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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.

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Spanish state: Forward Andalusia refounded as home of the Andalusist left

 

 

By Dick Nichols

July 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On June 26, in a theatre with a panoramic view of Granada’s Alhambra, the refoundation congress took place of Forward Andalusia, a political force with the ambition to be “an instrument for the emancipation of the Andalusian people” (words of newly elected spokesperson Teresa Rodríguez). The congress adopted three documents, on political line, feminism and organisation, completing a six-month-long reconstruction of Forward Andalusia as common home of the Andalusist left.

Launched last December by the coalition’s four affiliate organisations — Andalusian Spring (PA), Andalusist Left (IA), Defending Andalusia (DA) and Anticapitalists Andalusia — this process took the form of a “bottom-up” public discussion called “Andalusia Doesn’t Surrender!” Over 2000 participants across the eight provinces of Spain’s southernmost mainland region got involved in the exchange, which took place in 26 local organising centres. 

Afghanistan’s tragedy

 

 

By Valentine M. Moghadam

July 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Against the Current — Afghanistan has been in a state of chaos since at least the Taliban resurgence in 2006 and the entry of the Islamic State group (Daesh) more recently. Assaults have been made not just on Afghan police units and U.S. military targets but also on prisons, schools, funerals and maternity wards across the country. In early 2017, the UN estimated that some 18,000 civilians had been killed since 2015 alone.

Taliban gunmen attacked the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul in January 2018. Daesh attacked offices and staff members of international NGOs. Women and men who have worked with those offices have been targeted with threatening “night letters” and some with assassination.

Is AltE truly the best solution to climate catastrophe?

 

 

By Don Fitz

July 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — “Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets!... Accumulation for the sake of accumulation, production for the sake of production: this was the historical mission of the bourgeoisie in the period of its domination …” Karl Marx, Capital, Vol 1, Ch 25

The world is threatened with environmental disaster and capitalists hope to make a killing off it. Fossil fuel (FF) companies claim they are “environmentally friendly.” Other corporations promote nuclear energy, hydro-power (dams), and solar and wind power as the best energy alternatives.

Yet environmentalists have known for decades that reduction of useless and harmful energy is the “greenest” form of energy available. Over 50 years ago, the first Earth Day recognized this with the slogan “Reduce; Reuse; Recycle.” Today, corporate “environmentalism” chants “Recycle; Occasionally Reuse; and, Never Utter ‘Reduce.’” Even mentioning the word “reduce” can be met with howls of derision that “Reduction means ‘austerity,’” as if any type of collective self-control would plunge the world into depths of suffering.

Right-wing populism and historical fascism: Traverso’s new book on postfascism

 

 

By Seiya Morita

July 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Enzo Traverso's new book, The New Faces of Fascism: Populism and the Far Right,[1] which examines various theories of European fascism historically, is the second part (History in the Present) in a series. It is more interesting than the first (The Present as History), which analyzes the phenomenon of right-wing populism in contemporary Europe (which Traverso calls “postfascism”). Traverso is a historian, and so his knowledge and background as a historian are expertly applied to an analysis of fascism as a historical phenomenon. In contrast, his analysis of the phenomenon of right-wing populism in contemporary Europe is in the realm of the mediocre radical or liberal leftists.

Venezuela: Blockade, crisis and ‘right turn’

 

 

By Chris Slee

July 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Links recently published an interview with Venezuelan activist Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann. He speaks of a "turn to the right" by the Venezuelan government, headed by President Nicolas Maduro.

Spain: PSOE ‘pardons’ Catalan political prisoners to better fight Catalan rights

 

 

By Dick Nichols

July 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Who is that attacking Catalonia’s Catholic bishops and the Spanish Confederation of Employer Organisations (CEOE), Spanish big capital’s peak body? An anarchist? An indignado? No, try the other end of the political spectrum: it’s Pablo Casado, leader of the conservative opposition People’s Party (PP).

Ever since news of the impending pardon of the nine Catalan leaders imprisoned over the October 1, 2017 independence referendum became public knowledge in late May, the PP leader has been up in arms, determined to stop anyone, no matter how rich or how holy, from approving Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez’s plan for early release of those who flouted Spain’s unity.

On June 21, the PP leader sounded the direst of warnings about this decision of the ruling Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos (UP). The goal of the criminal alliance supporting the pardon — Sánchez, UP and “the nationalists” — was the destruction of Spain and the PP.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP): Systemic oppression as the basis for Erdoğan's 'New Turkey'

 

 

Report by Peoples' Democratic Party Representation in Europe

July 1, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'New Turkey' is defined by intimidation of the democratic opposition, prosecution of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), and extermination of any remnants of civil society. Overseas, it manifests itself as blackmailing the European Union, intervening in neighboring countries, and employing ruthless military aggression. Another aspect of `New Turkey ́ is that Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has built a coalition with the ultra-nationalist right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to stay in power.

Lack of democracy in Turkey is by no means a new or recent issue. It has deep-rooted causes that date back to the foundation of the state. Yet, throughout the course of Turkish history, the struggle for a democratic Turkey has never stopped – and it is still going on. When the AKP came into power in 2002, Erdogan, as party chairman, declared to both the “nation” and the “international community” that the AKP would pursue a policy geered towards a stable and democratic Turkey.

World of work: Deep, systemic crisis signals the union form may have outlived its usefulness

 

 

By Dale T McKinley

June 26, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — There can be little argument that the world of work in South Africa, and indeed globally, is in the throes of a deep, systemic crisis, made all the worse by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, if we allow ourselves, we can see the current and coming period as heralding a different kind of transition, one of possibility.

My Palestinian poem that “The New Yorker” wouldn’t publish

 

 

By Fady Joudah, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Los Angeles Review of Books

 

“In May 2021 the poems I wrote came to me, and I received them — in Bergsonian durée, between ruptured continuity and continuous rupture, similar to the replication of two DNA strands running in opposite directions. I was reproducing life.”

 

Decolonization and Communism

 

 

By Nodrada 

 

“We have to give life to Indo-American socialism with our own reality, in our own language.
Here is a mission worthy of a new generation.”
-José Carlos Mariátegui, “Anniversary and Balance,” José Carlos Mariátegui: An Anthology

 

June 26, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Orinoco Tribune — While the turn towards analyzing ongoing settler-colonialism has finally reached the mainstream of North American political discussions, there is still a lack of popular understanding of the issues involved. Settler-colonialism is, ironically, understood within the framework of the ways of thinking brought by the European ruling classes to the Americas. By extension, the conceptions of decolonization are similarly limited. Although the transition from analyzing psychological or “discursive” decolonization to analyzing literal, concrete colonization has been extremely important, it requires some clarifications.

The Communard Union, Chávez’s Ideas in Action: A Conversation with Juan Lenzo

 

 

Interview with Juan Lenzo by Cira Pascual Marquina

June 26, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — The Communard Union is a grassroots organization that has set communal society its strategic horizon. For two years the Union has been working throughout the country in a heroic effort to re-politicize and reactivate Venezuelan communes and related projects. In this interview, we talk to Juan “Juancho” Lenzo. He is a co-founder of Tatuy Televisión, a media project that is committed to the Chavista grassroots movement, and the Communard Union’s communications coordinator.

Venezuela's Maduro ‘turns right, represses left’: An interview with Venezuelan human rights activist Antonio González Plessmann

 

 

Interview with Antonio González Plessmann by Federico Fuentes.

June 26, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the face of a prolonged and deep economic and political crisis, Venezuela’s government has embarked on a “turn to the right” in economic policy, while resorting to repression against the left.

This is the conclusion of a new report released by human rights organisation Surgentes, Turn to the right and repression to the left: Human rights violations against Venezuela’s popular camp (2015-2020).

The report says this shift — publicly defended by the government as a tactical turn — directly clashes with “the essential pillars of Chavismo”, the political movement forged by former president Hugo Chávez.

Its findings, which are the result of extensive interviews and fieldwork, echoes what some sections of Chavismo have been arguing for a while.

Link International Journal of Socialist Renewal's Federico Fuentes spoke with Surgentes’ Antonio González Plessmann about the investigation.

State–labor relations and the emergence of grassroots workers’ organizations in China

 

 

By Jenny Chan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and The International Sociological Associations Research Committee on Labour Movements

This article is an excerpt from Jenny Chan’s chapter “Worker Organizing in China: Challenges and Opportunities”, in Robert Ovetz (editor), Workers’ Inquiry and Global Class Struggle: Strategies, Tactics, Objectives , Pluto Press, 2021

June 20, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In China, as in many countries, rights are enshrined by law in such a way that workers are expected to act as firefighters” who self-enforce their rights by sounding the fire alarm” at labor departments and courts to force senior officials to uphold labor standards. If workers sound the alarm by filing cases and the government consistently enforces worker protections, employers may anticipate the risk of a dispute and avoid the problem. But if enforcement is lax and punishment is mild, because local governments often prioritize attracting investment rather than enforcing laws and regulations, employers will likely ignore the letter and spirit of the law, and conflict will be prevalent. A persistent pattern is that although desperate workers sound the fire alarm, serious problems such as nonpayment of wages and abuse by management continue and remain unresolved. At the heart of poor working conditions,” Eli Friedman and Ching Kwan Lee show, is the fundamental imbalance of power between workers and employers at the point of production.

Imperialist Keynesianism: Biden’s program for rehabilitating United States capitalism

 

 

By Ashley Smith

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tempest — In his address to Congress, Joe Biden celebrated his American Rescue Plan and promoted his American Jobs and American Families plans. The capitalist media declared it the end of Reaganomics and a return to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Liberalism.

Longtime liberals and recent converts greeted Biden’s program with breathless celebration. Joan Walsh declared that Biden “wrapped up FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society, plus  Obama’s good ideas and some of Senator Bernie Sanders’s better ones, into a Scranton-inflected agenda for racial and economic justice. It went beyond anything he promised running for president.”

Rob Wallace on the political economy of pandemics

 

 

By Rob WallaceJipson John, and Jitheesh P. M.

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from MR Online — Rob Wallace is an evolutionary biologist and a public health phylogeographer based in the United States. His writings have attracted international attention owing to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Wallace is one among a few epidemiologists who, since the turn of this century, have been warning the world about the outbreak of deadly pandemics. His writings challenge the orthodox understanding of the origin and spread of infectious diseases. He goes deep and unearths the sociological reasons behind the spillover of dangerous pathogens from wildlife reservoirs to human habitats. He writes: “The cause of COVID-19 and other such pathogens is not found just in the object of any one infectious agent or its clinical course, but also in the field of ecosystemic relations that capital and other structural causes have pinned back to their own advantage.” Wallace and his colleagues raise a radical critique of the capitalist mode of production. As an epidemiologist, he has also researched the spillover of some of the other deadly infectious diseases of our times, including Ebola, Zika and swine flu (H1N1 flu). Wallace has produced an extensive research output on how big farms, free trade agreements, global capital circuits and deforestation cause “Big Flu” and other deadly pandemics.

Immunity is liberty: Vaccine internationalism during a pandemic

 

 

By Amitabha Sarkar

June 19, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transnational Institute — The current vaccine crisis in the midst of a pandemic could be a tipping point for the current order of global governance. The global policy response and vaccine rollout have proven too inept to counter the catastrophic moral failure of affluent countries’ vaccine hoarding. The WHO Director General’s performative pleas for vaccine equity have done little to move an intransigent system of global governance to address an emergency of this scale. What do these overlapping and related failures mean at national and international levels? 

Identity and liberation: A critical Marxist difference

 

 

By Neil Faulkner and Rowan Fortune.

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti-Capitalist Resistance — Depending on how it is defined, postmodernism can vanish into empty catchalls or fail to encompass ideas, philosophers, art styles, and tendencies associated with it. The idea itself is unstable, and often not especially useful. Even just taken in politically relevant forms, associated notions of identity politics, queer theory, intersectionality, and privilege theory are extraordinarily heterogeneous in themselves. This is how we loosely defined it in System Crash (2021):

Postmodernism – a portmanteau of related theories centred on the basic idea that no single over-arching ‘grand narrative’ is capable of explaining the world as a whole – has encouraged a multiplication of ‘discourses’ and ‘identities’ as a means towards self-valuation, self-assertion, and self-empowerment.

(Video) No life like it: A tribute to the revolutionary activism of Ernie Tate

 

 

An internationalist tribute to the life, activism and legacy of Ernie Tate (1934-2021).

Know your enemy: How to defeat capitalism

 

 

 

By Michael A. Lebowitz, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/MichaelLebowitz.com[1]

“Anyone can succeed”

In a capitalist society, there is always a good explanation for your poverty, your meaningless job (if you have a job), your difficulties and your general unhappiness. You are to blame. It is your failure. After all, look at other people who do succeed. If only you had worked a little harder, studied a little more, made those sacrifices.

The weapon of criticism cannot replace the criticism of the weapon: What knowledge do we need for revolution against capitalism

 

 

By Raju J DasLinks International Journal of Socialist Renewal 

Abstract: Ideas are needed for social change. But what kind of ideas is the question. The capitalist system is destroying lives and livelihood. It is destroying the environment. It cannot be reformed. It must go. It will not go without a revolution. If we do not see ‘signs’ of a revolution, that is not because we do not know how the capitalist economic structure works and produces its adverse effects on the people and the environment. We, more or less, have this knowledge that explains and critiques the system. Explanatory critique of the system is not enough. What we lack is knowledge about the obstacles to revolution. Among other things, we need to know what is stopping a united revolutionary struggle against the system. This short paper, written as a birthday gift to Karl Marx, aims to address this matter.

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