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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.
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Kurds and Turks are at the edge of a cliff: An interview with arrested Kurdish women’s rights activist Ayla Akat
Nadje al-Ali and Latif Tas interview Ayla Akat
November 4, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open Democracy — Ayla Akat, lawyer, former Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) MP for Batman, KJA Spokesperson and prominent Kurdish women’s rights activists based in Diyarbakir (Amed) was arrested a few days ago alongside other Kurdish women’s rights activists.
They were protesting against the illegal arrest of Gültan Kışanak, co-mayor of Diyarbakir, who has been detained together with the city’s male co-mayor, Fırat Anlı. In addition, 27 elected Kurdish co-mayors are in prison in Turkey, while 43 of them were dismissed. On 11 September 2016, the central government appointed deputy governors as trustees to replace the dismissed Kurdish mayors who were elected by more than 70% of the public vote.
By Patrick Bond
November 3, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — This week could well be remembered as South Africa’s most important political inflection point since the September 2008 ousting of sitting President Thabo Mbeki by his own party, the African National Congress (ANC). His main tormenter then was Jacob Zuma, who – following a brief handover period – has ruled the country in an increasingly dubious manner since May 2009.
But several contradictions have exploded in Zuma’s face. Political opponents from across the spectrum, radical university students and his own party’s establishment smell the blood, as Zuma’s fabled patronage system is now in the spotlight, apparently in tatters.
Zuma just suffered two major legal defeats: a fumbled state attack on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan which was humiliatingly withdrawn by an incompetent prosecutor on Monday following a national outcry; and Wednesday’s release of the public protector’s State of Capture report on the Zuma family’s corrupt relationships, a report the president and two cabinet colleagues unsuccessfully attempt to quash.
By James Schneider, Emma Rees and Adam Klug
November 3, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper — Change and disruption is happening across Europe and North America. More and more citizens are rejecting a status quo that doesn’t work for them – and the elites who told them that it would. The breaking down of neoliberal hegemony creates almost unthinkable opportunities, such as Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership in the UK or Syriza coming to power in Greece. But these opportunities face intense efforts to suppress them, as politics once more becomes a contest between the powerful and the rest of us.
By Dan La Botz
November 2, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — Imagine that it is 1840 and someone approaches you on the street and hands you a flyer for James G. Birney, the presidential candidate of the new Liberty Party. The flyer says that the Liberty Party opposes slavery. It is the only party that does.
The Democrats and the Whigs--the two parties of the two-party system of that time--supported slavery, not to the same degree perhaps, but neither party opposed slavery. The Liberty Party is new and small, tiny. It’s candidate Birney has absolutely no chance to win the election. But he stands opposed to slavery. Who will you vote for on voting day in 1840?
Will you argue that voting for the Liberty Party would be wasting your vote, and that instead you would vote for the Whig or Democratic parties, both of which accepted slavery?
By Dick Nichols
November 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The trials of major European banks, starting with “venerable institutions” like the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (the world’s oldest bank) and Deutsche Bank (Germany’s largest), have raised the spectre of another 2008 — a “Lehman Brothers times five” in the words of one finance market analyst.
By Alan Wieder
October 31, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — When Noam Chomsky recently told Amy Goodman that he would hold his nose and vote for Hillary Clinton if he lived in a swing state, it reminded me of Studs’ statements during the 2000 Gore-Bush election for the presidency. In 2000, Studs endorsed Ralph Nader, but like Chomsky at the present time, he suggested that it might be prudent in certain cases to vote for Gore. In 1970, when Chomsky appeared on Studs’ show to discuss his book, The New Mandarins, much of the conversation focused on conquest and corporate power. And the men agreed that grassroots movements, not heroes, changed history. Chomsky argues, in correspondence to the mass support of Bernie, that “The New Deal legislation of Roosevelt, for example, wouldn’t have been passed—it wouldn’t have even been initiated—without militant labor action and other political action.” Studs referenced 1948 Progressive Party candidate, Henry Wallace, during the 2000 election, arguing that Nader might elevate Gore just as Wallace did Truman. Both men also acknowledge realpolitik in terms of Supreme Court nominations to say nothing of Trump’s fascist tendencies.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. I have previously referred to the necessity of building unity among all left forces and actors in order to be able to cohere a broad anti-neoliberal bloc around them. Nevertheless, I do not think that this objective can be achieved in a voluntarist manner, creating coordinating bodies from above that end up being a simple sum of acronyms.
[Original in English here.]
Por Eric Blanc
By Walden Bello
October 30, 2016 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from InterAksyon – Just into his fourth month as head of state, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has managed to become one of the most controversial actors on the global stage, rivalling if not eclipsing Donald Trump. His war on drugs, marred by the extra-judicial execution of drug users and peddlers, won him the title of “serial killer” on French television. More recently, his telling US President Obama to “go to hell” and his declaration of “separation” from the United States and “alignment”with China and Russia during a state visit to Beijing has alarmed and befuddled governments in the East Asian region.
October 28, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice — Hannah Holleman is an activist and professor of sociology at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Her work has appeared in numerous publications on subjects including imperialism and colonialism, political economy ecology, ecological justice, feminism, advertising and propaganda, financialization, mass incarceration, and social theory.
By Mike Treen
October 27, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Currently, New Zealand has at least 150,000 people working on temporary work visas or as students with the right to work up to 20 hours a week or full-time when on vacation. Most of them have hopes of being able to transition towards permanent residence, yet official figures confirm only one in six is able to do so. Government policies have deliberately led to the creation of a huge pool of desperately vulnerable workers to help big business exploit them more effectively.
Immigration policy under “free market” economies are designed to keep working people down – not out. While mainstream politicians routinely resort to subtle (and not so subtle) racist smears on migrants, government policies actually facilitate further migration. Capitalist “democracies” love to have large segments of the working class with no, or very few, rights – and that is true for New Zealand as well.
By A.Sivarajan, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) Secretary General
October 27, 2016 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – A key international conference on Socialism will take place in Malaysia from November 25 to 27, featuring a host of international speakers and attracting global interest.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. There continues to be a difficulty within the left to deal with differences. In the past, the tendency of political organizations, especially parties that declared they were parties of the working class, was always towards homogenizing the social base within which they carried out political work. If this attitude was once understandable due to the past identity and homogeneity of the working class, today it is anachronistic when confronted with a working class that is quite differentiated, and with the emergence of a diversity of new social forces. Today, we increasingly have to deal with a unity based on diversity, on respect for ethnic and cultural differences, for gender and for the sense of belonging of specific collectives.
Filipino socialists on Duterte's separation from the US: 'Yes to ‘separation’, but an economic anti-imperialism is also needed'
By Rei Melencio, International Department, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM)
October 23, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Partido Lakas ng Masawebsite — President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement declaring his intentions to “separate” from the United States in both military and economic relations should be welcomed, but it’s easier said than done. Hence the President’s constant ‘backtracking’ on his statements. Given the President’s inconsistency, the question is posed: What does it mean to be an anti-imperialist government today? And is lining up with China (and to a lesser-extent Russia) an anti-imperialist positioning?
By Charlie Post
Steve Ellner: 'There is much to learn from the positives and difficulties of the Venezuelan experience'
By Lucas Koerner
October 21, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis — Distinguished Venezuelan history and politics professor Steve Ellner visited Caracas from September 26 to October 7 to teach an intensive seminar at the Venezuelan Planning School, titled “The Role of the Venezuelan State in the Transition to Socialism”. VA sat down with the long time Universidad de Oriente professor to discuss a range of pressing issues facing Venezuela, including the country’s current economic crisis, the recall referendum, the future of the Bolivarian process, the efficacy of state social programs such as the CLAPs, rentierism and the Maduro government’s controversial Mining Arc, as well as the role of international solidarity.
October 20, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Below, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal republishes two articles presenting differing views on the position that the radical left should take towards the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.
October 19, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ANF News — Rojava Cantons General Coordination issued a statement on the outcome of the coordination meeting where they assessed the recent political developments in Syria and the region.
The Coordination statement reads: “The Rojava Cantons General Coordination convened on October 10, 2016 to assess the political developments in Syria and the region. We would like to share our views and the political situation in the region in the face of the historic weight placed on our shoulders by the developments.
By Awami Workers Party
October 18, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Awami Workers Party website — The second federal congress of the Awami Workers Party concluded with a call for peace in the region and social change. The party described the current tension between Pakistan and India as a conspiracy of the ruling class of the two countries and demanded an immediate end to warmongering. The party also supported the Kashmiri struggle for the right to self-determination and condemned violence against the people of the disputed Himalayan territory. These and other demands were made through a set of resolutions passed by the delegates of the congress.