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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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Venezuela: Taking a look at the anti-Maduro narrative

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

February 19, 2019  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The recognition by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden of Juan Guaidó as Venezuelan president is the latest demonstration of the consensus in Washington over the nefariousness of the Nicolás Maduro government. Not since Fidel Castro’s early years in power has a Latin American head of state been so consistently demonized. But the 1960s was the peak of the Cold War polarization that placed Cuba plainly in the enemy camp, and unlike Venezuela of today that nation had a one-party system in the absence of political pluralism.

 

The scope of the consensus was put in evidence by the recent faceoff between two figures as far apart as Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In his State of the Union address, Trump attributed Venezuela’s economic crisis to the failed system of socialism. Ocasio-Cortez responded by arguing that the Venezuelan case is “an issue of authoritarian regime versus democracy.”

 

Zimbabwe: Capitalist crisis + ultra-neoliberal policy = “Mugabesque” authoritarianism

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

February 14, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Once again, a formidable burst of state brutality against Zimbabwe’s citizenry has left at least a dozen corpses, scores of serious injuries, mass arrests, Internet suspension and a furious citizenry. The 14-17 January nationwide protests were called by trade unions against an unprecedented fuel price hike, leading to repression reminiscent of former leader Robert Mugabe’s iron fist.

 

 

Most of the country’s economy ground to a halt. For more than a week, the cities remained ghost towns, as army troops continued attacking even ordinary civilians who are desperate to earn a living in what often seems to be the country’s main occupation these days: street vending of cheap imported commodities. A national strike of 500,000 civil service workers has been called. Most essential commodities are now vastly overpriced or in very short supply. This is what a full-on capitalist crisis looks like.

 

Venezuela and disaster capitalism

 

 

By Reinaldo Iturriza López, translation by Nicolas Allen

 

February 10, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso Blog — On Monday, January 28, the Department of the Treasury of the United States announced it was placing a “block” on all of Petróleos de Venezuela’s (PDVSA) assets under US jurisdiction, prohibiting its citizens from engaging in any type of transaction with the Venezuelan state-owned oil company.[1] Secretary Steve Mnuchin added that “if the people of Venezuela want to continue to sell us oil”, we will only accept it on the condition that our money goes to “blocked accounts”, which would later be made available for the “transition government”.[2]

 

Venezuela defines the future of the region

 

 

By Claudio Katz, translation by Nicolas Allen

 

February 10, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Verso Blog — Guaidó’s self-proclamation as Venezuelan president is the most ridiculous and dangerous coup attempt in recent years. With the shameless backing of Washington, the Venezuelan rightwing intends to place a complete stranger at the helm of the state.

 

This time around, the starting signal was neither a terrorist attack nor an assassination attempt directed against Maduro. Trump has chosen a group of conspiracy experts (Abrams, Pence, Bolton, Rubio) to pursue escalation and has opted to seize the Venezuelan oil enterprise operating in the United States (CITGO). He has brushed aside all principles of legal guarantee in his quest to appropriate the world’s largest concentration of crude oil reserves.

 

British politics today

 

 

By G.LL. Williams
 

February 10, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Britain’s politics is in crisis. Today there is a need to think about British politics to develop a better Left politics in Britain. Britain is faced with a simple choice today: capitalism or socialism, barbarism or socialism. British politics needs to lead to a better Britain — a socialist Britain.

 

Regime change in Venezuela: “Made in the USA”

 

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  republished from NACLA: Report on the Americas —  Since its outset, the Trump administration has ratcheted up pressure on Venezuela and radicalized its positions. In the process, the Venezuelan opposition has become more and more associated with—and dependent on—Washington and its allies. An example is the opposition protests slated for February 4. The actions were timed to coincide with the European Union’s “ultimatum” stating that they would recognize the shadow government of Juan Guaidó if President Nicolás Maduro did not call elections within a week’s time.

 

Spain’s ‘socialist’ government to US: ‘Coup against Maduro? We’re in!’

 

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On February 15, 2003, in the face of the looming US-led war against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the Spanish state saw the biggest demonstrations in its history. Part of a worldwide anti-war outpouring, about four million people turned out on the day, with 1.3 million in Barcelona, a million in Madrid and half-a-million in Valencia.

 

Leaders of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) were among those at the head of these oceanic demonstrations, which directly targeted the conservative Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of prime minister José María Aznar.

 

Brexit and the Left

 

 



By G.LL. Williams

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Brexit, the British vote to leave the European Union in 2016, has created a major political crisis in Britain and in the EU. This crisis has also created a dire political situation in Great Britain for the Left and for the Right. The Left has split between those supporting Britain leaving the EU and those supporting Britain staying in the EU. The close, but decisive, victory for Leave in the June Referendum, divide the British Left on the issue of the European Union and the place of Britain in Europe. This crisis has affected all the major forces of the British Left, including in the Labour Party and the other groups of the British Left. This crisis within the British Left needs to be confronted and tackled so that the British Left can unite on a common politics and a common programme about Brexit and Britain’s place in Europe. This issue and disunity is likely to cause serious problems for the British Left, unless it can be solved. The British Left cannot afford to be divided over Brexit and Europe. The Left needs a Brexit policy and a Brexit politics: it needs to come together on the politics of Brexit and present a united position on Brexit. A better position on Brexit will allow it to push for a better Britain today and for a better Britain in the future.

 

The US coup in Venezuela: New attempt to eradicate the Chavista Revolution

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

January 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — For over two years we have been told Putin’s Russia has interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections. We now find the US government has decided it can unilaterally invalidate the actual presidential elections in Venezuela and recognize a person of its choosing as president. This is just the latest US-backed coup attempt against a progressive Latin American government, following Venezuela (2002), Haiti (2004, and every subsequent election), Bolivia (2008), Honduras (2009), Ecuador (2010, 2015), Paraguay (2012), and Nicaragua (2018).

France in Revolt: Sam Wainwright on the Yellow Vest movement

 

 

January 25, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Sam Wainwright (who has just completed an honours thesis titled "Crisis and Renewal in the French left) speaks about the Yellow Vest movement in France at the Socialist Alliance summer school on January 16.

 

Sam Wainwright is a member of the Fremantle Council and a member of the national executive of Socialist Alliance.

 

Is foreign military intervention in Venezuela imminent?

 

 

By James Jordan

 

January 24, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — According to conventional wisdom, there should be no serious talk of foreign military intervention in Venezuela. But these aren’t conventional times. The conventional playbook would adopt a strategy of foreign coordination of the Venezuelan opposition, economic sabotage, infiltration of the military, and manipulation of popular movements against the elected government. All this is being done, but, so far, unsuccessfully. The frustrations of the Bolivarian movement’s enemies are palpable. Does this mean intervention is imminent? And what would such an intervention look like?

 

Behind the popular revolt in Sudan

 

 

Below,
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing an interview with journalist and former Sudanese Communist Party activist Rashid Saeed Yagoub along with an article by Sudanese activist and writer Amgad Fareid Eltayeb outlining the current situation and background to the revolt in Sudan. This is followed by a solidarity statement issued by the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists.

 

Why did New Zealand suffer the worst casualty rate in World War I?

 

 

By Mike Treen

 

January 23, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Armistice Day, November 11, commemorates the day when the fighting stopped on the Western front in Europe.

 

As a participant in this lie of the “war to end all wars” New Zealand had achieved the unique result of suffering the highest military casualty rate of any nation involved in that war.

 

The French Yellow Vests: A self-mobilized mass movement with insurrectionist overtones

 

 

By Kevin B. Anderson

 

January 22, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — After rumbling on social media for weeks, the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement emerged suddenly on November 17, when no less than 300,000 protestors occupied roads, traffic circles in exurbs and rural areas. They wore the yellow safety vests the government requires all motorists to purchase, and which immediately became the emblem of the movement.  That week and the next, Yellow Vests also ventured into the heart of Paris, blocking the gilded Boulevard Champs-Elysées and almost reaching the nearby presidential palace.  From the beginning, women were unusually prominent in the local occupations and the street marches.  At the same time, the Yellow Vests chased away many politicians who visited their protest sites, including some from the left.

 

Venezuela: What’s been learnt won’t be easily forgotten - a conversation with Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann

 

 

January 21, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Antonio Gonzalez Plessmann, who holds degrees from Venezuelan and Ecuadorian universities, has been a human rights activist and militant leftist since the 1980s. A former vice-rector of the National Experimental Security University, he took part in the process of police reform initiated in 2006. Today Gonzalez Plessmann is part of the SurGentes collective and is working with the Pueblo a Pueblo project in Caracas’ San Agustin barrio. In this interview with Cira Pascual Marquina, he presents important insights into the revolutionary potential that Chavismo unleashed during the course of the Bolivarian Process. It’s a potential that, he thinks, could be set rolling again.

 

Is Russia imperialist?

 

 

By Stansfield Smith

 

January 21, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Russia is said to be an imperialist world power, one in conflict with the imperialist superpower that is the United States. Russia has been characterized in this manner both during the period of the Soviet Union and after the Soviet Union collapsed and separate states were formed. Russia is said to be imperialist both when it was a socialist state and now as a capitalist state.

 

Russia is also said to be a non-imperial capitalist state, one still struggling to recover from the crisis of the Soviet collapse and the political and economic catastrophe of the Boris Yeltsin years, when it degenerated into a near neo-colonial client looted by the US.[1]

 

Comintern project publishing appeal

 

 

Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai at the 1921 conference of Communist women

 

This letter from John Riddell and Mike Taber was first posted at John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary blog

 

*****

 

Dear friends,

 

Please join us in raising funds for the ninth installment of books in the Comintern publishing series The Communist Women’s Movement, 1920-1922. To help raise $3,000 in special editorial costs, go to https://www.gofundme.com/comintern-book-on-women

 

Jim Yong Kim’s mixed messages to the World Bank — and the world

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

January 19, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — World Bank president Jim Yong Kim is an ex-leftist who claims that in the mid-1990s he wanted to shut down the Bank. At the time, it was an entirely valid, realistic goal of the 50 Years is Enough! Campaign and especially the World Bank Bonds Boycott. Kim’s co-edited Dying for Growth (2000) book-length analysis of the Bank’s attacks on Global-South public health offered very useful ammunition.

 

1918: Good bye to all that, but not for everyone

 

 

By Sam Gordon

 

January 19, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — With the passing of 2018 we witness the passing of 100 years since the end of World War I. This year the Europeans, the whiter parts of the former British Empire, now Commonwealth of Nations, and the United States bade a somber farewell to the “war to end all wars.”

 

Since the end of hostilities much has been written about the suffering endured by men in uniform between 1914 and 1918. Collections of poetry, biographies — possibly most notably Robert Graves’s Good Bye To All That — and volumes of fiction are stacked on library shelves. Historical analysis has made its way into the printed news, radio and television.

 

Some even venture that Australia and New Zealand gained their national identity during the conflict. I’ll leave others, better placed than me, to deliberate on that one.

 

Some, but less, coverage has been devoted to the outcomes of the conflict. It saw the end of some empires, the expansion of others, and in the case of the US, following the acquisition of lands held by Native Americans, the emergence into new theaters of exploitation.

 

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