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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).
This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.
By Claudio Katz, translation and notes by Richard Fidler
December 6, 2016 — Life on the Left — With Fidel’s death Latin America’s principal revolutionary figure of the last century has left us. Amidst our great sorrow at his passing it is difficult to assess his stature. But while emotion clouds any evaluation, the Comandante’s influence can be appreciated with greater clarity now that he has left.
South Korea's parliament is set to vote on whether to impeach President Park Geun-hye after a political scandal triggered off a mass wave of outrage - including a 2-million strong nationwide demonstration, the largest in the country's history. As part of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal coverage of the crisis, we are republishing below, with permission, two articles from the latest World Current Report, published by the Seoul-based International Strategy Center.
By Hilary Wainwright
December 3, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — Back in the 1970s, with unemployment rising and British industry contracting, workers at the arms company Lucas Aerospace came up with a pioneering plan to retain jobs by proposing alternative, socially-useful applications of the company’s technology and their own skills. The ‘Lucas Plan’ remains one of the most radical and forward thinking attempts ever made by workers to take the steering wheel and directly drive the direction of change.
November 1 article " European financial system: next crash just around the corner?"
December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Thanks to Jurriaan Bendien for his comment, and my apologies for not finishing this reply earlier. A lot has been happening in the Spanish state that needs covering and it also took me quite a bit of research to work out what I make of the issues Jurriaan raised.
To begin, I agree that it was misleading to write that “the chief pressure squeezing bank profitability has come directly from the real economic conditions, from the subdued demand for loans” (emphasis added here). Real economic forces such as the level of consumer demand don’t operate directly on the banking sector as they do on firms producing commodities for sale on the market, but indirectly, mainly through changes in interest rates.
However, I still hold to the point I was trying to make with that wrongly worded sentence. That is, of the forces shaping bank profitability it is the subdued demand for credit that is most driving actual levels of lending to business and, as a consequence, also compressing banking sector profitability in Europe.
‘1917: The View from the Streets’: Leaflets of the Russian revolution #1 - ‘Down with the war. Long live the revolution!’
December 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago this month, an organizing committee of Bolshevik-influenced students issued this underground proclamation calling on students in Russia who were opposed to the war to come together with workers and peasants to put a provisional revolutionary government in power. The organizing committee linked revolutionary student circles at higher educational institutions in Petrograd, Russia. Its proclamation reflects the impact of the Zimmerwald movement upon leading student revolutionary activists in Russia. It was originally published by Alexander Shlyapnikov in 1923.
December 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We, the undersigned organisations, express our support to the struggle of the people of West Papua for self-determination.
By Dick Nichols
November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — “The mother of all wars”: that’s how, in the September issue of the left magazine Critica Marxista, constitutional law professor Claudio De Fiores described the campaign around Italy’s referendum on amending the country’s 1948 constitution.
It was no exaggeration.
Introductory note by Mike Taber
November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's website — To honor the contributions of Fidel Castro to the world revolutionary movement, below are three short excerpts by him from 1961, at the time of the U.S.-organized invasion at the Bay of Pigs. The fall of the regime of Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959, opened up a period of sustained popular mobilization throughout Cuba. Led by Fidel Castro and a broad team of July 26 Movement cadres, over the next two years Cuban working people carried out one of the most profound revolutionary transformations in modern history.
By Anna Lau, Erdelan Baran, and Melanie Sirinathsingh
November 23, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open Democracy — For 4000 years since the breakdown of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, almost every major societal collapse has featured five trends: spiralling migration, state collapse, food shortages, epidemic disease and climate change. What makes the present era distinct is that whilst previous collapses have been geographically contained, the globalisation of carbon-intensive industry since the 1800s and particularly over the last four decades means that the relationship between cause and effect has been obscured. Many of the people worst impacted by human-caused climate change today are also the least responsible for it. The Climate Stories project believes that averting further damage and building a different future means being led by those who are the first to hear the earth rise up in protest, have considered the causes and are innovating solutions. In this spirit, this article documents reflections from a series of conversations with members of the Kurdish movement on climate change.
Exploring the roots of a 21st century ‘climate crisis’
[Original in English here.]
Par Richard Fidler
23 novembre 2016 — Traduction française par Pierre Beaudet, Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières — En Syrie, les villes rebelles qui se sont soulevées à partir de 2011 contre la brutale dictature de Bashar El-Assad, subissent maintenant un siège génocidaire. Chaque jour, elles sont visées par l’aviation syrienne et les bombardiers russes. Leur combat, s’il échoue, brisera pour une longue période les espoirs du Printemps arabe pour une alternative démocratique et anti-impérialiste dans cette région du monde. Dans ce contexte, les socialistes et les militant-es pour la paix partout dans le monde doivent appuyer le peuple syrien et s’opposer à la guerre.
URGENT APPEAL: Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) leader arrested in police crackdown on BERSIH rally
By International Bureau, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM)
November 18, 2016 — Arutchelvan, Central Committee Member of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) was arrested this evening as part of police crackdown on the eve of BERSIH 5 rally.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Translated by Rachael Boothroyd, VenezuelaAnalysis.com
Remembering the context in which the project emerged
1. When Chávez triumphed in the presidential elections of 1998, the neoliberal capitalist model was already falling apart. The dilemma was none other than to either reform the neoliberal capitalist model, evidently with changes, and amongst those a greater for concern for social issues, but still orientated towards the same profit seeking motive, or to move forward with the construction of another model.
2. Chávez chose the latter option. To give it a name, he decided to rescue the word socialism, despite its historical burden of negative connotations. He specified that it should be socialism of the 21st Century in a bid to differentiate it from the Soviet socialism implemented during the 20th Century, and warned that it must not “make the same errors of the past”; the “Stalinist deviation” which had bureaucratised the whole party and put an end to popular protagonism, or the state capitalism which emphasised state property and not the participation of the workers in directing enterprises.
By Dick Nichols
November 16, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In the end, on October 29, it all worked out pretty well for Mariano Rajoy. After patiently implementing his motto that “all things come to he who waits”, the leader of the minority conservative People’s Party (PP) was that day confirmed as Spain’s prime minister for a second four-year term.
Two days later, Rajoy was sworn in by King Philip and normal operations were resumed in the institutions of the Spanish state after ten months of tension and turmoil springing from the inconclusive general elections of December 20 and June 26.
These had converted the two-party system into a four-party game, with newcomers Podemos (on the left) and Citizens (on the right) drawing millions of voters away from the PP and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), Spain’s other traditional “party of government”. No party had a majority and the second election was called because the PSOE’s attempt to form a government with Citizens failed because of the opposition of the PP, Podemos and the rest of the left, as well as of Basque and Catalan nationalist forces.
By Noam Chomsky
November 15, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Pope Francis captured the essence of the crisis of immigration: “Migrants are not the danger. They are in danger.”
The implication is clear - the so called crisis of immigration is an indication of a bigger moral crisis in the wealthy countries of the world; those societies that have resources to help those who are in severe danger and to mitigate or resolve the circumstances that lie at the roots of their flight.
Reflection on these matters is essential if we are to face the moral crisis honestly and realistically, which is a prerequisite to a humane and constructive response to an enormous human problem that is right before our eyes, and is very likely to become far worse in the near future unless decisive actions are undertaken. And it is instructive, I think, to reach for these reflections, to reach beyond the events, that are before our eyes which are shattering enough. That includes the report in yesterday’s El Pais that more than 4,000 desperate refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, fleeing from misery and violence. Migrants are often in extreme danger as we see every day.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. Unfortunately, there tends to be a lot of subjectivism in our analysis of the political situation. What tends to occur is that leaders, driven by their revolutionary passion, tend to confuse desires with reality. On the one hand, an objective evaluation of the situation is not carried out, the enemy tends to be underestimated and, on the other hand, one’s own potential is overestimated.
2. Moreover, leaders tend to confuse the mood of the most radical activists with the mood of the grassroots popular sectors. There exists a tendency in more than a few political leaderships to make generalizations about the mood of the people based simply on their own personal experiences, whether it is in the region they are in or the social sector they are active in, or based on the perception of those around them, who are always the most radicalized sectors.
3. Those that work with the most radicalized sectors will have a different vision of the country compared to those that carry out their political activities among the least political sectors. Revolutionary cadre who work in a militant popular neighborhood will not have the same vision of the country as those that are active in middle-class sectors.
Below, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing a series of statements releases by left parties and organisations in the United States in the wake of Donald Trump's election as president. This includes statements by the US Green Party's presidential candidate Jill Stein and VP running mate Ajamu S. Baraka, the national steering committee of Solidarity, and the International Socialist Organization, as well as an article by Dan La Botz.
by Richard Fidler
November 14, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In Syria the rebel cities that rose up four years ago in revolt against the brutal Assad dictatorship are now under a genocidal siege, bombed and assaulted from the air by Assad’s military aided and abetted by Russian fighter jets and bombers. Their desperate fight for survival, if unsuccessful, will put paid to the Arab Spring and with it the potential for building a democratic, anti-imperialist governmental alternative in the Middle East for an extended period to come. Socialists and antiwar activists everywhere have every interest in supporting the Syrian people and opposing that war.
But where is the antiwar movement?
[Original in English here]
Por Patrick Bond
November 14, 2016 — Traducido por Enrique García para Sin Permiso — Esta semana quizás sea recordada como el punto de inflexión política de Sudáfrica más importante desde que en septiembre de 2008 su propio partido, el ANC, obligase a dimitir al presidente Thabo Mbeki. Su torturador principal era en aquella época Jacob Zuma, que - después de un breve período transitorio - ha gobernado el país de una manera cada vez menos convincente desde mayo de 2009.
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MPs that have been arrested.
By Hişyar Özsoy and Aysel Tuğluk
November 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This brief presents an overview of the illegality of the entire political and judicial process leading up to the arrest of our Co-Chairs Mr Selahattin Demirtaş and Mr Figen Yüksekdağ, along with eight other MPs of our party on 4 and 7 November 2016.
In response to domestic and international outcry over the arrests, the Erdoğan-AKP government officials have presented this a necessary judicial measure against our Members of the Parliament (MPs) who refused to follow the summons of prosecutors for interrogation in relation to criminal cases filed against them. In his statement to the press on November 4th following the detention of our twelve MPs the night before, Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ argued that our MPS had defied the rule of law by this refusal, and left judicial authorities with no other choice than bringing them before the court by force.