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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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Quebec sovereigntists debate fallout from Québec solidaire’s decisions on alliances

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

June 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — As I explained in my previous report on the Québec solidaire congress, it was disclosed after the congress that the QS central leadership had disavowed the signatures by its representatives on a proposed “road map” to independence drafted in April by the coalition OUI Québec, which includes all the pro-independence parties including QS.

 

That decision, not reported to the QS congress delegates in late May, has since given rise so far to several articles, all of them published in the Montréal nationalist daily Le Devoir. I have translated them below.

Finland’s forgotten revolution

 

 

Crowds during the general strike in Helsinki, Finland, 1905.

 

By Eric Blanc

 

June 4, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission — In the past century, histories of the 1917 revolution have usually focused on Petrograd and Russian socialists. But the Russian empire was predominantly made up of non-Russians — and the upheavals in the imperial periphery were often just as explosive as in the center.

 

Tsarism’s overthrow in February 1917 unleashed a revolutionary wave that immediately engulfed all of Russia. Perhaps the most exceptional of these insurgencies was the Finnish Revolution, which one scholar has called “Europe’s most clear-cut class war in the twentieth century.”

 

Statement in defense of Venezuela by the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity

 

[To sign on email: endefensadelpuebloenlucha@gmail.com]

 

In response to the request of intellectuals against the Bolivarian process in Venezuela
.

 

Under the implicit "I accuse" formula and a few hours before the Organization of American States, OAS, meeting in which the intervention Venezuela would be once again discussed, more than a hundred Latin American, European and American intellectuals and academics recently signed a petition entitled "Urgent international effort to stop the escalation of violence in Venezuela.”

 

This request constitutes a declaration of principles of its position regarding the Bolivarian situation, developing diagnoses, attributing responsibilities and prescribing an exit to the crisis that takes place in the South American country.

 

We will not offend the intelligence or morale of the subscribers (some true "sacred cows" of the critical academic world) by questioning their political commitment or their interpretive powers. We will assume each statement of the requested as what it is, as an erroneous thesis on the the Bolivarian process of Venezuela. And as such, we will submit it to analysis, realizing that also the prosecutors can and should be accused.

 

Socialist Alliance (Australia) statement on Venezuela: Solidarity needed to defeat counter-revolution

 

 

The Socialist Alliance released the following statement on June 3.

 

***

 

In the face of ongoing attempts to violently depose the elected government of President Nicolas Maduro, the Socialist Alliance reaffirms its support and solidarity with the Venezuelan people, their government and the Bolivarian revolution.

Venezuela: LUCHAS activists on the call for a Constituent Assembly

 

 

June 2, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint Activists from the Liga Unitaria Chavista Socialista (LUCHAS, Unitary Socialist Chavista League) gave their opinion on the call for a National Constituent Assembly made by President Nicolás Maduro on May 1, 2017 in his speech at the celebration of International Workers’ Day.

 

The aim of the statement is that hopefully comrades from other revolutionary organizations and political personalities, with whom they have been sharing some orientations and positions about what has been happening in Venezuela and in our continent for some months now, decide to adhere to the present declaration. They consider this a document that they make available for discussion, to the various revolutionary political organizations that exist and to the vanguard that has made it possible to move through this Bolivarian and Chavista process.

 

Canada’s New Democratic Party and the “Leap Manifesto”

 

 

By Ernie Tate

 

June 1, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity The campaign has begun in Canada’s New Democratic Party to replace Tom Mulcair as leader, after the party’s disastrous performance in the 2015 Federal election, the results of which induced a major crisis in the party, from which it has yet to recover.  In 2011 under its previous leader, Jack Layton, the NDP had achieved the status of Official Opposition,the closest it had ever come to forming a government in Ottawa. Layton, who had campaigned in that election while suffering from prostate cancer, died not long after that. Mulcair replaced him as party leader.

 

Spain: Socialist Party leader’s shock rebirth unnerves establishment

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 31, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The plan had seemed so well organised. Its first stage was successfully executed on October 1 last year when the ruling elite in the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) got the party’s 250-strong Federal Political Committee (FPC) to force the resignation of general secretary Pedro Sánchez (see account here).

 

Sánchez’s crime had been his refusal, after the inconclusive June 26 general election last year, to allow the formation of a minority People’s Party (PP) government through PSOE abstention. He had also proposed to have this refusal put to the PSOE membership for endorsement and to have a new primary for the position of general secretary.

 

Entretejer las Rosas desobedientes

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

Por Nevin Siders V.

 

31 de mayo, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Cuando me propuse elaborar este ensayo me imaginé que fuera una meta sencilla pero, como el lector verá, resultó que implicaba entretejer hilos diversos, por lo que consumía más tiempo de lo previsto. Pero siento que el resultado hizo valer el esfuerzo, abriendo un tantito territorio nuevo para el socialismo. El ensayo abre con rescatar una de las más duraderas posturas de Rosa Luxemburgo, y conjugarla con un tema que (al conocimiento de este autor) no se ha asociado con esta gigante del pensamiento socialista: la desobediencia civil.

 

Québec solidaire: No to an electoral pact with the PQ, Yes to a united front against austerity and for independence

 

 
By Richard Fidler

 

May 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — As expected, the 500 delegates to the congress of Québec solidaire (QS), held here May 19-22, voted to work toward a fusion with Option nationale, debated and adopted the remaining part of the party’s draft program with few major amendments, and elected a new leadership headed by “co-spokespeople” Manon Massé and Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

 

The House That Jack Built: Jack Mundey, Green Bans Hero

 

 

The House That Jack Built: Jack Mundey, Green Bans Hero
By James Colman
NewSouth Publishing, 2016, 356 pages

 

Reviewed by Phil Shannon

 

Pavlovian hostility to construction industry unions and venom-flecked hatred of the environment movement is far from a new development amongst conservative commentators, notes James Colman (Sydney architect, urban planner and university lecturer) in his book, The House That Jack Built, on Jack Mundey, the 1970s New South Wales State Secretary of the Builders Labourers’ Federation (BLF) who originated the world’s first ‘green bans’ to save working class housing, historic buildings and urban bushland from the developers’ bulldozer.

 

Punto muerto en Venezuela

 

 

[Original version in English published on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here.]

 

Federico Fuentes entrevista Steve Ellner. Traducido para Rebelión por Paco Muñoz de Bustillo

 

Desde hace algunas semanas, Venezuela vive estremecida por manifestaciones casi diarias de protesta (y contraprotesta) con las que los oponentes de derechas del presidente Nicolás Maduro intentan derribar su gobierno.

 

Stallo in Venezuela

 

 

[Original version in English published on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here.]

 

di Steve Ellner e Federico Fuentes, traduzione di Giuseppe Volpe, Da ZNetitaly

 

13 maggio 2017
Il Venezuela è stato scosso nelle settimane recenti da manifestazioni e contromanifestazioni quasi quotidiane, con gli oppositori di destra del presidente socialista Nicolas Maduro che cercano di far cadere il suo governo.

 

Political crisis in Brazil: Opportunities and challenges for the left

 

 

Below, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is reposting two
views on the current political crisis and the situation facing the left.

Both articles first appeared at Socialist Project

Brazil: ‘We need direct elections now and an emergency plan for the people’ says MST leader Joao Pedro Stedile

 

 

Interview by Joana Tavares

 

May 26, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, originally translated from Brasil de Fato by Dawn News — Joao Pedro Stedile, leader of the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) and the People’s Brazil Front, analyzes the Brazilian political situation, the role of the O Globo media network, the internal divisions among the putschists, and the need for a transition government and building a people’s project for Brazil.

 

Disobedient Roses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Nevin Siders

 

May 26, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal When I began this essay I thought I aimed at a rather modest target, but the “story grew in the telling” and reached out further and further to interweave more and more threads, and therefore required much more time and thought than originally foreseen. Yet I believe the effort to have been worthwhile, opening a bit of new territory for socialism. It sets out from one of Rosa Luxemburg’s most enduring postulates and conjugates it with the topic of civil disobedience which, (as far as the author knows, has never been associated with this giant of socialist thought.

 

One of the protagonists of the civil disobedience movement was Rosa Parks, the other “rose” to whom this monograph is dedicated to and honored in the title, for being a quintessential representative of civil disobedience as understood and practiced by Gandhi and King.

 

Venezuela: speaking up to say the truth

 

 

By Atilio Boron

 

May 24, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alainet — In various recent works, different analysts and observers of Latin American political life have reproached intellectuals and militants on the left for their silence on what is happening in Venezuela. That silence, they say, only reinforces the worst features of the government of Nicolas Maduro. This strategy was used a few weeks ago by a noted Venezuelan intellectual, Edgardo Lander, and more recently, in a special production of Pagina/12, it was reiterated by two colleagues from Argentina: Roberto Gargarella and Maristella Svampa. [1]

 

Is Maduro taking Venezuela down the authoritarian path?

 

 

 

By Lucas Koerner

 

May 23, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Venezuela is once again dominating international headlines as violent opposition protests bent on toppling the elected Maduro government enter their seventh week. The demonstrations have claimed to date at least 54 lives since April 4, surpassing the previous wave of violent anti-government protests in 2014, known as “the Exit”. However, this time around, the unrest coincides with a severe economic downturn and a transformed geopolitical landscape defined by the return of the right in Brazil and Argentina as well as an even more bellicose regime in Washington.

The Chávez hypothesis: vicissitudes of a strategic project

 

 

By Chris Gilbert

 

May 23, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Counterpunch —What does Chavism really stand for? What are its main accomplishments and its main failures? What was the soldier-become-president Hugo Chávez trying to achieve, and how far did he go in achieving it? Most often it is taken for granted that Chávez, who was elected president of Venezuela in 1998, began with an anti-neoliberal project that became, with time, anti-imperialist and then later aspired to socialism. It is also usually argued that, unfortunately, Chávez went very little of the way to achieving the latter goal. Chávez’s project suffered, this story goes, because it was only discursively socialist; that is, it proposed socialism as a goal but could not really begin the transition, being unable to go beyond mere discourse to concrete social and economic facts. That being the case, a part of the Left praises the Venezuelan leader for what it sees as an essentially verbal achievement. This group contends that Chávez fulfilled an important task for humanity by merely recovering and promoting the word socialism after the fall of the Eastern bloc. Others, generally from the so-called Hard Left, are more skeptical. They highlight Chávez’s failure to significantly alter the structure of the society or the economy.

 

Major decisions face Québec solidaire at its forthcoming congress

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

Original published on May 16, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Quebec’s broad party of the left, Québec solidaire (QS), will open a four-day congress on May 19 in Montréal — the 12th congress in its 11-year history. The delegates face a challenging agenda. It includes the final stage of adoption of the party’s detailed program, a process begun eight years ago; discussion of possible alliances with other parties and some social movements including a proposed fusion with another pro-independence party, Option nationale; and renewal of the party’s top leadership.

 

Why socialists don’t need human nature

 

 

By Themistoklis Pantazakos

 

May 22, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal In his recent Jacobin article, Adaner Usmani makes a claim that will sound odd to the socialists of our times, or at least to the post-structuralists among them. This claim is, per the title of Usmani’s piece, that socialists should believe in the existence of human nature. That this claim should raise a fair amount of eyebrows among contemporary socialists is expected, as Usmani himself recognizes: human nature has been a repository, a refuge and a departure point for much of the reactionary political thought of the modern era. The concept is typically summoned to block any kind of socialist programme in its genesis. Per a certain right-wing ideology, human nature, which is held to consist of qualities of the ilk of selfishness and greediness, is intrinsically antithetical to a life built on solidarity as described in a manifold of socialist and communist political programs.

 

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