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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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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.
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.
Adopted by the 11th Socialist Alliance national conference, June 5-8, 2015
June 21, 2015 -- Posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Humanity has reached a critical crossroad. Capitalism cannot advance society as a whole. Already, large sections of the world live in poverty, repression and endless war but in addition the irrational and insatiable drive for profits by a highly monopolised and globalised capitalism is driving towards irreversible and catastrophic climate change.
Capitalist governments – and the giant corporations they work for – are refusing to act on the desperate warnings of the great majority of the world's leading scientists to avert the climate crisis.
Gemma Weedall presents Australian politics report. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.
Australian politics and campaigns perspectives resolutions adopted by the 11th national conference of Socialist Alliance
By Alex Bainbridge, Sydney
June 20, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The campaign against closure of Aboriginal communities and mobilisations against unconventional gas in eastern Australia are some examples of growing campaigns that are successfully challenging the agenda of capitalist governments in Australia, according to the 11th national conference of the Socialist Alliance.
The Australian politics resolution adopted by the conference highlighted these and other campaigns — such as the successful campaign against the East West Link in Melbourne and the campaign to free the refugees — as important examples of resistance in Australia today.
G7 leaders frolick. Not so green.
By Patrick Bond, Durban
June 17, 2015 -- Climate and Capitalism, first published at Triplecrisis and reposted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission from the author -- Who’s not heard the great African revolutionary Amilcar Cabral’s injunction, 50 years ago, “Tell no lies and claim no easy victories”? If, like me, you’re a petit bourgeois who is hopeful for social progress, then let’s be frank: this advice hits at our greatest weakness, the temptation of back-slapping vanity.
Greece: Committee finds debt 'illegal, illegitimate and odious'; should not be paid (updated with full report)
For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
In June 2015 Greece stands at a crossroad of choosing between furthering the failed macroeconomic adjustment programmes imposed by the creditors or making a real change to break the chains of debt. Five years since the economic adjustment programmes began, the country remains deeply cemented in an economic, social, democratic and ecological crisis. The black box of debt has remained closed, and until now no authority, Greek or international, has sought to bring to light the truth about how and why Greece was subjected to the Troika regime. The debt, in whose name nothing has been spared, remains the rule through which neoliberal adjustment is imposed, and the deepest and longest recession experienced in Europe during peacetime.
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For more on Venezuela, click HERE
By Lucas Koerner
June 16, 2015 -- Venezuelanalysis.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In an op-ed published in the Spanish daily El Pais, titled "Free the Prisoners of Conscience in Venezuela", the renowned South African Archbishop and anti-apartheid militant Desmond Tutu foresakes neutrality in order to unabashedly take the side of the oppressor, namely the United States and the Venezuelan right wing.
For more on Ecuador, click HERE.
Story and photos by Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, Quito
June 15, 2015 -- To Here Knows When, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- After Ecuador’s opposition staged a wave of protests over the weekend, President Rafael Correa struck back today, calling a massive rally of his own in central Quito.
Supporters of Ecuador’s socialist-leaning government packed into the capital’s leafy Plaza Grande to hear the president deliver his first public speech in the capital since opposition protests erupted last week.
Two years after its closure by the previous right-wing government, Greek public broadcaster ERT was back on air on the morning of June 11, 2015.
For more analysis and discussion on SYRIZA's struggle against austerity, click HERE
By Dick Nichols
June 15, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- For a while in late May, it looked as if the negotiations over the terms for releasing the last €7.2 billion owed Greece under its second bailout package with the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (the “Troika”) just might have some chance of success.
Air pollution in China's major cities is among the world's most severe.
By John Bellamy Foster
June 12, 2015 -- Monthly Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- China's leadership has called in recent years for the creation of a new "ecological civilisation". Some have viewed this as a departure from Marxism and a concession to Western-style "ecological modernisation".
However, embedded in classical Marxism, as represented by the work of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, was a powerful ecological critique. Marx explicitly defined socialism in terms consistent with the development of an ecological society or civilisation -- or, in his words, the "rational" regulation of "the human metabolism with nature".
June 13, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It was an historic day in the Basque Country's capital, Iruñea/Pamplona. For the first time a pro-independence left mayor was elected with the support of four progressive and nationalist parties.
Euskal Herria Bildu's candidate Joseba Asiron will now form government to run the city for the next four years after 20 years of repressive pro-Spanish right-wing unionist mayors. Thousands gathered outside the city hall to celebrate.Thanks to Basque Info.
Political prisoner Baba Jan.
By Farooq Tariq, general secretary Awami Workers Party, Pakistan
June 11, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It was one of best votes for any left candidate during an general election held in Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan for decades.
Imprisoned Baba Jan, candidate of Awami Workers Party (AWP), won 4641 votes and came second during the Gilgit Baltistan legislative assembly election held on June 8, 2015.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) candidate got 8245 votes and won the seat. The winning candidate is the former ruler of the Hunza estate who had with billions of rupees at his disposal.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which won the seat in the 2009 election, trailed behind Baba Jan with 3201 votes, while the newly established bourgeois party of cricketer Imran Khan, Tehreek Insaaf (Justice Movement), was in fourth position with 2291 votes. The religious Shia party Majlis Wahadat Muslimeen (MWM) came fifth with 1041 votes, and the candidate of the party of former dictator General Musharaf, the All Pakistan Muslim League, was last on 254.
Alberto Garzón in his office at the Congress. Photo by Marta Jara.
June 1, 2015 -- Transform!, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Alberto Garzón, a Izquierda Unida (IU, United Left) candidate in Spain's November general election, was interviewed by eldiario.es in his office at the Spanish Congress. The interview was conducted by Aitor Riveiro.
By Michael Cooke
For the record then, I have no patience with the position that "we" should only or mainly be concerned with what is "ours’" any more than I can condone reactions to such a view that require Arabs to read Arab books, use Arab methods and the like. As C.L.R James used to say, Beethoven belongs as much to the West as he does to Germans, since his music is now part of the human heritage.
Partly because of empire, all cultures are involved in one another; none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinary, differentiated, and unmonolithic. This I believe, is as true of the contemporary Untied States [or Australia] as it is of the modern Arab world … Edward Said
[English at http://links.org.au/node/4439.]
Por Steve Ellner
02-06-2015 -- Rebelion -- Los izquierdistas en Venezuela han formulado varias explicaciones sobre los retos actuales, y el descontento creciente que enfrenta el país, el cual aumenta la posibilidad de que la oposición se apodere del control de la Asamblea Nacional en las elecciones al final de este año. En la lista de explicaciones está la comparación desfavorable de las cualidades superiores del liderazgo de Hugo Chávez con las inferiores de su sucesor Nicolás Maduro. (Este mismo razonamiento es utilizado frecuentemente por los miembros de la oposición, quienes –explícita e implícitamente – atribuyen las deficiencias de Maduro a sus orígenes obreros.) Una segunda explicación es que funcionarios corruptos son los responsables de la crisis económica actual, que incluye la escasez aguda de productos de primera necesidad y una inflación galopante que ha llegado a tres dígitos.
June 8, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The June 7, 2015, general election in Turkey saw the radical left People's Democratic Party (HDP) win almost 13% of the vote and around 80 parliamentary seats.
It passed the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation for the first time, with a total of almost 6 million votes. The HDP won all the seats in the following Kurdish cities: Batman four, Agri four, Dersim two, Hakari three, Sirnak four, Igdir two. The party won 1 million votes and 11 seats in Istanbul -– a city with a huge Kurdish population although the party also won significant non-Kurdish support there. Thirty-one of the HDP’s 80 new MPs are women, the highest proportion of any party. HDP candidates included Armenians, Yezidis and Assyrians alongside Kurds. The HDP had the only openly gay candidate.
On the other hand, the ruling AKP has lost its parliamentary majority and recieved 3 million fewer votes than in 2010. The AKP lost many votes to the HDP in areas where it has had a big Kurdish following. Turkey's parliament consists of 550 seats; 276 seats are required for a single-party majority government. The ruling AKP has only secured 258 with which to try and form a coalition.
The HDP’s historic gains make the success of the peace process with the Kurds within Turkey more likely, and will restrict Turkey’s dubious relations with ISIS.
The speech below from HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş' 2014 presidential bid outlines the HDP's vision for a new Turkey.
June 6, 2015 -- LeftEast, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- With Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary elections fast approaching, all eyes are on the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left—or fall below the constitutionally mandated 10% barrier and be excluded from parliament entirely.
The oligarchs have joined forces to railroad a new labour code that strips Ukrainian workers of their already modest rights.
For more on the political situation in Ukraine.
By Vitaly Dudin
June 4, 2015 -- Open Democracy via The New Cold War, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Neoliberal modernisation in Ukraine is nothing new. The processes and forces pushing it forward long predate the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych last February. But since the events of 2014, this process has been expedited and has arrived at a key issue: the laws governing the way people work.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Click for more on left politics in Scotland
By Murray Smith
June 4, 2015 – International Viewpoint, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The day after the May 7 Westminster [British] general election, George Kerevan, newly elected Scottish National Party MP for East Lothian, was walking through his constituency. He was approached by a group of young working-class women who recognised him, proudly declared that they had all voted SNP and wanted to take “selfies” with him. When Kerevan asked why, they replied “because this is history”.
They were of course right. The day before the SNP had taken 56 of the 59 seats in Scotland, leaving the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties with one each.