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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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Agricultural expropriation: Making money from farmers



By Alan Broughton


September 7, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Soil Alliance — There is money to be made in farming, but not by the farmers. This paper examines the reasons why farmers around the world are poor and there are a billion hungry people. The terms of trade for farmers continually declines and farmers are forced off the land. Governments and international bodies advocate further deregulation and trade liberalisation and greater use of technology, yet these policies have undoubtedly failed in their stated aims of increasing food security and rural prosperity. The beneficiaries have only been the agribusiness corporations which have been instrumental in the design of the new order of agricultural production.


Bargaining over corporate investment: innovation or trap?



By Sam Gindin and Herman Rosenfeld


September 7, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Ever since the sit-down strikes of the 1930s, the cycle of ‘Big Three’ auto bargaining has been a major economic and political event, an indicator of the progress of the class struggle in North America. If such interest has sagged of late, it charged back into the news with the aggressive declaration of Unifor's president, Jerry Dias, that winning new investments for Canada is at the top of the union's agenda in its current bargaining round with General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler. Dias followed up this challenge to management's right to unilaterally decide investments with the audacious warning that if these U.S.-based corporations don't deliver on bringing a fair share of investments to Canada, they can expect a strike.


Ideas for the struggle #2 - Convince, not impose



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. Popular movements and, more generally, the different social protagonists engaged in the struggle against neoliberal globalization both at the international and national levels, reject — with good reason — attitudes that aim to impose hegemony or control on movements. They do not accept the steamroller policy that some political and social organizations tended to use that, taking advantage of their position of strength and monopolizing political positions, attempts to manipulate the movement. They do not accept the authoritarian imposition of a leadership from above; they do not accept attempts made to lead movements by simply giving orders, no matter how correct they are.


Building a better movement



By Pete Dolack


September 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Systemic Disorder — All of us who struggle for a better world are disheartened that so many advances of the 20th century have been lost. The mounting crises of the environment, the global economy and ever more constricted political systems are unmistakably moving humanity toward a cliff. And yet social movements, for all the victories here and there, again and again fail to sustain momentum.


Why are we in this predicament? No single person or organization can fully answer such a question, of course, but we do need to seriously reconsider what has been done and how. In this spirit, Marta Harnecker’s “Ideas for the Struggle” is a document that merits wide discussion. Originally written in 2004 and updated this year, the paper consists of 12 short, closely linked sections. And although written with Latin America in mind, the ideas are borderless.


After OXI and Brexit: the crisis of the European Union and the Left



By Angela Klein


September 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Within a year two populations of Europe – one in the south, the other in the north – have voted against the EU and its policy. They did this out of entirely different motives and with different aims. Whereas on 5 July 2015 the Greek OXI was directed against the austerity dictates of the Troika and the degradation of Greece to the state of a semi-colonial country, the British Brexit above all was characterized by the fear of “foreigners” and the desire to escape from the freedom of movement in the EU. But at the same time the Brexit expressed the desire to settle accounts with the ruling political elites. Whereas the left was the driving force of the Greek NO, the British NO was captured by the right.


After vice-minister beaten to death by miners, Bolivia reflects



By Pablo Stefanoni, translated by Federico Fuentes


August 31, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal originally published in Spanish at Nueva Sociedad — The conflict between the Bolivian government and cooperative miners is new not in terms of its dynamic, but in terms of its scale: the brutal death of a vice-minister, beaten after being kidnapped, has cause a commotion in a country accustomed to radical social protests. Moreover, the crime has put in doubt the advances made towards creating a “strong state”, Evo Morales goal since 2006: not even during the 2003 Gas War, which brought down the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada government, has a similar type of aggression occurred against such a high level functionary.


‘Ideas for the Struggle’: required reading for activists in these challenging times



By Steve Williams


August 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalIdeas for the Struggle should be required reading for all organizers, political activists and would-be revolutionaries in these troubling and challenging times.


Ideas for the struggle #1 - Mass uprisings or revolutions? The role of the political instrument



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. The recent and not so recent popular uprisings that rocked numerous countries across the world have clearly demonstrated that
the initiative of the people, in and of itself, is not enough to defeat ruling regimes.


Turkey’s incursion in Syria is aimed at defeating the Kurds and overthrowing Rojava



By Phil Hearse


August 29, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Crisis and Revolt — Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria on 24 August was flagged up as a move to drive the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) out of the border town of Jarabulus. But that is just a cover: Turkey’s not very secret major objective is to crush the 50,000-strong Kurdish YPG (people’s Protection Unit) militia, and overrun the three autonomous Kurdish dominated areas, collectively called ‘Rojava’ by the Kurds.


Analysing the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)



By Phil Hearse and Sarah Parker


August 27, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — In the wake of the failed military coup in Turkey, and the massive wave of state repression that has followed, building solidarity with the progressive resistance in Turkey and Kurdistan is even more vital. The attention of socialists and democrats worldwide will be turned towards the reactionary mobilisation that the ruling AKP has unleashed. This will put the HDP (Peoples Democratic Party) and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) centre stage.


United States: The LGBTQ movement today



By Donna Cartwright


August 25, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Solidarity (US) — A year after marriage equality was legalized nationwide, and two months since the June 12 massacre at a gay club in Orlando, the LGBT movement confronts a contradictory future. Although Orlando dramatized that violence against LGBT people persists, fueled by rightwing politicians’ hateful attacks, great victories have been won, and public acceptance of queer people has expanded to levels that once seemed unimaginable.


Degrowth, green capitalism and the promise of ecosocialism



By Richard Smith


August 22, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — I don’t need to tell you we face an existential threat. Scientists tell us we face a “climate emergency.” Last year was the hottest year ever recorded, beating 2014, which beat 2012. We break new records every year. The fourteen hottest years ever recorded have been recorded since 2000. January and February temperatures were torrid. Global temperatures hit new all-time highs in February; the northern hemisphere breached the 2 degrees-Celsius-above-normal mark for the first time in recorded history. Svalbard, Norway, averaged 10 degrees Celsius above normal. Parts of the Arctic were more than 16 degrees Celsius warmer—basically no winter. There were record-setting low measures of maximum Arctic sea ice this “winter.” In the United States, the winter was record-warm from coast to coast, breaking all-time temperature records for February. The same in Asia. In the tropics, record warmth is massively bleaching the Great Barrier Reef.  


Climate justice and the prospect of power




A balance sheet of the movement to block the cross-Toronto ‘Line 9’ pipeline project by John Riddell. With notes on the meaning of “climate justice” and the relationship of socialism to social movements.


The relevance of Marta Harnecker's 'Ideas for the Struggle' today



Together with New and Old Project, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing a revised and updated edition of Marta Harnecker's "Ideas for the Struggle", a collection of 12 articles looking at the question of how to organise for socialism in the 21st century.


The development of Trotsky’s analysis of the Soviet bureaucracy



Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin


By Thomas M. Twiss


August 19, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In his presentation, Paul Le Blanc has provided a brief account of the darkening situation in the Soviet Union in the years following the revolution, of the heroic resistance by members of the Left Opposition, and of the “deep black night” of Stalinism in the mid-late 1930s. He also summarized for us Leon Trotsky’s final theory of Soviet bureaucracy and — I think appropriately —emphasized its value for understanding that history. What I want to do is to briefly sketch the development of Trotsky’s analysis of the problem of Soviet bureaucracy in order to get a deeper understanding and appreciation of his final theory, with all of its strengths and limitations. For as Trotsky observed in a 1933 preface to a collection of his oppositional writings, “It is impossible to understand correctly either scientific or political ideas without knowing the history of their development.”

Before ’68: The Left, activism and social movements in the long 1960s



August 18, 2016 —
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalErnest Tate and Phil Hearse present Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s at "Before ’68: The Left, activism & social movements in the long 1960s" conference. Hosted by UEA School of History in conjunction with the journal Socialist History, and the Institute of Working Class History (Chicago).


Ernest Tate's memoir is an important contribution to the history of the left in Britain and Canada during a unique period. It's a political life of Ernest Tate's life as a socialist during the fifteen year period from 1955 to 1970. In volume one, he tells us about his arrival from Toronto in 1955 as a working-class immigrant from Northern Ireland and about how he quickly became engaged in radical politics.


Excerpts of the book are available on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here.


Portugal: “el Bloque de Izquierda lucha por la hegemonía de la izquierda”



[Original in English here]


Por Dick Nichols


August 18, 2016 — Traducido por Enrique García para Sin Permiso — Es difícil imaginar un contraste más fuerte que entre la 10ª Convención Nacional del Bloque de Izquierda portugués, que se celebró en Lisboa del 24 al 26 de junio, y su predecesora, que tuvo lugar en la misma ciudad hace 18 meses.


The path to power: ‘Let’s commit to the long haul’



The following discussion of strategy for social change, by Umair Muhammad, was first published under the title “An Altered Position,” as an afterword to the second edition of his book Confronting Injustice: Social Activism in the Age of Individualism.


By Umair Muhammad


August 17, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's blog with permission — During the summer of 2014 I became involved in an anti-pipeline campaign in Toronto. Part of the campaign against the oil pipeline involved occupying worksites. I myself was able to take part in two such occupations. The first occupation resulted in a one-day stoppage of work. The second stopped work for at least two days and resulted in work equipment being carried offsite. The occupations were in part meant to serve as precursors for larger actions to come, allowing the activists involved to build links and gain experience.


Tactics is not strategy: a critique of Riot. Strike. Riot



A review of Riot. Strike. Riot: the New Era of Uprisings by Joshua Clover


By Ben Peterson


August 16, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Win with permission — In the wake of 2011 uprisings in the Arab spring and Occupy, there has been a resurgence radical ideas and a new enthusiasm for radical theorists. A new generation of activists are seeking to digest these experiences, to take lessons from them and prepare for the struggle to come. Joshua Clover’s Riot-Strike-Riot is part of this process. Unfortunately, it is an unhelpful attempt. Good theory contextualizes a struggle and draws together the threads of history together into a coherent argument, which can illuminate what has happened and what can now be done. Riot-Strike-Riot instead deifies certain tactics and if its strategic suggestions were taken up would hinder rather than advance the movement for post-capitalist revolution.




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