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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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By Roger Annis and Felipe Stuart Courneyeur
January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – David Bush has published an appeal for reasoned and informed discussion in Canada of the war and humanitarian disaster in Syria. He calls for building (or rebuilding) movements in imperialist countries such as Canada to oppose war and foreign intervention in the Middle East. We welcome his appeal and write this essay as a contribution to the discussion David suggests be opened.
We do not agree entirely with David's presentation of the war in Syria. This contribution aims to fill in the gaps we believe he leaves. Hopefully, we can arrive at a better understanding in Canada of events in Syria and from there arrive at a clear path for action by an antiwar left wing.
By David Bush
January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project – The debate over Syria on the Left is toxic. I pulled together 13 points about the situation in Syria I hope can be useful in framing the discussion in a more productive way. The ultimate goal of these discussions in Western countries should be to have a clearer idea about how to strengthen antiwar movements to stop the madness of imperialism.
By Barry Sheppard
January 6, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– A feature of the recent election campaign was the deep divisions in both the Democratic and Republican parties. This was on top of the stalemate in Congress between the twin parties of capitalism. In addition, the nation is polarized over race, the economy and many other issues.
Also, it should be noted that there is and was no mass working class party that could have championed an alternative.
Donald Trump emerged and was then elected as the strongman who would take over and set things right, although exactly how he will do this has been left open on many issues.
January 6, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Antipodean Atheist with permission – There are many analyses of the incoming Donald Trump administration examining the reasons for his electoral victory, the racism and Islamophobia that he deployed to win votes, his populist appeals to the American working class, the emboldened position of the “alt-right”, and the ultra-rightist nature of his incoming cabinet.
It is no exaggeration to state, for instance, that his chief-of-staff, the man Trump turns to first for political advice, is an outright fascist. It is not difficult to ascertain that the leading personnel of the Trump regime, composed of billionaires, ex-generals and ultra-rightist psychopaths, are going to make life harder for the US working class – and by that I mean people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The candlelight protests that refuse to go out: Understanding the significance of South Korea’s latest protest wave
By Youngsu Won
January 5, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The last day of 2016 witnessed another historic moment in South Korean history: once again, a huge mobilization involving 1 million people took place, taking the total number of people mobilized in 10 successive national days of candlelight action to over 10 million. These historical mobilizations of people power have had a tremendous impact on every sphere of South Korean society and politics.
By Arash Azizi
— Karl Marx
December 31, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A few months ago, I left the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), an organization of which I had been a member for more than seven years. Many friends and comrades wrote to ask me to outline the reasons for this decision. I write these lines primarily for them. As someone who had recruited many to the ranks of the IMT, I felt responsible to explain why I had left it and what path do I see ahead in the fight for socialism. I don’t claim to have found a magical formula or the answer to all my questions but hope that these humble lines will be of interest to some.
By Don Fitz
December 31, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The sub-freezing temperature was dropping. As the snow began to fall, many felt their hands were too cold to hold signs during the December 17 action. Two dozen had answered the Green Party call to picket the mayor of St. Louis for his efforts to close down New Life Evangelistic Center, the city's homeless “shelter-of-last-resort.” They knew things would be much worse for those forced to sleep in the cold if the shelter were shut down. The action was one in a series of efforts to draw attention to the city government's continual onslaught against those with no place to go.
By Doug Enaa Greene
December 30, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Socialist Review with the author’s permission –– Antonio Labriola, if he is known today at all, is remembered as a minor Marxist theorist in the Second International, overshadowed by such well known figures as Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, or Eduard Bernstein. Sometimes Labriola will be mentioned as a formative influence on the Marxism of Antonio Gramsci and Leon Trotsky. Yet Labriola deserves to be known and studied based on his own merits. He provided a critique of Second International orthodox Marxism, arguing that it divorced theory and practice, engaged in sterile, dogmatic systematization, and held to an economically deterministic form of Marxism. Labriola revived Marxism as an open philosophy of praxis, that is, as a critical and revolutionary method. He did not take for granted the inevitability of historical progress, but argued that it was necessary for socialists to intervene actively in shaping it.
By Steve Ellner
December 30, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Steve Ellner’s blog with the author’s permission –– Many analysts have belittled the seriousness of Donald Trump's anti-globalization rhetoric and even such jingoistic proposals as the construction of a wall along the Mexican border. They point to Trump’s appointments of such global players as Rex Tillerson and Steven Mnuchin as evidence that Trump cannot and will not turn his back on global commitments and realities.
Along these lines, William I. Robinson (whose work I have always admired and used extensively in the classroom) argues that Trump represents the rise of neo-fascism, but in no way threatens to put a halt to, or a break on, globalization. As proof, he points to the global dimensions of Trump’s own capitalist holdings.
In contrast to Robinson, I argue that globalization is still basically a tendency rather than an all-encompassing reality and that the nation state is a fundamental element, which has to be at the center of any analysis of the world’s political economy.
By Uriel Barrera
December 17, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In life, Fidel did not allow the establishment of a personality cult around him; so let’s make this painful occasion a tribute to his memory.
By Malik Miah
December 16, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — So much is said about why Donald Trump won the presidency, and the anger of the white working class. White supremacists are overjoyed by his victory. White Americans who believed that they had suffered so-called “reverse discrimination” from Blacks, Latinos and undocumented immigrants proclaimed the defeat of “identity politics.” Many feel confident to strike out verbally and at times physically against Muslims and others.
Much less is written or discussed about the failures of liberalism and the Obama presidency for Blacks and other minorities who voted for Hillary Clinton as a lesser evil.
By Youngsu Won
December 12, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 10, downtown Seoul was lit up by candles once again. One million people turned out for candle light rallies across the country, a day after President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. In Seoul, a huge crowd of eight hundred thousand people gathered at Gwanghwamoon Square and marched toward the Blue House (presidential palace).
A wave of historically unprecedented mobilisations by South Korean indignados forced parliament to impeach the incompetent and corrupt president. It was a significant victory for peoples power. However, in the wake of this historical triumph, the popular struggle is heading into uncertain terrains.
By Cinzia Arruzza
December 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Listening to the media, you would think that yesterday’s Italian referendum results were yet another victory of right-wing populism against democracy. The situation, however, is much more complex than this, and the No victory is a victory for democracy and for the defense of social rights worth celebrating.
By Youngsu Won
December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 9, Parliament voted in favor of a presidential impeachment by 234 votes to 56, with 7 invalid votes and 2 abstentions. Over 30,000 protesters were present to celebrate the impeachment. The votes in favor of impeachment exceeded what was expected, though it was slightly lower than the 81% support for impeachment among public opinion.
By Marta Harnecker, translated by Federico Fuentes for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
By Barry Sheppard
December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Native Americans and their allies won an important battle in their fight to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline going through historic tribal lands of the Sioux, and under part of the Missouri River where the Sanding Rock Sioux reservation gets its drinking water.
By Patrick Bond
December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Standard&Poors (S&P) gave South Africa a fearful few hours of anticipation last Friday, just after dust from the political windstorm of the prior week settled. The agency downgraded the government’s securities that are denominated in the local currency (the rand) although refrained from the feared junk status on international securities. It was a moment for the ruling business and political party elites’ introspection, but in heaving a sigh of relief they are not looking far enough.
By S. Balasubramanian
[For more background on South Korea's çivic revolution, read Youngsu Won's previous article here.]
By Youngsu Won
December 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — December 3 saw another mega-protest hit President Park Geun-hye’s regime, with more than 2.32 million angry South Koreans participating in the 6th national candlelight protest called in recent weeks. Concerns of a lower turn out were swept aside, with the turnout surpassing the recently set record of 2 million people for the largest mobilisation in the country's history. Protesters demanded Park’s immediate and unconditional resignation. The massive outpour of anger has put back in motion an impeachment process that Park had hoped to derail.
By Youngsu Won
December 3 — Green Left Weekly / Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — South Korea is currently in a vortex of an unprecedented political crisis.