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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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April 9, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Malaysians soon go to the polls in state and federal elections, expected to be held on April 27. The ruling Front National, or Barisan Nasional (BN), coalition is dominated by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and has traditionally attracted votes from the 50% of the population of Malay descent. The coalition has controlled Malaysia's parliament since the country's independence from Britain in 1957.
However, many predict that in this election BN dominance will be shaken by gains by the Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim.
The Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM, Socialist Party of Malaysia) is also standing in a number of state and federal seats, seeking to retain its two sitting MPs and increase its representation of the country's working classes and poor. The party's election manifesto is below. It can also be downloaded HERE.
For more on the PSM, click HERE.
Philippines socialists on the Korean crisis: 'Halt all war preparations! Stop US provocations and intervention!
US sailors aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington prepare to leave for joint military exercises at the port in Busan, South Korea, in 2010.
By Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses), Philippines
Direct political negotiations to defuse Korean crisis! Halt all war preparations!
Stop US provocations and intervention!
Philippines government act responsibly! Halt joint US military exercises! Protect overseas Filipino workers!
For a unified Korea without US and big power interference!
"Now that [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] has demonstrated its technical and scientific achievements, we remind her of her duties to the countries which have been her great friends, and it would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet." -- Fidel Castro
By Fidel Castro
April 4, 2013 -- Granma International -- A few days ago I mentioned the great challenges humanity is currently facing. Intelligent life emerged on our planet approximately 200,000 years ago, although new discoveries demonstrate something else.
This is not to confuse intelligent life with the existence of life which, from its elemental forms in our solar system, emerged millions of years ago.
The following are excerpts from a much longer article, "The actuality of a successful capitalist offensive", that appeared on Richard Seymour's website, Lenin's Tomb. Seymour is a leading member of the new IS Network, which is one of a number of developments on the British left that may encourage progress towards a regroupment of the left. The full article is available HERE.
* * *
By Richard Seymour
Two workers of the 1000-member TRADOC cooperative. The hiring of women in the plant was one of the many gains of worker ownership. Photo by Bob Briggs.
By Jane Slaughter
April 3, 2013 -- Labor Notes -- A tyre is not just a piece of rubber with a hole in it. I learned this when I visited the workers’ cooperative that makes Cooper tyres in El Salto, Mexico. A tyre is a sophisticated product that comes about through a chain of chemical processes, lots of machine pounding, and still the intervention of human hands.
A fervent inspection worker pointed out that every single tyre is tested under road-like conditions, “If not, it could kill people”, he noted. And, he added practically, “keeping the tyres safe saves our jobs”.
Statement of the ‘Politics and women going together’ international women’s conference, March 25-28, 2013, Kathmandu, Nepal
April 4, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This gathering of left women’s organisations and activists from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Kurdistan, Nepal, Philippines and Sweden thanks the Nepalese women’s movement, especially the All Nepal Women’s Association, for hosting this historic event. We have participated in three days of intense discussions about the issues confronting the struggle for women’s rights and gender equality in our countries. While we are aware that there are important differences in our specific country contexts, nevertheless, we are also united by the common problems and challenges that we face.
We are deeply concerned with the rise in religious fundamentalism of all varieties, as they seek to impose extremist forms of religious codes and conducts upon women and girls, which savagely oppress and contribute to extreme forms of violence against them.
We condemn all feudal cultural practices, such as honour crimes and witch burnings, that target women. We call on our governments to take all possible measures to implement laws and legislation to protect women from such practices. We also condemn practices such as sex-selective abortions, which are gender biased to the detriment of girl children and undermine the status of women in our societies.
National Farmers Union (NFU), an affiliate of La Via Campesina. The text is taken from John Riddell's site.
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Our common land, our common ground
With a January 15 media release, we made public our support for the Idle No More movement, saying:
“The NFU is proud to declare its solidarity with Idle No More, which is bringing people together from across Canada to stop the Harper government from riding roughshod over our collective rights. We want a better Canada.”
Nicolas Maduro drove a bus to the National Electoral Council to register his candidacy for president.
By Luis Hernández Navarro, translated by Ewan Robertson for Venezuelanalysis.com
March 29, 2013 -- La Jornada -- Nicolas Maduro is a robust, burly man, 1.9 metres tall with a thick black moustache. He drove a metro bus in Caracas for seven years, was foreign minister for six more and is now interim president and candidate for the country’s top office. He is part of the a generation of Latin American leaders like metal worker Lula da Silva and coco-leaf unionist Evo Morales, who entered politics from the trenches of opposition social struggles [translator: in opposition to the neoliberal administrations that governed Latin America before the continent’s "pink tide", which began in the late 1990s].
By the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum, Tunisia, 2013
March 29, 2013 -- We are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilisation. We affirm that decolonisation for oppressed peoples remains for us, the social movements of the world, a challenge of the greatest importance.
Through the WSF process, the Social Movements Assembly is the place where we come together through our diversity, in order to forge common struggles and a collective agenda to fight against capitalism, patriarchy, racism and all forms of discrimination and oppression. We have built a common history of work which led to some progress, particularly in Latin America, where we have been able to intervene in neoliberal alliances and to create several alternatives for just development that truly honors nature.
Boris Abramovich Berezovsky diedin London on March 23, 2013.
For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.
Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke
March 31, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- After everyone had finished their coffee, and reached demonstratively for their brief cases, he overrode the feeble impulses of his companions and placed a 50 pound banknote on the table. The change arrived in the form of a mountain of coins – what a disgrace that in Britain 1 pound notes have been taken out of circulation, forcing people to weigh their pockets down with metal! There were a lot of coins, of all denominations. But he sorted them out in a few moments, counted out a 15 per cent tip, raked the rest into his pocket, said his goodbyes and vanished.
“Mathematician”, I thought.
By Roger Annis
March 30, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Two leading voices against France’s military intervention in Mali, Paul Martial and Bertold du Ryon, have written a comprehensive dossier on the subject. It is published in the weekly print and web bulletin of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) in France, Tout est à nous, dated March 14, 2013 (#186).
The dossier is a valuable overview of the situation in Mali and stands out for its unyielding opposition to the intervention. That’s no small feat in a France that is awash in national patriotism and anti-Islamic prejudice over the issue.
Anti-Putin protest in Moscow.
[For more by Boris Kagarlitsky, click HERE.]
By Boris Kagarlitsky, translated by Renfrey Clarke
March 30, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In Russia, the first two weeks of January are a time when nothing happens. Members of the well-heeled layers, bureaucrats, politicians and the bourgeoisie, set off to spend their holidays abroad, distributing themselves around various locations on the basis of their means, tastes and vanity. Their destinations might range from comparatively cheap hotels in Egypt to ski resorts in France, Austria or Switzerland.
People who cannot afford such things simply drink, and shed their stress in front of the television, at their dachas in the countryside, or in the sauna.
By Simon Butler
March 23, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- Do oil spills make good economic sense? A witness called by Canadian firm Enbridge Inc.— which wants approval to build a $6.5 billion pipeline linking Alberta’s tar sands with the Pacific coast — told a recent hearing in British Columbia (BC) that the answer is yes.
He said oil spills could benefit the economy, giving business new opportunities to make money cleaning it up. He told Fishers Union representatives that an oil spill in BC might indeed kill the local fishing industry, but their lost income would be replaced by compensation payouts and new career prospects, such as working for oil cleanup crews.
Upon reading this, some readers might protest: “That’s just not fair! How come British Columbian communities reap all the economic gains of a potential oil spill disaster, when we have to live in relative safety?”
It’s easy to laugh at this kind of thinking, to write it off as a desperate ploy by a greedy oil company.
"We are all Chavez"
By Tamara Pearson, Merida
March 27, 2013 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Although the results of the presidential elections on April 14, 2013, are quite predictable, Venezuela is are going through a fragile, vulnerable period, with a future that is less predictable. These elections, because of their place in history -- the start of the era of the Bolivarian revolution without Hugo Chavez – have some special characteristics and factors. The significance of these factors, of these weaknesses, opportunities, relationships of power, and so on, goes beyond the voting on April 14.
A group of volunteers wave green handkerchiefs as they ride their bicycles in Beijing on November 21, 2012, for the launch of a world-tour to promote low-carbon lifestyles.
[This article originally appeared in Chinese in Red Flag Manuscript, no. 22, 2012. This text is from the English edition of Qiushi Journal (vol. 5 no. 1, January 1, 2013), a publication of the Communist Party of China's central committee, via the Online University of the Left. The author is a former vice-chair of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress of China. Note: this article is also a slightly abridged version of the preface of the book Saving the Earth’s Biosphere — Concerning the Transformation of Human Civilization, which was edited by the author and published by Xinhua Press in September 2012. It indicates that despite the Communist Party of China's headlong rush to embrace environmentally unsustainable capitalism, there is some questioning of this course.]
By Jiang Chunyun
Zimbabwe ISO on ‘yes’ vote for new constitution: ‘Build on the seeds sown, working-class radicals must not demobilise!’
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe votes yes to the new constitution.
By the International Socialist Organisation Zimbabwe
March 24, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. Despite the boasting of the “Yes” group that at 93% or 3,079,966 votes they scored a landslide victory [in the March 16-17, 2013, constitution referendum], the 5.4% or 179,489 scored by “No” is a very significant minority. In most urban areas the no vote was over 7% of the vote, scoring more than 1000 votes in constituencies. The voter turn-out, at 3.3 million or 55% of registered voters or slightly less than 50% if one considers all eligible voters, was not overwhelming.
2. Although we had aimed for a better performance, the 5.4% of the no vote is still commendable for several reasons, including that the referendum was not free and fair:
March 19, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The question is not should we advocate reducing production within capitalist society but rather: How do we best relate to those struggles that are already occurring? Activists across the globe are challenging the uncontrollable dynamic of economic expansion which threatens the survival of humanity. It has never been more urgent to provide a vision of a new society that can pull these efforts together.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3264]
Por Luis Bilbao
09/03/13 -- America XXI -- No fue a causa del accionar de un individuo que en la última década el damero internacional sufrió un drástico vuelco. Fuerzas desatadas por la lógica interna del capital movilizaron cambios de tal magnitud que, en el fugaz lapso de una década, dibujaron un nuevo mapa geopolítico, todavía no cabalmente interpretado, en el cual Estados Unidos ha perdido su antiguo lugar de centro del equilibrio planetario y jefe inapelable en las cuestiones esenciales de la economía, la política y la guerra.
Above and below, five-part video of Parti de Gauche leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon's seminar on the "Ecosocialist Revolution" presented on February 10, 2013, in Tunisia.
By Mathieu Agostini and Corinne Morel Darleux, Parti de Gauche, France.
March 29, 2013 -- Ecosocialisme -- On December 1, 2012, the Parti de Gauche (PdG, Left Party), organised a roundtable in Paris to discuss the ecosocialist project. This gave the opportunity to debate a new ecosocialist manifesto (Premier manifeste 18 thèses pour l’écosocialisme) around 18 themes. [PdG is a key part of the Front de Gauche, or Left Front (FdG), which is led by the PdeG's Jean-Luc Melenchon.]
Alexis Tsipras in London: Q & A on lessons from Hugo Chavez, a left government, the euro, stopping Golden Dawn ...
March 15, 2013 -- Irish Left Review -- The following questions [in bold] and answers took place after a talk SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras gave to SYRIZA’s London branch in Friend’s House in Euston on March 15. The speech itself can be found here. Some of the questions have been condensed to remove lengthy preambles and/or tangents but they remain an accurate reflection of the query posed by the audience member.
Could you give us a few reflections on what we can learn from the left in Latin America and particularly the legacy of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela?