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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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As Chávez said, ‘Let's not change the climate, let's change the system!’: A conversation with Max Ajl

 

 

By Cira Pascual Marquina

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — This week and through November 12, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow, Scotland. COP26 brings together heads of state and other prominent figures to talk about climate change. However, the conference won’t address the central environmental problem: capitalism. In this interview we talk to Max Ajl, author of A People’s Green New Deal (Pluto Press, 2021), which examines the capitalist roots of the environmental crisis, and addresses its impact on countries of the Global South such as Venezuela.

A Postnihilist Manifesto: Making Afghanistan and other margins the locus for world emancipation

 

 

By Saladdin Ahmed 

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Just before her execution, in 1919, the internationalist revolutionary thinker Rosa Luxemburg, in a speech in Berlin, said, “if the proletariat fails to fulfill its class duties, if it fails to realize socialism, we shall crash down together to a common doom.”[1] Around the same time, Walter Benjamin, at the age of twenty-seven, wrote, “Only for the sake of the hopeless ones have we been given hope.”[2] After about twenty years, on an autumn day, fascism brought death to Benjamin too, who was another excluded voice in Europe, yet certainly one of its gentlest souls of all times. 

Those desperate calls for creating real hope in a world that is stuck in despair and moving into an abyss remain ever more relevant. The geographies of intensive suffering have shifted here and there, but ultimately the crash down has only become worse,[3] and the only true hope is the one that will emerge from amid the doomed and the hopeless ones. 

Green Designs for 21st Century Socialism

 

 

By Richard Westra

October 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Before turning to the subject matter at hand two abiding issues in Marxist thinking need to be addressed. First, when Marx inveighed against Utopian Socialist futuristic model building, he never intended it to become a mantra dissuading socialists from thinking practically about socialist institutional design. Rather, Marx simply insisted that such endeavors only be undertaken after knowledge of the then forming capitalist economy had been produced. This is the task of Marx’s magisterial economic writing Capital that he devoted much of his life to completing. Second, while Marx’s pithy theory of historical materialism in the (in)famous Preface spells out in broad brush terms the general process of historical change: “At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production,” in Capital Marx offers a far more precise means of conceptualizing the specific historical transformation from capitalism to socialism.

Challenge capitalist use of agriculture as a weapon of domination

 

 

By Don Fitz

October 23, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It is time to take action against corporate methods of agriculture which poison the food our families eat, threaten the survival of soil ecosystems, destroy the livelihood of farmers, crush farmworker organizing efforts and subjugate entire countries. Here are a few of the many ways that people are challenging capitalist agriculture, from the very theoretical to the very concrete.

The core problem of agriculture is 10,000 years old. Cultivation of annual grain crops inevitably degrades the soil ecosystem and depletes soil organic matter. Perennial grain crops and cropping systems now being developed can resolve this, making food-producing ecosystems as resilient as natural ecosystems.

In India, the small and marginal farmers who comprise 83% of farm households suffer brazen commercialization of the countryside. The steady withdrawal of state support causes a decline in incomes. Yet, a growing network of people's collectives and agro-ecological approaches are reinvigorating Indian farming and augmenting incomes.

Ecosocialism 2021: System change not climate change

 

Three days of workshops and panels, featuring local and international speakers.

Get Tickets

This event will be available both online and in person at locations including Brisbane, Cairns, & Perth.

The Communist International: A critical analysis

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The soviet seizure of power under Bolshevik leadership, in October 1917, surprised many socialists outside of Russia, particularly in Western Europe where the tendency was to anticipate socialist victory through the election of a socialist majority and parliamentary adoption of the kind of program outlined by the prominent Marxist intellectual Karl Kautsky in The Road to Power.

Food sovereignty: A manifesto for the future of our planet

 

 

By La Via Campesina

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from La Via Campesina — 

Food Sovereignty is a philosophy of life.

It offers a vision for our collective future, and defines the principles around which we organize our daily living and co-exist with Mother Earth. It is a celebration of life and all the diversity around us. It embraces every element of our cosmos; the sky above our heads, the land beneath our feet, the air we breathe, the forests, the mountains, valleys, farms, oceans, rivers and ponds. It recognizes and protects the inter-dependency between eight million species that share this home with us.

We inherited this collective wisdom from our ancestors, who ploughed the land and waded the waters for 10,000 years, a period in which we evolved into an agrarian society. Food Sovereignty promotes justice, equality, dignity, fraternity and solidarity. Food Sovereignty is also the science of life – built through lived realities spread across countless generations, each teaching their progeny something new, inventing new methods and techniques which sat harmoniously with nature.

Red vegans against green peasants

 

 

By Max Aji and Rob Wallace

October 18, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Socialist — Sometimes imitation is less than flattery.

Recent work on the likely origins of the COVID-19 pandemic traces the interactions across confined animal feeding operations, declining livestock diversity, fading forests, and expanding trade and travel produced a petri dish of explosive new diseases. Out of this combination, one virus after another now easily jumps from animal populations to humans.

In the light of these viral incubators — also acknowledged as huge biological emitters of CO2 and methane, rampant deforesters, horrific engines of suffering for the living beings enclosed in industrial animal camps — a number of evangelical vegans, from Jonathan Safran Foer on the center-right to a few on the putative left, have leapt through an expectant opening to argue for the end of food animal production in its totality.

Pandemic shines harsh light on privatisation & outsourcing

 

 

By Dave Holmes

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Arguing for Socialism — Right from the start, Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been shaped by the basic realities of contemporary capitalism (“neoliberalism”).

Slave or protagonist? The worker in 'Capital'

 

 

By Michael A. Lebowitz

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Think of the worker in Marx’s Capital. He sells his capacity to work as a commodity to the capitalist. In the relation of “supremacy and subordination” of capital over wage-labourers that results from this transaction, the capitalist is able to gain absolute surplus value by lengthening and intensifying the workday as well as relative surplus value by increasing the proportion of the workday that accrues to the capitalist.1 The latter is possible because the value of labour-power is “determined, as in the case of every other commodity, by the labour-time necessary for the production, and consequently also the reproduction, of this specific article,” and this falls with increases in productivity in the production of the use-values that enter into the standard of necessity of the worker.2

Breakthrough for Norway’s radical left

 

 

By llen Engelstad

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung — In Norway’s parliamentary election on Monday, 13 September 2021, the country took a significant leftward turn, with candidates on the left of the political spectrum securing 100 out of a total of 169 seats in the national parliament. It is unclear who will form a government, but it will likely be a majority coalition bringing together the Labour Party (Ap), the Centre Party (Sp) and the Socialist Left Party (SV), or a minority coalition made up of just the first two of these parties. Alternatively, Labour could form a minority government on its own, with support from the left in Parliament, i.e. similar to the situation in Denmark and Portugal.

From Kautsky and the Bolsheviks, to Hegel and Marx: Dialectics, the triad and triplicity

By Jason Devine

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  In popular discussions or expositions of “dialectical materialism,” the so-called “philosophy” of Marxism, one frequently finds references to the triad of thesis-antithesis-synthesis as an example of the dialectical method. Regardless of the illustrations provided the fact remains that the triad has nothing to do with Marx’s dialectical logic. In fact it is pre-Hegelian. The “core of the dialectic method, both in Hegel and Marx, is not the triad thesis-antithesis-synthesis, which was originated by Kant and then developed by J.G. Fichte.” Still, it is understandable that many people who consider themselves communists, as Marxists, would promote the triad as the dialectical method, when such a view can be found among the founders of the modern international communist movement, the Bolsheviks. After reviewing the latter, this study will then go on to consider the role of the triad, if any, in Hegel and Marx.

Download the PDF here

United States: Trump, Texas, and the MAGA drive for power

 

 

By Max Elbaum

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Organizing Upgrade — Donald Trump dispensed with even the pretense of paying tribute to workers on Labor Day. Instead his three word Labor Day Statement, blasted out to his supporters everywhere via the right-wing media machine, was blunt about his political priorities: “Fix 2020 First.”

The Paris Commune as an historical turning point: On its 150th anniversary

 

 

By Seiya Morita

September 10, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  This year marks the 150th anniversary of the victory and defeat of the Paris Commune. Many articles have already been published around the world bringing back this historic event and developing new insights. This article is written as one of them.

Against overproduction

 

 

[This is the final part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social ThoughtZNet and Links.  The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here.  The second portion was a response by Fitz to Pollin’s articles.  The third portion was a rejoinder by Pollin to Fitz’s response.]

By Don Fitz

Robert Pollin repeats a message often seen in writings defending alternative energy (AltE): while they briefly shake their heads at capitalist waste, they deny an overproduction problem.  In his response to my article on “Be Careful What Energy You Wish For,” his message comes through that there are no limits on what can be done to the Earth’s ecosystems that AltE can’t solve.  

For a global renewable-dominant energy system

 

 

[This is the third part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social ThoughtZNet and Links. The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here. The second portion was a response by Don Fitz which can be read here.  The final portion will be a closing statement by Fitz.]

By Robert Pollin

Don Fitz’s response to my two interviews that Z generously republished makes two major assertions:  1) Reducing overall consumption and working fewer hours provides a viable path on its own to stabilizing the global climate; and 2) Renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, are not really “clean” even though they supply energy without generating CO2 emissions.  I will address these in turn.

As I state at the outset of my first posted interview, on “degrowth,” I strongly agree that “a significant share of what is produced and consumed in the current global capitalist economy is wasteful, especially much, if not most, of what high-income people throughout the world consume.”  Fitz is merely setting up a straw-person in suggesting that I think otherwise.  

Be careful what energy you wish for

 

 

[This is the second part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz carried in Green Social Thought, ZNet and Links. The first portion consisted of two articles by Pollin which originally appeared in Truthout and can be read here.  The third portion will be a short rejoinder by Pollin to this article.  The final portion will be a short closing statement by Fitz.]

By Don Fitz

Climate change is an existential problem confronting humanity and Robert Pollin offers well thought-out plans in his first and second articles.  There is only space here to respond to these themes: (1) We can reach zero CO2 emissions by 2050; (2) An enormous expansion of alternative energy (AltE) can create far more jobs than would be lost by eliminating fossil fuels (FF); and (3) Without stating so explicitly, he implies that negative aspects of AltE would be tiny.  

Two interviews with Robert Pollin on the climate crisis and a Global Green New Deal

 

 

[This is the first part of an exchange between Robert Pollin and Don Fitz for ZNet.  The second portion will be a response by Don Fitz.  The third portion will be a short rejoinder by Pollin to that article.  The final portion will be a short closing statement by Fitz.]

Interviews with Robert Pollin conducted by C.J. Polychroniou

China: Neither imperialist nor part of the Global South

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

September 9, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — China’s insertion in the global capitalist system has prompted many critical analyses among the Marxist left. Most debated is a simple but basic question: is China socialist, or capitalist? Some are unequivocal. For example, a recently published “manifesto” of a group centered at the University of Manitoba[1] states grandiosely that “no country represents working people’s advance – economic, technological, ecological and social – more than China….” Its ruling Communist party “has made China the indispensable nation in humankind’s struggle for socialism, offering aid and inspiration as a worthy example of a country pursuing socialism,” more precisely, a form of “market socialism.”

New Zealand: How to end the race and class inequalities destroying working people’s lives

 

 

By Mike Treen

September 9, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Daily Blog — A recent study found that Māori had twice the mortality from various cancers than non-Māori.

This statistic isn’t new. I came across a similar finding in my notes from three decades ago. Cancer deaths twice that of Pākeha, while medical interventions were half that of Pākehā.

So we have to take a long, hard look at why the system has failed Māori despite three decades of progress in certain areas. There’s been a significant growth in professional and middle-class layers among Māori which is a good thing. There’s been an expansion in Māori-run businesses and assets under Māori control that deliver services directly to Māori people.

Yet, despite this progress, Māori continue to die from preventable diseases at 2-3 times the rate for non-Māori.

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