Donate to Links
Click on Links masthead to clear previous query from search box
- Transitional demands not enough
2 days 1 hour ago
- R.I.P Rolihlahla
2 days 14 hours ago
2 days 22 hours ago
- Deja Vu
6 days 10 hours ago
- So The Party is Not Yet Over?
6 days 22 hours ago
- It is a dictatorship against
1 week 2 days ago
- "transitional" state capitalism not ecological
1 week 2 days ago
- Ecology in the former Soviet Union
1 week 3 days ago
- European pollution a drop in the Ocean
2 weeks 19 hours ago
- socialists and elections etc
2 weeks 2 days ago
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).
This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.
Balearic Islands (Spain): Attack on language rights provokes indefinite teachers’ strike, citizens' revolt
By Dick Nichols
October 1, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The school year should have already begun on the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula), but it hasn’t. Since September 16, high school and primary teachers have been on an indefinite strike.
On September 30, after an earlier mass meeting of the cross-union Teachers’ Assembly voted to stay out, the strike entered its third week.
The day before, the Balearic Islands saw their biggest ever demonstrations, when at least 100,000 came out to support the teachers and to protest against the education and language policy of the regional People’s Party (PP) government of Jose Ramon Bauzá and his education minister Joana Maria Camps.
By Raymond Suttner
September 27, 2013 -- Weekly Mail & Guardian (South Africa) -- For some time political commentators have been proved wrong when predicting the collapse of the tripartite alliance (made up of the African National Congress, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions) and suggesting that splits in these organisations could lead to the formation of a new political party that might displace the ANC.
At this moment, for the first time one can say without any sense of exaggeration, the ANC, South African Communist Party, COSATU alliance, insofar as it exists, has no ideological coherence or significance and provides little political leadership and direction. It may exist as a name but it no longer captures the moral fervour that led millions to place their hopes in them.
The glue that binds survives at the leadership level, where the spoils of office have been spread to a significant number of members of the SACP leadership and a fair number of former COSATU leaders. With the absorption of the top COSATU leadership into the ANC's national executive committee, the relationship is consolidated by the prospect of their being offered cabinet posts or other rewards, which are part of the largesse that the ANC in government can dispense.
Malaysia: Urgent protest needed -- Socialist leader and 11 other activists detained in anti-eviction struggle
Socialist Party of Malaysia's general secretary S. Arutchelvan being arrested.
October 1, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Please spread the news that the Socialist Party of Malaysia's general secretary S. Arutchelvan (Arul) and 11 other protesters have been detained. Please contact the Mantin Police Station to question the arrests and demand the release of those detained.
Call chief inspector Rashid on 0675812222 to demand their release. Please email solidarity messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call 12 orang termasuk Arul ditahan polis kerana pertahan pemaju roboh Kg. Hakka, Mantin.
* * *
On September 30, 2013, in their effort to stop developers from demolishing Kampung Hakka Mantin, five residents and seven activists were arrested by police. It is also reported that one resident was injured during the commotion. Among those picked up was Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan.
Around 90 residents and activists gathered at the village in Negri Sembilan, attempting to negotiate with the developer, police and court representative, who came to demolish the houses. The negotiation broke down at 11.20 am, and the authorities proceeded to detain those trying to stop the demolition.
By Dan La Botz
September 25, 2013 -- New Politics, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Since school began again on August 19, tens of thousands of teachers have been engaged in strikes and demonstrations throughout Mexico—including seizing public buildings, highway toll booths and border crossing stations, occupying public buildings and city plazas, and blocking foreign embassies—actions taken against the Education Reform Law and the new Professional Teaching Law and over local demands linked to wages and working conditions. While these are traditional tactics, these are the largest and most militant teachers’ union demonstrations in Mexican history.
September 26, 2013 -- Very little is known about Nicolas Maduro, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in Spain. [There’s] scarcely four lines, mainly contributed by the mass media which is hostile to the revolutionary process. Spain's El Viejo Topo wanted to get to know him, and the Venezuelan president accepted the interview without any hassles.
By Richard Fidler, La Paz, Bolivia
September 26, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Washington’s refusal to allow Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro to over-fly its colony of Puerto Rico on September 19 attracted little attention in the North American and European media.
But in Latin America this arrogant gesture drew immediate outrage. It recalled the July 2 denial by four European countries — France, Italy, Spain and Portugal — of landing and refuelling rights and passage through their airspace to Bolivia’s president Evo Morales while he was returning home from a trip to Moscow. This unprecedented attack on Bolivia’s sovereignty, clearly at Washington’s behest, had been defended on the fallacious grounds that Morales’ plane harboured US espionage whistleblower Edward Snowden.
By Mike Marqusee
September 27, 2013 -- Red Pepper, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- I’m one of the thousands who signed up to the Left Unity appeal issued by Ken Loach in March to discuss the formation of a new party of the left. I did so because I believe the continued absence of an effective left alternative to the Labour Party hampers our resistance to austerity, racism, war and environmental degradation.
Left Unity has no shortage of doubters. There are many who reject electoral politics altogether and others who remain committed to working in the Labour Party. And not a few who simply doubt the left’s capacity to measure up to the challenge.
Karl Marx, A Nineteenth Century Life
By Jonathan Sperber,
Liveright Publishing, 2013
By Barry Healy
September 26, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In life Karl Marx lived a tumultuous, revolutionary life and in death he has likewise been less than tranquil. Alive, he was the best hated man in Europe. For the ruling classes and police spies he personified the “spectre” that was haunting the continent, the demonic rise of communist revolution.
After his death he was bleached of his humanity, canonised by his admirers and slandered by his bourgeois enemies. Both misrepresented him.
His enormous collection of notes and half-formulated writings were bequeathed first to his long-time political collaborator Frederick Engels and later to the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Engels laboured long and hard and managed to produce the second and third volumes of Capital.
By Michael Karadjis
September 25, 2013 -- Syrian Revolution Commentary and Analysis, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- For two and a half years, the Bashar Assad regime has waged a barbaric war against the Syrian populace, using long-range missiles, fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships, tanks, artillery, cluster bombs and almost certainly chemical weapons, not to forget everyday machine gunning and torture, in a bid to crush the heroic uprising of Syria’s “wretched of the earth”, the peasants and urban poor, against his gangster-capitalist regime.
Front de Gauche leader Jean-Luc Melenchon discusses the threat of a US attack on Syria, broadcast September 1, 2013. Below is an earlier TV appearance by Melenchon in which he also discusses Syria. (Note: to improve the resolution of the subtitles in each, press play then click on the "cog" at the bottom of the video, and increase the setting for "quality" to at least 360p. Then restart the video.)
Seats won: SV – Socialist Left Party; A – Labour Party; MDG – Green Party; FRP – Progress Party; H – Conservative Party; V – Liberal Party; KRF – Christian Democrats; SP – Centre Party. Source: http://www.valgresultat.no/bs7g.html.
By Asbjørn Wahl and Roy Pedersen
September 20, 2013 -- Transform! -- The red-green coalition government in Norway, whose political platform when it took power in 2005 was called the most progressive in Europe, experienced a bitter defeat in the country’s parliamentary election on September 9. A coalition of four centre-right and right-wing parties, including a right-wing populist party, gained a solid majority and are now negotiating the political platform for a new government.
Members of the left-wing Die Linke celebrating their victory over the Greens, and the demise of their rivals the FDP.
September 23, 2013 -- The Local -- Despite dropping a few percentage points since 2009, the socialist Left party (Die Linke) celebrated becoming the third biggest party in Germany's parliament after the September 22 general election.
For a party well-used to being excluded from post-election celebrations, the atmosphere at Die Linke's election party was first of tense excitement, and then of triumph.
As the first exit polls were announced, the edgy, warehouse-like brewery venue in Berlin's trendy Prenzlauer Berg district erupted in whooping that the socialist Die Linke would likely beat the Greens to become the third-biggest political party in the German parliament.
The first estimates of the election's result placed Die Linke at 8.5 per cent - down half a percent from their last poll score - but half a point ahead of the Greens.
A specially impassioned roar of approval came with the news that the business-friendly FDP had dropped to 4.5 per cent, meaning the liberal party, natural rivals to the socialist Linke, will not be able to enter the Bundestag at all.
This will be the first time the FDP are not represented in the Bundestag since 1949.
By Barry Sheppard
September 15, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- The proposal by Russia, accepted by the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, for Syria’s chemical weapons to be turned over to an international authority (presumably the United Nations) for destruction, has temporarily put off Washington’s plans for war against Syria.
US President Barack Obama has postponed asking US Congress to approve of his plans to attack Syria. This represents a political defeat for the war drive.
Even if Washington scuttles the proposed agreement and goes ahead with war, it will do so with even less support at home and abroad than it had before the Russian proposal.
The main force blocking the proposed attack has been the opposition of the world's people especially in the United States.
In spite of huge pressure, in the face of mass opposition of their own citizens, few countries have backed bombing Syria. Only one country has fully said it would take part militarily ― Saudi Arabia, a well-known bastion of liberal democracy and human rights.
An aerial view of part of the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador's northeastern jungle. Photograph by Dolores Ochoa/AP.
By Gerard Coffey
September 16, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The remarkable proposal by Ecuador to leave about 900 million barrels of heavy crude in the ground in exchange for international contributions amounting to about half its value, was recently abandoned by President Rafael Correa.
Baba Jan addressing displaced villagers in Hunza Valley in 2010.
By Haseeb ur Rahman
September 21, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In January 2010, a terrible disaster unfolded in the Hunza Valley in Gilgit Baltistan (a formerly self-governing territory occupied by Pakistan since 1948) when a massive landslide blocked the Hunza River and formed a gigantic 19 kilometre-wide lake that submerged four villages. Some 25 people lost their lives and 6000 people were displaced.
These internally displaced people (IDPs) were moved to the towns of Gilgit and Hunza. Pakistan's PM and other officials visited the IDPs in Hunza and promised compensation. When, more than a year later, people took to the streets in protest for not getting the promised compensation, the police killed a man and his son in broad daylight by opening fire on the peaceful protest. A riot followed.
In that riot, 25 demonstrators were injured. When Progressive Youth Front leader Baba Jan and his comrades protested against this brutality, they were also arrested. Most of those arrested were released soon after but Baba Jan along with four of his companions were kept. They were tortured and beaten up brutally.
Following an international solidarity campaign, Baba Jan was released after a year in detention but his companions were kept in jail.
Billionaire sweatshop sponger Bruce Rockowitz's CEO in October 2011 Rockowitz married Hong Kong pop star Coco Lee in a ceremony that reportedly cost $20 million. The company he manages had a combined net worth of $6.2 billion in 2012.
By David L. Wilson
September 19, 2013 -- Climate & Capitalism -- Consumers are ultimately the ones responsible for dangerous conditions in garment assembly plants in the global South, Hong Kong-based business executive Bruce Rockowitz told the New York Times recently. The problem is that improved safety would raise the price of clothing, according to Rockowitz, who heads Li & Fung Limited, a sourcing company that hooks up retailers like Macy’s and Kohl’s with suppliers in low-wage countries like Bangladesh. ”So far”, he said, “consumers have just not been willing to accept higher costs”.
General L.G. Kornilov, Moscow, August 1917.
By John Riddell
September 15, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Two months after Egypt’s generals ousted its elected Muslim Brotherhood government, there is still a wide spectrum of views among socialists regarding the meaning of this event (see “Socialists need to rethink the military takeover”).
This discussion can be deepened by considering a few precedents from socialist history – some well known, others obscure.
1. 1917: The Kornilov coup
By Dick Nichols, Barcelona
September 16, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On September 11, Catalonia’s national day (the Diada), around 1.6 million Catalans linked arms to form the Via Catalana (Catalan Way), a 400-kilometre human chain demanding a referendum on independence for the country.
Chin Peng holds up page one of The Straits Times newspaper of
By Choo Chon Kai, International Bureau, Socialist Party of Malaysia/Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)
September 17, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is deeply saddened over the passing of Chin Peng, secretary-general of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). We would like to express our condolences to Chin Peng’s family and his comrades in the CPM.
Chin Peng was a determined, resourceful anti-colonial and anti-imperialist fighter who led the heroic struggle against the Japanese occupation and British colonisation of Malaya. He played a significant role in the national liberation struggle of Malaya and he definitely has his place in the history of the independence of our country.
By Michael Lebowitz
September 13, 2013 -- The Bullet, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission. This essay is from a talk given to the Centre for Political Emancipation in Belgrade, Serbia, on May 6, 2013. It can also be seen above and on YouTube. -- Why did "real socialism" and, in particular the Soviet Union, fall? Let me note a few explanations that have been offered. With respect to the Soviet Union, one very interesting explanation that has been suggested is that it's all the fault of Mikhail Gorbachev. And not simply the errors of Gorbachev but the treachery. Those who offer this explanation rely in particular upon a document which is sometimes described as his confession. This document begins as follows: