS five months later, gave party’s leader Jarosław Kaczyński almost total control of the state.
January 18, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ANF English –– YPJ (Women's Defense Units) Spokeswoman Nesrin Abdullah described Raqqa operation that was launched at the end of 2016 and led by the YPJ as the operation to avenge all women, and said “Raqqa’s liberation is also the liberation of mentalities. Because as the women of the YPJ, we aim not only liberation from ISIS but also a liberation of mentality and thoughts. Democratic culture and fraternal life must be deepened because war is not only the liberation of land. We are also fighting for the liberation of women and men. If not, the patriarchal system will prevail once again.
January 17, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – While I welcome David Bush’s attempt to debate Syria productively, his article reproduces many common mistakes made by socialist activists who have not consistently engaged with the Syrian revolution, and offers little to those on the ground struggling against both the Assad regime, and the various imperialist powers intervening in the country.
By Dick Nichols
January 17, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– 2017 will be the year of showdown between Catalonia and the Spanish state over whether the Catalan people have a right to vote on how their country should relate to Spain.
By Alan Wieder
January 16, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – The twelfth anniversary of Joe Slovo’s death is upon us this month. When I traveled in South Africa between 2013 and 2016, I was often asked what Joe Slovo would say about the state of the country. Then, this past fall, people wanted to know what the world’s greatest interviewer, Studs Terkel, would opine about American politics today. I can’t help but think that it would have been Studs who might have best nurtured Joe talking about South Africa today. After all, they both were the men in the RED socks. Thus, the ‘fictional’ 2017 Terkel-Slovo conversation.