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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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Wanderings of a Zen Marxist: 30th anniversary of John Lennon's murder -- `The US vs John Lennon'

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was murdered in New York. To mark the 30th anniversary of Lennon's murder Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal makes available the fascinating documentary The US vs John Lennon (above). Below, we reproduce a review by Green Left Weekly's Phil Shannon about the political and cultural significance of John Lennon and his evolution.

The wanderings of a Zen Marxist

Come Together: John Lennon in his Time
By Jon Weiner
Faber and Faber, 1995, 379 pages (pb)

Reviewed by Phil Shannon

Wikileaks: Bolivia's UN rep on secret US manipulation of climate talks & West's blocking action at Cancun

[For more analysis of the Cancun climate talks, click HERE.]

December 6, 2010 -- Democracy Now! -- Secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have revealed new details about how the United States manipulated last year’s climate talks in Copenhagen. The cables show how the United States sought dirt on nations opposed to its approach to tackling global warming, how financial and other aid was used to gain political backing, and how the United States mounted a secret global diplomatic offensive to overwhelm opposition to the [US-sponsored and -imposed] "Copenhagen Accord". We speak to Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Pablo Solón. Several of the cables addressed Bolivia’s opposition to the US-backed accord.

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Lenin and Trotsky on Wikileaks (well, sort of)

German workers strike against the war, January 1918.

December 7, 2010 -- November 8, 1917, the day after the victory of Bolshevik-led Russian Revolution, the first foreign policy decision of the revolutionary government was the "Decree on Peace", written by Lenin and adopted on that day by the second All-Russian Congress of Soviets. It proposed an end to the carnage of World War I on the basis of a "just, democratic peace". It declared the abolition of existing secret treaties and promised that all future treaties would be negotiated "openly in full view of the whole people".

Defend Wikileaks and Julian Assange! Australia should break the military alliance with US!

Julian Assange.

By the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

December 7, 2010 -- "The Australian government should defend and support Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange and their efforts to expose the lies, duplicities and outright crimes of the US government and its allies", said Peter Boyle, national convener of the Socialist Alliance on December 7.

"We condemn the Australian government for collaborating with the US government in hunting Julian Assange down. The exposure of classified US government cables and other material by Wikileaks is an enormous plus for all those who are fighting for truth and democracy, and against war and exploitation. Wikileaks and Assange deserve our strongest support.

New Zealand: Matt McCarten on Unite and the prospects for a new left party

Matt McCarten (right) campaigning for better pay.

December 7, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Matt McCarten is secretary of the New Zealand's fastest growing union, Unite. The union organises fast-food workers, cleaners, hotel and casino workers, security and part-time staff. It has a financial membership of 8000 members. The transient nature of the industries the union organises means it has an annual membership turnover of 66 per cent and recruits about 600 new members every month. The union operates on an income of just over 1 million dollars per annum.

McCarten is a veteran of many left campaigns, including playing a key role in the foundation of the New Labour Party following the split from the New Zealand Labour Party in 1989. It was his leadership in the historic 1985 occupation of the Sheraton Hotel with the Hotel and Hospital Workers Union that put McCarten in the national spotlight. He writes a weekly column for the Herald on Sunday.

Message to the US -- Blame the wars, not China

By Paul Kellogg

December 2, 2010 -- PolEconAnalysis -- There is a growing chorus of voices in the media and the academy singling out the actions of the Chinese state as central to the dilemmas of the world economy. This focus finds its most articulate presentations, not in the xenophobia of the right, but in the polite analysis of many left-liberals.

Paul Krugman, for instance, writing in the run-up to November’s G20 summit in South Korea, praised the United States’ approach of creating money out of nothing (“quantitative easing”) as being helpful to the world economy, and criticised the Chinese state’s attempts to keep its currency weak as being harmful. “The policies of these two nations are not at all equivalent”, he argues, adding his influential voice to the chorus which is increasingly targeting China for the world’s woes.[1] Krugman’s, however, is a simplistic analysis which overlooks the role of the US over decades in creating huge imbalances in the world economy, and has the dangerous effect of scapegoating one of the poorest nations of the world (China) for the problems created by the world’s richest.

Camila Piñeiro Harnecker: Risks in expanding non-state enterprises in the Cuban economy

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic changes in Cuba, click HERE.]

By Camila Piñeiro Harnecker

October 7, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This article is intended to call attention to the most important negative consequences that the recently announced decision to permit free hiring of salaried labour could generate in Cuban society. It also attempts to suggest some measures to increase the possibilities that the new non-state enterprises (self-employment, cooperatives and conventional private businesses) may contribute to the development of the Cuban economy in consolidating our socialist development; that is, the creation of a more just and humane society. It is a synthesis drawn from the paper “New enterprise forms in the Cuban economy”, prepared for the seminar “Economy and administration” organised by the Economics Department of the University of Havana and Humboldt University, Berlin, September 24-25, 2010.

Wikileaks: A call to struggle against empire

Sign the petition:"Truth is a crime in an empire of lies: Defend Wikileaks".

By Andrea Pason and Billy Wharton

December 4, 2010 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Running an empire produces many nasty habits, habits that lead you to treat people, nations, assets and the environment as objects upon which to project your own power. The US government runs such an empire. As a result, innocent people die, the environment is ravaged and funds that could have been used to meet human needs have been fed into an insatiable military industrial complex. This has long been known by the socialist left and now, with the release and publication of secret US diplomatic messages, Wikileaks has made it visible to the entire world.

Crisis in Zimbabwe -- a long walk to freedom! Latest issue of ISO Zimbabwe's `Socialist Worker'

Robert Mugabe (centre) and GNU partners Morgan Tsvangirai (left) and Arthur Mutambara.

[The following article appears in the December 2010 edition of the International Socialist Organisation of Zimbabwe's magazine Socialist Worker. You can download the latest edition of Socialist Worker (PDF)  HERE or read it on screen below the article.]

By T. Sando

November 30, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (Zimbabwe) -- Several significant events in the political and constitutional framework of Zimbabwe have occurred in recent months. First, are the controversies surrounding the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (COPAC) outreach exercise carried out from June 2010 to date. Second is the crisis in the Government of National Unity (GNU) following various unilateral state executive appointments by President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.

ก้าวต่อไปของเสื้อแดงใจ อึ๊งภากรณ์

ปัญหาเฉพาะหน้า

ปัญหาสำคัญเฉพาะหน้าที่คนเสื้อแดงต้องร่วมกันวิเคราะห์ ร่วมกันคิด ในความเห็นผม มีห้าประเด็น ผมจะขอร่วมแสดงความคิดในเรื่องนี้...... ปัญหาเฉพาะหน้าคือ

Cuba: Reforms bode shaky future

Photo by Steve Morgan/Havana Times.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is posting Ron Ridenour's critical analysis of the proposed economic changes in Cuba, with Ridenour's permission, to reflect as many perspectives of friends of the Cuban Revolution as possible, and to inform the discussion among them. For more analysis, click HERE.

* * *

By Ron Ridenour

November 30, 2010 — Havana Times — With the November 2010 publication of 291 proposals for reforms in 12 areas of economic and social life Cubans are once again faced with a national debate on policies. A key question is if the 800,000 Communist Party (PCC) members’ discussion, plus that of non-members, will affect the policies to be taken at the forthcoming PCC VI congress, in April 2011. There is no proposed mechanism to assure such in the 32-page document.

Haiti: `Don't blame Haitians for election fiasco'

The popular Fanmi Lavalas party was excluded from the November 28 Haitian elections.

The following article appeared on the op-ed page of the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation daily newspaper, on December 1, 2010. Kevin Edmonds is a freelance journalist and graduate student at McMaster University’s Globalization Institute. Roger Annis is a coordinator of the Canada Haiti Action Network.

* * *

By Roger Annis and Kevin Edmonds

December 1, 2010 -- Those who counselled against holding a national election in Haiti in the midst of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis will take no comfort in the debacle it became. Our thoughts rest squarely with the tens of thousands of people afflicted with cholera, and the hundreds of thousands of earthquake victims still without shelter, clean water and hope. How much suffering could have been alleviated with the tens of million of dollars spent on a wasted electoral exercise?

Thailand: Challenges facing the Red Shirt movement today

On November 19, 2010, thousands of Red Shirts remembered those killed six months earlier. Photo by Lee Yu Kyung.

[Read more about the democracy struggle in Thailand HERE.]

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

December 1, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As we approach the end of 2010, the pro-democracy movement, the Red Shirts, is at a crossroads. On the other side, the military junta and the royalists have not even begun to solve the political crisis or to stabilise their power. Since the royalist PAD protests and the military coup in 2006, the junta and the royalists have not only destroyed democracy, they have also destroyed the legitimacy of the monarchy, the military and the judiciary in the eyes of millions of Thais.

Samir Amin: Global currency wars, US imperialism and the global South

November 25, 2010 -- Pambazuka News -- Marxist economist Samir Amin speaks to Pambazuka's Firoze Manji on the misleading rhetoric over the so-called currency war. The real problem, he argues, is the disequilibrium in the global integrated monetary and financial system, in which the US insists on the right to control its currency, but denies the same rights to others, such as China. The countries of the global South need to leave the US and its allies to sort out their own problems and concentrate on developing regional currencies and exercising strict control over capital flows, Amin argues.

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The state, social movements and revolution in Latin America

By Federico Fuentes

November 28, 2010 -- Green Left Weekly -- It should come as no surprise that Latin America, a region converted into a laboratory for ongoing experiments in social change, has increasingly become the topic of discussion and debate among the broader left.

Latin America has not only dealt blows to imperialism but also raised the banner of socialism on a global scale. It is of strategic importance for those fighting for a better world, especially at a time when capitalism is in systemic crisis.

Latin America’s landscape of powerful social movements, left governments of various shades, revolutionary insurrections, and growing expressions of indigenous resistance and worker control, provides a perfect scenario for leftists to learn about, and debate, revolutionary strategy and tactics.

This should not simply be an academic debate. It should look at how to best build solidarity with these movements for change and gain insight for struggles at home.

Of late, burning dispute has opened up, mostly among those writing from an anti-capitalist orientation: a debate over the complex relationship, or “dance” as Ben Dangl calls it, between social movements and states in Latin America.

Ireland: 100,000 march in Dublin against austerity measures


David Begg, general secretary Irish Congress of Trade Unions, and folk singer Christy Moore at the Dublin Post Office, November 27, 2010.

November 29, 2010 -- Irish Republican News and other sources -- Up to 100,000 people took part in a march and rally organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) in Dublin on November 27 in protest at the government's planned program of austerity. At the main rally at the GPO in O'Connell Street, the site of the 1916 Easter Rising, speakers strongly criticised the government's four-year plan for economic recovery and the loss of sovereignty as a result of the European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout.

(Updated Nov. 29) Cancun climate summit should not be `Copenhagen Accord Part II', says Bolivia

Statement by the Plurinational State of Bolivia

November 27, 2010 – At the next meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 16), which begins November 29 in Cancun, Mexico, the 192 member states must agree on a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

However, on November 24, the president of the Ad-Hoc Working group on Long-Term Action issued a new document that attempts to legitimise the “Copenhagen Accord”, which the United Nations merely “took note of” last December in Denmark.

This new document put forth by the president of the Ad-Hoc Working Group, instead taking into account the proposals of all the parties put forth during the process of negotiations, downplays the need for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. [The latest document] was developed underwithout the mandate from the parties, and promotes emissions reductions by all countries without clearly distinguishing between developed countries and developing countries, leaving aside the fundamental principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” among nations.

Thailand: Six months on, emboldened Red Shirts raise new slogans; Interview with Sombat Boonngamanong

Sombat Boonngamangong (left), the leader of the Red Sunday group and long-time activist, has renewed the Red Shirts' campaign in public, such as this "red aerobics". Photo by Lee Yu Kyung.

By Lee Yu Kyung, Bangkok

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