Want to know what a sustainable climate-change-proof agricultural system might look like? Here’s an example from Cuba, in an academic paper written by my friend, comrade and former boss, Peter Rosset, together with folk from Cuba’s peasant agriculture movement. The article’s free to download (for now), but the key parts from the abstract are:
Our key findings are (i) the spread of agroecology was rapid and successful largely due to the social process methodology and social movement dynamics, (ii) farming practices evolved over time and contributed to significantly increased relative and absolute production by the peasant sector, and (iii) those practices resulted in additional benefits including resilience to climate change.
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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).
This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.
Exclusive excerpt from `The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould', by Richard York and Brett Clark
January 26, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, with the kind permission of Monthly Review Press, is excited to offer its readers an excerpt from The Science and Humanism of Stephen Jay Gould, by Richard York and Brett Clark. Click HERE download (in PDF) the extract, "Natural History and the Nature of History", or read it on screen below the introduction.
Links' readers are urged to purchase the book. Please click here to order your copy.
* * *
Stephen Jay Gould was not only a leading paleontologist and evolutionary theorist, he was also a humanist with an enduring interest in the history and philosophy of science. The extraordinary range of Gould’s work was underpinned by a richly nuanced and deeply insightful worldview.
[English original at http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/46486.]
Domingo, 23 de Enero de 2011
Por Ben Peterson, traducido por Sean Seymour-Jones
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly-- El primer ministro, Madhav Kumar Nepal, ha argumentado que las balas, los explosivos y otras municiones ya no constituyen “armamento letal” con tal de que sea usado para “el adiestramiento y otras obras relacionadas”.
Mahmoud Abbas with US President George W. Bush and Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Red Sea Summit in Aqaba, Jordan, on June 4, 2003.
By the steering committee of the Democratic Left Front (previously the Conference of the Democratic Left)
January 24, 2011 -- Post-apartheid capitalism is leaving a trail of hunger, poverty, anger and misery. The wealthy elite, the bosses and their hangers-on refuse to concede a single inch to the urgent needs of the majority. They label even the most modest reforms as the thin edge of the wedge of communism. And as always the government shakes and concedes … And a new round of suffering begins for our people.
From January 20 to 23, 2011, at Wits University in Johannesburg, 250 delegates from around the country representing a diverse range of social movements, popular organisations and anti-capitalist formations gathered to forge a united political front to break this cycle which has made South Africa the most unequal country on Earth. The cry of the Conference of the Democratic Left is KWANELE, KWANELE, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, GENOEG IS GENOEG.
ANC managing capitalism
Cuba: The Campesino-to-Campesino agroecology movement: sustainable peasant agriculture and food sovereignty
The following article was recommended by Raj Patel. Patel writes:
Protest against fuel subsidy cut, El Alto, December 30.
By Federico Fuentes
January 24, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- On December 31, the Bolivian government of President Evo Morales repealed a decree, passed five days earlier, to remove subsidies for fuel. The repeal came after protests and discontent at the resulting price increases from many of the government’s poor supporters.
“Why is the government making us suffer during these days … I don’t understand, I don’t understand”, Carla, a housewife in El Alto told Radio Atipiri on New Years Eve. An elderly woman expressed the shock of many supporters of Bolivia’s first indigenous president: “We are poor, we don’t have anything, what are we going to now, Evo has betrayed us, he must go.”
They were among the many that came out against the government’s decree, which sent petrol and diesel prices up by 73% and 83% respectively. It also caused spikes in the price of transport and food.
Demonstration against RCD ministers, January 19. Photo by Nasser Nouri.
[During the uprising in Tunisia there have been reports of the formation of neighbourhood and popular self-defence committees in many parts of the country. Below are excerpts from a number of articles by the International Marxist Tendency's Jorge Martín, which offer some fascinating details of this important development.]
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By Jorge Martín
"Approximately 90 per cent of China’s high technology exports to the US are produced by multinational corporations and many of them are being bought and sold in the US by other multinational retailers."
By Martin Hart-Landsberg
January 21, 2011 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- The president of China, Hu Jintao, just completed a visit to the United States and, not surprisingly, many people used the occasion to raise the jobs issue. The US economy continues to suffer from high unemployment. And the US continues to run an enormous trade deficit with China, a deficit that dwarfs any other bilateral deficit. The connection made is as follows: China is an unfair trader. Its state policies, including subsidies and labour repression, are a major reason for the destruction of the US manufacturing sector and jobs.
This nation-state framing encourages us to see US workers in direct competition with Chinese workers, with their gains largely coming at our expense. It also tends to promote a simple response: force China to quicken its embrace of market forces so that its economy will become more like ours. Unfortunately, this framing misleads more than it helps to clarify current economic dynamics. It also leads to a counterproductive response.
저 명한 국제적 지식인들과 좌파단체·노동조합 등이 홍익대 미화 노동자 투쟁에 연대 메시지와 서명을 보내 왔다. 1월 22일 현재까지 미국의 저명한 경제학자 마틴 하트-랜즈버그, 세계적으로 저명한 마르크스주의자이자 영국 사회주의노동자당 중앙위원인 알렉스 캘리니코스를 포함해 지식인, 좌파·노동조합 주요 활동가 27명과 2개 단체가 동참했다. 아래 명단은 1차분이고, 이 서명은 앞으로도 계속 진행될 예정이다. 이 서명은 다함께 국제연락팀 박준규가 주도적으로 조직했다.
연대서명과 메시지(1월 22일 현재까지 1차분)
The future of the left in Irish politics
January 20, 2011 -- RTE, Today with Pat Kenny -- A new political alliance was born in Ireland just before Christmas. It is the United Left Alliance. It’s an umbrella group of left-wing parties and individuals who have joined forces to fight the March 11, 2011, general election.
The grouping consists of three existing political parties: the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit Alliance and the Workers and Unemployed Action Group. However the Labour Party and Sinn Fein are not members.
January 17, 2011 -- Climate & Capitalism -- Daniel Tanuro’s new book, L’impossible capitalisme vert,or “The Futility of Green Capitalism”, is a major contribution to our analytical understanding of ecosocialism. Tanuro, a Belgian Marxist and certified agriculturist, is a prolific author on environmental history and policies.
Addressed primarily to the Green milieu, as the title indicates, this book is a powerful refutation of the major proposals advanced to resolve the climate crisis that fail to challenge the profit drive and accumulation dynamic of capital. Much of the book appears to be a substantially expanded update of a report by Tanuro adopted in 2009 by the leadership of the Fourth International as a basis for international discussion. That report was translated by Ian Angus and included in his anthology The Global Fight for Climate Justice.
By Micah O'Canain
January 2011 -- Against The Current -- The 2010 Dan La Botz Socialist for Senate campaign in Ohio represents an important success in the recent context of leftist third-party initiatives. Running the first Socialist Party campaign for national office in Ohio since 1936, La Botz garnered 25,368 votes statewide, one of the more successful socialist electoral bids in decades. This experience provides some important lessons for how the left can engage the electoral arena in this period.
January 16, 2011 -- United Left Alliance -- The challenge of the United Left Alliance to the right-wing consensus in Irish politics is strengthening rapidly. As of today, a total of 17 constituencies will be contested by 18 ULA candidates in the looming general election. As well as Tipperary South and West Waterford, 11 constituencies in Dublin, two in Cork, as well as Wexford and Limerick city, candidates have been nominated for Carlow/Kilkenny and Laois/Offaly. This means that almost 50% of Dáil [parliamentary] constituencies will have a left alternative to the establishment political parties.
Joe Higgins MEP of the Socialist Party said:
It is entirely possible that this number will be extended in the coming weeks but even at the current number, it is the first time in Irish politics that there was such a wide representation of principled left candidates presented to the electorate in a general election.
Cuban workers march on May Day 2009. Photo by Bill Hackwell/Havana Times.
January 15, 2011 -- Cuba's Socialist Renewal -- Alongside and intersecting with the grassroots debates on the Draft Economic and Social Policy Guidelines and the informal debate, there is a rich discussion and debate taking place among Cuban intellectuals and academic specialists from a variety of disciplines and a spectrum of political perspectives within the broad camp of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban magazine Temas (Themes) is one publication that carries contributions to this debate among Cuba's revolutionary intelligentsia.
Thailand bans Giles Ji Ungpakorn's `Thailand's Crisis and the fight for Democracy'/วิกฤตการเมืองประชาธิปไตย เราจะโค่นอำมาตย์อย่า
By Giles Ji Ungpakorn
January 18, 2011 -- After struggling to read my book for more than a year, the Thai police have finally banned Thailand's Crisis and the fight for Democracy. No one is allowed to import it. But I have nearly sold out! What is even more amusing is that there is a Thai version which is available on the internet to download for free.
Anyone who wants a copy of the Thai version can just e-mail me at email@example.com, or read or download below.
You can also read excerpt's from Thailand's Crisis and the fight for Democracy at http://links.org.au/node/1792 ("Behind Bangkok's war in southern Thailand") and http://links.org.au/node/1754 ("Class and Politics in Thailand).
Australia: The movement for reconciliation in the Uniting Church -- lessons for revolutionary struggle
“Never let us be blind to developments within the masses as we were to the rise of Liberation Theology.” – Barry Healy, “Who’s Afraid of Liberation Theology”, Marxism Summer School 2005
“Christ who suffered on the cross continues to suffer with the land and the people of the land. In the suffering of the land and the people of the land, we see Christ suffering and we hear Christ crying out.” – Rainbow Spirit Elders, Rainbow Spirit Theology, p. 79, as quoted by Chris Budden in Following Jesus in Invaded Space, p. 70
Socialist Unity, January 17, 2011 -- Picture sent by Twitter from Al Jazeera journalist Ayman Mohyeldin. Protesters hold up signs outside a trade union office saying “Protests must continue”, rejecting the fake “national unity” government.
By Richard Seymour
[This article first appeared on Seymour's blog, Lenin's Tomb. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission.]
By Billy Wharton
January 17, 2011 (MLK Day) -- Bronx County Independent Examiner -- Discovering the radical message in the writings of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. is no easy task for secular leftists. It requires a leap into the world of black Christian theology, a long tradition that has inspired multiple attempts at emancipation – from the slave revolt of Nat Turner to the modern civil rights movement. However, the terms of discussion inside of this tradition require secular readers to think through categories firmly rooted in Christian teachings. Some patience and a willingness to deal with what might be unfamiliar examples can yield new perspectives on an American tradition dedicated to service in the call of human freedom.
Most commentators on left have no time for such exercises. They automatically gravitate toward instances when King engages with mainly secular audiences. They take inspiration from King’s overt admission of his socialist leanings, “There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism.” Focus is placed on his brave stand against the war in Vietnam and his militant insistence on the need for racial integration.
(Updated Jan. 24) Tunisia:`All Arab dictators are shaking on their thrones' -- Left and Arab voices on the insurrection
[For more on Tunisia in revolt, click HERE. Scroll down for earlier reports and analysis. ]
UGTT demands dissolution of 'unity government'
Statement of the National Administrative Commission of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) issued on January 21, 2011 (first published in English on MRZine).
1. The General Union of Tunisian Workers is a national organisation necessarily interested in political affairs, given its history of struggle during the colonial epoch and the period of the construction of the modern state, considering the dialectical links among economy, society, politics, and culture in the process of development, but out task has become more urgent than ever.
[This statement was released before the fall of Ben Ali. See "Tunisia's intifada topples tyrant: 'Yezzi fock!".]
January 11, 2011 -- When Mohamed Bouazizi committed suicide by setting fire to himself after being harassed by the police his act became the spark which is now setting fire to the whole of the “miraculous Tunisia” of General Ben Ali.