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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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May Day 2021: Vaccinate the workers from the savage capitalist virus with people’s solidarity, democracy and social protection

 

 

 

Joint Statement of the Southeast Asian Left

Translation of the joint statement in other languages: Bahasa MalaysiaChinese

After more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, working people around the world have been suffering and victimized by the global capitalist system that failed to protect people’s lives and livelihood. The pandemic has unleashed the severe economic recession around the world, with an increasing number of people losing their jobs or suffering from reduced income. The crisis is deepening social inequalities and injustices.

The deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused the COVID-19 pandemic that infected over 150 million people and took over 3 million lives around the world, but the savage capitalist virus that feeds on the exploitation of labour and natural resources has deepened the impact of the global health crisis and ruined the lives of millions.

'No life like it': A tribute to the life, activism, and legacy of Ernie Tate

 

 

April 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We warmly welcome you to join us for a tribute to the life, activism and legacy of Ernie Tate (1934-2021).

Cuba: The so-called “San Isidro” case

 

 

By Esteban Morales, translated and edited by Walter Lippmann 

April 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CubaNews — I believe that what is happening there is a consequence of not having taken care of four fundamental issues in time:

1- The marginal conditions of some of our neighborhoods in Havana.

2-The lack of attention or delay in recognizing and using the Social Sciences.

3- In spite of Fidel’s early warning, having neglected, for a long time, the racial question.

4-Some deficiencies in our political-ideological work.

On the last three points, I have warned enough.

But as a result of my warnings, I was never called to the Round Table, and when the faces of its protagonists appear, mine is never there. In spite of having been, individually, among those who have attended the Round Table the most.

Shocking omissions: "Capitalism’s conscience – 200 years of 'The Guardian'"

 

 

April 29,2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Media Lens — Long before ‘the propaganda model’ flew off Edward Herman’s keyboard and into ‘Manufacturing Consent’, the book he co-authored with Noam Chomsky, Leo Tolstoy had captured the essence of non-conspiratorial conformity:

‘One man does not assert the truth which he knows, because he feels himself bound to the people with whom he is engaged; another, because the truth might deprive him of the profitable position by which he maintains his family; a third, because he desires to attain reputation and authority, and then use them in the service of mankind; a fourth, because he does not wish to destroy old sacred traditions; a fifth, because he has no desire to offend people; a sixth, because the expression of the truth would arouse persecution, and disturb the excellent social activity to which he has devoted himself.’ (Tolstoy, ‘What Then Must We Do?’, Green Classics, 1991, p.118)

Putin, Navalny and the left: The coming political crisis in Russia

 

 

By Radhika Desai 

April 29, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Real News Network — With so much disinformation floating around, and with so many media outlets filtering their coverage through the geopolitical interests of the West, it’s often difficult for interested audiences to know just what is going on in Russian politics today. From the COVID-19 pandemic to mass protests and the return of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in January, who suffered a near-fatal poisoning attack this summer, major political and economic shifts are taking place in Russia. Add to that the public outcry against the imprisonment of Navalny, who is now on a hunger strike from his prison cell just outside of Moscow, and the new sanctions against Russia that U.S. President Joe Biden announced this week, challenges to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power are mounting. But what do these developments mean and look like for people on the ground in Russia?

Ecuador: CONAIE leader Leonidas Iza — ‘The Correismo/anti-Correismo polarisation only benefits the right’

 

 

Interview with Leonidas Iza by Felipe Gutiérrez Ríos. Translation by Federico Fuentes

April 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal Nodal spoke with Leonidas Iza, president of the Indigenous and Campesino Movement of Cotopaxi (MICC), in between two elections. The first was the second round of the presidential elections, held on April 11, which saw neoliberal banker Guillermo Lasso elected with 52.3% of the vote, defeating Correista [supporter of former left-wing president Rafael Correa] candidate Andrés Arauz (47,6%), and with more than 2 million voters not turning up and a similar number casting blank or null votes. The second election will occur at the upcoming CONAIE [Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador] Congress, which will meet in the first week of May, and where Iza is a strong candidate for president.

Ecuador: From Rafael Correa to Guillermo Lasso via Lenin Moreno

 

 

By Eric Toussaint

April 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CADTM — On 11 April 2021, Guillermo Lasso (52,4%), the right-wing candidate, defeated Andres Arauz, the candidate supported by Rafael Correa and part of the Left, by 52.4% vs 47.6% in the second round of ballots for the presidential election. Lasso was elected thanks to the division of the Left, since a significant part of it, which has become deeply diffident of Rafael Correa, called for a null vote. Votes on the popular side, that represented a clear majority in the first round of February 2021, were divided, which made it possible for a former banker to be elected president. The situation is serious for an opportunity to break away from Lenin Moreno’s brutal neoliberal policies has been lost. Former banker Lasso, though critical of Lenin Moreno’s positions out of sheer electoral calculation, will continue in the same harmful direction: a deepening of neoliberal policies, submission to the private interests of Big Capital, particularly of Ecuador’s powerful banking sector and of the import-export industry, and submission to the United States. How can we explain that a significant part of popular votes did not go to Andres Arauz to prevent Guillermo Lasso from getting elected? It can be accounted for by the rejection prompted by Rafael Correa’s policies, particularly after 2011, among part of the Left, notably with the CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of Ecuador.

Class politics at work: Ernie Tate (1934–2021) at CUPE Local One

 

Ernie Tate (front left) and Toronto Hydro strikers, 1989.
Photo by Jess MacKenzie.

By Rob Fairley

April 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Spring — Following Ernie Tate’s death on February 5, 2021, numerous tributes have been published highlighting his lifelong commitment to socialism and remarkable contribution to the anti-war movement. (Links are provided below.) His two-volume memoir, Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s, provides a detailed account of this work.

Ernie’s role as a union leader has received less attention. Working at Toronto Hydro from 1977 to 1995, he served as an Executive Board member and eventually as Vice-President of CUPE Local One, which represented roughly 500 blue collar and 450 clerical and technical workers at the utility.

This article includes recollections of several local leaders at the end, retracing some of Ernie’s activity in Local One, including a few of the many battles Ernie had a hand in. With others there at the time, I describe the community of which Ernie was a part, and some of its history and his contributions.

A century of oppression: The Kurds and the Turkish state

 

 

By John Tully

April 20, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In recent weeks, the autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has moved to ban the pro-Kurdish left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and jailed the 14th member of the party’s 56-strong parliamentary caucus. Erdogan’s attack is the latest iteration of repressive, and at times genocidal, anti-Kurdish policies that go back to the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. The banning of the HDP will mark the transition of Turkey to outright dictatorship.

Not coincidentally, Turkey has also just quit the Istanbul Convention on violence against women — this, as the writer Elif Shafak warns “in a country where three women are killed daily and femicide is a huge crisis." The HDP’s strong pro-feminism contrasts starkly with Erdogan’s crude misogynism.

Turkey at the crossroads?

 

 

By Cihan Tuğal

April 20, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Left Review — Ten years ago, Erdoğan’s Turkey was hailed in Washington as an example to the Muslim world—a free-market, pro-American Islamic democracy with high growth rates, renowned cultural monuments and beautiful beaches. ‘A model partner’, Obama affirmed in 2009, as he congratulated the leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).1 Today, with perhaps 50,000 oppositionists in jail, including scores of journalists, politicians, lawyers and civil servants, Turkey is exporting radical Islamist mercenaries from its Syrian enclaves to Libya and Azerbaijan, clashing with France, Greece, Israel and Cyprus over gas-drilling rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and imposing a brutal occupation regime on swathes of what was once the autonomous Kurdish zone of Rojava. Predictably, the cry of ‘Who lost Turkey?’ has gone up within the American foreign-policy establishment, where the main concern is Ankara’s purchase of Russian missiles.2

A different fictional life: Reviewing ‘The Bogans’

 

 

By Michael CookeLinks International Journal of Socialist Renewal

You see when you have a dark face White people expect certain things from you. To have an accent, to struggle with English and very importantly to be Indian, Sri Lankan, Pakistani or whatever the colour of your skin may suggest to them. I have been asked, not once but many times, if I am from Africa. But the last thing they expect you to be is Australian. Because you cannot be Australian if you are not White. Channa Wickremsekera[1]

This unthinking assertion of racial hierarchy regarding people of colour sees them retreating into their silos of identity, culture and religion.  This tendency is reinforced by the withdrawal of the state from some of its functions. While capitalist corporations have been the main beneficiaries of the outsourcing of government responsibilities, religious and cultural organisations and charities have also taken on some of the roles previously carried out by governments.

The socialism of Norbert Wiener

 

 

By Greg Adamson, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

 

The answer, of course, is to have a society based on human values other than buying or selling. To arrive at this society, we need a good deal of planning and a good deal of struggle, which, if the best comes to the best, may be on the plane of ideas, and otherwise—who knows?
–Cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, 1948

 

These profoundly radical words from Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) echo Malcolm X’s call to address structural racism in society “by any means necessary”. Yet Wiener is hardly known as a revolutionary. In fact, by the beginning of the 21st century his name was hardly known at all. Given that he is arguably the foremost 20th century thinker and commentator on the relationship between technology and society, this is unfortunate.

Philippines: A unity statement — Save the nation! Duterte resign!

 

 

April 16, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This statement was initially signed by 500 medical frontliners, educators, youth leaders, religious, lawyers, civic leaders and concerned citizens on April 15, 2021. See the growing list of signatories here

*****

For the past five years we have watched President Duterte’s incompetence, brutality, corruption and kowtowing to foreign powers destroy democratic governance as we know it. The Covid-19 pandemic only magnified his failures of leadership.

Over one year into the pandemic, the public health crisis has deepened. We have record numbers of daily infections, positivity rates and deaths. The public health system is at breaking point. Our economy is just as bad. Too many patients are dying without getting access to critical care. Millions have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the lockdowns and restrictions — the longest and harshest in the world yet glaringly ineffective. 

All these, Duterte shrugs off: “Maliit na bagay ito. Wala tayong magawa.” 

Philippines: Mr. President Duterte, the issue is competence; the solution is resignation

 

image

By Walden Bello

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rappler — 'When ordinary people...start to register serious doubts about the performance of the administration, that is a sign that it may not be light that is at the end of the tunnel that awaits it, but a crash'

No one expects Rodrigo Duterte to be another Winston Churchill, rallying the country in the face of a savage pandemic that, like the bombs falling on London during the Second World War, has dealt a terrible, swift death to unsuspecting friends and loved ones.

But the country certainly expects a president who does not project the image of a deer – eyes frozen by the headlights of an oncoming car – in the brief addresses he gives the nation. And over the last week, the nation has been deprived even of the chance to hear that paralyzed deer of a president, as he seems to have gone into hiding.

Philippines: Laban ng Masa’s declaration and platform for the 2022 elections

 

 

By Laban ng Masa

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal —  Is this the future you gave your life for?

If you were Gabriela Silang, Jose Rizal, or Andres Bonifacio and by some miracle you woke up and found yourself in today’s Philippines, would you say that this is the future you fought and shed your blood for?

With over 712,000 infections and over 13,000 deaths, catastrophic is the only way to describe Duterte’s Covid 19 policy. But then, how can you expect a regime that specializes in taking lives prioritize saving them? 

Defending Rojava means defending Abdullah Öcalan

 

 

By Internationalist Commune

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Internationalist Commune — There are some days when we no longer see the sky with so many enemies around us. The apocalypse seems more likely than the end of capitalism and we are surrounded by patriarchal attacks – inside and outside of us. Sometimes I can no longer believe that we can make revolution – revolution what does that even mean? A different life? All this seems so far away, so abstract- really like a distant utopia. And in all this leftist depression, Rojava is like a huge beacon of hope. Rojava, that is a revolution in the 21st century. This is a revolution that combines so many struggles, so many ideas – a society that organizes itself, a society without state, a society based on gender liberation and ecology. An anti-fascist revolution against colonialism, against imperialism. Rojava is the proof that another life is possible – Rojava is a living utopia, a vision of how the world after capitalism could look like and how we can get there. Rojava is a perspective during a time full of attacks.

United States: For a fighting approach, not factionalism — An interview with Kshama Sawant

 

 

By Andy Sernatinger & Emma Wilde Botta

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tempest — The most prominent independent elected socialist in the U.S., Kshama Sawant, recently announced, along with other members Socialist Alternative, that they would be joining the Democratic Socialists of America. At a time when the independent, democratic, and socialist political horizons of DSA are themselves at stake in the run-up to the summer 2021 convention, and in the aftermath of the failed Sanders presidential run, and in the glow of the liberal honeymoon for the Biden administration, this decision to join DSA has been both welcomed and criticised. This dynamic forms the important backdrop to this interview.

Aotearoa/New Zealand: Building links between trade unionists and environmentalism

 

Grant Brookes (right) with Green Party MP Julie Anne Genter

prior to giving the below speak to the Green Party Rongotai Branch.

By Grant Brookes

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Tēnā koe te Kaiwhakahaere ko Tom. E te whānau kākāriki, tēnā tātou. Ko Grant Brookes tōku ingoa. He mema o te uniana ahau. 

Greetings everyone. Thanks to Rongotai Branch Co-Convenor Tom, for inviting me to speak. My name is Grant Brookes. I’m a trade unionist. As mentioned in Tom’s introduction, I am also the National Co-Convenor of the PSA Eco Network, although I should stress at the outset that I am not speaking on behalf of the PSA this evening. 

Take the plant, save the planet: Workers and communities in the struggle for economic conversion

 

 

April 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — A discussion of the politics of plant conversion for an ecologically sustainable future with:

  • Francesca Hannan, an active member of We Are OshawaGreen Jobs Oshawa, and the Durham Food Policy Council. She has been involved in climate justice activism with Toronto-based groups, and her professional background is in environmental policy and law.
  • Stephen Buhler, an organizer with Climate Justice Edmonton and a full-time journeyman machinist currently working in the oil and gas sector.
  • Simon Black, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Labour Studies at Brock University and an organizer with Labour Against the Arms Trade.

Universal discrimination and the democratic camouflaging of culturalism

 

 

By Saladdin Ahmed

March 27, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The ideology that initiated the recent anti-leftist campaigns has been developing democratic discursive strategies for the last 75 years following the fall of old fascism in Europe. For instance, race-talk is no longer part of official and academic discourse; instead, culture-talk is prevalent, which is far more effective for the racist massification of people and the normalization of exclusionary fanaticism among ordinary people. 

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