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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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Pierre Beaudet, Presente!

 

 

By Richard Fidler

March 15, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Pierre Beaudet, a Quebec leader in international solidarity and progressive scholarship, died in Montréal on the night of March 7-8. Pierre was for decades a central organizer, author and editor in a range of grassroots movements and left publications. His presence and inspiration will be sorely missed by many, both young and old, as Judy Rebick indicates in this tribute she published in rabble.ca, an online magazine she cofounded two decades ago.

I follow it with an article by Pierre, written less than a week before he died, that addresses the very issue Judy cited as one that she would look to him to explain. Bear in mind that this was written very early in the war before many implications were clear. Pierre wrote it in his capacity as director of Alternatives, the international solidarity organization he founded and to which he had recently returned. My translation. And I conclude by briefly recalling some of my own memories of Pierre as a friend and comrade. 

NATO, imperialism and the war

 

 

By Phil Hearse

March 13, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti-Capitalist Resistance — Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine seems to have caused some disorientation on the Left. For example, a left-wing website supported by some key leaders of the Stop the War Coalition complains about socialists who concentrate all their fire on Russia. But it is not really difficult to see why anti-war activists might do so at the present time. Russia brazenly breaches the so-called ‘Fourth Convention’[1] of the Geneva Convention, which forbids the targeting or collective punishment of civilians. And the outrageous and utterly sad consequences of Russia importing into Ukraine the tactics it used in Syria against civilians (little reported in Britain) are becoming clear. Small wonder, then, that most of the Left concentrate on condemning Russia? It’s no use complaining about what the West did in Iraq and Afghanistan, or indeed what it is doing today in Yemen. None of that in the least justifies Russian brutality in Ukraine.

Why Ukraine is a Syrian cause

 

 

By Yassin al-Haj Saleh

March 17, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from DAWN — In the week since Russia's invasion began, Syrians opposed to President Bashar al-Assad might come second only to Ukrainians themselves in following every horror of the war that Vladimir Putin's regime is waging in Ukraine. The reason behind this curious situation, of course, should be quite apparent. Russia has been occupying part of Syria since late September 2015, brutally supporting Assad's regime, whose highest priority is to stay in power forever, even if he has to submit the country to expansionist outside forces like Iran and Russia itself.

Against war in Ukraine and the new imperialism: A letter of solidarity with the oppressed

 

 

By Gal Kirn

March 10, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from LeftEast — After a long winter of the covid-19 pandemic, the first glimpses of a coming spring offer a vision of new bloodshed. We have now witnessed more than a week of Russian invasion and war on Ukraine, a stretch of time that will be seen as an undeniable rupture in international relations. Things are moving at an incredibly quick pace on the ground, in cyberspace, and in international space. Despite the imminent invasion of Ukraine being announced by NATO and the US government for several months, it still took – as every war does – many by surprise.

Nordic left parties: Russia must withdraw immediately

 

 

By Nordic left party chairs

March 2, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The leaders of the Nordic left parties of the European parliament meeting in Brussels on March 2nd, 2022 strongly condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine, indiscriminate warfare and targeting of civilians.

The party leaders call for an immediate cessation of the invasion and all Russian military activity in Ukraine and for the EU to introduce tougher sanctions.

‘We need a peoples' solidarity with Ukraine and against war, not the fake solidarity of governments’

 

 

March 14, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from TNI — Shaun Matsheza and Nick Buxton of TNI spoke to two activists on the editorial board of the left Commons journal that explores and analyses Ukraine’s economy, politics, history and culture. Denys Gorbach is a social researcher currently doing his PhD in France on the politics of Ukrainian working class and Denis Pilash is a political scientist and activist involved in a social movement, Sotsialnyi Rukh.

This is an abridged version of an interview that has also been released as a State of Power podcast.

Ukraine: Fog of War

 

 

By Wolfgang Streeck

March 1, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NLR Sidecar — Accounting for the descent of the European state system into the barbarism of war – for the first time since NATO’s 1999 bombing of Belgrade – needs more than lay psychiatry. What made Russia and ‘the West’ engage in an unrelenting wrestling match on the edge of the abyss, with both sides eventually falling off the cliff? As we live through these monstrous weeks, we understand better than ever what Gramsci must have meant by an interregnum: a situation ‘in which the old is dying and the new cannot be born’, one in which ‘a great variety of morbid symptoms appear’, like powerful countries turning their future over to the uncertainties of a battlefield clouded in the fog of war.

The debate on the left over whether to raise the issue of NATO expansionism in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

 

 

By Steve Ellner

March 12, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The real issue that has generated much heated discussion on the left is not over whether the Russian invasion is justifiable. Few, that is very few, say it is. Rather the key question is whether raising the issue of NATO distracts from the atrocity of the Russian invasion. Some on the left accuse those who raise the issue of NATO of justifying the invasion. 

This is the basic claim of an article in New Politics by Taras Bilous titled “A Letter to the Western Left from Kyiv” that begins with the words “The ‘anti-imperialism of idiots’ meant people turned a blind eye to Russia’s actions.” Bilous takes issue with Jacobin staff writer Branko Marcetic (as well as Tariq Ali) for articles in Jacobin that criticized NATO expansionism and, in doing so, were allegedly soft on Russia. In fact, Marcetic and Jacobin magazine have condemned the Russian invasion (and Putin himself) in no uncertain terms.

How Ukraine won its independence, in Soviet times, and the lessons for today

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

March 6, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Two weeks after Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, events are not turning out as he planned. He had not anticipated the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people, the already high number of Russian casualties, or the massive support the Ukrainians have won from public opinion throughout Europe, and elsewhere. The UN General Assembly voted by a huge majority to demand that Russia stop its offensive and immediately withdraw all troops, only five states voting against.

Meanwhile, in Russia itself, thousands of citizens have rallied to protest the war, braving mass arrests and repression. Independent and critical media have been shut down. It is illegal now even to use words such as “war” or “invasion” to describe Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

European left solidarity with Ukraine

 

 

March 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Razem — On the 24th of February, Russia launched an illegal and unjustified military invasion of a sovereign and independent state – Ukraine. We, as progressive parties from Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Czechia, Romania, Poland strongly condemn this aggression as it disregards every value we stand for. 

Putin, the Russians, and the Ukrainian War

 

 

By Jeremy Morris

March 7, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — Analysis of Russian aggression and invasion of Ukraine understandably focuses on chauvinist revanchism and Great Power pretensions within the Russian elite, and seemingly shared by what appears to be a broad part of Russian society. While the constructivist and neorealist approaches that come out of political and geopolitical scholarship are valid, I want to pay attention to a “bigger” and simultaneously “smaller” picture. This is the issue of Russia as matter-out-of-place in Europe since 1989, and the disturbing lack of interest among Europeans — and European scholars — in Russians themselves.

My main points are as follows: Russian society is diverse, and attitudes towards the war are complex and hardly revanchist or neo-imperialist. Furthermore, incredulity in the West about an “absence” of resistance to the war in Russia demonstrates our own ignorance about the nature of the authoritarian state. Finally, we should resist the urge to ascribe collective guilt and imposing collective punishment — we should avoid vulgar sociological conclusions about “low-information”, uneducated supporters of Putin’s actions within Russia.

Without a left alternative, resistance channels behind the far right

 

 

By Tamás Krausz and Attila Antal

February 17, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from transform! europe — Tamás Krausz, founding editor of the periodical Eszmélet (Consciousness), a Hungarian journal for social critique and culture, talks to Attila Antal, editor-in-chief of Eszmélet.

Attila Antal:  As we speak, there is a prolonged tension in European geopolitics, with the United States and the European Union and Russia in a major stand-off over Ukraine. How do you see the position the left should take in this situation?

Tamás Krausz: I think that the anti-capitalist left, no matter in which country, must start from the interests of the people in geopolitical matters, from the need to put a stop to the economic and territorial re-division of the world, because that means war, and we want peace. So, the fundamental question is not which great power you are on the side of.

Ukraine and the left

 

 

By Dave Kellaway

March 7, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Anti-Capitalist Resistance — Big political events always trigger intense debates on the socialist left. Sometimes it seems the heat is in inverse proportion to how close to home the events are. Wars or struggles happening in unfamiliar national contexts can produce a lot of confusion since we know less about their politics and culture. In the past we have even seen major splits and developments on the left as a result of international events – just think of Hungary 1956, the Cuban revolution in 1958 or the 1968 events in Europe, Vietnam and Czechoslovakia.

At times over the last few weeks you can get the impression that different currents on the left have widely different appreciations of what is going on. Heated discussion in person or online is taking place about the causes of the war and what to do now. I have been called a war monger because I am in solidarity with the Ukrainian resistance and for their right to arm themselves. 

Bulgaria: Between pro-war consensus and the need for an anti-war movement

 

 

By Stanislav Dodov

March 9, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from LeftEast — As the reactions to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have shown, Bulgaria is not ready for a new anti-war movement, despite the urgency of the task. The majority of people with some access to the public space act as if the year were not 2022, but the Soviet Union had just collapsed yesterday, as if we hadn’t lived through a single crisis, hadn’t learned a single bitter lesson, and the Cold War rhetoric couldn’t be shaken. 

“How so?”, one might ask amid the seemingly universal condemnation of war across all media. The territorial proximity of the war in Ukraine has brought out all the political demons we’ve known were there without realizing their full extent. Because what matters is not just the call “No to war!” but what comes after.

A memorandum on the radical anti-imperialist position regarding the war in Ukraine

 

 

By Gilbert Achcar

February 27, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ESSF — The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the second defining moment of the New Cold War in which the world has been plunged since the turn of the century as a result of the US decision to expand NATO. The first defining moment was the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. It ended in complete failure to achieve US imperialist goals. The price that Iraq paid – and is still paying along with neighbouring countries – has been enormous, but the propensity of US imperialism to invade other countries has been severely curtailed, as confirmed by the recent US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The fate of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will determine the propensity of all other countries for aggression. If it fails in turn, the effect on all global and regional powers will be one of powerful deterrence. If it succeeds, that is if Russia manages to “pacify” Ukraine under Russian boots, the effect will be a major slide of the global situation toward unrestrained law of the jungle, emboldening US imperialism itself and its allies to resume their own aggressive stances.

Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM): People around the world demand IMF to cancel Ukraine’s unjust debt

 

 

By VIktoriia Pihul

March 5, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CADTM — The CADTM publishes this petition which emanates from citizens of Ukraine and which rightly asks for the cancellation of the Ukrainian debt. Correctly the initiators of this petition state that the

“Chaotic borrowing and antisocial debt conditionality was a result of total oligarchisation: unwilling to fight the wealthy, the state rulers kept getting deeper in debt. Loans were issued under conditions of social spending cuts, and their repayment forced to economise on vital needs and apply austerity to foundational economy sectors.”

It is for these reasons, among others, that the debt claimed from Ukraine is illegitimate. This is reason enough to justify its cancellation.

The war of invasion that Ukraine is undergoing is another compelling reason to justify the cancellation of the debt. The Ukrainian people must be supported in their struggle against aggression.

Fourth International: No to Putin’s invasion! Support to Ukrainian resistance! Solidarity with Russian opposition to the war!

 

 

Statement of the Executive Bureau of the Fourth International

March 1, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Fourth International — 1. Before dawn on 24 February 2022 the Russian army began its invasion of Ukraine, bombing the interior of the country and crossing the northern, eastern and southern borders of the country, heading for the capital Kiev. This aggression has already resulted in many deaths, both civilian and military. The Ukrainian army and population are defending themselves, several cities are holding out against the aggressor. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have gone into exile, but the resistance continues. The Ukrainan people are resisting, with and without arms.

The Kremlin’s recognition three days earlier of the “independence” of the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Lugansk and the official entry of the Russian army into their territory was only the prelude to the invasion aimed at the total submission of the neighbouring country.

It is a military invasion of the territory of a former oppressed nation by a capitalist oligarchic, autocratic and imperialist regime whose aim is the reconstruction of the Russian empire.

A view from Cuba: Ukraine to the Limit

 

 

By Julio César Guanche

March 5, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — A friend sent me a video of a family in front of a burning building somewhere in Ukraine. We were both shocked. On my Facebook, I share a video of Russian protesters against the war unleashed by their government. Someone comments: “Putin, the new Hitler.”

Ukraine is far away for Cubans. It is difficult to understand the conflict beyond the calls for peace and the repeated slogans. We know something for certain. The invasion violates international law and the right to self-determination. It can only be condemned unconditionally. That said, much remains to be done. First, understand what is being condemned.

[Updated] David Harvey: Remarks on recent events in Ukraine — An interim statement (and responses by Hall, Kalb & Cullen Dunn)

 

 

By David Harvey

February 25, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from FocaalBlog —The outbreak of full-fledged war with the Russian invasion of Ukraine marks a deep turning point in the world order.  As such it cannot be ignored by the geographers assembled (alas by zoom) at our annual meeting, I therefore offer some non-expert comments as a basis for discussion.

Noam Chomsky: US military escalation against Russia would have no victors

 

 

By C.J. Polychroniou

March 3, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Truthout — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine took much of the world by surprise. It is an unprovoked and unjustified attack that will go down in history as one of the major war crimes of the 21st century, argues Noam Chomsky in the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows. Political considerations, such as those cited by Russian President Vladimir Putin, cannot be used as arguments to justify the launching of an invasion against a sovereign nation. In the face of this horrific invasion, though, the U.S. must choose urgent diplomacy over military escalation, as the latter could constitute a “death warrant for the species, with no victors,” Chomsky says.

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