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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.
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1917: The View from the Streets #4: ‘For a provisional revolutionary government of workers and poor peasants'
February 15, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — 100 years ago this week, in February 1917, the Bolshevik Petersburg Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party issued the following proclamation as a response to Menshevik appeals to workers to come out in support of the Duma (parliament) on the day of its convocation (see Document #3).
The Bolshevik committee warned workers not to trust attempts to ally them with Duma liberals, calling instead for a one-day strike on February 23 (10) to commemorate the second anniversary of the trial of the Bolshevik deputies to the State Duma. The Petersburg Committee had forgotten, however, that many factories would be closed on that date, because it fell during a Russian religious holiday.
By Awami Workers Party
February 13, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The Awami Workers Party (AWP) expresses grief over the loss of 16 lives in yet another terrorist attack in Lahore.
The AWP Spokesperson Farooq Tariq in a statement here on Monday condemned the failure of law enforcement agencies in foiling the terrorist attack despite forewarning. He expressed sympathies with the families of those killed and injured in the terrorist attack.
In South Africa, enter stage left: Jacob Zuma’s ‘Radical Economic Transformation’ alternative factoids
February 14, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — South Africa’s two main warring political blocs – the forces of Fiscal Patronage (‘Zuptas!’ in local parlance, referring to the immigrant Gupta family’s curious influence over the president’s family and government) versus the forces of Fiscal Prudence (‘Treasury neoliberals!’ to critics) – are still represented by two men who have begun to stumble on terrain potholed by what a Donald Trump aid terms ‘alternative facts.’
February 10, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Veteran CPIML Liberation leader Comrade Srilata Swaminathan passed away in Udaipur (Rajasthan) in the early morning of February 5. She was 74. Comrade Srilata had suffered a brain stroke on the night of January 28 and was rushed to a hospital in Udaipur where she breathed her last breath following a cardiac arrest.
Alongside the Battle of Madrid, the Battle of Jarama is commonly associated with the participation of the International Brigades — volunteers, often organised by Communist parties, who travelled from around the world to Spain to join the anti-fascist fight in defence of the 1931-39 Spanish Republic.
Following Franco’s failure to take Madrid in October-November 1936, the fascist forces attempted a military offensive in February 1937 on the western flank of the Spanish Republic forces, alongside the river Jarama. While the offensive failed, and the counter-offensives by the Republican forces effectively turned the battle into a stalemate, the battle itself became synonymous with the military, political and moral contribution of the International Brigades to the anti-fascist struggle.
Holding the frontline at Jarama were thousands of volunteers from Britain, Ireland, United States, Italy, France, Belgium and many others who came from around the world to defend Spanish democracy against Franco, Hitler and Mussolini.
Among a handful of surviving International Brigadiers remaining today is José Almudéver Mateu.
February 9, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Working people need to confront racism, sexism and anti-immigrant prejudice if we are to be successful in uniting our class sufficiently to take on the huge power of the one percent – the super-rich owners of most productive wealth in society.
By International Strategy Center
February 8, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy Center with permission — Sitting in Gwanghwamun square on December 31, the screen rapidly dialled up to 10,000,000 as it added up the number of participants in the past ten candlelight protests. Every Saturday evening for the last two months of 2016, people had come out in the streets calling for impeachment. A few weeks prior, an impeachment motion had been passed in the National Assembly by an overwhelming vote. We were saying goodbye to the year with a candlelight protest on New Year’s Eve complete with Christmas jingles about impeachment.
1917: The View from the Streets: Leaflets of the Russian revolution #3 – ‘Only a provisional gov't can bring freedom and peace'
February 6, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — 100 years ago today, on February 6 (January 24), 1917, a Menshevik-influenced workers’ group within the Central War Industry Committee issued the following appeal for a demonstration calling for a provisional government.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. One hundred and fifty years ago, Karl Marx published his book Capital, an intellectual effort of great breath, with the aim of revealing the logic of capitalist production and providing workers with theoretical instruments for their liberation. Having discovering the logic of the system, he was able to foresee with great anticipation much of what is happening in the world capitalist economy today. But, we cannot mechanically apply what is outlined in Capital to the current reality of Latin America.
By John Bellamy Foster
February 5, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — The alarm bells are ringing. The climate-change denialism of the Trump administration, coupled with its goal of maximizing fossil-fuel extraction and consumption at all costs, constitutes, in the words of Noam Chomsky, “almost a death knell for the human species.” As noted climatologist Michael E. Mann has declared, “I fear that this may be game over for the climate.”
By Dick Nichols
February 3, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – On January 21, in Bilbao’s hyper-modern Euskalduna Conference Centre, the Basque left pro-independence party Sortu concluded its refoundation congress by finalising the election of its 29-member national council.
The congress had brought together Sortu members from all parts of the divided Basque Country: its four southern districts in the Spanish state, presently covered by the regional administrations of Navarra and the Basque Autonomous Community (Euskadi) and its three northern districts in the French coastal department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
February 1, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso Books with the author's permission — Karl Marx claimed that Louis-Auguste Blanqui was the “man whom I have always regarded as the brains and inspiration of the proletarian party in France.” Although largely forgotten today, there was a time when revolutionaries throughout the world viewed this nineteenth century French political prisoner as a central figure and hero of revolutionary socialism. In this time of so much political backsliding and compromise, it is worth looking at the life of Blanqui.
By Hawzhin Azeez
February 2, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Kurdish Question — Zahra Shexo bends over her sewing machine and meticulously, but expertly allows the course material to run through her fingers and under the pointed needle of the machine. The sound of over a dozen women’s laughter and conversation intermixes with the repetitive mechanical sounds of the sewing machines in the large room. The sewing room is a Kaleidoscope of different coloured materials, samples, threads and other necessary sewing items. Zahra is the current administrator of the textile cooperative Amargi in Kobane city.
Pakistan: Awami Workers Party condemns Trump's travel ban on citizens and residents of 7 Muslim-majority countries
By Farooq Tariq
January 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The Awami Workers Party condemns the travel ban on citizens and residents of 7 Muslim-majority countries instituted by the administration of President Donald Trump. While the ban has been instituted in the name of securing the United States from terrorism, the order is in effect, a collective ban on a particular religious community from those countries – Muslims – including legal residents of the United States, from entering the United States. It is also painfully ironic that the bulk of the countries affected by the ban – including Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Libya – are those that the US and its allies, including Saudi Arabia, have invaded or bombed in recent years, creating thousands of refugees in the process.
By Teressa Rose Ezell
Januar 31, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A Lakota prophecy tells of a mythic Black Snake that will move underground and bring destruction to the Earth. The “seventh sign” in Hopi prophecy involves the ocean turning black and bringing death to many sea-dwelling creatures. It doesn’t take an over-active imagination to make a connection between these images and oil pipelines and spills.
It’s troubling enough that the growing “Black Snake” has branched out at an alarming rate, forming a massive subterranean coast-to-coast web. But to make matters worse, the nefarious reptile seems to suffer from leaky gut syndrome, so that it functions as a toxic underground sprinkler system, spreading gas, oil, and poisonous by-products everywhere it goes—including into waterways and drinking water sources.
By Cat Moir
“After one has enjoyed the first taste of Marxist criticism, one will never again be able to stand ideological hogwash.” – Ernst Bloch, Spirit of Utopia, 1918
January 30, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Wedge with the author's permission — The relationship between art and society has always been a central question for artists, thinkers and activists on the Left. In the twentieth century, it was commonplace to believe that art has the power to change the world. It was this conviction that motivated Georg Lukács to defend the literary realism of writers like Thomas Mann over the stylistic innovations of a James Joyce. For Lukács (1977: 33), literature was “a particular form by means of which objective reality is reflected,” and as such it was “of crucial importance for it to grasp that reality as it truly is.” By displaying social reality in all its contradictory complexity, Lukács believed, art could serve the interests of class struggle and social emancipation.
Michael Lebowitz: If you don’t understand the second product, you understand nothing about Marx's Capital
Presentation by Michael A. Lebowitz
January 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following talk was given at the International conference "150 years Karl Marx’s Capital - Reflections for the 21st century" held in Athens, Greece on January 14-15, 2017. Organised by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - Athens Office in cooperation with Theseis, the conference discussed the actuality of Marx’s theoretical system of the critique of political economy 150 years on from the publication of Capital Volume I.
By Ashley Fataar
January 28, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News — The relatively recent history of Zimbabwe’s working class and its supporters is very rich and provides answers to the challenges for the future. The working class as a whole provided inspiration to the fights against unemployment and oppression. It is worth re-looking that history to provide some answers.