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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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At the crossroads of Blanquism and Leninism

 

 

Doug Greene, author of the forthcoming "Specters of Communism: Blanqui and Marx", takes up the accusation that Leninism is "Blanquist".

 

By Douglas Enaa Greene[1]

 

June 1, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Rosa Luxemburg once said that Bolshevism is nothing more than the “mechanical transposition of the organizational principles of Blanquism into the mass movement of the socialist working class.”[2] Many leftists, both now and a century ago, share Luxemburg's position that Leninism is elitist and/or Blanquism. Yet all of these judgments are far off the mark. For Lenin, Blanquism was something that the communist movement needed to overcome if they wanted to win a successful socialist revolution. Leninism is not simply Blanquism or Jacobinism adapted to Russian conditions, but the development of a Marxist mode of politics that draws clear revolutionary lessons from the defeat of the Paris Commune. The central operator of the Leninist mode of politics is a revolutionary vanguard party devoted to the emancipation of the oppressed workers and peasants. However, there remains a grain of truth in the accusation that Leninism is Blanquist, since “Blanquism” is a label used by social democrats and revisionists to condemn the revolutionary essence of Marxism

 

Spain: As Podemos and United Left join forces, is a left government in sight?

 

 

United Left (IU) spokesperson Alberto Garzón and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias.

 

By Dick Nichols

 

May 31, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal a much shorter version of this article was first published at Green Left Weekly — Five months after the December 20 election in Spain failed to produce a government, the country is returning to the polls in the most polarised contest since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1977.

 

The stakes could not be higher. The “second round” election on June 26 could open the door to the final breakdown of the two-party system and the beginning of a deep-going democratisation of the Spanish state and politics: or it could drive all parties defending the status quo into a last-ditch alliance against the forces for radical change.

 

Facing the Anthropocene: talk and book launch by Ian Angus

 

May 30, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At the recent Socialist Alliance's "Socialism in the 21st Century Conference" held in May 2016 and co-hosted with Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Ian Angus launched his new book, "Facing the Anthropocene".

 

Ian Angus is an author and veteran of socialist and environment movements in Canada and internationally and is the founder and editor of the online journal, Climate and Capitalism.

 

Philippine Left facing a Duterte-CPP Coalition Government?, plus Duterte, a socio-political outcome

 

 

On coming to power, newly elected Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte (left) originally offered cabinet posts to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), headed by Jose Maria Sison (right). The move only intensified debate on the  Left surrounding Duterte's rise and what it means for politics in the Philippines. As part of bring this debates to an international audience Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is publishing below a May 15 CPP Central Committee resolution outlining its position - "Prospects under a Duterte presidency" -, along with some introductory comments by Reihana Mohideen from the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM). We are also publishing an update version of article by Sarah Raymundo, vice-chairperson of the Philippine Anti-Imperialist Studies: "Duterte, a socio-political outcome".

 

Brazil coup shows BRICS powers are no alternative to US imperialism

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

May 29, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On May 12, Brazil’s democratic government, led by the Workers’ Party (PT), was the victim of a coup. What will the other BRICS countries (Russia, India, China, and South Africa) do?

 

Marta Harnecker on strategies for social change: people's power and political instruments

 

May 28, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At the recent Socialist Alliance's Socialism in the 21st Century Conference held in Sydney in May 2016, Marta Harnecker, a Chilean psychologist, writer, journalist and a prominent investigator and commentator on experiences of social transformation in Latin America, presented this paper on: People's power and political instruments.

Local politics enters the global contest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

 

 

European municipalities are joining the battle against TTIP to protect sovereignty and public services, as well as demonstrating how to take political initiative and build an alternative economy

 

By Sol Trumbo Vila

 

May 27, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transnational Institute -- Opponents of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) see their chances of victory increasing. Local authorities are now also increasingly taking a strong position against supranational structures that negotiate opaque trade deals.

 

Brazil: Joao Pedro Stedile (MST) 'The coup-plotters have made their intentions clear'

 

 

Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) leader Joao Pedro Stedile.

 

By Joao Pedro Stedile, translated by Federico Fuentes

 

May 26, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from Brasil de Fato -- It only took a few hours or days for the provisional government of the coup-plotters to install themselves and demonstrate their intentions through the composition of its cabinet, the plans it has announced and its public declarations.

 

Party, class, and Marxism: Did Kautsky advocate ‘Leninism’?

 

 

Karl Kautsky

 

By Eric Blanc

 

May 25, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from JohnRiddell.wordpress.com -- The question of broad parties has been heatedly debated by socialists in recent years. Many have argued that “Leninism” should be discarded in favor of wider formations such as Syriza, Podemos, the British Labour Party, the Greens, etc. Others have rejected participating in such structures, on the “Leninist” grounds that building independent revolutionary Marxist parties remains the strategic organizational task for socialists.

 

Intertwined with this debate has been a serious reassessment of “Leninism” itself. Particularly following the publication of Lars Lih’s monumental Lenin Rediscovered, big questions are being asked: Did Lenin break in theory and/or practice with the “orthodox” strategy articulated by Marxist theoretician Karl Kautsky? Were the Bolsheviks, in other words, a “party of a new type”?

 

Media Wars: the role of the Left when Venezuela's imperfect revolution is under attack

 

 

By Tamara Pearson

 

May 25, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis -- One of my deepest reasons for respecting Chavez was his way of speaking sin pelos en la lengua – without hairs on his tongue – directly, clearly, unafraid of admitting to problems, challenges, and his own humanity, right down to his toilet needs. He said the hard things, he stood up to the media attacks with sincere and pointed questions rather than abuse. He was known for talking a lot because there was a lot to be done and it had to be discussed in depth, not superficially. That is what we need to do too, especially right now.

 

Building alternatives to neoliberalism in Latin America today: An interview with Michael Lebowitz

 

 

May 24, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Leading Marxist author Michael A. Lebowitz has dedicated a big part of his research to the problem of the possibilities of building a socialist alternative. He spent six years (2004-2010) in Venezuela working as a director of the program for Transformative Practice and Human Development at the Miranda International Center (CIM) in Caracas, where he had the opportunity to participate in the building of “socialism for 21st century”.

 

Lebowitz was recently in Australia for the Socialism in the 21st Century conference, which was co-hosted by Links. In the interview published below, Lebowitz covers some of the topics he discussed during his visit regarding the opposition to neoliberalism and the prospects for a socialist alternative in Latin America today.

 

Behind the political crisis in Brazil

 

 

May 23, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff is facing a judicial coup as the country enters its worst political crisis since the military coup of 1964. What is at the heart of this crisis? Has the Workers’ Party project reached its limits? What is the opposition’s agenda? What are the implications for the future of Brazilian democracy?

 

These were the questions addressed at the May 21 public forum "Political Crisis in Brazil"hosted by the Latin America Social Forum, Sydney. The forum included video presentations by Pedro Ivo Carneiro Teixeirense, PhD Candidate in Social History (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil & Ruhr University Bochum, Germany), and Camila Alves da Costa, a researcher at Nationalities' Observatory, Universidade Estadual de Ceará (Fortaleza); and executive editor, Tensões Mundiais journal.

 

Below, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has posted their presentations.

 

Lines of debate: the subaltern and the proletariat of the world

 

 

May 22, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with permission — Reverberations of the international crisis have resurrected the idea of the working class as revolutionary political actor from the crypt. Today, with evidence of growing labor unrest in both “emerging economies” as well as imperialist nations like France and the United States, there has been a renewed interest in the working class, its organizations, and potential to lead resistance against austerity governments and increasing inequalities.

 

Marcel van der Linden is Senior Researcher at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, widely recognized for his work on global labor history. In this interview, Ideas de Izquierda’s Paula Varela speaks with Van der Linden about Marx’s conceptualization of the working class and Van der Linden’s efforts to build on this theory with the idea of “subaltern workers.” He discusses the challenges posed by rethinking the current conditions and future of the “global proletariat” as a key element in strategies for contending power.

 

Sadiq Khan becomes mayor of London, but Britain faces deep-seated problems

 

 

By Rupen Savoulian

 

May 20, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Antipodean Atheist with permission — Sadiq Khan’s election as London mayor is a rejection of the politics of fear and Islamophobia, but let us not endorse his policies.

 

The election of Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, made headline news in the English-speaking world. It is no surprise that Khan’s electoral victory made news here in Australia, given our longstanding economic, political and cultural ties to the United Kingdom. It is not intended to go into all the intricacies of British politics in this article, however, the victory of an openly Muslim candidate for a major political position in the UK has elicited various reactions, and these responses are illustrative of the kind of politics that passes for policy debate in the English-speaking countries.

 

Protests rise against World Economic Forum’s implausible ‘Africa Keeps Rising’ meme

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

May 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- From May 11-13, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa summit in Kigali, Rwanda reinforced extractive-industry and high-tech myths. The gathering unveiled the 1%’s elite’s exuberant imagination and its lack of exposure to the continent’s harsh economic realities. As an antidote, grassroots protesters all over Africa are questioning the logic of export-led ‘growth’ and renewed fiscal austerity, instead demanding that policies meet their basic needs.

 

'Our stomachs will make themselves heard': What Sankara can teach us about food justice today

 

 

By Amber Murrey

 

May 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News -- In recent weeks, news of food crises in countries across Africa has been intensifying. From the Democratic Republic of Congo all the way down to South Africa – via Malawi, Zimbabwe, Angola and many others – low rainfall has contributed to millions more being left vulnerable.

 

Social upheaval in times of neoliberalism: The deep roots of Macedonia’s protest wave

 

 

The #IProtest movement has united demonstrators across age, gender, ethnicity and class

 

By Adela Gjorgjioska

 

“In a neoliberal universe, where markets are the gauge of value, money becomes, more straightforwardly than ever before, the measure of all things. If hospitals, schools and prisons can be privatised as enterprises for profit, why not political office too?”
Perry Anderson in London Review of Books, 2014, 36:10, pp. 5

 

The Communist Order of Samurai: Leon Trotsky and the Red Army

 

 

Leon Trotsky addresses soldiers of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War

 



By Doug Enaa Greene

 



Dedicated to my friend, Sam Miller.

 


May 17, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Marxist historian Victor Serge described Trotsky's task in organizing the Red Army as its enemies threatened the embattled Soviet Republic as follows:

 

The principal organizer of the October Revolution now has the task of organizing the defence of the Soviet Republic. He goes to war, forges the blade, carries the responsibility on all fronts. He incarnates, in its keenest expression, the revolution’s will to survive.[1]

 

In 1918, Trotsky was given the job of creating a Red Army to fight off its enemies from within and without. Organizing an effective army in a society shattered and exhausted by war would have been a monumental task for even the most experienced general. Yet Trotsky, who possessed no military training, forged a well-organized, centralized, disciplined and effective fighting army of 5.5 million people by 1920 that was fired by revolutionary zeal and triumphed in the Civil War.

 

Created by crisis: Rodrigo Duterte and his unorthodox quest for the Philippine presidency

 

 

Supporters the new Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, at a 40,000-strong Miting de Avance held on May 7 as part of his election campaign

 

By Walden Bello

 

May 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from InterAksyon -- For dejected supporters of Mar Roxas and Grace Poe, it was all over except for the voting when they saw the size and felt the energy of the crowd that jammed the Duterte miting de avance at the Luneta on Saturday evening, May 7.

 

‘Facing the Anthropocene’: We have no alternative but to fight the forces destroying our world

 

 

Christopher Wright speaking at the global launch of Ian Angus' Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System in Sydney, May 13.

 

By Christopher Wright

 

May 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate, People and Organizations -- It’s a great pleasure to speak to you tonight at the launch of Ian Angus’ new book Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System.

 

When Ian contacted me late last year and asked if I’d be interested in reading his manuscript, I have to say I was somewhat wary. As many of you probably know the term “Anthropocene” has become something of a buzzword de jeure in academic circles. Every day it seems there is a new book released with “Anthropocene” in the title, there are new journals about the Anthropocene, and specialist conferences on the topic. It seems that Anthropocene studies has become something of an academic fashion.

 

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