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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Nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to say: How the broad climate movement has failed us

 

 

Greenpeace activists during a protest in Paris at the COP21 United Nations climate change conference in November.

 

By James Jordan

 

January 13, 2016 - Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal - It has been a month since the UN climate summit in Paris, aka COP 21. One might expect the kind of ebb and flow we often see in popular movements. Interest in climate issues, the cause of the day during the summit, might be expected to wane and move to the back burner of public discourse until such time as another development pushes it forward again.

 

However, climate change is fundamentally different. It is going to get worse — we will be getting slapped in the face with this one for a long, long time, even under the best scenarios. Only a few weeks after COP 21, the world experienced a wave of floods and extreme weather exacerbated by global warming. In the US, there were record-setting floods along the Mississippi River. In South America, floods caused the evacuation of 180,000 persons. In Scotland, floods cut across class lines to threaten a historic castle neighboring the Queen's Balmoral residence, its foundation being eaten away by the swollen Dee river. Meanwhile, oil wars and drought continue to drive an immigration crisis in Syria and throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. The issue of climate is not the “struggle du jour” - it is going to be the main course for quite a while.

 

‘Venezuela defines the future of the progressive cycle’ An interview with Claudio Katz

 

Introduced and translated by Richard Fidler, article original published in Spanish in La Llamarada

 

July 14, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Two recent events — the second-round victory on November 22 of right-wing candidate Mauricio Macri in Argentina’s presidential election, and the December 6 victory of the right-wing Democratic Unity Roundtable,[1] winning two thirds of the seats in Venezuela’s National Assembly elections — have radically altered the political map in South America. In the following interview, Argentine Marxist Claudio Katz discusses what these setbacks for the left mean for the progressive “process of change” that has unfolded on the continent over the last 10-15 years. My translation from the Spanish.

 

Katz is a professor of economics at the University of Buenos Aires, a researcher with the National Council of Science and Technology, and a member of Economists of the Left.[2]

 

The Tragedies of the Global Commons and the Global Working Class: Reflections on the Papal Encyclical

Michael A. Lebowitz (pictured) will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.

By Michael A. Lebowitz

Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalAn earlier version of this paper was presented at ‘The First World Congress on Marxism’ at Peking University, 10 October 2015 in Beijing, China.

‘On Care for Our Common Home’: the premises

Everybody is talking about it — the dangers presented by climate change. Adding significantly, though, to the emphasis upon the need to take dramatic action now has been Pope Francis’s recent Encyclical Laudati Si’, ‘On Care for our Common Home’. Its over-riding theme is that we must ‘protect our common home’. ‘The climate,’ the document stresses, ‘is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all’ and is ‘linked to many of the essential conditions for human life’ (23). Not only, however, are we destroying those conditions but, ‘the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth’ (21). How is it, the Encyclical asks, that we have ‘so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years’ (53)?

The Struggle for India's Future (Part Three of Three Part Series)

 

Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya addresses a mass rally.

 

By Paul Le Blanc 

 

[This article was inspired by a recent tour of India, in the summer of 2015.  It is the conclusion to an exploration initiated in two previous articles: “India Yesterday: Development and Revolution” and “India Today”.]

 

In two previous contributions on India, I have explored the history of its development, including the great revolution which resulted in its independence, and also the nature and problems of capitalist development in that country more or less up to the present time. What is presented here is necessarily more fragmentary and tentative, and should be seen more as notes than as any kind of complete report or finished analysis.

The Spanish state versus Catalonia: a decisive battle has begun

 

 People wave pro-independence flags as they gather outside the Parliament of Catalonia in Barcelona. Read more on Portugal.

Portugal: 'Europe is very concerned' as new gov't likely short-lived

 Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho (front) and Deputy minister Paulo Portas leave a press meeting after talks with Socialist party (PS) leader Antonio Costa in Lisbon, October 13. Read more about Portugal.


By Dick Nichols

The incoming government of Portugal will most probably prove to be the briefest in modern Portuguese history.

It is headed by conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Pedro Passos Coelho, whom Portuguese president Cavaco Silva appointed on October 22 to repeat as prime minister. Passos Coelho has already overseen the application of the 2011 “bail-out” memorandum applied to Portugal by the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund). The PSD will again be joined by the neoliberal Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP), with whom it ran in the October 4 legislative election as the Portugal Ahead coalition.

'If we've come so far, this can't go wrong' -- Interview with CUP deputy in Catalan parliament

Antonio Baños (pictured) was the lead candidate for the left-nationalist People's Unity Candidacies—Constituent Call (CUP) in the September 27 Catalan elections. Read more about the Catalan struggle here.

 

Antonio Baños, journalist and author of The Catalan Rebellion, was the lead candidate for the anti-capitalist left nationalist People's Unity Candidacies—Constituent Call (CUP) in the September 27 Catalan elections. The CUP scored a major success at the poll, increasing it presence from three seats to ten in the 135-seat Catalan parliament (for further analysis, see here).

Presently involved in negotiations with the the winning pro-independence ticket Together For Yes, Baños outlines the CUP's view of the present stage of the Catalan independence process.  For Baños, the new road to independence is too complex to be reduced to the debate over whether Catalan premier Artur Mas should continue in that role—opposed by the CUP--and therefore prefers that negotiations with Together For Yes and other organisations and groups focus on how to start disobeying the laws of the Spanish state and the decisions of its Constitutional Court, and on how to shield Catalan institutions from attacks from Spain.

Baños insists: "If we've come this far, this can't go wrong.”

India Today (Part Two of Three-Part Series)

 

 Workers taking part in a two-day general strike in 2013 involving more than 100 million people.

 

By Paul Le Blanc

 

[This article was inspired by a recent tour of India by the author, in the summer of 2015.  Read the first piece, "India Yesterday". The third, “The Struggle for India’s Future”, will be published shortly. Read more articles by Paul Le Blanc.]

 

When I first visited India, to attend the Mumbai (Bombay) World Social Forum in 2004, I was overwhelmed by the poverty that I saw there – its extensive and intensive qualities outmatching poverty I had seen in United States slums, in Mexican shantytowns, in U.S.-devastated Nicaragua – offset only by the incredible vitality and energy of these impoverished men, women and children as they worked and struggled to ensure the survival of their families and themselves.

 

Portuguese elections: surge in Left Bloc support puts Socialist Party on the spot

 

 Left Bloc activists. Read more about Portugal here.

 

By Dick Nichols

Will Portugal finally see the end of austerity as administered for four years by the right-wing coalition of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre—People's Party (CDS-PP)?

In the country's October 4 elections this governing alliance, running for the first time as a single ticket called Portugal Ahead (except on the Azores), won the elections, but with only 38.4 % of the vote (down from 50.4% at the 2011 national election). Of the 5.4 million Portuguese who voted, 739,000 turned their back on the outgoing government, leaving it with only 107 seats in the 230-seat parliament (down 25).

As a result, the PSD-CSD alliance,  which boasted during the election campaign of being the most reliable tool of the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund), could even lose government.

YPG statement in reaction to Amnesty report

 Read more about the Kurdish struggle

 

18th Oct 2015

 

Amnesty International Report, published on 12 October 2015 and titled, "We Had Nowhere Else to Go – Forced Displacement and Demolitions in Northern Syria" is contradictory and puts the credibility of the organisation at stake.

 

Preface

1. The Basic Argument to Respond

1.1. The content of the report contradicts its title, and this is enough to prove its invalidity and to call for the prosecution of its authors.

1.2. The accusations in the report contradict Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

2. Supporting Arguments

2.1. Hurling unsubstantiated accusations without sufficient evidence.

India Yesterday: Development and Revolution (Part 1 of Three-Part Series)

 

Front page of The Times of India on 15 August 1947, carrying news reports on the first Independence Day. - See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/benjamin-zachariah/gandhi-non-violence-and-indian-independence#sthash.0QqEQhxT.dpuf
Front page of The Times of India on 15 August 1947, carrying news reports on the first Independence Day. - See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/benjamin-zachariah/gandhi-non-violence-and-indian-independence#sthash.0QqEQhxT.dpuf

 Front page of the Times of India on August 15, 1947.

Front page of The Times of India on 15 August 1947, carrying news reports on the first Independence Day. - See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/benjamin-zachariah/gandhi-non-violence-and-indian-independence#sthash.0QqEQhxT.dpuf
Front page of The Times of India on 15 August 1947, carrying news reports on the first Independence Day. - See more at: http://www.historytoday.com/benjamin-zachariah/gandhi-non-violence-and-indian-independence#sthash.0QqEQhxT.dpuf

By Paul Le Blanc

Catalonia: Half-won independence battle guarantees harsher war with Spanish state

More than 1.4 million people marched to support Catalan independence on September 11. The September 27 elections were seen as a de facto referendum on independence, in which pro-independence parties won a majority of seats but not the popular vote.

By Dick Nichols

Who won the September 27 elections for the Catalan parliament, called as a substitute for the Scottish-style independence referendum that the People's Party (PP) government of the Spanish state has always refused to allow? It depends whom you ask.

On the night most of the commentators on Madrid-based TV and radio called the result as a defeat for the pro-independence camp: its two tickets—the mainstream nationalist Together for Yes and the anti-capitalist People's Unity Candidacies (CUP)--had won only 47.74% of the vote against 52.26% for "the rest".

SYRIZA’s Pyrrhic victory, and the future of the left in Greece

Syriza 

Syriza supporters celebrate re-election of Alexis Tsipras as Greece's president. 

by Richard Fidler

September 25, 2015 -- lifeonleft.blogspot.com reposted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the wake of the September 20 Greek election SYRIZA has once again formed a coalition government with a small right-wing party, ANEL.[1] Both parties lost votes and seats but their standing, like those of most other parties, was not very dissimilar to the results in January, when SYRIZA was first elected.

 

SYRIZA’s 35.46% and ANEL’s 3.69%, combined, were sufficient to give them a majority of 155 seats in the 300-seat parliament under Greece’s electoral law, which gives 50 additional seats to the party with a plurality, in this case (as before) SYRIZA. However, voter turnout was at an all-time low, 44% of the electorate abstaining although voting is mandatory in Greece. This means that SYRIZA was supported by only 20% of eligible voters.[2]

 

And this is a very different party, and government, than the one elected in January.

 

Greece: SYRIZA's scores clear win amid high abstention, more austerity

 

 Read more on Greece.

By Dick Nichols

SYRIZA pulled off a remarkable victory at the September 20 Greek election. Although burdened  by its acceptance of the draconian third memorandum of Greece's creditors and eight months of rule in the midst of recession, closed banks and capital controls, SYRIZA's vote fell by only 0.88% and its parliamentary seats by just four.

On September 20 SYRIZA won 35,46% and 145 seats: at the January 25 election it won 36.34% and 149 seats. Its lead over the main opposition party, the conservative New Democracy, fell by only 1.17%, from 8.53% in January to 7.36% today.

While the ND vote increased marginally, from 27.81% to 28.1%, it actually lost a seat, passing from 76 to 75.

In January, SYRIZA was the leading party in 42 of Greece's 56 constituencies, and ND in 14: after this election the numbers are exactly the same, with SYRIZA overtaking ND as leading party in three regional constituencies, while ND replaced SYRIZA as leading party in another three.

Is Maduro taking Chavismo down the pragmatic path? An interview with Steve Ellner (part 2)

Steve Ellner

Steve Ellner addresses a forum in 2014 on Chavismo in Caracas, Venezuela.

In the first part of the interview (available here) conducted by Evaristo Marcano, Professor Steve Ellner contextualized government politics that favored those businesspeople who did not support the general strike of 2002-2003. According to him, the strategy was relatively successful from a political viewpoint, but not an economic one. In the second part of the interview, Ellner argues that populist policies also have to be contextualized in order to be objectively analyzed. At the same time, he calls for a critical examination of the assertion that the government’s social programs and labor policies have generated low levels of productivity.

E.M. Populism is a topic that has been widely studied and has generated considerable polemics. Renowned analysts specializing in Latin America have dedicated considerable effort to understand the phenomenon. Recently, Margarita López Maya, in an article published in a daily of national circulation, maintained that the upcoming elections in Venezuela will pit the populist model against democracy. By framing the issue in these terms, is she not ignoring the complexity of a phenomenon that, at least in Latin America, has many variations?

Naomi Klein: 'Now is not the time for small steps. Now is the time for boldness'

Naomi Klein
 
 

Speech given by Naomi Klein (pictured) on September 5 to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Sydney Opera House, Sydney.

Nicolas Del Caño (FIT): 'Queremos una izquierda que denuncie a la casta política y acompañe a los trabajadores en sus luchas'

Del Cano 

Iniciado hace poco más de cuatro años, el Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores frontal (FIT) se ha convertido en un punto de referencia clave para la izquierda en Argentina, y está rápidamente ganando su lugar en la escena política nacional.

Is Maduro taking Chavismo down the pragmatic path? An interview with Steve Ellner (part 1)

 

Steve Ellner

 

 Steve Ellner addresses a forum on Chavismo in Caracas, Venezuela.

Steve Ellner is a well-known analyst of Venezuelan and Latin American politics and is a retired professor at the Universidad de Oriente. He has published scores of journal articles and over a dozen books, his last being the edited Latin America’s Radical Left: Challenges and Complexities of Political Power in the Twenty First Century, published by Rowman & Littlefield.

This interview by Evaristo Marcano was originally published in Spanish in Aporrea.org and Rebelion.org

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