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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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‘1917: The View from the Streets’: Leaflets of the Russian revolution #2 – ‘The Day of the People’s Wrath is Near’

 

 

Konstantin Yurenev, a leader of the Mezhrayonka,
a revolutionary current of Russian Social Democracy.

 

January 22, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website – 100 years ago today, on January 22 (9) 1917, an estimated 150,000 workers in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) carried out a protest strike against the war and the tsarist autocracy, a foreshock of the Russian revolution that broke out six weeks later (see “Historian’s summary” below).

 

The following call for this action was circulated during the previous days by the Social Democratic Interdistrict Committee (Mezhraionka). January 22 (9) was the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in 1905, when the tsarist government used military force to violently suppress a peaceful demonstration. (See “Note on Russian dates,” below).

 

The Interdistrict Committee members wanted to rally all Marxist Social Democrats to unite the factions of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, in order to present a united socialist front against the war, the autocracy, and liberal attempts to draw workers into a patriotic effort to support the war. During 1917 the Mezhrayonka fused with the Bolshevik current.

 

Translation and annotation by Barbara Allen.

 

Bolivian VP Alvaro Garcia Linera on Trump, Brexit: Globalization as ideology is dead and buried

 

 

By Alvaro Garcia Linera

 

January 20, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from WorldCrunch –– The mad rush toward a world without borders and relentless squeezing of the nation-state in the name of liberating commerce is coming to an end. Before the gasps of the globalized elite, the near-religious conviction that all societies were bound to coalesce into a single economic, financial and cultural whole has collapsed.

 

Britain's decision to abandon the European Union, the most important state unification project of the past 100 years, coupled with Donald Trump's electoral victory that rode on vows to boost protectionism, build a monumental wall to stem migration, and ditch trade pacts have annihilated the biggest and most successful liberal dreams of our time. And when you think the protagonists of this historic reversal are the two principle countries that 35 years ago trumpeted the advent of global trade as humanity's salvation, we inevitably find ourselves in a world bereft of a dream that impelled it for a century.

 

The Law and Justice Party and Poland’s turn to the right

 

 

Jarosław Kaczyński and Beata Szydlo

 

By Gavin Rae and Czesław Kulesza

 

January 19, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform! Europe –– It has been over a year since the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) took over complete governmental control in Poland. The presidential election won by Andrzej Duda in May 2015 and the victory of PiS five months later, gave party’s leader Jarosław Kaczyński almost total control of the state.

 

Women's Defense Units (YPJ) spokeswoman: 'We also fight for a mental and intellectual liberation'

 

 

January 18, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ANF English –– YPJ (Women's Defense Units) Spokeswoman Nesrin Abdullah described Raqqa operation that was launched at the end of 2016 and led by the YPJ as the operation to avenge all women, and said “Raqqa’s liberation is also the liberation of mentalities. Because as the women of the YPJ, we aim not only liberation from ISIS but also a liberation of mentality and thoughts. Democratic culture and fraternal life must be deepened because war is not only the liberation of land. We are also fighting for the liberation of women and men. If not, the patriarchal system will prevail once again.

 

Syria: Our starting point must be solidarity

 

 

 

Mark Boothoryd (left) alongside Syrian activists 
protesting against British military intervention in Syria, December 2015

 

By Mark Boothroyd

 

January 17, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – While I welcome David Bush’s attempt to debate Syria productively, his article reproduces many common mistakes made by socialist activists who have not consistently engaged with the Syrian revolution, and offers little to those on the ground struggling against both the Assad regime, and the various imperialist powers intervening in the country.

 

Catalonia versus the Spanish state: the battleground in 2017

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

January 17, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– 2017 will be the year of showdown between Catalonia and the Spanish state over whether the Catalan people have a right to vote on how their country should relate to Spain.

 

In conversation: Studs Terkel interviews Joe Slovo

 

 

By Alan Wieder

 

January 16, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – The twelfth anniversary of Joe Slovo’s death is upon us this month. When I traveled in South Africa between 2013 and 2016, I was often asked what Joe Slovo would say about the state of the country. Then, this past fall, people wanted to know what the world’s greatest interviewer, Studs Terkel, would opine about American politics today. I can’t help but think that it would have been Studs who might have best nurtured Joe talking about South Africa today. After all, they both were the men in the RED socks. Thus, the ‘fictional’ 2017 Terkel-Slovo conversation.

 

Free Lee Jin-Young! Stop the repression of Labor Books! International Campaign to Free LJY 2017

 

 

By Joint Action against the Oppression on Labor Books under National Security Law

 

January 14, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – On January 5th, a South Korean district court decided to detain Lee Jin-young, coordinator of Labor Books, a book-sharing web site, in violation of the notoriously draconian National Security Law. This abrupt decision is extremely shocking, considering historic candlelight protests against the political scandal of Park Geynhye government and the subsequent crisis and her impeachment.

 

Estados Unidos: La ascensión del trumpismo

 

 

[Original in English here]

 

Por Barry Sheppard

 

13 de enero 2017
–– Traducido por Faustino Eguberri para Viento Sur –– Una de las características de la reciente campaña electoral presidencial habrá sido la manifestación de las profundas divisiones en el seno de los dos partidos, demócrata y republicano. Esto se añadía al atasco en el Congreso, el pat, entre los dos partidos del capitalismo. Además de esto, el país está muy polarizado a propósito de la raza, la economía y muchas otras cuestiones.

 

Etats-Unis. L’ascension du trumpisme

 

 

[Original in English here]

 

Par Barry Sheppard

 

13 janvier 2017 - traduction A l’Encontre - Une des caractéristiques de la récente campagne électorale présidentielle aura été les profondes divisions au sein des deux partis, démocrate et républicain. Cela s’ajoutait à l’impasse au Congrès, le pat, entre les deux partis du capitalisme. En plus de cela, le pays est très polarisé à propos de la race, de l’économie et de beaucoup d’autres questions.

 

Demos - Romania's new kids on the block

 

 

By Claudia Ciobanu

 

January 12, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from openDemocracy –– A new party is born in Romania, grounded in years of civic struggle against government abuse and the failures of a neo-liberal state. Can Demos follow in the footsteps of Syriza and Podemos?

 

Andreea Petruț and Claudiu Crăciun are members of Demos, a new civic platform - soon to become political party - in Romania that has an explicit social and ecological agenda. Petruț and Crăciun are both political scientists and civic activists.

 

For the moment, Demos functions as a civic platform bringing people together to debate and organise around the values of democracy and solidarity. The platform also serves as an "antechamber" for a party that is planned to be officially registered in the next couple of months.

 

Georgi Plekhanov and the roots of Soviet philosophy

 

 

By Jason Devine

 

January 11, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– Marxism was born through a critical appropriation of Hegel’s method and a radical break with the philosophy of Young Hegelianism.[1] With this, Marx declared that philosophy was over. As he wrote to Ferdinand Lassalle in regards to the Hegelian dialectic, “This dialectic is, to be sure, the ultimate word in philosophy and hence there is all the more need to divest it of the mystical aura given it by Hegel.”[2] Even more explicitly, Engels wrote in an early introduction to his Anti-Dühring: “The Hegelian system was the last and consummate form of philosophy, in so far as the latter is presented as a special science superior to every other. All philosophy collapsed with this system.”[3] Hence, any attempts to revive philosophy i.e. a specific form of ideology, could only be a step backwards from the advance made by Marx and Engels, could only ever be a reactionary project. If carried out within Marxism it can only mean a reversion back to pre-Marxist times, to pre-scientific views in the study of society. Dialectical materialism as the philosophy of Marxism is exactly such a reactionary turn. In fact, dialectical materialism, the ruling philosophy in the USSR, a philosophy which, in whole or in part, countless Marxist-Leninist parties, groups, and sects claim adherence to today, was essentially the product of Georgi Plekhanov. However, Plekhanov’s philosophy of dialectical materialism was not and is not synonymous with Marx’s method, with scientific socialism. Rather, the former can be more correctly described as neo-Young Hegelian.

 

Financial claims on the world economy

 

 

Reviewed by Tony Norfield

 

Finance Capital Today: Corporations and Banks in the Lasting Global Slump
By François Chesnais
Brill, Leiden, 2016

 

January 10, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Economics of Imperialism – This book is well worth reading. It is written in a clear and accessible style and discusses key points about the limitations of capitalism and the role of contemporary finance. Perhaps its most important point is how the financial system has accumulated vast claims on the current and future output of the world economy – in the form of interest payments on loans and bonds, dividend payments on equities, etc. These claims have outgrown the ability of the capitalist system to meet them, but government policy has so far managed to prevent a collapse of financial markets with zero interest rate policies, quantitative easing, huge deficits in government spending over taxation, and so forth. The result is an unresolved crisis, a ‘lasting global slump’, in which economic growth remains very weak and vast debts remain in place.

 

Pakistan: Awami Workers Party demands immediate and safe recovery of disappeared poet & activist Salman Haider

By Awami Workers Party

January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – The Awami Workers Party (AWP) Deputy-General Secretary Ismat Shahjahan expressed deep concern about the mysterious disappearance of renowned literary figure, university lecturer and progressive activist Salman Haider from the outskirts of Islamabad on Friday night.

Will Washington’s new pro-Moscow, anti-Beijing gang drive a wedge through the BRICS in 2017?

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

January 9, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The weeks following an underwhelming Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) mid-September summit in Goa and the United States presidential election in November have unveiled ever-widening contradictions. Thanks to blatant corruption, presidential delegitimation has reached unprecedented levels in both Brazil and South Africa, while ruling-party religious degeneracy in India also included an extraordinary bout of local currency mismanagement. And sudden new foreign-policy divergences may wreak havoc in China and Russia. The BRICS bloc’s relations could well destabilise to the breaking point.

 

From Obama to Trump: The failure of passive revolution

 

 

By William I. Robinson

 

January 8, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– Barack Obama declared to CNN this past December 26 that he could have beaten Donald Trump had he the chance to run against the president elect for a third term, but he may have done more than anyone else to assure Trump’s victory.

 

While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society and the political system, a fascist outcome is far from inevitable and will depend on the fight back that has already begun. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of a 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized, and watered by the government of outgoing president Barack Obama and the bankrupt liberal elite that Obama’s presidency represents.

 

The defeat of Aleppo – Some harsh lessons for the international left

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

 

January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left with permission – Aided by the bombs of the Russian air force and the bullets of foreign militias organized by Iran, Syria’s president Bashar Al-Assad has finally managed to destroy the eastern sector of the country’s largest city Aleppo, the major remaining pocket of popular resistance to his regime.

 

In the following article Santiago Alba Rico, a Spanish-born philosopher and writer based in Tunisia, analyzes what the defeat in Syria means for democratic and progressive opinion everywhere, and in particular the far-reaching implications of the failure of much of the international left to identify with and mobilize in support of the people of Syria in their powerful rebellion against oppression and repression. This failure, he argues, was a critical factor that facilitated the efforts of Assad and his reactionary international allies to drown the revolt in a river of blood.

 

Against imperialist regime-change intervention in Syria and the Middle East

 

 

By Roger Annis and Felipe Stuart Courneyeur

 

January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – David Bush has published an appeal for reasoned and informed discussion in Canada of the war and humanitarian disaster in Syria. He calls for building (or rebuilding) movements in imperialist countries such as Canada to oppose war and foreign intervention in the Middle East. We welcome his appeal and write this essay as a contribution to the discussion David suggests be opened.

 

We do not agree entirely with David's presentation of the war in Syria. This contribution aims to fill in the gaps we believe he leaves. Hopefully, we can arrive at a better understanding in Canada of events in Syria and from there arrive at a clear path for action by an antiwar left wing.

 

Debating Syria productively

 

 

By David Bush

 

January 7, 2017 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project – The debate over Syria on the Left is toxic. I pulled together 13 points about the situation in Syria I hope can be useful in framing the discussion in a more productive way. The ultimate goal of these discussions in Western countries should be to have a clearer idea about how to strengthen antiwar movements to stop the madness of imperialism.

 

United States: The rise of Trumpism

 

 

By Barry Sheppard

 

January 6, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– A feature of the recent election campaign was the deep divisions in both the Democratic and Republican parties. This was on top of the stalemate in Congress between the twin parties of capitalism. In addition, the nation is polarized over race, the economy and many other issues.

 

Also, it should be noted that there is and was no mass working class party that could have championed an alternative.

 

Donald Trump emerged and was then elected as the strongman who would take over and set things right, although exactly how he will do this has been left open on many issues.

 

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