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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).
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By Richard Fidler
February 19, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- In the summer of 2012 I drafted an article on the New Democratic Party (NDP) for the purpose of introducing a discussion among some comrades seeking information about the party that now forms the official opposition in Canada’s House of Commons. While by no means a definitive study, the article draws on a number of books, academic papers and other documents addressed to the history and nature of Canadian social democracy, all of which are referenced or linked in the text. A French version of this article, addressed to a Québécois readership, is published in the current issue of the left journal Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme devoted to “La question canadienne”, a critical analysis of the “Harper revolution”.
February 22, 2013 -- Green Left TV -- The Green Left Report hosts a roundtable discussion and debate on the millions-strong protests prior to the US war on Iraq, held around the world on February 15, 2003. The roundtable includes some key activists at the time who reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the protests in Australia and lessons for progressive struggles today.
Pip Hinman was a leader of the anti-war movement in Sydney at the time; Nick Deane convened a local peace group; and Jim McIlroy, who has been an anti-war activist since the Vietnam war, was part of the Brisbane protests. Also featured is an interview with Simon Butler, who led Books Not Bombs protests of high school and other young people opposed to the war. Hosts are Mel Barnes and Peter Boyle. Footage of the 2003 anti-war marches in Sydney by John Reynolds and Jill Hickson of Actively Radical TV. The episode ends with Carlo Sands critiquing the notion of the "lesser evil".
Produced by Green Left TV -- media for the 99%. Watch it, share it, film it, support it
Part 1: The liberation war years.
Part 2: The Mugabe years.
Produced by Afropop Worldwide and Banning Eyre
Aired January 24 and February 7, 2013 --There above radio documentaries, produced by the US world music station Afropop Worldwide, explore the legendary career of Thomas Mapfumo, a singer, composer and bandleader whose 1970s music set the stage for the birth of a new nation, Zimbabwe. Using rare, unreleased recordings and recollections by Mapfumo, key band members and prominent Zimbabweans who lived through the liberation struggle against the racist white regime of Ian Smith, this program traces the development of “chimurenga” (liberation) music.
February 22, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following document was adopted by the Australian Socialist Alliance at its 9th national conference, held January 18-20, 2013. It first appeared in Alliance Voices, the public discussion bulletin of the Socialist Alliance..
* * *
1. The international capitalist economic crisis is creating a wave of austerity across Europe and the advanced capitalist economies. Austerity measures, dictated by the international financial institutions (the IMF and World Bank) or carried out by governments on behalf of corporate interests, are driving millions into poverty, cutting welfare, slashing public spending on health and education, and slashing jobs and wages. So great is the crisis that millions of young people see no future in this inhuman system.
2. According to
reports, the World Bank's Food Price Index, which tracks the price of
internationally traded food commodities, was 6% higher in July 2012,
compared to the same time in 2011, and 1% over the previous peak of
'They will make splendid allies': The Communist Party of Australia and its attitude towards migrants
February 22, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below are two chapters from Australian socialist Douglas Jordon's thesis on the Communist Party of Australia. They deal with the CPA's sometimes inconsistent attitude to migration and racism within the Australian working class. As such issues continue to feature heavily in Australian politics and trade union activity, something the left must always deal with, these chapters provide useful lessons and experiences for socialists today. The chapters are availabe for download as PDF files or can be read on screen below the introduction.
Douglas Jordan was politicised in England in the late 1960s. After arriving in Australia he joined the Socialist Youth Alliance/Socialist Workers League/Socialist Workers Party, in which where he remained a member for 14 years. Today he is a community activist and co-presenter of the City Limits radio program on Melbourne's 3CR.
By John Riddell
February 20, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? An intense discussion now under way within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) raises issues related to the nature of internal democracy in the Communist International (Comintern) during 1919–23, the period of its first four congresses.
By Doug Enaa Greene
Dedicated to the Babouvists of today.
“We Communists, united in the Third International, consider ourselves the direct continuators of the heroic endeavors and martyrdom of a long line of revolutionary generations from Babeuf – to Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.”
By Dick Nichols
February 15, 2013 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The four years since the founding of France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) have been a roller coaster rise and fall for the organisation, which was created in 2009 on the initiative of the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR), the former French section of the Trotskyist Fourth International.
The party’s rapid early growth seemed to confirm the premise on which it was founded — tens of thousands of France's workers and young people wanted to get active against capitalism’s crises and crimes, but were wary of existing left organisations and looking for a new sort of political home.
February 16, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – On February 3, 120 socialists took part in a Toronto meeting to celebrate publication of Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922, available in paperback from Haymarket Books. This 1300-page volume is the seventh book of documents on the world revolutionary movement in Lenin’s time edited by John Riddell. Riddell’s address to the Toronto meeting, below, explains the purpose of the book and the publishing project. The video of the event, filmed by Left Streamed, begins above and continues below. It was moderated by Abbie Bakan, with additional commentary by David McNally, Greg Albo, Suzanne Weiss and Paul Kellogg.
February 18, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Oskar Matute (pictured above) was elected to the Basque parliament in the election of October 21, 2012, as a candidate for Euskal Herria Bildu (EH Bildu, Basque Country Reunification). He was previously a member of parliament from 2002-2009 with Ezker Batua-Berdeak, a united-left grouping. His is spokesperson for Alternativa, one of the founding members of the EH Bildu coalition, which has achieved spectacular electoral results since its legalisation in May 2011. EH Bildu won 25% of the popular vote in the October 2012 Basque election -- capturing 21 out of 75 seats.
Tristan Parish and Rachel Evans spoke to Oskar Matute about EH Bildu and the Basque battle for independence, dignity and socialism.
* * *
How did EH Bildu form and why did it achieve such good results?
More than 2000 people protest against coal seam gas in the Illawarra, NSW, Australia, October 2011.
By Farida Iqbal
February 10, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- The shale gas industry-commissioned white paper, The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What it Wants, How it Operates and What’s Next, makes for some very interesting reading. It was produced late last year by Control Risks, an “independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments”.
The white paper focuses on shale gas, but it also discusses coal seam gas. Shale gas is what features in the film Gasland by Josh Fox, which details the destructive effects of “fracking” on communities in the US.
By Michael A. Lebowitz
February 16, 2013 -- In view of the latest devaluation of the Venezuelan currency (see articles below), Venezuela-based Canadian socialist Michael Lebowitz has provided Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the following paper written in 2010 at the request of socialist group Marea Socialista.
* * *
We agree that the government decision to devalue the bolivar can be an important step toward providing greater funds for social programs and the state budget at all levels, reducing the unacceptable current level of imports, encouraging the development of exports other than oil and helping to create the conditions for new national production. However, by itself the burden of the devaluation measures will fall upon the working class. Therefore, to break clearly with the neoliberal model, it is essential that the government supplement its devaluation decision by accepting the following proposals.
Our proposals are based on four central principles:
Fijian Trade Union Congress secretary Felix Anthony.
By Byron Clark
February 7, 2013 -- The Spark (Fightback, New Zealand), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- After a conference in Nadi last month attended by more than 400 delegates from all affiliates of the Fijian Trade Union Congress (FTUC), Fiji’s trade unionists have begun forming a new political party. Felix Anthony, secretary of the FTUC and a one time a Fiji Labour Party MP who left the party last year citing a lack of internal democracy told Radio Australia;
“The people of Fiji and the workers of Fiji have little choice and what we need really is a political voice that represents a cross section of people and more so the workers of Fiji. It’s really a necessity that drives the trade unions at this time to consider a political movement and a political party.”
constitution is a negotiated and elitist peace charter by the three
parliamentary political parties and their Western backers. Above the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai and ZANU-PF's Robert Mugabe at a meeting to discuss the draft constitution.
Statement by the International Socialist Organisation (Zimbabwe)
Patrick Bond, director of the Center for Civil Society and professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, was interviewed by the Real News Network on February 14, 2013. Bond discussed the "resource curse" and the influence of the mining corporations on the ruling African National Congress, in particular the role of former anti-apartheid activist, now mining magnate, Cyril Ramaphosa. A full transcript is available HERE.
By Terry Bell
The following is an excerpt from Esteban Morales Domínguez's new book, Race in Cuba: Essays on the revolution and racial inequality released February 2013 by Monthly Review Press. It is posted with the kind permission of Monthly Review Press. Readers of Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to order a copy HERE.
You can download the excerpt HERE (PDF), or read it on screen below.
As a young militant in the Student Youth movement, Esteban Morales Domínguez participated in the overthrow of the Batista regime and the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. The revolutionaries, he understood, sought to establish a more just and egalitarian society. But Morales, an Afro-Cuban, knew that the complicated question of race could not be ignored, or simply willed away in a post-revolutionary context. Today, he is one of Cuba’s most prominent Afro-Cuban intellectuals and its leading authority on the race question.
February 12, 2013 -- Radio Australia -- A Philippine socialist party has thrown its support behind the Australian workers blockading the Werribee Water Treatment plant south-west of Melbourne.
Unemployed local tradespeople have been blockading the Werribee Water Treatment plant for the past week to protest against the employment of Filipino workers on special 457 visas [for guest workers].
Earlier this week, the Federal Court reserved decision on the Fair Work Building and Construction Inspectorate's bid to end the eight-day blockade.
On Monday, a group of 12 men, including Filipino workers, were helicoptered into the water treatment plant to avoid the blockade.
The chairperson of the Party of the Laboring Masses (PLM), Sonny Melencio, has told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific program he's concerned Filipino workers are being used to break picket lines.
More than 1 million people mobilised to protest the assassination of Chokri Belaid.
By Patrick Harrison and Dominique Lerouge
February 12, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Furious protests have exploded onto Tunisia's streets and a general strike has been called after the assassination of left-wing politician and lawyer Chokri Belaid on February 6. Belaid was head of the far-left Party of Democratic Patriots (PPD, he was previously leader of MOUPAD: see article below). His killing is Tunisia's first reported political assassination since independence.
Belaid was gunned down outside his home. Only 12 hours before, he publicly denounced "attempts to dismantle the state and the creation of militias to terrorise citizens and drag the country into a spiral of violence", Al Ahram said on February 6.
By Suzanne Weiss
January 31, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- Fifty years ago, on February 13, 1963, the publication of US writer and activist Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique sparked a new awakening in the thinking of women across North America. Friedan denounced the repression women suffered in the aftermath of World War II, when they were forced out of wartime jobs and convinced to accept the role of keepers of the home.
Profiteers of the market launched an unrelenting but subtle propaganda campaign to venerate women as wife and mother. This role, Friedan said, was the “feminine mystique”.
This domestic existence became, Friedan wrote, “a religion, a pattern by which all women must now live or deny their femininity”. In submitting to this concept of womanhood, women gave up their self-respect, recognition of their talents and abilities, and — most importantly — their identities. Fundamentally, Friedan said, this was a scam to sell more consumer goods to women, who were to be the major purchasers for home and family.
For a moment he lost himself in the old, familiar dream. He imagined that he was master of the sky, that the world lay spread out beneath him, inviting him to travel where he willed. It was not the world of his own time that he saw, but the lost world of the dawn -- a rich and living panorama of hills and lakes and forests. He felt bitter envy of his unknown ancestors, who had flown with such freedom over all the earth, and who had let its beauty die. -- Arthur C. Clarke, The City and the Stars
By Chris Williams