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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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Food sovereignty: A manifesto for the future of our planet



By La Via Campesina

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from La Via Campesina — 

Food Sovereignty is a philosophy of life.

It offers a vision for our collective future, and defines the principles around which we organize our daily living and co-exist with Mother Earth. It is a celebration of life and all the diversity around us. It embraces every element of our cosmos; the sky above our heads, the land beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the forests, the mountains, valleys, farms, oceans, rivers and ponds. It recognizes and protects the inter-dependency between eight million species that share this home with us.

We inherited this collective wisdom from our ancestors, who ploughed the land and waded the waters for 10,000 years, a period in which we evolved into an agrarian society. Food Sovereignty promotes justice, equality, dignity, fraternity and solidarity. Food Sovereignty is also the science of life – built through lived realities spread across countless generations, each teaching their progeny something new, inventing new methods and techniques which sat harmoniously with nature.

Red vegans against green peasants



By Max Aji and Rob Wallace

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Socialist — Sometimes imitation is less than flattery.

Recent work on the likely origins of the COVID-19 pandemic traces the interactions across confined animal feeding operations, declining livestock diversity, fading forests, and expanding trade and travel produced a petri dish of explosive new diseases. Out of this combination, one virus after another now easily jumps from animal populations to humans.

In the light of these viral incubators — also acknowledged as huge biological emitters of CO2 and methane, rampant deforesters, horrific engines of suffering for the living beings enclosed in industrial animal camps — a number of evangelical vegans, from Jonathan Safran Foer on the center-right to a few on the putative left, have leapt through an expectant opening to argue for the end of food animal production in its totality.

Pandemic shines harsh light on privatisation & outsourcing



By Dave Holmes

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Arguing for Socialism — Right from the start, Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been shaped by the basic realities of contemporary capitalism (“neoliberalism”).

Slave or protagonist? The worker in 'Capital'



By Michael A. Lebowitz

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Think of the worker in Marx’s Capital. He sells his capacity to work as a commodity to the capitalist. In the relation of “supremacy and subordination” of capital over wage-labourers that results from this transaction, the capitalist is able to gain absolute surplus value by lengthening and intensifying the workday as well as relative surplus value by increasing the proportion of the workday that accrues to the capitalist.1 The latter is possible because the value of labour-power is “determined, as in the case of every other commodity, by the labour-time necessary for the production, and consequently also the reproduction, of this specific article,” and this falls with increases in productivity in the production of the use-values that enter into the standard of necessity of the worker.2

Breakthrough for Norway’s radical left



By llen Engelstad

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — In Norway’s parliamentary election on Monday, 13 September 2021, the country took a significant leftward turn, with candidates on the left of the political spectrum securing 100 out of a total of 169 seats in the national parliament. It is unclear who will form a government, but it will likely be a majority coalition bringing together the Labour Party (Ap), the Centre Party (Sp) and the Socialist Left Party (SV), or a minority coalition made up of just the first two of these parties. Alternatively, Labour could form a minority government on its own, with support from the left in Parliament, i.e. similar to the situation in Denmark and Portugal.

From Kautsky and the Bolsheviks, to Hegel and Marx: Dialectics, the triad and triplicity

By Jason Devine

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In popular discussions or expositions of “dialectical materialism,” the so-called “philosophy” of Marxism, one frequently finds references to the triad of thesis-antithesis-synthesis as an example of the dialectical method. Regardless of the illustrations provided the fact remains that the triad has nothing to do with Marx’s dialectical logic. In fact it is pre-Hegelian. The “core of the dialectic method, both in Hegel and Marx, is not the triad thesis-antithesis-synthesis, which was originated by Kant and then developed by J.G. Fichte.” Still, it is understandable that many people who consider themselves communists, as Marxists, would promote the triad as the dialectical method, when such a view can be found among the founders of the modern international communist movement, the Bolsheviks. After reviewing the latter, this study will then go on to consider the role of the triad, if any, in Hegel and Marx.

Download the PDF here

United States: Trump, Texas, and the MAGA drive for power



By Max Elbaum

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Organizing Upgrade — Donald Trump dispensed with even the pretense of paying tribute to workers on Labor Day. Instead his three word Labor Day Statement, blasted out to his supporters everywhere via the right-wing media machine, was blunt about his political priorities: “Fix 2020 First.”

The Paris Commune as an historical turning point: On its 150th anniversary



By Seiya Morita

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  This year marks the 150th anniversary of the victory and defeat of the Paris Commune. Many articles have already been published around the world bringing back this historic event and developing new insights. This article is written as one of them.

Against overproduction



[This is the final part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social ThoughtZNet and Links.  The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here.  The second portion was a response by Fitz to Pollin’s articles.  The third portion was a rejoinder by Pollin to Fitz’s response.]

By Don Fitz

Robert Pollin repeats a message often seen in writings defending alternative energy (AltE): while they briefly shake their heads at capitalist waste, they deny an overproduction problem.  In his response to my article on “Be Careful What Energy You Wish For,” his message comes through that there are no limits on what can be done to the Earth’s ecosystems that AltE can’t solve.  

For a global renewable-dominant energy system



[This is the third part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social ThoughtZNet and Links. The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here. The second portion was a response by Don Fitz which can be read here.  The final portion will be a closing statement by Fitz.]

By Robert Pollin

Don Fitz’s response to my two interviews that Z generously republished makes two major assertions:  1) Reducing overall consumption and working fewer hours provides a viable path on its own to stabilizing the global climate; and 2) Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are not really “clean” even though they supply energy without generating CO2 emissions.  I will address these in turn.

As I state at the outset of my first posted interview, on “degrowth,” I strongly agree that “a significant share of what is produced and consumed in the current global capitalist economy is wasteful, especially much, if not most, of what high-income people throughout the world consume.”  Fitz is merely setting up a straw-person in suggesting that I think otherwise.  

Be careful what energy you wish for



[This is the second part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social Thought, ZNet and Links. The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here.  The third portion will be a short rejoinder by Pollin to this article.  The final portion will be a short closing statement by Fitz.]

By Don Fitz

Climate change is an existential problem confronting humanity and Robert Pollin offers well thought-out plans in his first and second articles.  There is only space here to respond to these themes: (1) We can reach zero CO2 emissions by 2050; (2) An enormous expansion of alternative energy (AltE) can create far more jobs than would be lost by eliminating fossil fuels (FF); and (3) Without stating so explicitly, he implies that negative aspects of AltE would be tiny.  

Two interviews with Robert Pollin on the climate crisis and a Global Green New Deal



[This is the first part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz for ZNet.  The second portion will be a response by Don Fitz.  The third portion will be a short rejoinder by Pollin to that article.  The final portion will be a short closing statement by Fitz.]

Interviews with Robert Pollin conducted by C.J. Polychroniou

China: Neither imperialist nor part of the Global South



Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

September 9, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — China’s insertion in the global capitalist system has prompted many critical analyses among the Marxist left. Most debated is a simple but basic question: is China socialist, or capitalist? Some are unequivocal. For example, a recently published “manifesto” of a group centered at the University of Manitoba[1] states grandiosely that “no country represents working people’s advance – economic, technological, ecological and social – more than China….” Its ruling Communist party “has made China the indispensable nation in humankind’s struggle for socialism, offering aid and inspiration as a worthy example of a country pursuing socialism,” more precisely, a form of “market socialism.”

New Zealand: How to end the race and class inequalities destroying working people’s lives



By Mike Treen

September 9, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Daily Blog — A recent study found that Māori had twice the mortality from various cancers than non-Māori.

This statistic isn’t new. I came across a similar finding in my notes from three decades ago. Cancer deaths twice that of Pākeha, while medical interventions were half that of Pākehā.

So we have to take a long, hard look at why the system has failed Māori despite three decades of progress in certain areas. There’s been a significant growth in professional and middle-class layers among Māori which is a good thing. There’s been an expansion in Māori-run businesses and assets under Māori control that deliver services directly to Māori people.

Yet, despite this progress, Māori continue to die from preventable diseases at 2-3 times the rate for non-Māori.

How housing illustrates the nature of the multiple crises we face



By Mike Treen

August 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Converge — Probably only one number is needed to explain the current housing crisis. Total mortgage lending increased 50% in the year to June 2021 to reach $97,797 million compared to $65,129 million for the June 2020 year. Most of the new lending went to speculators rather than new home buyers. This is all a direct consequence of Government policies that give almost complete free rein to banks to create and allocate debt without almost any control. This has been compounded by the Reserve Bank printing money to buy bonds and drive down interest rates. It offers banks virtually free money to lend to whoever they want.

Afghanistan: The United States’ longest war was founded on false pretences



By Bulent Gokay

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The war in Afghanistan ended as it had started, with total ambiguity of its objectives as well as what it achieved. The official US narrative in 2001 was that “everything changed” on the day four airliners were hijacked and nearly 5,000 people murdered. The US intervention in Afghanistan, by this account, was hastily improvised in less than a month. However, the decisions shaping the US military campaign in Afghanistan in 2001 show a remarkable continuity based on an ongoing pre-September 11 evolution in the US foreign policy. As a matter of fact, the US operations in Afghanistan did not begin twenty years ago, but in 1978, during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. In 1998, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s former National Security Adviser, defended US intervention, in the form of secret support for Islamic extremists fighting in Afghanistan:

Reframing Lenin: on the question of revolutionary organization



By Nathan Moore

August 28, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The “organization” question is an important one for revolutionaries. Revolution—the overthrow of capitalism and the reconstitution of society on a more humane socialist basis—will require militants among the working class consciously organizing together to help influence broader social struggle. Absent a politically confident working class that is organized to fight for political power internationally in order to democratically organize production on a global scale, revolution will fail and more reactionary alternatives will fill the political void. 

Trotskyism in Cuba (PDF book)



Trotskismos em Cuba – Retrato de um Encontro Nojosa Edições, São Paulo, 2021 (digital book).

Collected texts organized by Flo Menezes of the I Encuentro Académico Internacional León Trotsky: vida y contemporaneidad – un abordaje crítico, from May 2019, in Havana, Cuba. 

Texts by Don Esteban Volkov (Trotsky's grandson) and notable Communist and Trotskyist militants such as: Frank García Hernández, Paul Le Blanc, Éric Toussaint, João Batista Aragão Neto, Roberto Massari, Simón Rodríguez, Bryan Palmer, Alan Woods, Sándor John and others. Now updated to include text from Ernest Tate (1934-2021) (Texts in Portuguese, Spanish and English)

Download here

Using Cuba’s protests as a chance to denounce the left



By Aviva Chomsky

August 23, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — Covid-19 has brought economic and social crises to much of the world, and nowhere more than the Third World where poor infrastructure, poverty, resource export dependence, inequality, and lack of accountability are endemic. Protests against scarcity, structural violence, police brutality, and corruption erupted everywhere from the United States to Colombia, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina, just to mention a few. Those in Latin America rarely merited notice in the U.S. news media—until they happened in Cuba.

The Earth is burning



By Phil Hearse

August 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti*Capitalist Resistance — From Oregon in the United States, to Antalya and Bodrum in Turkey, to some of the coldest areas of Siberia, in the last month wildfires have been devastating thousands of acres amidst temperatures above 40°C. The flip side of this has been simultaneously catastrophic floods in Germany and China. As this article was being prepared, wildfires threatened to ignited huge coal stocks at the Milas power station in Turkey.

At the end of January this year, mainstream pro-capitalist politicians probably felt a sigh of relief. Donald Trump had been evicted from the White House and a vaccine to combat the corona virus had been discovered —indeed three of them together. Normal service for world capitalism could be resumed.

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