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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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Not a manifesto but part of a discussion: A review of Bhaskar Sunkara's 'The Socialist Manifesto'

 

 

The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality.
By Bhaskar Sunkara.
New York: Basic Books, 2019.
276 pages, including index. Hardcover, $28.00.

 

Review by Paul Le Blanc

 

Principles and tactics: Socialists utilizing the Democratic Party ballot-line

 

 

Contributions to a debate by Paul Le Blanc, Rob Lyons & Matthew Strauss

 

Preface by Paul Le Blanc

 

With the one-sentence preface “these ten points indicate where my thinking is now on certain questions,” I initiated a tempest in the little teapot of my FaceBook page, although the storm – such as it was – swept through other sites and beyond the virtual reality of the worldwide web.  

 

What generated the debate were ten fairly succinct points on how I felt revolutionary socialists should respond to socialists running on the ballot-line of the Democratic Party (the most famous so far being Congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and the related question of the Bernie Sanders campaign.  Many had assumed I would express “revolutionary rejection” – and the fact that I expressed something different astonished many.

 

United States: A left strategy for the 2020 elections and beyond

 

 

By Carl Davidson & Bill Fletcher Jr.

 

July 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Truthout — As the 2020 presidential campaigns begin in 2019, nearly everyone on the left knows the stakes are high. The defeat of Donald Trump and the ejection of his right-wing and white supremacist populist blocfrom the centers of political power is a tactical goal of some urgency not only for Democrats but also for leftists. The outcome of the upcoming election will have a direct effect on thwarting right-wing populism and the clear and present danger of incipient fascism and war.

 

The democratic socialist cul-de-sac: A critical look at 'The Socialist Manifesto'

 

 

The Socialist Manifesto
By Bhaskar Sunkara
New York: Basic Books, 2019

 

Reviewed by Doug Enaa Greene

 

On the democratic character of socialist revolution

 

 

By John Riddell

 

July 12, 2019 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary BlogUnder the headline “Karl Kautsky was right,” Eric Blanc wrote on the blog on April 5:

 

Leninists for decades have hinged their strategy on the need for an insurrection to overthrow the entire parliamentary state and to place all power into the hands of workers’ councils.[1]

 

When I read these words, my mind went back to a day 40 years earlier when this formulation was hurled at me by members of Canada’s security police.  They used it as justification for their illegal disruption and harassment directed against me and fellow members of the Revolutionary Workers League (RWL).

Trudeau government gives dangerous new powers to Canada’s political cops

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

July 12, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Blog — Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), is engaged in massive surveillance of environmentalists and Indigenous opponents of extractive energy projects. And it is sharing some of its “intelligence” with the oil industry and its regulator, the National Energy Board.

Sira Rego (GUE/NGL): 'Neoliberalism is leading us into a life without a future or hope'

 

 

Speech by Sira Rego (European United Left - Nordic Green Left, GUE/NGL) for the Presidency of the European Parliament

 

July 3, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from GUE/NGL — Thank you. It is an honour to represent the candidacy of a group that is small in number, but one that is firmly committed to the defence of the interests of the people of Europe – in particular – working people.

 

We present this candidacy with the conviction that, whilst some groups and governments of Europe have been playing around with top jobs, life continues outside and the future of millions of people depends on the decisions we take here in this Parliament.

 

For us, it is therefore imperative that we talk about which side the President of this Parliament will be on over the next few years. Will they continue to be on the side of corporate lobbies and multinationals? Will they be on the side of the Europe of division and walls that continues to feed the monster that is neo-fascism? Or will they, finally, be on the side of people, of workers, and of human rights?

 

The workers’ and peasants’ government

 

 

Introduction by Mike Taber

 

July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary Blog — Reproduced below are a resolution and excerpts from a report adopted in June 1923 by the Communist International (Comintern). It took place at an enlarged meeting of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI).

 

The Comintern debates the United Front

 

 

Introduction by Mike Taber

 

July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary Blog — Below are excerpts from the February 1922 debate on the united front that took place at an enlarged meeting of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI). The speakers include Grigorii Zinoviev, Karl Radek, and Leon Trotsky.

 

Sudan’s season of revolution

 

 

By Magdi el Gizouli

 

July 5, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — The last ten days of Ramadan, Islam’s fasting month, are supposed to be a period of spiritual transcendence. By this time, the discipline of fasting and nightly prayer is expected to have smoothed over the ugly creases of the believer’s soul in preparation for a new beginning. Likewise, it is the year’s peak shopping season, as families prepare for the Eid festivities and the associated cycles of gift exchanges. Not this year in Khartoum. Instead the remarkably peaceful city had on appointment with a ‘katla’, vernacular Sudanese for mass and senseless killing.

 

Gee Whiz! Communism is sure gonna be keen!

 

 

Aaron Bastani
FULLY AUTOMATED LUXURY COMMUNISM
Verso, 2019

 

Reviewed by Ian Angus

 

July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism — When I was ten years old, I read and re-read a stack of decades-old Modern Mechanix magazines that I found in my grandfather’s basement. Throughout the Great Depression, MM regaled its readers with breathless accounts of technological marvels that were going to change the world, very soon.

 

Issue after issue promised the kind of things that were later parodied in The Jetsons TV show — flying cars, air conditioned cities, weather control, robots and the like.

 

A new theory of strikes for a new labour movement

 

 

By Fahmi Panimbang

 

July 7, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Progress in Political Economy — The idea of mass strikes within the Marxist tradition has been most powerful against capitalism. With the idea of strikes, Marx wants to bring about an epistemological change in the working class, “so they would know that they are, together, ‘the agent of production’, and that if they stopped, then production stopped.” Different models of mass strikes have been practised and reterritorialised worldwide from its origins in Western Europe. There has been debate on how the working class today responds to the current changes of capitalist development.

 

Everything you need to know about the Hong Kong protests

 

 

Kevin Lin interviews Au Loong YuChris ChanLam Chi LeungChun-Wing LeeAlexa and Student Labour Action Coalition.

 

July 6, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission — Hong Kong's government tried to rush through a bill that would limit civil liberties. Instead they triggered a tidal wave of protests — some of the largest in modern history.

 

On June 9, Hong Kong was convulsed by a million-strong march against a proposed amendment that would allow suspects to be extradited from the former British colony to mainland China, along with other countries. The government — chaired by the Beijing-approved chief executive Carrie Lim — insists that political dissidents and activists would be unaffected by the amendment. But the measure set off a firestorm, igniting public anger even as the government rushed to push it through the Legislative Council by July.

 

Capital paralysis: The scope and impact of Washington-imposed sanctions on Venezuela in the context of international law

 

 

By Richard Balzano, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

ABSTRACT: This work presents a comprehensive definition of modern sanctions through a synthesis of scholarly interpretations, followed by an outline of international legislation pertaining to sanctions and collective punishment, and a scope and evolutionary sequence of Washington-imposed sanctions on Venezuela. The article then explores the polarized arguments for the causes of Venezuela’s economic crisis and makes a determination that Washington-imposed sanctions cross the threshold of international law. While a case can (and should) be made that sanctions are issued in concert with “democratic intervention” (subversion) and a collaborative Washington-media narrative to hyperbolize Venezuela’s economic state as a means to make intervention palatable to domestic and international observers, those elements are introduced but that determination is outside the scope of this article. 

 

Ada Colau re-elected as Barcelona mayor—but at what price?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

June 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Compare these two scenes, which took place in Barcelona’s central St James Square after the election of the city’s mayor, the first four years ago and the second on June 15.

On June 13, 2015, successful candidate Ada Colau, former spokesperson of the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH) and leader of the radical mass-meeting based movement Barcelona Together (BeC), takes ten minutes to lead the city’s 41 newly elected councillors in their traditional walk across the square from the town hall to the Catalan government building on the other side. An enormously enthusiastic crowd presses in on all sides to greet her, to endless shouts of Si, se puede! (“Yes, we can!”)—a celebration of the conquest of Barcelona Council by BeC’s anti-establishment, participatory, ecological and feminist. radical municipalism.

Fast forward to June 15, 2019. This time the newly successful Colau crosses the square to a chorus of whistles, boos, and ugly sexist abuse from a small group. The councillors wearing their red sashes of office walking with her is also one representative short. Missing is Joaquim Forn, leader in the council of Together for Catalonia (JxCat), party of exiled Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont.

Against green capitalism

 

 

By Hêlîn Asî

 

June 29, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Make Rojava Green Again — This year the discussions and struggles for the climate have gained enormous attention and outreach. The importance and seriousness of the situation, although long known, has been emphasized in recent months by young people around the world. The “Fridays for Future” movements have grown into a notable and remarkably young global mass movement – with local actions in many European countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, Turkey, Rojava, South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Uruguay, Argentina and Mexico. The weekly strikes are led and organised by young people. The goals are concrete: the fastest possible exit from coal, a complete switch to renewable energies, consistent taxation of greenhouse gas emissions and compliance with the relevant international agreements. Global warming should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is now clear to many that these are not unrealistic, utopian goals, but the only way out of the current situation.

 

Not on our side: On Bernie Sanders and imperialism

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

June 27, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with the author's permission — On February 19, 2019, Vermont Senator and “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders announced his plans to run for the Democratic Party nomination for President. The announcement was met with cheers from large swaths of the American left who identify with his support for expanded labor rights, Medicare for All, free college, and a litany of other  progressive issues. Those appear to be very compelling reasons to back the Sanders’ campaign. However, when it comes to American imperialism and war, Sanders may offer slightly different rhetoric than other Democratic candidates or Donald Trump, but his record proves him to be no alternative at all.

 

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