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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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United States: Demands from grassroots organizers concerning COVID-19

 

 

March 10, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transformative Spaces — The Trump administration has botched its response to COVID-19. Due to incompetence and an unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes, the administration has worsened an already serious situation. COVID-19 is a deadly public health threat that must be taken seriously. We are a group of organizers whose work addresses a variety of issues, and we recognize that there is no organizing community or area of our work that will not be touched by this crisis. We hope this list of demands will serve as a tool for organizers and activists who are crafting their own responses to COVID-19. Panic is dangerous and often accompanied by violence against marginalized people. We believe responsible, productive dialogues about the needs of our communities must be initiated throughout the country.

Coronavirus – Apocalypse Now?

 

 

By Phil Hearse

March 9, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — Pentecostal Christians – and probably many others – believe that at the ‘end of days’, which precedes the second coming of Christ, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride out. The four horsemen are generally interpreted as being pestilence, death, famine and war. If Pentecostals are thinking logically (as if) they should be expecting to see the Lamb of God some time soon. In the wake of wars that have killed more than 500,000 since 2001 and an accelerating environmental crisis dramatised by the Australian firestorms, the current Covid-19 outstrips dystopian science fiction stories like Outbreak. What American Marxist author Mike Davis described as The Monster at our Door has, in a rather different form, burst through the door. At the time of writing (6 March) more than 100,000 people globally are now thought to have the virus, and 3,400 or more have died. There seems little hope now of significant containment, especially as many states lack the health infrastructure or social organisation to impose Chinese-style restrictions. In Britain the full horror of the virus is yet to be unleashed. But it is coming.

Feminists, internationalists, anticapitalists

 

 

By Penelope Duggan

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — The new rise of the women’s movement in recent years has been propelled largely by the issue of violence. Since the first manifesto of Ni Una Menos in Argentina in 2015, the challenge has been to violence against women in its economic, social, state, domestic and gender forms. In 2016 Polish women mobilized on the issue of abortion and the first feminist women’s strikes took place.

#8M2020 and uniting feminists in Venezuela: A conversation with Ketsy Medina

 

 

By Cira Pascual Marquina

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Ketsy Medina is an inventive writer, committed photographer, and brilliant conversationalist. On November 30, 2017, her mother, Maigualida Sifontes, was a victim of femicide. The assassin is still at large and crime-scene evidence was “lost” in police custody. This experience triggered Medina’s struggle for justice for her mother and other victims of femicide. In this interview, Medina talks about her personal journey and the recent efforts to build a united feminist movement in Venezuela.

United States: Why is Joe Biden winning?

 

 

By Dan La Botz

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — Joe Biden turned out to be the big winner on Super Tuesday. While not all of the votes have been counted, Biden seems likely to end up with a majority. He is now positioned to do well in the rest of the primaries and is likely to come into the Democratic Party Convention with majority of delegates. The major media, as to be expected, are hailing him as the Democratic Party savior.

Bernie might make a comeback. Perhaps, as some have suggested, Elizabeth Warren, whose own campaign has no way forward, might endorse him. Sanders and Warren aides are reportedly discussing that possibility. That would give Sanders a real boost—but it seems unlikely. Remember that Warren declared, “I’m a capitalist to my bones.” A Warren endorsement of Biden might win her a cabinet post.

But let’s turn to the real question: Why is Biden winning?

Britain: How should the left and labour movement respond to coronavirus?

 

 

By Mark Findlay

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance — Over the few days there has been a significant escalation of cases of coronavirus cases in Britain with numbers currently at 90 – more than double the figures of 40 two days earlier. Cases have appeared in people who haven’t travelled abroad and where no contact with a known carrier has so far been found. And it appears that some people may be more liable to pass on the virus than others; “superspreaders

Transborder Call for a Feminist Strike on March 8th and 9th 2020

 

 

Dear sister comrades from all over the world, 

The undersigned collectives met to add their voices to the multiple calls coming from working class, indigenous, Black and peasant women, as well as students, lesbians, trans and travestis to mobilize for action and revolt on March 8th and 9th. We call for building common strategies to keep feeding the feminist rebellion which is spreading all over the world against domination, exploitation, occupation, and dispossession.

US Presidential election: following the money

 

 

By Kim Moody

March 6, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from RS21 — Political parties without members. Presidential elections in which you don’t vote for the candidate you favour and where the candidate with a majority of the votes can lose. An electoral ‘college’ with no classrooms or physical location composed of ‘electors’ you’ve never heard of. ‘Primary’ elections invented a century ago by elitists who called themselves ‘progressives’ to undermine party organisation. These are the basic elements of the US system of choosing the county’s president and vice president. Not clear? All bourgeois democracies have ‘democratic deficits’, but that in the United State has some unique features. Let’s start at the beginning.

No, the coronavirus is not responsible for the fall of stock prices

 

 

By Eric Toussaint

 

March 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CADTM — We are witnessing a big crisis in the stock markets of the Wall Street, Europe, Japan and Shanghai, and many blame the coronavirus for it. In the last week of February 2020, the worst week since October 2008, the Dow Jones fell 12.4%, the S&P 500 fell 11.5% and the Nasdaq Composite fell 10.5%. The scenario is similar in Europe and Asia for the corresponding period. On the London Stock Exchange, the FTSE-100 fell by 11.32%, in Paris the CAC 40 fell by 12%, in Frankfurt the DAX lost 12.44%, on the Tokyo Stock Exchange the Nikkei fell by 9.6%, the Chinese stock exchanges (Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong) also fell.

United States: How socialists can govern

 

 

By Bill Fletcher Jr. 

March 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Dissent — Bernie Sanders’s presidential primary run in 2016 saw 13 million people vote for a democratic socialist. Two years later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s underdog, grassroots-driven victory against one of Congress’s most powerful Democrats shook the political establishment. Combined with the election of Donald Trump, these two campaigns reignited interest in something many on the left had shied away from for the better part of a century: electoral power.

United States: Left debates Green Party campaign, safe states and 2020 election strategy

 

 

An open letter to the Green Party about 2020 election strategy

By Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters, and Michael Albert

January 27, 2020 As the 2020 presidential election approaches the Green Party faces the challenge of settling on a platform, choosing a candidate for president, and deciding its campaign strategy. In that context, Howie Hawkins, a contender for Green Party presidential candidate, recently published a clear and cogent essay titled "The Green Party Is Not the Democrats' Problem." It represents a precedent Green Party stance which may guide Green campaign policy. We agree with much, but find some ideas very troubling.

South Korea's COVID-19 crisis: The work of a millennial sect?

 

 

By Youngsu Won

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The abrupt mass outbreak of COVID-19 has shocked most of South Korea - with the exception of a small millennial sect. 

By March 1, the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 had risen to more than 3700, including 20 confirmed deaths, representing a huge rise compared with the less than 100 cases just two weeks before.

More than 60% of those infected are members of a religious sect: the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. Shincheonji means New Heaven and Earth in Korean and implies a millennial Christian utopia. Its leader, Lee Man-hee, controls this monolithic organism from top to bottom.

France: Philippe government guillotines parliamentary debate to force through pension attacks

 

 

By Lisbeth Latham

March 2, 2020  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Revitalising Labour — On February 29, French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced that the government would use clause 49.3 of the French Constitution, which allows the government to pass legislation without a parliamentary vote, to enable the government to expedite the passing the government’s controversial pension reforms. The exercise of Guillotine was primarily aimed at blunting efforts by left parties to hold up the passage of the legislation through parliament. However, the government also hopes that the passage of the legislation will undermine the current movement to defend the pensions.

Chile: The long month of October - the class struggle returns

 

 

By Javier ZúñigaKarina Nohales

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Chilean president Sebastián Piñera declared on television on 8 October 2019 that “Chile is a real oasis in a convulsed Latin America”. In fact, Chile has been presented to the world for almost thirty years as a model to be exported and an example of neoliberal stability. The key to “success” was the commitment of all parties, whether for or against Pinochet, to the management of the institutions and the economic model set up during the dictatorship (1973-1990). This “oasis”, based on a programme of crushing and super-exploitation of the working class, exploded ten days later, dramatically highlighting the increasingly unbearable living conditions of large sections of the population. The immediate result of this uprising was to break the conspiracy of the democratic transition, supported by the left and the right, against the class struggle. The class struggle came back to the fore in earthshaking force of which October was only the first attempt.

Chile: The debate on the Constituent Assembly

 

 

By Javier Pineda

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Throughout these sixty days of mobilisation, the popular revolt in Chile has advanced three fundamental demands: a social agenda to immediately fight against the precariousness of life; a new Constitution through a constituent assembly; and justice and the punishment of human rights violations. These demands have been advanced both in the spaces formed in the heat of the struggle such as the territorial assemblies and in the social spaces organised before the explosion of 18 October.

The dramatic fall of Chile as Latin America’s neoliberal role model

 

 

By Ariela Ruiz Caro  

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Americas Program — After the outbreak of the most intense and massive social protests ever recorded in the history of Chile, on November 16 the government and most political parties signed an agreement to restore peace and public order and initiate a process to draft a new constitution.

The protests, triggered by the rise in subway fares on Oct. 18, called into question the supposed Chilean success story of the neoliberal economic model implemented in the country during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1989). Developed by the so-called Chicago Boys, successive administrations since the 1990 return to democracy in 1990 sustained the model as state policy.

Economic and especially financial liberalization; privatization of public services, including water; the subsidiary role of the State; unlimited protection for foreign investments; and insertion in the international economy that serves US policies designed for the region were the fundamental elements of the economic model that Chile pioneered globally.

Chile's struggle to democratize the state

 

 

By J. Patrice McSherry

March 2, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — The social uprising in Chile has now reached its fourth month. Masses of people continue to protest and demand structural change despite ferocious repression—mainly at the hands of the militarized Carabineros police force—which has revived traumatic memories. Now, Chileans are looking ahead to a plebiscite that may open the way to a new Constitution. The dictatorship-era charter has been a major obstacle to change over the past three decades. Redrafting the constitution is a key demand in Chileans’ sweeping rebuke of the status quo.  

Bolivia’s 'caretaker' government makes radical foreign policy changes ― and wins over powerful allies

 

 

By Guillaume Long  

February 27, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CEPR — Foreign policy, an area very much in the hands of the executive branch, has afforded Bolivia´s de facto president Jeanine Añez, who does not behold a parliamentary majority, an ideal outlet for her radical program. Within days of taking power, the Añez government had cut off relations with Venezuela, expelled its diplomatic staff, recognized instead the self-proclaimed government of Juan Guaidó, and swiftly abandoned the ALBA group of states to join its right-wing counterweight, the Group of Lima. Bolivia soon reestablished diplomatic relations with Israel and rekindled close ties with the United States that had been seriously eroded since the US ambassador to Bolivia had been caught having secret meetings with key opposition figures in the midst of a violent separatist movement aimed at ousting Morales’s government in 2008.

Colombia: After the social explosion of November 2019

 

 

By Daniel Libreros C

February 25, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — On 21 November 2019 Colombia experienced a social explosion unprecedented in the history of the country since the middle of the last century. On that day, the National Strike Directorate (CNP, Comando Nacional de Paro) called for a protest march against the announcement of regressive economic counter-reforms. The CNP is made up of the central trade unions (Central Unitaria de Trabajadores – CUT, Confederación General de Trabajadores - CGT, Confederación de Trabajadores de Colombia - CTC) and by organizations of students, peasants, Indians, pensioners and environmental activists who, in recent years, have led the resistance by these social sectors to the policies of the Colombian state.

Marx and the Indigenous

 

 

By John Bellamy FosterBrett Clark and Hannah Holleman

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