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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Malaysia: Government arrests socialists ahead of Bersih 2.0 pro-democracy rally

[Urgent appeal for protest letters to be sent to the Malaysian government, please visit http://www.parti-sosialis.org/en/en/articles/1585 for details of where they can be sent. See also "Malaysia: Protests demand release of democracy activists".]

June 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At least 31 members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (Parti Sosialis Malaysia, PSM) -- including member of parliament Dr Michael Jeyakumar -- have been detained by police. The Malaysian government is whipping up a massive red-scare campaign around the Bersih 2.0 rally planned for July 9 (see statement below), and is increasingly resorting to repression to try to prevent an expected huge attendance.

The Coca-colonisation of Swaziland

King Mswati III tours Coca Cola Africa Foundation projects in 2010.

By Peter Kenworthy

June 22, 2011 -- Pambazuka News -- Next time you crack open a Coke to quench your thirst, spare a thought for the sugarcane workers in Swaziland. Coca-Cola is one of the largest and wealthiest companies in the world, as well as being one of the world’s best-known brands. The desperate situation of the poverty-stricken workers in the sugarcane fields in Swaziland, who harvest the sugarcane that is the most important ingredient of African Coke, on the other hand, is a well kept secret. Their plight is not deemed newsworthy. They live their lives in a brutal and repressive absolute monarchy where King Mswati III and a small elite live in luxury while the majority of Swazis live in abject poverty.

More than 1 billion cans or bottles of Coca-Cola are consumed every day and the Coca-Cola Company makes huge profits every year, over US$15 billion in 2005.

Six days that shook Spain

June 19 brought out entire new sections of Spanish society in protest against a massive, cruel and destructive crisis from which those who were responsible are gaining, while ordinary people suffer -- in evictions, in cuts to child and aged care, in health and education.

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

June 23, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renwal -- On June 19, huge demonstrations of the M-15 [May 15] movement in 97 Spanish cities and towns brought at least 250,000 people onto the streets. This vast and peaceful turnout marked a new phase in the rising struggle against the austerity policies of the country's "parties of government" -- the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), the People's Party (PP) and the Catalan nationalist Convergence and Union (CiU) -- as well as against the recently adopted Euro stability pact.

Zimbabwe: Treason charges dropped, but trial to go on

June 7, 2011 -- The Zimbabwean state has dropped the most serious charges against six activists who faced the death penalty for treason. (Click here for background articles.) They now face the lesser charge of “subverting a constitutional government”—but this still carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. Their trial begins on 18 July.

Their bail conditions have also been relaxed—they have to report to the police once a month instead of three times a week.

The six, including former MP Munyaradzi Gwisai, were among more than 40 people arrested on February 19 for watching a video about the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.

Keep up the international pressure and solidarity to get all of the charges dropped.

The truth behind Chevron's greenwashing: 'The true cost of Chevron'

June 22, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Television viewers in Australia are being bombarded by an expensive series of PR advertisements extolling how much the giant "energy" corporation Chevron "agrees" with the Australian people's concerns for the environment. In a classic example of "greenwashing", Chevron's "We Agree" campaign is a concerted effort to defuse opposition to its activities around the world.

But as with most capitalist advertising, the truth and reality behind the glossy claims are very different, as the True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report below highlights in extensive detail. Fortunately too, the satirical exposers of corporate shams the Yes Men joined forces with the environmental groups Amazon Watch and the Rainforest Action Network to issue a bogus press release and set up a phony website to expose the "We Agree" campaign.

Excerpts from 'Environment, Capitalism and Socialism': Sources of modern environmentalism; Currents in ecological thought

The following are excerpts from Environment, Capitalism and Socialism, drafted for the  Democratic Socialist Party of Australia by Dick Nichols,and  published by Resistance Books in 1999. The book can be purchased from Resistance Books' website. The extensive footnotes are only available in the hard copy. (The DSP merged with the Socialist Alliance in January 2010.) Despite its age and inevitable flaws, this book was ahead of its time in many respects and was among the first serious attempts by a revolutionary party to apply a Marxist analysis to the environment question. It remains an essential document for socialists and ecologists alike.
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Deep ecology versus ecosocialism

[Ian Angus will be a feature speaker at the World at a Crossroads II: Climate change: social change conference, in Melbourne, Australia, September 30-October 3, 2011.]

By Ian Angus

June 19, 2011 --This article first appeared at Climate and Capitalism. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Some people believe that deep ecology is not just compatible with ecosocialism, but a way to improve it. That’s a profound misconception that ignores deep ecology’s anti-human core. The following was first posted on the online discussion group that was set up after the founding of the Ecosocialist international Network. I have added some suggestions for further reading.

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Capitalist globalisation and the environment: Offshoring carbon emissions

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

June 12, 2011 -- Reports from the Economic Front, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- More than 3000 participants from 183 countries are attending a two-week UN sponsored climate gathering in Bonn, Germany.  The talks are supposed to help prepare the agenda for COP 17, or as it is more formally known, the 17th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (defenders of the environment have renamed the meeting the Conference of Polluters) which will take place November 28 to December 9, 2011, in Durban, South Africa. 

The cost of climate inaction grows worse.  As the Earth Island Journal reports:

From Copenhagen and Cancun to Bonn and Durban, climate meetings are conferences of polluters

By Patrick Bond, Durban

June 21, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Judging by what transpired at last week’s global climate negotiations in the former West German capital, Bonn, it appears certain that in just over five months’ time, the South African port city of Durban will host a conference of climate procrastinators, the COP 17 (Conference of Parties), dooming the Earth to the frying pan. Further inaction on climate change will leave our city’s name as infamous for elite incompetence and political betrayal as is Oslo’s in the Middle East.

It appears certain that Pretoria’s alliance with Washington, Beijing, New Delhi and Brasilia, witnessed in the shameful 2009 Copenhagen Accord, will be extended to other saboteurs of the Kyoto Protocol, especially from Ottawa, Tokyo and Moscow, along with Brussels and London carbon traders.

China: Capitalist globalisation and its consequences

'China is not stealing jobs from anyone. The globalisation process is erasing jobs everywhere, including in China'

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

June 6, 2011 -- Reports from the Economic Front, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Although capitalism has always been a global system, the international integration of production and finance and our dependence on cross-border activities seems greater than ever before. At the risk of oversimplifying, we now have a world system within which Latin America, Africa and the Middle East specialise in the production and export of primary commodities, increasingly to East Asia.

East Asia operates as the world’s manufacturing hub, exporting final products to the developed capitalist world, especially the United States. And the United States specialises in providing the finance that underpins the international production system and developed capitalist country consumption. 

Lenin and us: Into the past, back to the future

Cover of Lars Lih's latest book, Lenin (London: Reaktion Books, 2011).

By Paul Le Blanc

June 14, 2011 -- Europe Solidare Sans Frontieres -- I will never forget, as the 20th century trudged through its final decade, a once-close comrade telling me and others that developments of our time had consigned the Leninist conception of the party to “the dustbin of history”. Yet its dusty tracks may be something we will discover as we make our way into the near future. Polemical sparks spraying out from those engaged in the vibrant renewal of Lenin scholarship suggest that it still has life.

In 2008 – while on a Left Forum panel entitled “Lenin’s Return”, and in surveying the recent proliferation of works on Lenin at that time, including Lars Lih’s huge and important book Lenin Rediscovered – I said:

South Africa: 35 years since the Soweto uprising -- `Past struggles must not be misused to silence the struggles of today'

Hector Petersen was one of the first victims of the apartheid regime's attempts to crush the 1976 Soweto youth uprising.

By Abahlali baseMjondolo Youth League

June 14, 2011 -- Abahlali baseMjondolo -- On Youth Day, June 16, this year the nation will be celebrating 35 years since the struggle of the youth for freedom, democracy, justice and equality in 1976. We as Abahlali youth agree that the courage of the youth of 1976 must be celebrated. But we also wish to bring back the truth and the dignity of those youth who sacrificed with their lives in 1976. We need to make that truth and dignity a living force now. The struggles of the past must not be misused to silence the struggles of the present. The struggles of the past must be used to support the struggles of the present. Every generation must be free to take their own struggle forward.

Why socialists in Thailand call for a vote for Thaksin's Pheu Thai Party

Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, leads the Pheu Thai.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn, Turn Left Thailand

June 16, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Normally, no socialist should ever call for a vote for a capitalist party in any election. To do so would risk making the kind of mistakes that the Stalinists used to make when they adopted the Popular Front strategy, building alliances with the bourgeoisie and making anti-working class concessions. But it is my opinion, that in the July 3, 2011, general election in Thailand, socialists have no choice but to call for a vote for the Pheu Thai Party [also spelled Peua Thai Party]. Pheu Thai is a thoroughly capitalist party.

Imperialismo, fundamentalismo y revolución árabe: Socialismo o terrorismo

Foto
Soldados de las tropas especiales de la marina estadounidense (Navy Seal). Esta fuerza fue la responsable del asesinato del líder de Al Qaeda.

[Published first in English at http://links.org.au/node/2297.]

Por: Farooq Tariq

`Foro Social Latinamericano', Green Left Weekly's Spanish-language supplement, June 2011 issue

June 15, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For environmentalists, Indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today. The people of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Ecuador, among others, are showing that radical social change is possible and a better, more just society can be imagined and built.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

Australia's leading socialist newspaper Green Left Weekly is strongly committed to supporting the growing “people’s power” movement in Latin America. Through our weekly articles on developments in the region, GLW strives to counter the corporate media’s many lies about Latin America’s revolutions, and to give a voice in English to the people’s movements for change.

The Communist Women’s International (1921-26)

"Emancipated woman -- build up socialism." Poster by Strakhov-Braslavskij A. I., 1926.

By John Riddell

June 12, 2011 -- The following working paper was presented to the Toronto conference of Historical Materialism on May 16, 2010. It first appeared on John Riddell's blog and is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.

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When we celebrate International Women’s Day, we often refer to its origins in US labour struggles early last century. Less often mentioned, however, how it was relaunched and popularised in the 1920s by the Communist Women’s International. Moreover, this movement itself has been almost forgotten, as have most of its central leaders.

The Communist Women’s International was founded by a world gathering of communist women in 1921, which elected a leadership, the International Women’s Secretariat, reporting to the executive of the Communist International, or Comintern. It also initiated the formation of women’s commissions in national parties, which coordinated work by women’s bodies on a branch level, and called periodic international conferences of Communist women.

Cuba: Notes on socialist democracy, by Dario Machado Rodriguez

Photo by Roberto Suarez.

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic reforms in Cuba, and assessments of the sixth congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, click HERE.]

Introduction by Marce Cameron

June 12, 2011 -- Cuba's Socialist Renewal, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Generation R is an new bilingual blogin Cuba launched by pro-revolution Cuban university students. It's their answer to Generation Y, the blog of Yoani Sanchez, a Havana-based counterrevolutionary whose diatribes just happen to be translated almost instantaneously into over a dozen languages by her "fans" overseas. You can check out the English version of Generation R here.

Philippines socialists call for negotiated settlement to Spratly Islands dispute

For more background to the Spratly Islands issue, see "China, Vietnam and the islands dispute: What is behind the rise of Chinese nationalism?"

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June 10, 2011 -- The Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses, Philippines) condemns any actions that increase military tensions in the region and contribute to a regional military conflict, by countries that lay claim to the Spratly Islands. We are opposed to any sabre-rattling and stand for a negotiated, political settlement of the disputed claims to the area. Therefore we deplore China’s strong-arm tactics and bullying, which undermines efforts towards a peaceful, political settlement, of the disputed claims.

The Spratly Islands, less than four-square kilometres of land area spread over 425,000 square kilometres of sea and usually submerged, probably have strategic importance fuelling the numerous territorial disputes. The area holds significant reserves of oil and natural gas: reportedly some 17.7 billion tons of oil and natural gas reserves, larger than the 13 billion tons held by Kuwait, thus making it the fourth largest reserve bed in the world. In an energy hungry world, these reserves intensify the disputed claims over the area.

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