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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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La Rivoluzione Bolivariana vince la battaglia, ma sta perdendo la guerra?

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

Di Federico Fuentes

 

28 maggio 2018
Traduzione di Maria Chiara Starace, Znet Italy Anche prima che avessero avuto luogo le elezioni presidenziali del Venezuela del 20 maggio, gli Stati Uniti –guidati da un presidente che ha perduto il voto popolare in un sistema elettorale che sistematicamente priva del diritto di voto milioni di elettori poveri e non bianchi – hanno rifiutato l’elezione perché non era “né libera né corretta”.

 

Venezuela's May 20 elections: Where do things stand?

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

May 27, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA— Defeated Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcón announced on May 20 that he would not recognize the legitimacy of that day’s elections. Nicolás Maduro’s reelection was generally expected, though his 68 percent of the vote was higher than what most polls predicted. Similarly, the 54 percent abstention among registered voters came due to the opposition’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) call for an electoral boycott.

 

The refusal by Falcón and the other main presidential candidate, evangelist Javier Bertucci, to recognize the electoral results bodes poorly for Maduro’s new term as president. The consolidation of a moderate bloc within the opposition that Falcón represented which recognizes the government’s legitimacy would have significantly cut into the strength of the more intransigent or radical parties on the Right and provided Venezuelan politics with much needed stability.

 

‘Racist’ Catalan president vows to build republic as Spain vetos ministers

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 24, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On May 14, 199 days after the Catalan pro-independence bloc re-won a majority at the December 21 elections imposed by the Spanish government, the parliament of Catalonia finally voted in a new president. Quim Torra, MP for Together For Catalonia (JxCat)—headed by exiled outgoing president Carles Puigdemont—was invested as head of government by 66 votes to 65 with four abstentions. On the first round of the investiture, held on May 12, the same vote was inadequate because an absolute majority of 68 was required.

 

The conservative Catalan nationalism of Quim Torra

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 24, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Is new Catalan president Quim Torra just another right-wing xenophobe, as claimed by Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), the equivalent in the Spanish state of Marine Le Pen in France, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Hungary’s Victor Orban and their counterparts in Denmark, Sweden and Finland?

 

As the battle over Catalonia’s right to self-determination increasingly gets fought out on the European stage it is vital for any democrat to answer this question correctly.

 

Is fascism inevitable?

 

 

Can Democracy Survive Globalised Capitalism?
By Charles Kuttner
Norton Publishers, May 2018

 

By Phil Hearse

 

May 22, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Since the global financial crisis in 2007-8, and the consequent anti-capitalist mobilisations like the Occupy! movement and the struggle against austerity in Greece, there have been a series of books arguing for major reforms to capitalism. [1].

 

Charles Kuttner’s important new book is perhaps the most radical of these, making a trenchant critique of globalised capitalism and proposing sweeping reforms to rebuild a mixed economy which works in the interests of everyone (especially workers) and pumps life back into liberal demonocracy. Basing himself on the work of his hero Karl Polanyi [2] Kuttner’s basic message is that unless major reforms are made within capitalism, then fascism or right-wing authoritarianism is virtually inevitable.

 

1968: A crushing defeat for the Indonesian Left

 

 

By Vannessa Hearman

 

May 19, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso — In Indonesia, 1968 was a year of defeat for the Left. A military operation, called the Trident (Trisula) Operation obliterated attempts by remnants of the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI) to organise resistance against Suharto’s authoritarian New Order regime from bases in southern rural East Java. The strongest base, in remote South Blitar, was also a place of refuge, because leftists were being sought and detained or killed in the rest of Indonesia. The party had been, in 1965, the world’s third largest communist party. It was pro-China and was critical of the Soviet Union’s peaceful coexistence strategy in the Cold War. It had enjoyed a close relationship with Indonesia’s President Sukarno who was sympathetic to leftist ideas. From early October 1965, however, following its implication in the abduction and murder of seven army officers, the PKI has been subjected to violent army-led pogroms. In 1968 then, inspired by the rise of guerrilla movements in other parts of the world, the PKI leadership tried to salvage what was left of the party after vicious and murderous terror against its members and sympathisers.

 

Nuclear disaster at Chernobyl: reality and unreality

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

May 19, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — With the escalating doom of climate change hovering over us, it is tempting to push nuclear horror to the back of our minds. To those of us who grew up in the 1950s, it was omnipresent. Nuclear war could not exist without nuclear power and on April 26, 1986 the world experienced a form of nuclear horror it will never forget.

 

Why did Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explode on that day? Did operator error cause it? Was design flaw the reason? Should we look deeper into the Soviet system for the cause? Or should we look deeper still into the very existence of nuclear power?

 

Oppression of Pakistan’s caricatured feudalism

 

 

By Farooq Tariq

 

May 14, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal Large swathes of Pakistan are in the stranglehold of caricatured feudalism. These feudal relations are increasingly penetrated by finance capital as it imposes itself on social relations, politics and the economy itself. It has made the lives of millions miserable, deepening and brutalizing class exploitation. Rampant inequality and poverty remain chronic issues as millions can still be considered bonded labour. Such a harrowing situation is revealed by the fact that only five per cent of agricultural households in Pakistan own nearly two thirds of the farmland.

 

Socialist Party of Malaysia will survive

 

 

 

By S Arutchelvan

 

 

May 13, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Malaysiakini  — My bitter defeat in Semenyih and that of my other Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) comrades is not something unexpected, but the number of votes we got is quite depressing. Nevertheless, the victory of the people of all races in finally putting an end to Umno’s 61-year rule is overwhelming, and is a great antidote to our own defeat.

 

Denmark: Red-Green Alliance arms itself for vital 2019 election fights

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 12, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The annual conference of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA) — known inside the country as the Unity List: the Red-Greens — took place on April 27-29 during a moment of class struggle unusual in these times of weakened trade union organisation.

 

Rojava & the legacy of May '68

 

 

By Marcel Cartier

 

May 11, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Region  — May 1 was the day that the working people of the world took to the streets in millions. It was yet another global festival of the oppressed and downtrodden, as well as a day to struggle for the vision of the world we deserve. It was the day that serves as an annual reminder of our collective power, it gives us the chance to imagine an alternative form of organizing society as well. Every May 1st, our liberatory potential is on full display.

 

The Relevance of Marx at 200

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 10, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice  — May 5 is the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. However, what is there to celebrate? Surely, Marx is out of date now with the fall of the Soviet Union and the triumph of capitalism.

 

Turkey: After Afrîn, the Ottoman dreaming of Sultan Erdoğan

 

 

By John Tully

 

May 9, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tasmanian Times  — On March 18, Turkish troops supported by a 10,000-strong horde of Islamist militiamen stormed into the city of Afrîn in northern Syria. After an unequal eight-week struggle against the Middle East’s most powerful military force, the city’s lightly armed Kurdish defenders had little choice but to melt away and fight another day.

 

The city’s fall was inevitable. Afrîn is isolated from Kobanê and Jazira, the other predominantly Kurdish cantons to the east, and the Kurds had gambled unsuccessfully on international support against the illegal invasion. This was not unreasonable. The invasion was patently illegal, and the world also owes the Syrian Kurds a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices in ridding it of the cancer of ISIS.

 

Sadly, almost all of the world’s governments turned a blind eye to the aggression. Some of them directly or indirectly aided the Turkish aggressor.

 

Canada: A paragon of democratic national self-determination?

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

May 8, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left  — Madrid’s stubborn refusal to allow Catalans to vote on their independence prompted some commentators, paradoxically, to praise Canada’s support for Quebec self-determination.

 

“Quebec got off light,” wrote Louis Bernard,[1] a former top official in Parti québécois governments, referring to the Supreme Court of Canada judgment in the Reference re Secession of Quebec. After the almost-victory for the OUI in the 1995 referendum, he recalled, the federal government asked the Court to declare that Quebec had no right in Canadian or international law to choose unilaterally to “become a sovereign country, separated from Canada.”

 

The Communist International: Its present-day relevance

 

 

By John Riddell

 

May 7, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary  — Thirty-five years ago I undertook to translate and publish the record of the Communist International in Lenin’s lifetime, covering the preparatory years from 1907 to its foundation in 1919 and through 1923. Ten books totalling 7,000 pages are published or in preparation. This has been a team effort of more than 100 collaborators in several continents backed up with a broad community of readers, critics, and supporters.

 

ETA dissolution lifts last chains from Basque national liberation struggle

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 6, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal The military-terrorist organisation Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA) made public its “Statement to the Basque Country: declaration on harm caused” on April 20, an apology for the suffering arising from more than 40 years of violent operations that ended in a permanent ceasefire announced on October 20, 2011.

 

On May 3, ETA’s definitive dissolution was announced in a public declaration to the people of the Basque Country (Euskal Herria).

 

On May 4, at a ceremony held in the Iparralde (French Basque Country) region of Lapurdi, international mediators who have overseen ETA’s disarmament and dissolution took part in an event certifying the end of the organisation. The event consisted in the reading of the Arnaga Declaration, named after the villa in Kanbo (Canbo-les-Bains) where it took place.

 

1968 seen from Britain

 

 

By Phil Hearse

 

May 4, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint  — None of the key events of 1968 happened in Britain, but they impacted dramatically on the configuration of the Left. One socialist journal said it was “the year the ice cracked”. [1] But more realistically it was the culmination of a process of left political renewal started in 1956 when the near-simultaneous Hungarian revolution and the British-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt shook the British Left to its core, resulting in the emergence of the “first” New Left. [2]

 

The Kurdish movement for radical change in Syria and the broader Middle East

 

 

By Chris Slee

 

A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State
By Meredith Tax
Bellevue Literary Press
New York 2016

 

April 3, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal When Meredith Tax saw pictures of gun-toting Kurdish women defending the northern Syrian town of Kobane against Daesh (so-called "Islamic State") in 2014, she was inspired to find out more. This book is the eventual outcome of her research.

 

The female fighters of the YPJ (Women's Protection Units) are part of a movement aimed at radical change in Syria and the broader Middle East. Tax explores the history of this movement in the context of the history of the Kurdish people.

 

Armenia: 'A mass movement the country never has seen before'

 

 

May 2, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from LeftEast  — A mass movement in Armenia pushed out the Prime Minister and former president Serj Sargsyan. Even if liberal currents are trying to channel the movement and gain electoral support, this event could also be a positive move for the oppressed youth and the working class in the country. We interviewed Hovhannes Gevorkian, an Armenian student of Law in Berlin and member of the Revolutionären Internationalistischen Organisation (RIO) of Germany. The interview was conducted by Philippe Alcoy (PA).

 

May Day: Workers’ struggles, international solidarity, political aspirations

 

 

May 1, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project  — For more than 100 years, May Day has symbolized the common struggles of workers around the globe. Why is it largely ignored? The answer lies in part in labour’s long repression of its own radical past, out of which international May Day was actually born a century ago. It is more important than ever, in the face of relentless capitalist austerity and emerging authoritarian forces on the right, that the labour movement reconnect with this history and forge linkages with the international labour movement in the remaking of a socialism for our times.

 

Download May Day: Workers’ Struggles, International Solidarity, Political Aspirations Socialist Interventions Pamphlet No. 15.

 

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