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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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Reinaldo Iturriza: ‘Es el capital político del chavismo lo que está en juego’

 

 

[English version available here.]

 

4 de julio de 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  Reinaldo Iturriza, militante revolucionario y sociólogo, se ha dedicado por muchos años a trabajar con movimientos populares en Venezuela y escribir sobre la emergencia del chavismo como un movimiento político de los pobres. Entre 2013 y 2016 fue Ministro del Poder Popular para las Comunas y los Movimientos Sociales, y luego de Cultura, en el gabinete de Presidente Nicolas Maduro.

 

Junto con militantes de diversas organizaciones revolucionarios de base y movimientos sociales, Iturriza se ha postulado con el apoyo de la Plataforma Constituyente Popular como candidato para las elecciones a la Asamblea Constituyente, a realizarse el 30 de julio.

 

The Left and Venezuela

 

 

By Claudio Katz[1]

 

SUMMARY

 

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The media keep silent about the violence of the Venezuelan opposition and the prevailing repression by the right-wing governments of Latin America. The Right’s strategy of an institutional coup faces serious limits, but the Left must address this new threat, supporting anti-imperialist decisions and making a distinction between the capitalist boycott and the government’s ineffectiveness.

 

Adhering to social-democratic standards, the post-progressive “critical left” objects to Chavismo, dismissing the danger of a coup, and mistakenly identifying authoritarianism as the main danger. The dogmatists overlook the main enemy and converge with the conservatives or slip toward passive neutrality.

 

The Right only wants elections it is sure it will win. In these very adverse conditions, the Constituent Assembly re-opens opportunities and points to a re-encounter with radical intellectual thought.

 

Full Text (pdf) here

 

Showdown in Catalonia: Can the independence referendum actually happen?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

June 26, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Nothing alarms Spain’s establishment more than the prospect of the unity of the Spanish state being threatened by the desire for self-determination of the peoples that live within its borders. “Spain: One, Great and Free” — the catchcry of the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) — is still the guiding principle and ruling emotion of this elite, even under the regionalised “state of autonomies” created by the 1978 post-dictatorship constitution.

 

This reality explains why prime minister Mariano Rajoy, head of the People’s Party (PP) government, announced at its inauguration on August 30 last year that “Spain’s most serious challenge” is the possibility of secession by Catalonia. So the June 9 announcement by Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont of the date and question of his government’s promised referendum on Catalonia’s future relation with Spain inevitably had the Madrid establishment media (dubbed “the cavern” in progressive circles) in a frenzy.

 

'Letter from Afar', corrections from up close: Censorship or retrofit?

 

 

In March 1917 Alexandra Kollontai, then in Oslo, provided a link between Lenin,
still in Switzerland, and the Bolsheviks in Russia.

 

By Lars Lih

 

June 26, 2017  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — The standard “rearming the party” interpretation of Bolshevism in 1917 is a gripping and highly dramatic narrative that goes something like this: Old Bolshevism is rendered irrelevant by the February revolution, the Russian Bolsheviks flounder until Lenin returns home and rearms the party, and the party is subsequently divided over fundamental issues throughout the year. Party unity is restored—to the extent that it was restored—after the other leading Bolsheviks cave in to Lenin’s superior force of will. Only by these means was the party rearmed by a new strategy that proclaimed the socialist nature of the revolution—an essential condition for Bolshevik victory in October.

 

Bolivia: Final statement of the World Conference of the Peoples “For a World Without Borders towards Universal Citizenship”

 

 

June 24, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Dawn News — This is the final statement of the World Conference of the Peoples For a World Without Borders towards Universal Citizenship, which took place at Tiquipaya, 400 kilometers from La Paz between June 19-20:

 

The threat of wider wars in the Middle East and the responsibilities of socialists

 

 

By Frieda Afary

 

June 24, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alliance of Middle East Socialists — On June fifth, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt suddenly cut off diplomatic and trade ties  with Qatar and closed their borders to it. The reason stated for this decision was Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood  movement as well as Qatar’s friendly relations with the Iranian government. Donald Trump subsequently sent out a tweet in which he took credit for this move: “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the king and 50 countries already paying off.”

 

Turkey immediately announced its support for Qatar and accelerated legislation to send more troops  to its military base in that country. It also called on Saudi Arabia to end this crisis. The Iranian government announced that its air space and land borders were open to Qatar in order to prevent a blockade against it.  Subsequently, on June 11, the Iranian navy sent two battleships to the coast of Oman.

 

Theresa May’s Katrina: Grenfell Tower and the election outcome that wasn't supposed to happen

 

 

By Sheila Cohen and Kim Moody

 

June 23, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Solidarity (US) — We live in a north London street which, despite its impressive 19th century architecture, is peopled mainly by “council tenants” (public housing residents). This is largely due to the left-of-center politics of the local council (government), which bought up large areas of such housing in the 1970s, limiting “development” and gentrification, and preserving much of the working class population. Perhaps as a result Labour MP Emily Thornberry, a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, was re-elected with an increased majority of over 20,000 votes--63% against the Conservative’s 21%. Nationally, Labour won 30 new seats and increased its vote by 3.5 million and the Conservatives lost their majority.

 

Jose Carlos Mariategui 87 Years Later

 

 

By Marc Becker

 

June 23, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from TeleSUR English — In 1930, Waldo Frank wrote in the leftist U.S. weekly the Nation that the April 16 death of Jose Carlos Mariategui had plunged “the intelligentsia of all of Hispano-America into sorrow; and nothing could be more eloquent of the cultural separation between the two halves of the new world than the fact that to most of us these words convey no meaning.”

 

His funeral turned into one of the largest processions of workers ever seen in the streets of Lima, Peru, but in the United States his death was hardly noticed. Unfortunately, 87 years later Mariategui is still largely unknown in the English-speaking world, even as his status as the founder of Latin American Marxism remains as relevant as ever for understanding political changes sweeping across the region.

 

1917: The View from the Streets #12 & 13 - A Bolshevik appeal finds an echo in the streets

 

 

The banners read: "World peace. All power to the people. All land to the people."

and "Down with the minister-capitalists"

 

June 22, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago today, on June 22 (9) 1917, the Bolshevik Party circulated among Petrograd workers the first proclamation below (drafted by Joseph Stalin). Nine days later, the Bolsheviks’ slogans won mass support at a giant Soviet-called demonstration.

 

Conceptualising Cuban socialism

 

 

By Helen Yaffe

 

June 19, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Helen Yaffe's blog — On 1 June 2017, an extraordinary session of Cuba’s National Assembly of Peoples’ Power approved important documents which define the character, objectives and strategy of Cuban socialism into the post-Castro era. Since 2011, a programme of ‘updating’ the Cuban economic and social system has been underway, and these documents aim to establish the parameters within which those developments will take place. Helen Yaffe reports.

 

The proletariat and its ally: The logic of Bolshevik ‘hegemony’

 

 

By Lars Lih

 

June 19, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — Were the Bolsheviks fundamentally prepared or fundamentally unprepared by their previous outlook to meet the challenges of 1917? To answer this question, we must first arrive at an understanding of the political strategy of Old Bolshevism. A coherent political strategy must answer two fundamental questions:

How Europe underdeveloped Africa: the legacy of Walter Rodney

 

 

By Lee Wengraf

 

June 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — A number of African economies have experienced a massive boom in wealth and investment over the past decade Yet most ordinary Africans live in dire poverty with diminished life expectancy, high unemployment and in societies with low-levels of industry. For the roots of these conditions of “under-development,” one historical account stands alone in importance: Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972).

 

Trump goes for bust on the national-populist trail. What did you expect?

 

 

By Daniel Tanuro

 

June 16, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International ViewpointThe United States has denounced the Paris climate agreement, cancelled all the measures decided by the United States in application of this agreement and withdrew from the Green Fund for the Climate. These are the major decisions that Donald Trump finally announced, on Thursday, June 1, after a long period of suspense.

 

These decisions are in line with the promises made by the new President during his election campaign. In the past few months, some observers had wanted to believe that Trump would change his tune, but he did no such thing. On the contrary, the speech he delivered in the Rose Garden of the White House flowed from a disturbing nationalist and populist demagogy. What did you expect? - as the advertisers say...

 

They told us ‘elections are won from the centre’. We’ll never believe them again

 

By James Fox

 

June 15, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — Jeremy Corbyn has just gained the most support for the Labour Party since the 1945 election of Clement Attlee. A post-election poll from Survation, one of the pollsters that called the election the most accurately, now puts Labour ahead of the Conservatives by 6 percentage points, stating that Corbyn would win 45 per cent of the public vote (against the Conservatives’ 39 per cent) – 5 points up since the election only a few days ago.

 

Richard Seymour on British elections: Where we go from here

 

 

By Richard Seymour

 

June 15, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Novara Media

I.

 

What a difference election day makes. “Make June the end of May,” they said; and so they did.

 

Theresa May has gone from being the adored “mummy” of Tory activists, whose secret strength according to A N Wilson and Matthew D’Ancona was her matriarchal “sex appeal”, to being the woman who shot the Tory party “in the head” according to Tory MP Nigel Evans. If only Tory activists had read a little of what Winnicott said about mothers, they might have seen it coming.

 

General election in Britain: A stunning result for Corbyn and Labour

 

 

By Alan Davies

 

June 14, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — The election result is a triumph for Labour. Although the party has fallen marginally short of enough seats to form a government, Jeremy Corbyn has pulled off the biggest swing from one major party to another during the span of an election campaign since 1945. The polls were predicting a Labour share of the vote of 26% or 27% but ended up on the night at 40%—which is 12.8 million votes. This is more than Tony Blair got in 2001 or in 2005.

Earning optimism after pessimism: Salvage editorial on the British general election

 

‘Obedience to the force of gravity. The greatest sin.’
— Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

‘Things can only get better. Can only get better, if we see it through.’
— D:ream

By Salvage editorial board

 

June 14, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from SalvageAn uncharacteristically subdued President Trump described the result of Britain’s snap general election of 8 June as ‘surprising’. The Guardian went further, calling it a ‘shock result’. The redoubtable Jon Snow for Channel 4 News was closer to the mark, that this was ‘one of the most remarkable election results in modern British History’. This was astonishing, staggering, extraordinary.

 

The need for a new US foreign policy towards North Korea

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

 

June 13, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — US-North Korean relations remain very tense, although the threat of a new Korean War has thankfully receded.  Still the US government remains determined to tighten economic sanctions on North Korea and continues to plan for a military strike aimed at destroying the country’s nuclear infrastructure.  And the North for its part has made it clear that it would respond to any attack with its own strikes against US bases in the region and even the US itself.

 

This is not good, but it is important to realize that what is happening is not new.  The US began conducting war games with South Korean forces in 1976 and it was not long before those included simulated nuclear attacks against the North, and that was before North Korea had nuclear weapons.  In 1994, President Bill Clinton was close to launching a military attack on North Korea with the aim of destroying its nuclear facilities.  In 2002, President Bush talked about seizing North Korean ships as part of a blockade of the country, which is an act of war.  In 2013, the US conducted war games which involved planning for preemptive attacks on North Korean military targets and “decapitation” of the North Korean leadership and even a first strike nuclear attack.

 

‘No racism here’: Modern Turkey and the question of race and national identity

 

 

Fenerbahçe fans pointing bananas to Galatasaray players, 
Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Eboue

 

By Bulent Gokay[1] and Darrell Whitman[2]

 

ABSTRACT: Many in Turkey, including its political leaders, don’t accept there is racism in Turkey. They will say they are proud of their traditional hospitality and generosity towards foreigners. Similarly, academic accounts also generally assume Turkish nationalism is neither ethnic nor cultural nationalism, but rather an inclusive civic nationalism. We directly challenge this conviction by arguing there is a dark side of Turkish nationalism, based on clear evidence there is an ethnic and racial discourse that shaped Turkish nationalism from the early years of the republic, and that this discourse plays a significant role in defining modern 21st Century Turkish nationalism. Thus, this modern Turkish nationalism includes, rather than excludes, an ethnic and racially defined narrative, which is a central tenet in defining modern Turkish identity.

 

Stalin Pérez Borges, LUCHAS: La salida a la crisis del proceso venezolano tiene que ser democrática, revolucionaria y socialista

 

 

11 de junio de 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal Entrevista con Stalin Perez Borges, militante de LUCHAS (Liga Unitaria Chavista Socialista) y del Consejo Consultivo de la Central Bolivariana Socialista de los Trabajadores y Trabajadoras (CBST)

 

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