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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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Venezuela: Socialist trade unionist on the Constituent Assembly and recent terrorist attack on military base

 

 

August 9, 2017 — 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Interview with Stalin Perez Borges, activist with LUCHAS (United League of Chavista Socialists) and member of the Consultative Council of the Bolivarian Socialist Workers’ Central (CBST), conducted by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

Stalin Pérez Borges (LUCHAS): 'El reto de la constituyente es el de dar el Golpe de Timón a la izquierda'

 

 

9 de Agosto de 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Entrevista a Stalin Pérez Borges, militante de LUCHAS (Liga Unitaria Chavista Socialista) y del Consejo Consultivo de la Central Bolivariana Socialista de los Trabajadores y Trabajadoras (CBST) hecho por Federico Fuentes para Links Revista International de Renovación Socialista.

 

The struggle for Catalan independence: an interview with People’s Unity List (CUP) joint national spokesperson Quim Arrufat

 

 

August 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Born in the rural Seu d’Urgell in 1982, People’s Unity List (CUP) joint national spokesperson Quim Arrufat became a well-known and respected figure in Catalan politics during his time as one of the CUP’s first three MPs in the Catalan parliament (2012-2015).

 

In an October 2012 interview with the Catalan web site Vilaweb, he described his organisation, which is committed to Catalan independence and socialism, as “urban Zapatistas”.

 

France: The left after the elections

 

 

Three pieces from the French left — by Roger Martelli, Flavia Verri and Samy Johsua, and Pierre Rousset — looking at French politics after the elections of Emmanuel Macron

 

Spain: Debate erupts in Podemos around agreement to join PSOE government

By Dick Nichols

August 6, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On September 26 last year, José García Molina, the secretary-general of Podemos in the central Spanish autonomous community (state) of Castilla-La Mancha, announced that his party’s agreement keeping the regional Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government in office had «died of disappointment and shame».

According to García Molina, the agreement had expired «waiting for one of its signatories to breathe life and inspiration into it, waiting for justice to be done to what had been presented and signed, but most of all it died from shame at realising some people’s lack of commitment to their promises and undertakings.» This was despite the Castilla-La Mancha government’s claim that of the 72 points agreed with Podemos as a basis for its support, 49 had been completed and 19 were in the process of being implemented.

Sonny Melencio: A dangerous situation in the Philippines

 

 

Talk presented by Sonny Melencio (right) at the opening session of the National Conference Against Dictatorship (NCAD), Benitez Hall, UP Diliman, July 20, 2017.

 

July 25, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ang Masa Para sa Sosyalismo - Online — This is an initiative appropriate to the times. President Duterte has just confirmed that he’s raring to establish a dictatorship. He wants to extend martial law in Mindanao until December this year. And his chuwariwariwap boys in Congress had agreed to this. And now even Vice Leni said don’t be suspicious of his intentions, because he’s out to do good. Seems like he’s out to no good for me.

 

Philippines: Walden Bello on fighting fascism

 

 

Intervention by Walden Bello at National Anti-Dictatorship Conference, University of the Philippines at Diliman, July 20, 2017.

  

July 25, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ang Masa Para sa Sosyalismo - Online — Fascism comes in different ways in different countries, and even within the same country, it can appear in a different manner at a later date than it did earlier. The common view of how fascism comes to power is what we may brand the Marcos model of “creeping fascism.” First, there are the violations of civil rights and political liberties, then comes the lunge for absolute power, then indiscriminate, massive repression. Duterte reverses this process. First, there is massive repression, in this case, the indiscriminate killing of over 10,000 suspected drug users. Then the power grab, in this case the declaration of martial law, the first phase of which we have witnessed with the imposition of military rule in Mindanao. Finally, there's the suppression of basic political and civil rights and liberties in an atmosphere that has been largely sanitized of political opposition. As opposed to creeping fascism, this is “blitzkrieg fascism.”

 

October 1917 and its relevance: A discussion with China Miéville

 

 

Eric Blanc interviews China Mi
éville

 

July 25, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Historical Materialism with the author's permission — For those interested in engaging with the history of the Russian Revolution in the hope of more effectively challenging capitalism, a tension between the universal and the particular looms large. The difficulty that inevitably arises is how to disentangle what was historically specific about Russia 1917 and Bolshevism from what might reflect a more generalised tendency. To quote award-winning author China Miéville’s recent October: The Story of the Russian Revolution (Verso): ‘This was Russia’s revolution, certainly, but it belonged and belongs to others, too. It could be ours. If its sentences are still unfinished, it is up to us to finish them.’

 

1917: The View from the Streets #16 & 17 - ‘Workers and soldiers: Everything is working in our favor’

 

 

July 22, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this week, the Bolsheviks responded to the ‘July Days’ setback by calling on working people to ignore provocations and expose rightist slanders.

 

The July demonstrations subsided quickly due to the Provisional Government’s success in painting the Bolsheviks as German-sponsored saboteurs of the Russian war effort; an upsurge in violence associated with the demonstrations; and news that loyal troops were on their way to Petrograd. The government quickly shut down Pravda, evicted the Bolsheviks from their party headquarters, and arrested many of their leaders. Lenin escaped arrest by going underground and fleeing in disguise to Finland. The two documents below represent the Bolsheviks’ responses to the rapidly developing situation.

 

Selection, translation, and annotation by Barbara Allen

 

Venezuela: Time for left to take a stand

 

 

By Greg Wilpert

 

July 17, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from TeleSUR English — Venezuela is heading towards an increasingly dangerous situation, in which open civil war could become a real possibility. So far over 100 people have been killed as a result of street protests, most of these deaths are the fault of the protesters themselves (to the extent that we know the cause).

 

The possibility of civil war becomes more likely as long as the international media obscure who is responsible for the violence and the international left remains on the sidelines in this conflict and fails to show solidarity with the Bolivarian socialist movement in Venezuela.

 

1917: The View from the Streets #14 & 15 - The 1917 July Days uprising: Soviet leadership clashes with ranks

 

 

July 16, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this week, between 16-20 [3-7] July 1917, a protest movement of workers and soldiers in Petrograd was repelled by military and police attacks, with hundreds of casualties.

 

The July Uprising or July Days came about due to the failure of the Russian military offensive in June, a worsening of the crisis in Petrograd’s food and fuel supply, and a crisis of confidence in the government after two Liberal (Kadet) ministers resigned over their opposition to Ukrainian autonomy. In the wake of the offensive’s collapse, massive unrest arose in the Russian army, which could no longer fight effectively. The uprising began among soldiers in the Petrograd garrison who feared transfer to the front, but it also involved workers who were already on strike over low wages. Workers and soldiers demanded “all power to the soviets” and raised other radical slogans.

 

Stalin’s man in the British Foreign Office: The lives of Guy Burgess

 

 

Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess
By Andrew Lownie
Hodder & Stoughton, 2015, 427 pages

 

Review by Phil Shannon

 

July 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess was, as his very name suggests, cut from Establishment cloth, and he effortlessly climbed the ladder of Britain’s top institutions – Eton, Cambridge, the BBC, MI5, MI6, the Foreign Office – impressing all the right people in mid-twentieth century. Because of their “class blinkers”, however, as Andrew Lownie quotes Burgess in Stalin’s Englishman, none of his elite peers suspected that one of their own could be a communist secretly spying for the Soviet Union for over a decade.

 

Why can't the left get Venezuela right?

 

 

By Shamus Cooke

 

July 14, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — As Venezuela's fascist-minded oligarchy conspires with U.S. imperialism to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro, few in the U.S. seem to care.

The Oath: The story of the Jewish Bund

 

 

Jewish Bund demonstration during the Russian Revolution of 1917

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

We swear an endless loyalty to the Bund.

Only it can free the slaves now.

The red flag is high and wide.

It waves in anger, it is red with blood!

Swear an oath of life and death!

Di Shvue

 

Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi: 'Independence will provide us with the tools for advancing alternative social policies'

 

 

 

 

 

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (or ETA, “Basque Homeland and Freedom”) a Basque independence movement on April 8 put a definitive end to its campaign of establishing an independent socialist Basque state through armed struggle. In a statement bearing the organisation’s seal and initials, the group declared itself a disarmed organisation, praising the work of Basque civil society and existing Basque institutions in supporting the peace process, while condemning the Spanish and French authorities for what they perceived to be “stubbornness” in not allowing the group to lay down its weapons. 

 

 

 

Working classes and the rise of the new right: Socialist politics in the era of Trump

 

By Socialist Project

 

July 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The success of xenophobic right-wing political forces today calls for the development of a socialist praxis fit for this perilous political moment. Taking this seriously requires that we address the inroads of the far right into working class constituencies that were bastions of trade unionism for much of the 20th century, and traditionally voted heavily not only for New Deal Democrats, or Labour and Social Democratic parties on the centre-left but even, as in France, for Communist parties.

 

The political conjuncture inaugurated in 2016 in the imperial centres of global capitalism, first with the UK’s break with the European Union initiated by the Brexit referendum and then the “America First” patriotic chauvinism that accompanied the election of a political scoundrel like Donald Trump, reflects deepening contradictions in neoliberalism. We should not however expect that the actual practices of global neoliberalism are about to end with this new political conjuncture. Rhetoric aside, thus far the essential orientation of both Trump’s and Theresa May’s politics has been toward hard-right market-building sustained by broad state support for an even more unfettered movement of capital.

 

The New Conjuncture

 

Arnold August on Trump's Cuba policy: what will happen in coming months?

 

 

By Arnold August

 

July 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Resumen Latinoamericano — The official June 16 statement was barely uttered when the majority nationwide opposition to the Trump Cuba policy was once again reignited. Indeed, it was already extremely active and vocal before the Little Havana, Miami venue and date were announced on June 9. By stage-managing the event in Little Havana, Trump was preaching to the choir, one that does not even include the rest of Florida, where the majority of Cuban-Americans oppose the blockade, or at least support the Obama policy of making the blockade somewhat more flexible. Trump’s trademark manner of hand-picking events to spread the word across the country will not work. His Cold War rhetoric will not detract the forces that want to increase trade and travel to Cuba.

 

On the 20th Anniversary of the Handover: An interview with Au Loong-yu on the current political situation in Hong Kong.

 

 

 July 6, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Borderless MovementRobin Lee interviews Au Loong-Yu, a long term activist, writer and member of the Pioneer, a Hong Kong socialist organisation, about the political situation in Hong Kong twenty years after Hong Kong’s reunification with China.

 

Thinking back to the handover, what were your expectations at the time and how do they compare with the situation in Hong Kong today. Were you expectations met?

 

Marxism: The philosophy of praxis

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

To Harrison and Sam.

 

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.”
-Karl Marx

"Marxism is the theory of the proletarian movement for emancipation."
-V. I. Lenin

 

Green politics at an impasse

 

 
In light of recent discussions surrounding the Australian Greens and its future direction, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing an edited version of a talk looking at the origins and politics of the Greens presented by Lisa Macdonald to the Socialist Activists and Educational Conference, held in Sydney, January 3-7, 1996. 

 

By Lisa Macdonald

 

On December 1-2, 1995, the German Greens' annual congress in Bremen split over the question of sending German troops as part of imperialism's "peace-keeping" force in Bosnia. Led by Joschka Fischer, a leader of the right-wing realo current in the Greens, 38% of the delegates and most of the parliamentarians supported the sending of troops. Just two years earlier, only 10% of delegates at an extraordinary party meeting voted for the same motion. 

 

In an open letter to delegates in the lead up to the 1995 congress, Fischer accused party members of "fleeing from reality" in opposing troop deployment. In the end, more than 40 of the Green deputies defied the conference decision and voted with the conservative Kohl government to send the troops. 

 

How did this sorry state of affairs in the German Greens — a party founded just 16 years ago on the four principles of environmental sustainability, peace and disarmament, social justice and grassroots democracy — come about so rapidly and so completely? 

 

Answering this question requires an understanding of the basic content and trajectory of Green politics as it has developed in the world to date. Such an assessment must also be the starting point for any discussion about how to advance the red-green political project on the eve of the 21st century.   

 

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