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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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Inoculating against globalization: Coronavirus and the search for alternatives

 

 

By Sam Gindin

March 12, 2020  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Social developments constantly surprise. The latest anxieties over the economic contradictions of extreme globalization haven’t been triggered by a trade war, inter-imperial rivalry, a financial meltdown or riots in the streets. They’ve rather been sparked by an apparently non-economic and contingent event: the coronavirus outbreak. As precautionary measures send workers home in a place few of us have ever heard of and the ramifications shut workplaces in places most of us never knew were connected, a business panic has set in. Grown men (and women) stare in horror at stock market screens and the business press fretfully anticipates an imminent recession.

Mike Davis on COVID-19: The monster is finally at the door

 

By Mike Davis 

March 12, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — COVID-19 is finally the monster at the door. Researchers are working night and day to characterize the outbreak but they are faced with three huge challenges.

First the continuing shortage or unavailability of test kits has vanquished all hope of containment. Moreover it is preventing accurate estimates of key parameters such as reproduction rate, size of infected population and number of benign infections. The result is a chaos of numbers.

There is, however, more reliable data on the virus’s impact on certain groups in a few countries. It is very scary. Italy and Britain, for example, are reporting a much higher death rate among those over 65. The ‘corona flu’ that Trump waves off is an unprecedented danger to geriatric populations, with a potential death toll in the millions.

Canada: Fight against COVID-19 should focus on most vulnerable, including First Nations

 

 

By Karl Nerenberg

March 12, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rabble — Health-care experts and public health officials are expressing a high degree of concern over the potential impact of the COVID-19 virus on poor and vulnerable populations.

From the onset of this disease, the rich have made sure to take care of themselves, as the New York Times reported last week. Those for whom money is not an object are using private jets rather than commercial flights, vacationing in remote and isolated tropical paradises, stocking up on costly designer masks, and signing up for concierge medical services (or, as the Times calls them, "VIP emergency rooms"). 

The picture for poor and marginalised communities is the opposite. 

Coronavirus: "Agribusiness risks millions of deaths"

 

 

Yaak Pabst interviews Rob Wallace

March 12, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Marx21 — The coronavirus is keeping the world in a state of shock. But instead of fighting the structural causes of the pandemic, the government is focusing on emergency measures. A talk with Rob Wallace (Evolutionary Biologist) about the dangers of Covid-19, the responsibility of agribusiness and sustainable solutions to combat infectious diseases

Philippines: Partido Lakas ng Masa statement on Duterte's declaration of a state of public health emergency over COVID-19

 

 

UPDATE March 12, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We are now being informed the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have started preparations to enforce any lockdown in the capital once health authorities raised Code Red sub-level 2, deploying thousands of troops as the coronavirus disease spreads. The authoritarian Duterte regime, responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of urban poor youth in a war against the poor, is resorting to a military solution to a health emergency. We need to deploy tens of thousands of health workers into the barangays and public health system, not troops. Once again the urban poor, who are still suffering the trauma of Duterte’s killing fields, will be the most vulnerable and endangered by these measures. PLM calls on all progressive forces to join us in resisting Duterte’s lockdown.

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United States: Demands from grassroots organizers concerning COVID-19

 

 

March 10, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transformative Spaces — The Trump administration has botched its response to COVID-19. Due to incompetence and an unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes, the administration has worsened an already serious situation. COVID-19 is a deadly public health threat that must be taken seriously. We are a group of organizers whose work addresses a variety of issues, and we recognize that there is no organizing community or area of our work that will not be touched by this crisis. We hope this list of demands will serve as a tool for organizers and activists who are crafting their own responses to COVID-19. Panic is dangerous and often accompanied by violence against marginalized people. We believe responsible, productive dialogues about the needs of our communities must be initiated throughout the country.

Coronavirus – Apocalypse Now?

 

 

By Phil Hearse

March 9, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — Pentecostal Christians – and probably many others – believe that at the ‘end of days’, which precedes the second coming of Christ, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride out. The four horsemen are generally interpreted as being pestilence, death, famine and war. If Pentecostals are thinking logically (as if) they should be expecting to see the Lamb of God some time soon. In the wake of wars that have killed more than 500,000 since 2001 and an accelerating environmental crisis dramatised by the Australian firestorms, the current Covid-19 outstrips dystopian science fiction stories like Outbreak. What American Marxist author Mike Davis described as The Monster at our Door has, in a rather different form, burst through the door. At the time of writing (6 March) more than 100,000 people globally are now thought to have the virus, and 3,400 or more have died. There seems little hope now of significant containment, especially as many states lack the health infrastructure or social organisation to impose Chinese-style restrictions. In Britain the full horror of the virus is yet to be unleashed. But it is coming.

Feminists, internationalists, anticapitalists

 

 

By Penelope Duggan

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — The new rise of the women’s movement in recent years has been propelled largely by the issue of violence. Since the first manifesto of Ni Una Menos in Argentina in 2015, the challenge has been to violence against women in its economic, social, state, domestic and gender forms. In 2016 Polish women mobilized on the issue of abortion and the first feminist women’s strikes took place.

#8M2020 and uniting feminists in Venezuela: A conversation with Ketsy Medina

 

 

By Cira Pascual Marquina

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Ketsy Medina is an inventive writer, committed photographer, and brilliant conversationalist. On November 30, 2017, her mother, Maigualida Sifontes, was a victim of femicide. The assassin is still at large and crime-scene evidence was “lost” in police custody. This experience triggered Medina’s struggle for justice for her mother and other victims of femicide. In this interview, Medina talks about her personal journey and the recent efforts to build a united feminist movement in Venezuela.

United States: Why is Joe Biden winning?

 

 

By Dan La Botz

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — Joe Biden turned out to be the big winner on Super Tuesday. While not all of the votes have been counted, Biden seems likely to end up with a majority. He is now positioned to do well in the rest of the primaries and is likely to come into the Democratic Party Convention with majority of delegates. The major media, as to be expected, are hailing him as the Democratic Party savior.

Bernie might make a comeback. Perhaps, as some have suggested, Elizabeth Warren, whose own campaign has no way forward, might endorse him. Sanders and Warren aides are reportedly discussing that possibility. That would give Sanders a real boost—but it seems unlikely. Remember that Warren declared, “I’m a capitalist to my bones.” A Warren endorsement of Biden might win her a cabinet post.

But let’s turn to the real question: Why is Biden winning?

Britain: How should the left and labour movement respond to coronavirus?

 

 

By Mark Findlay

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — Over the few days there has been a significant escalation of cases of coronavirus cases in Britain with numbers currently at 90 – more than double the figures of 40 two days earlier. Cases have appeared in people who haven’t travelled abroad and where no contact with a known carrier has so far been found. And it appears that some people may be more liable to pass on the virus than others; “superspreaders

Transborder Call for a Feminist Strike on March 8th and 9th 2020

 

 

Dear sister comrades from all over the world, 

The undersigned collectives met to add their voices to the multiple calls coming from working class, indigenous, Black and peasant women, as well as students, lesbians, trans and travestis to mobilize for action and revolt on March 8th and 9th. We call for building common strategies to keep feeding the feminist rebellion which is spreading all over the world against domination, exploitation, occupation, and dispossession.

US Presidential election: following the money

 

 

By Kim Moody

March 6, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from RS21 — Political parties without members. Presidential elections in which you don’t vote for the candidate you favour and where the candidate with a majority of the votes can lose. An electoral ‘college’ with no classrooms or physical location composed of ‘electors’ you’ve never heard of. ‘Primary’ elections invented a century ago by elitists who called themselves ‘progressives’ to undermine party organisation. These are the basic elements of the US system of choosing the county’s president and vice president. Not clear? All bourgeois democracies have ‘democratic deficits’, but that in the United State has some unique features. Let’s start at the beginning.

No, the coronavirus is not responsible for the fall of stock prices

 

 

By Eric Toussaint

 

March 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CADTM — We are witnessing a big crisis in the stock markets of the Wall Street, Europe, Japan and Shanghai, and many blame the coronavirus for it. In the last week of February 2020, the worst week since October 2008, the Dow Jones fell 12.4%, the S&P 500 fell 11.5% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 10.5%. The scenario is similar in Europe and Asia for the corresponding period. On the London Stock Exchange, the FTSE-100 fell by 11.32%, in Paris the CAC 40 fell by 12%, in Frankfurt the DAX lost 12.44%, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange the Nikkei fell by 9.6%, the Chinese stock exchanges (Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong) also fell.

United States: How socialists can govern

 

 

By Bill Fletcher Jr. 

March 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Dissent — Bernie Sanders’s presidential primary run in 2016 saw 13 million people vote for a democratic socialist. Two years later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s underdog, grassroots-driven victory against one of Congress’s most powerful Democrats shook the political establishment. Combined with the election of Donald Trump, these two campaigns reignited interest in something many on the left had shied away from for the better part of a century: electoral power.

United States: Left debates Green Party campaign, safe states and 2020 election strategy

 

 

An open letter to the Green Party about 2020 election strategy

By Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters, and Michael Albert

January 27, 2020 As the 2020 presidential election approaches the Green Party faces the challenge of settling on a platform, choosing a candidate for president, and deciding its campaign strategy. In that context, Howie Hawkins, a contender for Green Party presidential candidate, recently published a clear and cogent essay titled "The Green Party Is Not the Democrats' Problem." It represents a precedent Green Party stance which may guide Green campaign policy. We agree with much, but find some ideas very troubling.

South Korea's COVID-19 crisis: The work of a millennial sect?

 

 

By Youngsu Won

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The abrupt mass outbreak of COVID-19 has shocked most of South Korea - with the exception of a small millennial sect. 

By March 1, the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 had risen to more than 3700, including 20 confirmed deaths, representing a huge rise compared with the less than 100 cases just two weeks before.

More than 60% of those infected are members of a religious sect: the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Shincheonji means New Heaven and Earth in Korean and implies a millennial Christian utopia. Its leader, Lee Man-hee, controls this monolithic organism from top to bottom.

France: Philippe government guillotines parliamentary debate to force through pension attacks

 

 

By Lisbeth Latham

March 2, 2020  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Revitalising Labour — On February 29, French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that the government would use clause 49.3 of the French Constitution, which allows the government to pass legislation without a parliamentary vote, to enable the government to expedite the passing the government’s controversial pension reforms. The exercise of Guillotine was primarily aimed at blunting efforts by left parties to hold up the passage of the legislation through parliament. However, the government also hopes that the passage of the legislation will undermine the current movement to defend the pensions.

Chile: The long month of October - the class struggle returns

 

 

By Javier ZúñigaKarina Nohales

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Chilean president Sebastián Piñera declared on television on 8 October 2019 that “Chile is a real oasis in a convulsed Latin America”. In fact, Chile has been presented to the world for almost thirty years as a model to be exported and an example of neoliberal stability. The key to “success” was the commitment of all parties, whether for or against Pinochet, to the management of the institutions and the economic model set up during the dictatorship (1973-1990). This “oasis”, based on a programme of crushing and super-exploitation of the working class, exploded ten days later, dramatically highlighting the increasingly unbearable living conditions of large sections of the population. The immediate result of this uprising was to break the conspiracy of the democratic transition, supported by the left and the right, against the class struggle. The class struggle came back to the fore in earthshaking force of which October was only the first attempt.

Chile: The debate on the Constituent Assembly

 

 

By Javier Pineda

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Throughout these sixty days of mobilisation, the popular revolt in Chile has advanced three fundamental demands: a social agenda to immediately fight against the precariousness of life; a new Constitution through a constituent assembly; and justice and the punishment of human rights violations. These demands have been advanced both in the spaces formed in the heat of the struggle such as the territorial assemblies and in the social spaces organised before the explosion of 18 October.

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