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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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'US fuelled the rise of ISIS' conspiracy theories a back-handed attack on Syrian uprising

The graphic from Seamus Milne's article.

By Michael Karadjis

June 8, 2015 -- Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- In early June, journalist Seamus Milne penned a piece for the Guardian entitled, "Now the truth emerges how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq" (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq).

Of course, we all wait for “the truth”. The nickname “truth” has been used by every kind of religious organisation for centuries – indeed they all had opposing “truths”. Generations of Americans saw the reflection of their own imperialist leaders in Superman fighting for “truth, justice and the American way”. For decades Soviet citizens were told their leaders spoke only “the truth” in a newspaper by that name.

Milne, in other words, is in good company.

‘But the banks are made of marble...'

"But the banks are made of marble, with a guard at every door, and the vaults are stuffed with silver, that the worker sweated for ..." -- "The Banks are made of Marble" was written circa 1948 by Les Rice and recorded by Pete Seeger among others.

By John Rainford

July 2, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Across Africa, western Asia and Latin America in the 1980s, the growth of per capita GDP was brought to a halt. This was not a recession, it was a severe depression, and its cause was profligate lending by banks in the 1970s.

In the 1960s, the Eurocurrency (as opposed to the euro) had been invented. US dollars deposited in non-US banks and held there in order to avoid restrictions of US laws became negotiable financial instruments that formed the basis for an unregulated market specialising in short-term loans.

In 1964 the market was estimated at US$14 billion, but by 1978 it was close to $500 billion after it became the chief mechanism for investing the massive oil profits of the Organization of Petrol Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel, which managed to quadruple oil prices in 1973 and treble them again in the late 1970s. In 1970, the average price for a barrel of oil was US$2.53, in 1980 it was about $41.

Venezuela: Maduro, ALBA express solidarity with Greece, reject 'financial blackmail'

By Lucas Koerner

July 1, 2015  --  Venezuelanalysis.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro voiced solidarity with the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras after the latter refused a payment of $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I want to officially express solidarity to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek people on behalf of Venezuela”, said the socialist leader on his weekly television program shortly after the IMF deadline late June 30 evening.

Greece’s recently elected leftwing SYRIZA government rejected the harsh terms for a new bailout laid out by the Troika, composed of the IMF, European Commission (EC), and the European Central Bank (ECB), which would have meant a continuation of the severe austerity policies that have devastated the Greek economy over the last five years.

“Fear not, Greek sisters and brothers, the path forward is to break the chains of international financial capital and the IMF, to free yourselves from the yoke that tries to consume the people’s blood, the people’s labor, the wealth of countries, that is the path”, Maduro continued.

Greece: OXI! Vote No! to austerity on July 5

Λέμε ΟΧΙ Για την Ελλάδα της Αξιοπρέπειας, για την Ευρώπη της Δημοκρατίας

Posted by ΣΥ.ΡΙΖ.Α. on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015 -- Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- "We say no! For a Greece of dignity, for a Europe of democracy."

Podemos in solidarity with SYRIZA's struggle against austerity

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Podemos (Spain)

June 30, 2015 -- Podemos, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In view of the situation in Greece, and following the breakdown in the negotiations by the Eurogroup, Podemos wishes to communicate the following:

1. Last Monday, the Greek government presented a proposal to the Eurogroup which included important concessions and was unanimously welcomed by the lenders as being reasonable and viable. In the following days, however, the international creditors led by the International Monetary Fund did not accept the Greek government’s proposal to tax the wealthiest sectors of society, restructure the debt and launch an investment plan to revive the economy.

Spain: Huge advance for left in local/regional elections, but 'Spanish SYRIZA' sorely needed

In Barcelona, central St. James Square was packed with chanting, whooping and confetti-throwing supporters of the winning Barcelona Together and its leader, housing rights activist Ada Colau.

By Dick Nichols

July 1, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On Saturday, June 13, the squares in front of scores of town halls across the Spanish state were jam-packed with enthusiastic crowds: tens of thousands were gathering to celebrate the inauguration of the progressive administrations created by the leftward swing in the May 24 local government elections for the country’s 8122 councils.

Georg Lukacs: Lessons for struggle today

Doug Enaa Greene's lecture on Hungarian Marxist Georg Lukacs (1885-1971) and the lessons we can use for today's struggles. The work of Lukacs, who was one of the preeminent communist philosophers of the last century, offers valuable insight on how revolutionaries understand the nature of capitalism, political organising and strategy. Presented to the Center for Marxist Education.

By Doug Enaa Greene

Greece: Tsipras slams EU's 'blackmail' and its attempt to 'hinder democratic processes'

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

By Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece

June 28, 2015 -- Prime Minister of Greece, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Yesterday’s Eurogroup decision to not approve the Greek government’s request for a few days’ extension of the program -- to give the Greek people a chance to decide by referendum on the institutions’ ultimatum -- constitutes an unprecedented challenge to European affairs, an action that seeks to bar the right of a sovereign people to exercise their democratic prerogative.

Venezuela: Millions vote in socialist party primaries

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro at the campaign close for primary elections for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, June 26, 2015. Photo: AVN.

June 28, 2015 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Millions of members of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) hit the ballot box on June 28 to vote for the left-wing party’s candidates for parliamentary elections to be held in December. "Here are these candidates, they are men and women who come from the people, they were nominated by the grassroots (of the party), now it is up to you to choose,” stated Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on June 26 during an event to celebrate the close of campaign.

Cuba 'will always be ready to help sister nations', says ICAP president

A Cuban literacy program operating in an Aboriginal community in Wilcannia, NSW.

June 15, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, post at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, attended the recent national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Green Left Weekly's Denis Rogatyuk spoke with her about recent developments of the Cuban Revolution.

* * *

Cuba has just been removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. How do you think this will affect Cuba’s relations with the United States?

First of all, there is no reason to have Cuba on such a list. We should have never been there. However, the US decided to do this back in 1992. On May 29, the removal was approved.

We consider this a very positive step in eliminating the different obstacles to forging stable bilateral relations with the US.

Armenia: What has sparked #ElectricYerevan?

By Sergei Markedonov

June 24, 2015 -- New Cold War, first published in Russian on politcom.ru, and translated and published in English on Open Democracy; posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal --  Fresh protests in Yerevan have their roots in a number of deep-rooted domestic issues in Armenian politics. But we make comparisons to other protest movements at our peril.

On June 23, some 6000 people marched towards President Serzh Sargsyan’s residence in Yerevan. Water cannons against protesters have been used against participants in what has already been dubbed #ElectricYerevan, in reference to the cause of the protests: rising energy prices.

The initial mass protest against hikes in electricity tariffs, and the authorities’ reaction against them, have had a noticeable effect on the country’s political situation. According to the Armenian police, 237 people were arrested on June 23 and, in total, 29 people suffered injuries, including 11 police officers. But while this situation has already begun to provoke comparisons with recent events in Ukraine, these protests have a domestic trajectory which should not be ignored.

Greece: 'To authoritarianism and austerity, we respond with democracy' -- SYRIZA calls referendum on EU austerity

Posted by George Sophie Flourentzou on Monday, June 29, 2015

Massive protest against austerity, Athens, June 29, 2015.

For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE

Speech by Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece; translation by Stathis Kouvelakis

June 26, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, first posted at Kouvelakis' Facebook page

* * *

Fellow Greeks,

Balance de elecciones y resistencia en México

Contingente OPT-PYME en un desfile de protesta por la desaparición de los 43 estudiantes.

Haga clic aquí para más información sobre México.

Por Nevin Siders Vogt, corrección de estilo de Ayla Huerta Miranda

22 de junio 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A la luz de las recientes elecciones a la mitad del sexenio y la creciente coyuntura entre las campañas de justicia por los 43 desaparecidos, los movimientos de resistencia luchan firmes contra la privatización de recursos naturales y las industrias nacionalizadas.

Mexico: President and his party re-elected; left divided and defeated

 Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Click the following links for more by Dan La Botz, and more on Mexico.

By Dan La Botz

June 15, 2015 -- New Politics, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Despite widespread disillusionment with the political system, an organised attempt to prevent the election from taking place in a few states and continuing economic doldrums, President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) were the big winners in Mexico's June 7 election, followed by the conservative National Action Party (PAN). Both parties are committed to continuing the deepening of the country's neoliberal, free-market economic reforms.

Syria: Nusra’s massacre of Druze villagers condemned

Members of the Druze minority wave the Druze flag.

By Michael Karadjis

June 15, 2015 -- Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The second week of June witnessed two major events concerning the relationship between the Druze religious minority and the Syrian revolution.

In northern Idlib province, where Druze have taken an active part in the recent liberation of the capital and from the Assad regime and the other string of stunning rebel victories, a provocation against a Druze house by a unit of the Sunni-jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra – aligned to the main rebel groups in the province – led to a massacre of over 20 Druze villagers.

Mexico: Elections and resistance

OPT-SME contingent in a parade protesting the disappearance of the 43 students. 

Click HERE for more on Mexico.

By Nevin Siders Vogt, Mexico City

June 22, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – With the growing intersection among the campaigns for justice for the 43 disappeared students and the resistance movements’ struggle against the privatisation of natural resources and nationalised industries, the rhythm of resistance activities has not slackened over the last year, despite the mid-term elections. This is why the People’s and Worker’s Political Organization (OPT) sees the urgency to taking stock and projecting what immediate steps to take. This report is based on the gathering Mexico City’s OPT branch in Tlalpan organised preparatory to the campaigns it will participate in for the latter half of the year.

Elections

The world press covered the elections held throughout the country on June 7. Governors of half of the states were contested, along with half of each chamber of the national legislature and a large number of local officials in all jurisdictions. The capital, Mexico City, is demarcated into 16 districts (Delegaciones), and all 16 district heads changed.

Basque Country: History made as pro-Basque coalition forms government in Navarre

Uxue Barkos, leader of Geroa Bai.

By Duroyan Fertl

June 23, 2015 -- Hintadupfing, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Regional elections held in Spain on May 24 have installed an historic pro-Basque state government in the autonomous community of Navarre for the first time, bringing to an end 16 years of rule by the pro-Spanish, centre-right Navarrese People's Union (UPN).

The UPN won only 15 seats, down four from 2011, while its ally, the right-wing Spanish People’s Party (of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy), won two, half of its quota in 2011.

Instead, Uzue Barkos, leader of the pro-Basque coalition Geroa Bai (“Yes to the Future”) – itself a coalition of centre-left Basque nationalist association Zabaltzen and the centre-right Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) – approached other pro-Basque parties to negotiate a coalition government after her party won nine seats.

Britain: Huge march against austerity; defiant protest is only part of the answer

Peoples Assembly march, London, June 20, 2015. Photo by Steve Eason/RS21.

Socialist Resistance editorial

June 22, 2015 -- Socialist Resistance, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- One home-made banner on the Saturday, June 20, London demonstration against austerity seemed to put into words the inarticulate howl of anguish of millions. In colourful letters it read “Fuck the fucking fuckers”.

It was a reminder of just how visceral hatred of the Tories [Conservative Party] is and just how all-encompassing their social counter-revolution aspires to be. The People’s Assembly is claiming 250,000 marched from the Bank of England to parliament.

There was a strong trade union presence, lots of families, groups of friends, environmentalists and activists from across the progressive spectrum. Mainly though it was a gathering of the young, the angry and defiant who were announcing that they understood what a Tory government means and are ready to stand up to it. Singer Charlotte Church is representative of this generation, with her passionate, reasoned expressions of contempt for the new government.

Gramsci for communists

Graphic from Barbwire.

For more by Doug Enaa Greene, click HERE.

For more discussion on the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, click HERE.

By Doug Enaa Greene

To my mother.

June 22, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The purpose of the Red History Lecture Series since its inception has been to discuss lesser known or neglected socialist and communist figures, movements, and events. So it may be rightfully asked – why discuss Antonio Gramsci?

Gramsci is fairly well known with his work easily available and ideas discussed in universities, countless commentaries and elsewhere. However, there is something potentially worse than obscurity and neglect, and that is to be misunderstood. Unfortunately, that is the fate which has befallen Gramsci.

Barry Sheppard: Racist Charleston massacre has clear political roots

A Black Lives Matter protest last August in New York. Photo by Edward Leavy.

Read more by Barry Sheppard HERE.

By Barry Sheppard

June 20, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal --  The mass murder of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white racist has been widely denounced. But to understand this hate crime – a terrorist attack – it has to be put into a broader political context.

The killer, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, deliberately spared the life of one woman, telling her he wanted her to report on what he had done. He told her, among other things, that he decided to kill Black people because they “are taking over the country”.

In short, his motives were blatantly political. And the killings occur in the political context of the rise of the new Black Lives Matter movement with its mass mobilisations since Ferguson last August, and the racist counter-movement spearheaded by the police in reaction to it.

Roof’s actions should be seen as part of that broader racist reaction - and inspired by it, even if his mass murder is an extreme example.

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