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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Sadiq Khan becomes mayor of London, but Britain faces deep-seated problems

 

 

By Rupen Savoulian

 

May 20, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Antipodean Atheist with permission — Sadiq Khan’s election as London mayor is a rejection of the politics of fear and Islamophobia, but let us not endorse his policies.

 

The election of Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, made headline news in the English-speaking world. It is no surprise that Khan’s electoral victory made news here in Australia, given our longstanding economic, political and cultural ties to the United Kingdom. It is not intended to go into all the intricacies of British politics in this article, however, the victory of an openly Muslim candidate for a major political position in the UK has elicited various reactions, and these responses are illustrative of the kind of politics that passes for policy debate in the English-speaking countries.

 

Protests rise against World Economic Forum’s implausible ‘Africa Keeps Rising’ meme

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

May 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- From May 11-13, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit in Kigali, Rwanda reinforced extractive-industry and high-tech myths. The gathering unveiled the 1%’s elite’s exuberant imagination and its lack of exposure to the continent’s harsh economic realities. As an antidote, grassroots protesters all over Africa are questioning the logic of export-led ‘growth’ and renewed fiscal austerity, instead demanding that policies meet their basic needs.

 

'Our stomachs will make themselves heard': What Sankara can teach us about food justice today

 

 

By Amber Murrey

 

May 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News -- In recent weeks, news of food crises in countries across Africa has been intensifying. From the Democratic Republic of Congo all the way down to South Africa – via Malawi, Zimbabwe, Angola and many others – low rainfall has contributed to millions more being left vulnerable.

 

Social upheaval in times of neoliberalism: The deep roots of Macedonia’s protest wave

 

 

The #IProtest movement has united demonstrators across age, gender, ethnicity and class

 

By Adela Gjorgjioska

 

“In a neoliberal universe, where markets are the gauge of value, money becomes, more straightforwardly than ever before, the measure of all things. If hospitals, schools and prisons can be privatised as enterprises for profit, why not political office too?”
Perry Anderson in London Review of Books, 2014, 36:10, pp. 5

 

The Communist Order of Samurai: Leon Trotsky and the Red Army

 

 

Leon Trotsky addresses soldiers of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War

 



By Doug Enaa Greene

 



Dedicated to my friend, Sam Miller.

 


May 17, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Marxist historian Victor Serge described Trotsky's task in organizing the Red Army as its enemies threatened the embattled Soviet Republic as follows:

 

The principal organizer of the October Revolution now has the task of organizing the defence of the Soviet Republic. He goes to war, forges the blade, carries the responsibility on all fronts. He incarnates, in its keenest expression, the revolution’s will to survive.[1]

 

In 1918, Trotsky was given the job of creating a Red Army to fight off its enemies from within and without. Organizing an effective army in a society shattered and exhausted by war would have been a monumental task for even the most experienced general. Yet Trotsky, who possessed no military training, forged a well-organized, centralized, disciplined and effective fighting army of 5.5 million people by 1920 that was fired by revolutionary zeal and triumphed in the Civil War.

 

Created by crisis: Rodrigo Duterte and his unorthodox quest for the Philippine presidency

 

 

Supporters the new Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, at a 40,000-strong Miting de Avance held on May 7 as part of his election campaign

 

By Walden Bello

 

May 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from InterAksyon -- For dejected supporters of Mar Roxas and Grace Poe, it was all over except for the voting when they saw the size and felt the energy of the crowd that jammed the Duterte miting de avance at the Luneta on Saturday evening, May 7.

 

‘Facing the Anthropocene’: We have no alternative but to fight the forces destroying our world

 

 

Ian Angus speaking at the global launch of his new book Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System in Sydney, May 13.

 

By Christopher Wright

 

May 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate, People and Organizations -- It’s a great pleasure to speak to you tonight at the launch of Ian Angus’ new book Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System.

 

When Ian contacted me late last year and asked if I’d be interested in reading his manuscript, I have to say I was somewhat wary. As many of you probably know the term “Anthropocene” has become something of a buzzword de jeure in academic circles. Every day it seems there is a new book released with “Anthropocene” in the title, there are new journals about the Anthropocene, and specialist conferences on the topic. It seems that Anthropocene studies has become something of an academic fashion.

 

A million workers form new trade union federation in South Africa

 

 

May 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal via NUMSA— A new workers federation is being formed in South Africa that is intended to totally change the face of popular organising. Based on the principles of independence, concerted mass action and worker control, the new federation starts with a membership of 1.1 million workers drawn from 51 affiliates.

 

Brazil’s social movements oppose institutional coup against Dilma Rousseff, demand ‘Temer Out’

 

 

May 13, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Brazil’s Federal Senate voted on May 12 to proceed with the impeachment process against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in a move that many see as an attempt by the right-wing opposition to carry out a “institutional coup”.

 

Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing translated version of statements released by the Popular Brazil Front, a broad coalition that involves the Unified Workers' Central (CUT), the Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), and the National Student Union (UNE), among others, and by the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), Brazil’s largest social movement in the wake of the Senate vote. They have been translated from the Brazil Popular Front site by Federico Fuentes

 

The Afterbern: How Bernie Sanders has changed the US and what we do now

 

 

By Salar Mohandesi

 

May 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal republished from Viewpoint Magazine -- One of the most significant political stories of the year is the meteoric rise of a little-known, seventy-four year old, self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” senator from the small state of Vermont. Although he may win many of the remaining contests, it seems extremely unlikely that Bernie Sanders will clinch the Democratic nomination. Nevertheless, his bid for the presidency has dramatically, perhaps irreversibly, changed the political landscape in this country. At this point, the question for socialists is not whether or not to support Bernie’s campaign, but rather: what do we do now? What, if any political possibilities have emerged, and how can we seize these opportunities to advance revolutionary politics? To answer that, we first need to determine exactly how Bernie has changed the political situation in the United States.

 

Scotland's new left alliance RISE on local election results: 'The battle to represent working-class interests goes on'

 

 

May 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal via Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières -- RISE, the new socialist alliance in Scotland, had a very active and strong campaign in the recent UK local elections, but obtained disappointing results. It got 10.911 votes. This is not really surprising giving that RISE held it founding conference in December 2015.

 

RISE (Respect, Internationalism, Socialism, Environmentalism) emerged out of the Radical Independence Campaign for the 2014 independence referendum and the Scottish Left Project. RISE involves activists from the Scottish Socialist Party, International Socialists Scotland, ex-International Socialist Group (dissolved after the founding of RISE) and independent radical socialists.

 

Below, Cat Boyd, co-founder of RIC and RISE and its election candidate for Glasgow, Jamie Maxwell, RISE member and its press officer during the election campaign and Carolyn Leckie, RISE voter and columnist for the National give their views on the campaign and the results.

 

The rise of Marxism in France

 

 

French Workers' Party (POF) poster that reads "Workers of the World Unite".

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

To the memory of my great grandparents, radicals in their way, Helen and Frank Last.

 

May 11, 2016 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – In the late nineteenth century, despite the ascendancy of Marxist-led socialist parties across Europe, it was not inevitable that Marxism would become the hegemonic trend on the French left. France possessed a rich and vibrant revolutionary history from 1789 to the Paris Commune that produced many vibrant movements, figures and ideologies, who all contended for allegiance of the working class.

Thinking and voting outside the two-party box: Interview with US Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein

 

 

May 10, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from US Socialist Worker -- Dr. Jill Stein (pictured) is a leading member of the Green Party and its likely presidential candidate in 2016. A longtime activist, including around issues of health care reform and ecological justice, Stein ran for several offices as a Green in Massachusetts, before becoming the party's presidential nomination in 2012, where she won 456,169 votes. She talked to Todd Chretien about why she's running again and the importance of an independent alternative to the two-party system.

Filipinas: la epifanía presidencial de Rodrigo Duterte y la tormenta que se avecina

 

 

[Original articles published in English on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal]

 

May 9, 2016 -- Traduido para Sin Permiso por Enrique García -- El aumento espectacular de las expectativas de Rodrigo Duterte (foto), alcalde de la sureña ciudad de Davao, que ahora lidera las encuestas cara a las elecciones presidenciales del 9 de mayo en Filipinas, ha sacudido el panorama político del país. Su campaña desde fuera del sistema, al hablar de la necesidad de una "revolución Duterte" contra el fraude electoral, que se prepara para evitar su elección, ha galvanizado gran parte del descontento existente con la clase política.

 

Explaining the Anthropocene: Ian Angus on how human activity is transforming the entire planet

 

 

May 6, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Review -- Human activity has transformed the Earth, accelerating climate change in just a few decades. Author Ian Angus talks to Socialist Review about facing up to the new reality. Angus will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.

 

Greece: vulture creditors jostling for their next feed

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 5, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, an earlier and shorter version of this article first appeared in Green Left Weekly — It has taken only nine months for relations between the near-bankrupt Greek state and its creditors — the “Quartet” of the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — to lurch to the brink of crisis.

 

These relations are covered by the third bailout memorandum between Greece and the European Commission, which the SYRIZA-led government of prime minister Alexis Tsipras felt forced to swallow last July 12, despite the Greek people rejecting an earlier version by over 60% in the July 5, 2015 referendum. The memorandum commits the ESM to provide the country with €86 billion in exchange for a tightly policed Greek government continuing to implement a package of “reforms” requiring pension cuts, tax increases, privatisations and labour market deregulation.

 

Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War

 

 

Reviewed by Chris Slee

 

Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War
by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami
Pluto Press 2016 London

 

May 4, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Despite some flaws, this book is a good introduction to the Syrian revolution. It explains why people protested against the Assad regime, and why many of them took up arms. It also shows how the initially non-sectarian popular uprising was increasingly converted into a sectarian conflict.

 

The main flaws of the book relate to the role of Turkey, and of the PYD (Democratic Union Party) in the struggle in Rojava (the predominantly Kurdish area in northern Syria).

Philippines socialists on the phenomenal rise of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte

 

 

The phenomenal rise of Rodrigo Duterte (pictured), the mayor of the southern city of Davao who is now leading in the polls ahead of the May 9 Philippines presidential elections, has shaken up the country's political landscape. His outsider campaign, with talk of the need for a "Duterte revolution" against expected electoral fraud to prevent his election, has galvanized much of the existing discontent towards the political class.

 

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal have republished two pieces, one by Sonny Melencio from the Party of the Labouring Masses, and the other by left Senate candidate Walden Bello, looking at what the Duterte phenomenon means for the Philippines and the left.

 

The final aim is nothing: The politics of revisionism and anti-revisionism

 

 

Chinese communist propaganda poster from the sixties: 'Defeat American Imperialism, defeat Soviet Revisionism'

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

I. Introduction

 

May 2, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Revisionism, like the terms “Marxism-Leninism” or “fascism” is arguably one of the most widely used and abused terms on the revolutionary left.

Anti-imperial Marxism: Borderland socialists and the evolution of Bolshevism on national liberation

 

 

Latvian Marxist polemic against class harmony

 

By Eric Blanc

 

May 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Socialist Review with the author’s permission — Given the importance Marxists place on the fight against racial and national oppression, it is surprising that relatively little attention has been paid to the socialists of imperial Russia’s borderlands. Most of the inhabitants of the tsarist empire were non-Russian (Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Finns, Latvians, Georgians, Muslims, etc.), as were most revolutionaries. Yet academic and activist historiography has distorted our understanding of the socialist movement’s overall development by narrowly focusing on Central Russia.

 

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