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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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How indigenous genocide contributed to climate change

 

 

By Gerardo Honty

 

May 7, 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alainet — Those who deny climate change caused by mankind tend to cite the so-called “Little Ice Age” as one of their arguments to defend the hypothesis of the natural origin of climate changes. The Little Ice Age, as it is known, to distinguish it from the great ice ages, covers a period from 1350 to 1850 approximately, when there was a significant lowering of the global average temperature with respect to the five previous centuries. The planet was emerging from a period known as the “Medieval Climate Optimum” and both processes have led the so-called “sceptics” or “deniers” to deduce from this, among other factors, the natural origin of present climate change. The warming that we are witnessing today, they deduce, comes from a new cycle of solar activity and not from human activity.

 

A Green New Deal must deliver global justice

 

 

By Asad Rehman

 

May 5, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper —  For too long the severity and scale of the climate crisis has been deliberately understated, but October’s release of the IPCC’s Special Report on the Global Warming of 1.5°c finally sent shockwaves into the populations of rich countries. The urgent need for action was clear with the world now in ‘decade zero’, when every decision taken in the coming years will determine the extent to which the critical 1.5°c guardrail is breached triggering run away climate change. Despite these warnings the UN estimates that current emission targets will put the world on a trajectory of at least 3.4°c and possibly up to 7°c warming.

 

Michael Harrington and his afterlives

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 5, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Cosmonaut — Michael Harrington (1928-1989) was the most important advocate for democratic socialism in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century. He is widely, and deservedly, recognized for writing The Other America, a seminal exposé of poverty in the United States. However, Michael Harrington was not simply a public intellectual but a political activist who developed a vision to make democratic socialism into a major force in American life. His strategy was to realign the Democratic Party by driving out the business interests and transform it into a social democratic party. This new party of the people would then not only represent the interests of the vast majority and pass genuine reforms, but begin the transition to democratic socialism. Michael Harrington’s politics and vision have outlived him and they remain the “common sense” of much of the American left, shaping debates in the organization he founded, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

 

Lenin, the Labour Party, and Democrats

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

May 5, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with permission — There is a relatively common justification among large sections of the American left who offer various levels of support to the Democratic Party that they are merely creatively applying Lenin’s tactics to the present moment. The argument is familiar: the British Labour Party had the allegiance of the trade unions and millions of workers. And in order not to be isolated from the mass of workers, Lenin argued that British communists should affiliate to the Labour Party and support its candidates in elections. In present day America, it is claimed that the Democrats are an equivalent to the Labour Party since they have the support of organized labor and that their candidates, especially “democratic socialist” ones, deserve the support of socialists in order to advance working-class interests. However, this is a false equivalence. The Labour Party of 1920 and the Democratic Party of 2019 are fundamentally different organizations, with the former owing its origin to trade unions and the latter being a thoroughly bourgeois institution.

 

Québec solidaire vows to fight CAQ government’s racist bill

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

April 27, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Blog — As it had threatened during last fall’s election campaign, the newly-elected Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government has introduced legislation to prohibit a wide range of persons “in authority,” including teachers, from wearing symbols of their religious beliefs while exercising their functions.

 

Those affected include judges, prosecutors, police, and jail guards, but also teachers, childcare providers, public transit operators, health and social service workers, municipal and administrative tribunal and board officials, etc.

 

From women’s strikes to a new class movement: The third feminist wave

 

 

By Cinzia Arruzza

 

April 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Viewpoint Magazine — On October 23, thousands of Glasgow cleaning workers kicked off the union demonstration for equal pay organized by Public Services International, Unison, and GMB with a minute’s silence, in memory of the women workers who died before being able to see the day when their work would be finally granted the same dignity and value as the work of their male colleagues. In this act there was full awareness of a long history of great and small humiliations, of invisible, unacknowledged, or underpaid work, of countless instances of injustice and petty abuses, as well as of the enormity of the challenge faced by the women’s strike. Equal pay: a reasonable, almost trivial goal, and yet so difficult to achieve, to such an extent that the World Economic Forum has calculated that – based on current trends and data – it will take at least 217 years to finally bridge the wage gap between women and men globally. (Granting that the world will still be habitable in 217 years…)

The Latin American left’s setbacks: What does it all mean?

 

 

 

Interview with Steve Ellner by Alan Freeman for Canadian Dimension

 

Freeman: The progressive Latin American governments of the twenty-first century, the so-called Pink Tide governments, have over the recent past received heavy blows and have been replaced by conservative and right-wing governments in Brazil, Argentina and evidently Ecuador. What are people on the right saying about these setbacks for the left?

 

Ellner: The detractors of the Pink Tide phenomenon imply or explicitly state that it will soon become a thing of the past without any long-lasting effect. The view is underpinned by the “dinosaur” narrative and the “end of history” thesis of Francis Fukuyama, along with the rights’ standard argument that socialism and the policies associated with it will end up in the dustbin of history. These writers and political activists, however, ignore that socialism has really not been put to the test because none of the Pink Tide countries have been socialist. Eighty percent of the Venezuelan economy, for instance, is owned by the private sector.

 

Brazil under Bolsonaro: Social base, agenda and perspectives

 

 

By Ana Garcia

 

April 26, 2019
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The rise of the far right is a worldwide phenomenon, rooted in the nefarious effects of neoliberal globalization which have pushed the world into mass unemployment and enormous inequalities. I consider it to be a late political effect of the global financial crisis that hit the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

 

 

It is not an easy task to explain the phenomenon of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and to understand the groups that support him, both within and outside government. It’s difficult, for anyone, to draw a truly complete and sober analysis of what we have experienced. This essay is not based on in-depth research but on collective reflections and debates. I intend to pose some key questions and try to identify some clues to answer them.

 

Building the Slovenian left: Successes and challenges in Eastern Europe’s most promising New Left project

 

 

April 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung — Luka Mesec is the coordinator for the party Levica (“The Left”) in Slovenia. The party was only founded in summer 2017 and emerged from an electoral alliance between three left-wing parties that has been represented in the Slovenian parliament since 2014. In the last parliamentary elections in summer 2018, Levica won over nine percent of votes and has tolerated the liberal governing coalition since last fall. This makes it one of the few new left parties in Central and Eastern Europe that has met with electoral success. In conversation with the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung’s Wenke Christoph, Luka discusses the political models that helped them succeed, and what challenges and chances come along with tolerating the government and building local structures.

 

Climate emergency manifesto: We only have one planet. Let's save it. Now!

 

 

https://www.guengl.eu/content/uploads/2019/04/WhatsApp-Image-2019-04-16-at-16.47.26-1400x956.jpeg

 

Also available in German and Italian here

 

By European United Left/Nordic Green Left

 

The latest IPCC Special Report (October 2018) is our last alarm bell for stopping mass human and environmental destruction caused by human-induced climate change. Its findings were alarming-rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes before the year 2030 are what is required if we are to have any chance of staying well below 1.5° global warming. The failure of governments to adequately deal with this man-made crisis is already impacting millions of lives, and the most vulnerable worldwide are always hit the hardest. Short-sighted market logic has delayed an adequate response for way too long. We need unprecedented political will to achieve an ecologically just Europe, where we accept our full climate responsibility and where our climate is not sacrificed for the profit of the few.

 

No shortcuts: The climate revolution must be ecosocialist

 

 

By Daniel Tanuro, translated by Richard Fidler

 

April 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Climate & Capitalism — The following red-green manifesto for the 21st century was adopted by the national leadership of Belgium’s Gauche Anticapitaliste. Translated for Climate & Capitalism by Richard Fidler, who blogs at Life on the Left, with light editing by Ian Angus.

 

A Marxist turn in animal liberation?

 

 

“Bring slaughter to an end: expropriate the meat industry, abolish capitalism”. Rally against the Meat industry, Zurich, Switzerland, 2018

 

Interview with Daniel Werding, Christin Bernhold and David Müller

 

Daniel Werding, Christin Bernhold and David Müller are members of the Alliance for Marxism and Animal Liberation. The Alliance is a political association of various animal liberation groups centered in Germany and Switzerland. It was formed to support research, criticism and debate over the ideas of Marxism as they impact the animal liberation struggle and to contribute to a new approach to the praxis of the movement. The Alliance published it’s 18 Theses on Marxism and Animal Liberation[1] in January, 2017. An English translation was released August 2018. Along with 2 other members of the Alliance, they spoke with Currents editor Michael John Addario. The interview was conducted over email between November 2018 and April 2019.

 

Spanish state: candidate preselection turmoil as ‘existential’ election looms

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

March 26 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — According to Josep Borrell, outgoing Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) foreign minister and self-appointed scourge of the movement for Catalan sovereignty, the April 28 general elections will be «existential» for the Spanish state. For People’s Party (PP) opposition leader Pablo Casado they will be a "referendum on the secessionist menace".

 

This shared judgment of Spain’s "parties of government" would only have been heightened by the resounding success of the March 16 Madrid demonstration "Self-Determination is not a Crime: Democracy is Deciding". The rally, organised by the Catalan National Assembly, Òmnium Cultural and the platform Women and Men of Madrid for the Right to Decide, brought into the capital up to 120,000 supporters of the right to self-determination of the nations of the Spanish state. The size and spirit of the demonstration marked an important step ahead down the long road to a democratic alternative to Spanish state unionism.

 

Paul Le Blanc: Reflections on coherence and comradeship

 

 

By Paul Le Blanc

 

March 26, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Recent discussions with European comrades, whom I have known for many years and whose experience in the struggle goes back many more years, have stirred a desire in me to draw together some political thoughts long swirling and at least partially coming together in my mind.[1]

 

Working in Europe during the period from mid-January to mid-April of 2019 took me away from a political earthquake and after-shocks hitting my organization in the United States, the International Socialist Organization (ISO). Regarding aspects of both the earthquake and the after-shocks, I have formed only tentative and partial judgments. An impending dissolution of the group seems likely. What I have written is not a commentary on these recent specifics. Yet they have deepened my desire to draw together these longer-range thoughts, and find reflection in what I have to say here.

 

The gist of what I am reaching for involves several things.

 

Rethinking some dominant approaches to climate change

 

 

By Richard Fidler

 

March 26 2019 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left Blog — Climate change is the most visible, most threatening expression of a larger, planetary ecological crisis, the result of an economic system (capitalism) with an inherent growth and profit dynamic which ensures that the exploitation of natural resources (both renewable and non-renewable) exceeds the carrying capacity of nature. You have read the almost-daily scientific reports, each more alarming than the ones before, on the scope of the crisis. I won’t belabour the point.

 

Our approach must be informed by, and congruent with, the challenge that crisis poses to the way society must be organized if we are to halt and reverse the ecological catastrophe toward which we are now hurtling.

 

Looking for loopholes: On the misuses of Lenin’s “‘Left-Wing’ Communism”

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

March 26, 2019  
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice with the author's permission — With the 2020 U.S. presidential election already in full swing, we are already hearing the familiar clichés from liberals: that this is the “most important election in our lifetime” and that we must support the Democrats to defeat Donald Trump. Any left-wing criticism of the Democrats is met with a prompt demand to “shut up,” renounce our principles and get in line. Unfortunately, there are socialists and communists who not only repeat these liberal refrains, but also quote Lenin to justify supporting for the Democratic Party and to attack other socialists and communists as “dogmatists,” “purists” and “ultra-leftists.” The Lenin text most often cited as providing “loopholes” for radicals to abandon their principles and support the class enemy is “‘Left-Wing’ Communism: An Infantile Disorder” (LWC). This is, however, a gross misinterpretation of the purpose of Lenin’s LWC, which is not about rationalizing opportunism; rather, it is intended to help communists think seriously about strategy and tactics in order to successfully lead the working class.

 

Contribuciones a la teoría revolucionaria desde las montañas mexicanas: Una reseña de Lucio Cabañas y la guerra de los pobres

 

 

[Original in English here]
 
Lucio Cabañas y la guerra de los pobres. 
Silva Nogales, Jacobo. 2015.
Ciudad de México: Deriva Negra y Cooperativa Rizoma. 207 páginas.
Cooperativa Rizoma: coop.rizoma@gmail.com
Deriva Negra: deriva.negra@gmail.com

 

Reseña de Terrence Nevin Siders Vogt

 

Venezuela — Interview with Stalin Pérez Borges: “It will be very difficult to defeat us.”

 

 

March 3 2019 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal Stalin Pérez Borges is a union leader and veteran socialist militant. He is currently a member of LUCHAS (acronym for Unitarian Unionist Chavista League, and also ‘Struggles’ in Spanish) and of the Bolivarian Socialist Workers’ Central (CBST) Advisory Council. Intersecciones spoke to Pérez Borges about the current crisis in Venezuela. The original Spanish version was published on February 7. Translated by Pedro Alvarez from Aporrea

 

Before commenting on the current political crisis, how would you describe the social and economic crisis in Venezuela today?

 

This question leads to a very long answer, so I apologise if it gets tiresome. The economic and social crisis has grown exponentially for about five years now, and has got to this rotten state of hyper-inflation that we’re barely coping with, and which is breaking world records. This is the cause for the huge discontent that we have at this stage and for the important change in the correlation of political power in this juncture. In my opinion this is a consequence of three fundamental facts: two of them circumstantial, and one structural.

 

Budgeting for black-out in South Africa

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

March 3, 2019 Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalUpon taking power in a palace coup a year ago, Cyril Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) government was supposedly going to sweep out the prolific corruption associated with the 2009-18 Jacob Zuma ANC regime. But although excruciatingly-slow progress is being made in evicting the most obvious villains, durable Zumite influences remain, and whistleblowing continues to unveil rapid ANC degeneracy, even stretching into the Ramaphosa family.

 

Contributions to revolutionary theory from the Mexican highlands: A review of 'Lucio Cabañas y la guerra de los pobres'

 

 

Lucio Cabañas y la guerra de los pobres.
Silva Nogales, Jacobo. 2015.
Mexico City: Deriva Negra and Cooperativa Rizoma. 207 pages.
Cooperativa Rizoma: coop.rizoma@gmail.com
Deriva Negra: deriva.negra@gmail.com

 

Review by Nevin Siders

 

March 3, 2019 Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalMany biographies have been written on Lucio Cabañas. This one’s value derives from how it highlights his contributions to revolutionary theory. In the first chapter we see how he was in teacher training in the early 1960s in the state of Guerrero, home to Acapulco but also one of Mexico’s most violent and y despotic. When he left school he was assigned to a school in the rural county of Atoyac where he got involved in the small revolutionary movements of the time, the Teacher’s Revolutionary Movement (MRM), the Mexican Communist Party, and a group that the latter directed, the Independent Farmer’s Confederation (CCI).

 

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