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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.

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John Ross and the myth of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’



By William Briggs

January 21, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Hardly a week goes by without a new book, commentary or academic paper being published about China in the 21st century. Most of these portray China as a threat and most link this to the idea that China is socialist. The demonisation is real. The threat is real, although it is a threat that comes from the United States and its allies. However, regardless of attacks from the West, China cannot be considered socialist.

The characterisation of China is a key part of the US campaign against China. China’s economic rise threatens US hegemony. The left, quite correctly, stands against the threats that emanate from the USA. Socialists can recognise that hundreds of millions have been brought out of poverty in China. But what they cannot do is accept that China is a socialist state, or that its advances are because of any socialist or Marxist policy.

There needs to be clarity in our analysis of just what China is. Some voices on the left promote the alleged socialist credentials of China. Their arguments, however, do not stand up to scrutiny. 

After historic failure, what future for progressive politics in South Korea?



By Youngsu Won

January 2, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalWith 2022 beginning, South Korea's left remains extremely divided and politically fragmented. In terms of institutional politics, the only left-wing party in parliament is Shim Sang-jung’s Justice Party (JP), nominally the third party in parliament with just 6 seats out of 295. Unfortunately, JP is the exclusive representative of progressive politics in South Korea’s parliament. Moreover, and in spite of its moderate position, it is evident that JP’s links with labour and popular movements are quite thin and fragile. Some Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) unionists are party members, but most labour and social movement leaders and activists do not belong to JP.

The over-representation of JP in progressive politics is a tragic result of the political collapse of the National Liberation (NL) tendency-led Unified Progressive Party (UPP), which has no seats in parliament and is struggling to politically survive after the party’s arbitrary and forceful dissolution by the Park Geun-hye government in 2013. Though this party remains organisationally strong, in a relative sense, and influential among labour and popular movements, its power in comparison to the previous Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was tremendously weakened. The DLP-UPP years has long gone.

Imperialist rebalance: America’s ‘KGB’ foreign policy line fortifies US imperialism’s global hegemony



By Rasti Delizo

January 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Today’s imperialist world system reflects a combined set of diverse crises sharpening the global order’s systemic contradictions. These inherently include the generalized and deepening crisis of the international capitalist economy, the deadly and unabating COVID-19 pandemic, rising regional and transregional political-security tensions driven by inter-imperialist competitions, and the catastrophic climate change emergency endangering humankind and its ecosystems. The consequence of this historical conjuncture of worldwide ruptures already poses a direct threat to the future of our universal humanity. Hence, the international working-class movement—led by progressive, Left and revolutionary socialist forces—is now urgently tasked to overcome the multiple crises of capitalism by resolutely advancing the general struggle for world socialism. 

Manufacturing the myth of a China threat



By William Briggs

January 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A lie, well told, is often easy to believe. The fiction that China somehow presents a threat to our lives and lifestyles proves the point. Cold War rhetoric is accepted as truth, even when there is no ideological battlefield.

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was supposedly about ideas. It was presented as a battle between the forces of light on one side and the forces of darkness on the other. The idea was well marketed, and the world ran along these ‘ideological’ rails for the better part of half a century until the collapse of the Soviet Union. 

One world or no world. Choose!



By Susan Rosenthal

January 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialism is the Best Medicine — The emergence of yet another COVID variant and a surge of new infections and restrictions have people wondering if this pandemic will ever end.

We’ve known how to stop infectious disease transmission for over a century. The problem is that our profit-driven society is structured to a) promote the spread of infectious diseases and b) block effective measures to stop them.

The dangers of working-class women’s football: 100 years after the English FA ban



By Kevin Skerrett

December 6, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — For many sports fans in Canada, the most memorable moment of this past summer’s Olympic Games in Japan was the triumph of the Canadian women’s soccer team, a heart-stopping penalty-shootout win over Sweden that garnered them an unprecedented gold medal. For followers of the team, and especially its veterans, there was additional relish in reaching that pinnacle after having already defeated the #1-ranked US team in the semi-final, a win that arguably avenged a crushing – highly contentious – semi-final loss to the US in the 2012 Olympic semi-final.

An unquestionably stirring moment – even for those who reject the nationalism and hyper-commodification that the Olympic Games both feeds and thrives on. But the Canadian women’s soccer win could also be viewed in light of decades of social and political struggle over the rights of women to simply play ‘football’. The fact is that exactly 100 years ago today, on December 5th, 1921, England’s Football Association (FA) officially banned women from playing the game under their authority – no use of their grounds, no support from their teams, not even accessing their referees and officials.

Philippines: Building a socialist-green-progressive electoral slate



By Sonny Melencio

November 25, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rappler — Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) fielded almost a complete slate from presidency, vice presidency, senators, and partylist in the 2022 elections. Our slate consists of labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman for president, activist parliamentarian and Laban ng Masa chairperson Walden Bello as vice president, workers’ advocate Luke Espiritu as senator, and environmental leaders Roy Cabonegro and David D’Angelo also as senators. 

We are also running as PLM partylist in Congress, with nominees coming from public sector unions, people’s organizations, women, and urban poor groups. We have a few local candidates contesting political clans and dynasties in areas such as Carmona, Cavite; Caloocan City; Zambales; and others.

Fielding candidates for top posts is a bold and daring move for Left groups. It has never been done before. The closest experience is the running of eight senatorial candidates by Partido ng Bayan (PnB) in 1987, shortly after the EDSA People’s Power Revolution in 1986.

Basque independentist left: pain caused by ETA ‘should never have happened’



By Dick Nichols

November 15, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The casual observer of the Spanish Basque Country (Euskadi) might have thought that the October 18 declaration of left-independentist alliance EH Bildu and its largest affiliate Sortu would have been welcomed by all sides of politics (see English version here).

The statement, which was read in Spanish by EH Bildu coordinator general Arnaldo Otegi and in Basque (euskara) by Sortu general secretary Arkaitz Rodríguez, delivered what many have long sought from the abertzale (patriotic) left: acknowledgment of the suffering caused by the 43-year-long military-terrorist actions of its armed wing, Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA). 

Reform or revolution? The lessons of Chile — a contribution to a debate



By Geoff Mirelowitz

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from World-Outlook — September 11 marked the 48th anniversary of the 1973 bloody military coup, backed by Washington, which overthrew the elected Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) government led by Salvador Allende in Chile.

On September 12, Jacobin, a magazine that describes itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture,” published an interview by Mia Dragnic with Tomás Moulian titled, “Salvador Allende Was Overthrown Because His Government Showed Chile Could Be Transformed.” Moulian is a sociologist today. According to Jacobin, he was “one of the leading militants of the Popular Unitary Action Movement (MAPU Obrero Campesino), a left-wing party that played a key role in Allende’s Popular Unity government,” and a “pre-candidate for the Communist Party in the 2005 presidential election.”

Eric Blanc’s article, “Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons from the Russian Revolution,” also originally appeared in Jacobin in July.

What are the ‘right lessons’ for socialists? A reply to Eric Blanc



By Mike Taber

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary via World-Outlook — Eric Blanc is a serious and dedicated socialist historian and activist who doesn’t hesitate to jump into the fray and take positions he knows are controversial. Such an attitude is commendable, even if I disagree with his conclusions. His latest article, “Socialists Should Take the Right Lessons from the Russian Revolution” — published in Jacobin and reprinted on John Riddell’s website — is no exception and merits careful examination.

In his article Blanc aims to set the record straight on V. I. Lenin and the Russian Revolution, and to demolish the “myth of Bolshevik exceptionalism,” which he asserts is “wrong for our own time.” Instead, he seeks to establish the “right lessons” socialists should take from the history of the fight for “socialist transformation.”

Socialists should take the right lessons from the Russian Revolution



By Eric Blanc

November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from World-Outlook — Socialists have rightly taken inspiration from the Russian Revolution for generations, but many of the lessons drawn from it are wrong for our own time. To make change today, we need to take democratic socialism seriously as a theory and practice.

Radicals have lived under the political shadow of the Russian Revolution for more than a hundred years. Inspired by the example of 1917, generation after generation of socialists sought to learn and implement what they took to be the core political lessons of the Bolsheviks.

Though millions of activists gave everything to this project and played important roles in winning gains for working people across the world, Leninist parties have never come close to making their own revolution in advanced capitalist democracy. The tragedy of the Bolsheviks’ inspiring example was not only that they so quickly succumbed to the horrors of Stalinism, but that they over-projected a revolutionary approach ill-suited for parliamentary contexts.

‘The Return of the Dialectics of Nature’: 2020 Deutscher Prize Lecture by John Bellamy Foster (plus discussion)



November 14, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This is a prerecording of the 2020 Deutscher Prize Lecture by John Bellamy Foster. The title of the lecture is: “The Return of the Dialectics of Nature: Marxian Ecology and the Struggle for Freedom as Necessity.” In addition to this lecture a remote panel discussion was held on November 12, 2021.

The road ahead: Cuba after the July 11 protests



By William M. LeoGrande, John M. Kirk and Philip Brenner

November 11, 2021  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Center for Latin American & Latino Studies — Fifteen months before the island-wide protests that rocked Cuba on July 11, 2021, Rowman and Littlefield published Cuba at the Crossroads, which we edited. The book explored several challenges the country was facing—though at the time of writing COVID-19 was not among them—and anticipated that change would be inevitable. Contrary to a common narrative that Cuba is mired in the twentieth century unable to adapt to new circumstances, Cuba at the Crossroads highlighted changes that had occurred in the six years since we had edited A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castro. But most observers did not appreciate how angry many Cubans have become over the slow pace of change and the government’s seeming lack of understanding of the suffering Cubans were experiencing. The unprecedented outpouring of protests on July 11 surprised analysts and even the protest organizers themselves. 

Neoliberalism, trade unions and the left with Sam Gindin



November 11, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — The Scarlet Standard are joined by Sam Gindin, a legendary Canadian labour researcher, author, and organizer, to chat about a wide-range of topics involving the state of labour in North America. They try to dissect the pesky truth of neoliberalism, the limits of unions, and what is next for the left under Biden.

Path to extinction or path to a livable future?



By Don Fitz

November 6, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As climate change leads humanity’s march to Armageddon, data surfacing during late 2021 suggests that the march could be much briefer than previously thought. “Nature is starting to emit greenhouse gases in competition with cars, planes, trains, and factories,” asserts Robert Hunziker. The Amazon has switched from soaking up CO2 to emitting it. Likewise, the Arctic has flipped from being a carbon sink to becoming an emission source. Permafrost is giving off the three main greenhouse gases (GHGs): CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide. So much Siberian permafrost is melting that buildings are collapsing as methane bombs explode, resulting in craters 100 feet deep.

Venezuela: United States continues meddling with election



November 6, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Green Left — Then-Special Representative Elliott Abrams declared last year that Donald Trump's administration was "working hard" to oust Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro from office.

Now, Abrams (currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations), along with the Joe Biden administration, is urging the Venezuelan opposition to participate in the state and local elections on November 21. Washington’s change of tack, however, is a far cry from renouncing the right to intervene in Venezuela’s internal affairs.

Climate: COP26 - Enough blah blah, only struggle pays off



By Daniel Tanuro*

November 2, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The increasing number of climate disasters around the world is the result of a warming of “only” 1.1° to 1.2° Celsius above the pre-industrial era. From reading the IPCC’s special 1.5°C report[1], any reasonable reader will conclude that everything, absolutely everything, must be done to keep the Earth well below this level of warming. Beyond that, the risks increase very rapidly.[2] There is even a growing possibility that a cascade of positive feedbacks will cause the planet to tip irreversibly towards a “hothouse” that would eventually result in sea levels thirteen or even several dozen metres higher than they are today.[3] An unimaginable dystopia... certainly incompatible with the existence of seven billion human beings on Earth!

India: How not to fight fascism



By Kavita Krishnan

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Liberation — On September 28, Bhagat Singh’s birth anniversary, Kanhaiya Kumar announced his decision to leave the CPI and join the Congress party. He joined Congress along with Congress-backed Gujarat MLA and Left-leaning Ambedkarite leader of the Dalit movement Jignesh Mevani.

Kanhaiya acknowledged he was “born in the CPI”, but that he felt the need to leave it and join the Congress since the Congress is the only party that can “lead in the ideological war to save the idea of India.”He said that today’s India needs Bhagat Singh’s courage, Mahatma Gandhi’s unity, and BR Ambedkar’s quest for equality, and implied that it was in the Congress that these three essential elements could unite and find a home.   

We wish Kanhaiya and Jignesh nothing but success in the political careers of their choice. But the political arguments about fighting fascism offered by Kanhaiya beg several questions and call for closer scrutiny.

Philippines: Activist academic Walden Bello to runs as Laban ng Masa VP



By Laban ng Masa

October 31, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Laban ng Masa — Laban ng Masa Chairperson Walden Bello officially filed his papers to run for Vice President through an authorized representative in Manila today. Bello, a former member of the House of Representatives, is an internationally renowned expert in development and economics and a legendary activist against the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Running under Laban ng Masa and Partido Lakas ng Masa, he is substituting PLM Vice Presidential candidate Raquel Castillo. He is teaming up with presidential candidate Ka Leody de Guzman to forward a comprehensive agenda not just for regime change but also systemic change.

Bello’s tenure as the Chairperson of the Committee on Overseas Workers' Affairs from 2010 to 2015 was marked by his aggressive promotion of the welfare of OFWs that included his rescuing them from the civil war in Syria.

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