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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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‘Plan B’ for Bernie Sanders supporters? An interview with Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein
An interview with Jill Stein by Cory Collins
March 18, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ricochet with permission -- You wouldn’t know it from watching the mainstream media, but there is political life in the United States outside of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Dr. Jill Stein was the 2012 presidential nominee for the Green Party of the United States, and is widely expected to be the party's nominee for 2016 as well. Recently, she has cast her campaign as a potential “plan B” for supporters of Bernie Sanders, should he not win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.
As Jacobin recently pointed out, the Green Party is the only independent party of the left with a national presence in the United States. Ricochet spoke with Dr. Stein last week about her campaign and the comparisons with Sanders, as well as about Canadian and U.S. politics.
A tactical defeat in Bolivia: Evo's re-election referendum defeat and the future of the process of change
By Alfredo Rada Vélez, Bolivian vice-minister for coordination with social movements
March 17, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translated from La Razon by Sean Seymour-Jones -- Let’s start with the positives. On February 21, rural voters stood firm in their support for [Bolivian president] Evo Morales. I’m talking about the rural communities of La Paz, Oruro, Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Potosí, as well as the bastions of San Julián and Yapacaní in Santa Cruz, and various provinces in Pando, Beni and Tarija. The Yes vote also triumphed overwhelmingly in Huanuni, Colquiri and San Cristóbal, home of the strongest miners unions. The vote of factory and construction workers, the largest proletarian components of the COB [Bolivian Workers Central], was felt in the working class neighbourhoods of La Paz, in the most populated districts of El Alto, as well as in Vinto, Quillacollo in the plebian zone in the south of the city of Cochabamba, and in the barrios and in Plan Tres Mil in the city of Santa Cruz. The vote of other urban neighbourhood sectors was particularly important in El Alto, La Paz, Cochabamba and Oruro. In other word, the indigenous-working class-popular base of the process of change continues to back Evo, as this was the main class composition of the support received.
A workers’ International at a turning point: Introducing excerpts from the Communist International’s Third Congress
By John Riddell
March 16, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Socialist Review with the author's permission -- When revolutionary socialists met in a global congress in 1921, both their strong and their weak points were on full display. Their world alliance, the Communist International (Comintern), had built mass parties in the decisive countries of Europe. Yet, as 600 delegates from fifty-five countries gathered in Moscow that year, Lenin wrote, “Something is wrong in the International. . . . We must say Stop! . . . Otherwise, the International is lost.”
The complete record of this tumultuous three-week event, finally available in English, enables today’s activists to make the acquaintance of their predecessors in the era of the Russian revolution and witness their efforts to map a new course. To the Masses, Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 will be available in a Haymarket Books edition in early 2016.
International Socialist Review is publishing three sets of excerpts from this book, the first of which is reposted below.
March 15, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rojava Report -- The following is a translation of an article written by Fehim Taştekin for Radikal. In the article Taştekin interviews Eldar Halill, a member of the executive committee of TEV-DEM, and Zuhat Kobani, a representative of the PYD in Europe, and reflects on the current calculations of the Kurds in Rojava in light of the complex geopolitics unfolding in the region.
Despite receiving warnings from the United States and artillery fire from Turkey, the Kurds are silently laying the foundation for democratic autonomy between Marea and Azaz.
Throughout the history of Syria the Kurds have moved back and forth in the gray zone between freedom the one day and oppression the next. Since 1957 the Kurds have passed through a political vice whereby they undertook party politics during during time when it was outlawed, and even when it was legal it was seen as illegal when it crossed beyond certain redlines. This also deepened their experience with conflict. It also taught them how to take their own case to an international platform. Everyone has a game plan in Syria, including the Kurds…
March 13, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from SpectreZine -- Early in February Australian Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal correspondent Dick Nichols, who reports from Catalonia, was interviewed by the Dutch Socialist Party monthly Spanning. Spanning of course published it in Dutch. Below is an edited version of the original interview published on March 1.
By Lucas Koerner
March 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis with the author's permission -- Since the US political establishment began taking seriously the threat posed by Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy in recent months, the self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” senator has faced an endless barrage of red-baiting attacks.
On several occasions, Sanders’ social democratic program has been likened to Venezuela and other Latin American countries of the so-called “pink tide”, conjuring up the now routine images of apocalyptic economic meltdown replayed ad nauseum by corporate media outlets.
Sanders, for his part, has emphatically denied the comparisons– not without a small amount of red-baiting himself– preferring to draw his inspiration from Scandinavian social democracy, where a strong capitalist state guarantees a host of key social welfare provisions for its largely homogenous populace.
“We're not talking about Venezuela, we're not talking about Cuba. We are talking about the concept, which I don't think is a radical idea, of having a government which works to represent the needs of the middle class and working families rather than just the top 1 percent,” the Democratic presidential contender explained at a recent forum hosted by Telemundo.
These assertions aside, there is, however, something about Sanders’ left populist crusade against the “billionaire class” that is much more at home in Caracas than in Copenhagen.
[Original articles in English here.]
¿Qué conmemoraremos de la revolución de EDSA 1?
Por Sonny Melencio
25 de Febrero, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal traducido por Enrique García para Sin Permiso -- En una ocasión tuve la oportunidad de ser invitado por el Rembrandt Kapihan junto con un candidato a senador del KBL (Movimiento de la Nueva Sociedad) en las elecciones de mayo de 2016. El malhablado candidato del KBL se lanzó a fustigar a una audiencia imaginaria que había convertido a Ninoy Aquino (el asesinado padre del actual presidente Benigno Aquino, también conocido como PNoy) en un héroe de la primera "revolución EDSA". Esta extraña reacción al parecer quería ser una respuesta a mi afirmación de que íbamos a celebrar EDSA 1 el 25 de febrero con las concentraciones de protesta habituales.
El candidato del KBL arrojó una andanada de maldiciones contra el levantamiento popular que derrocó al dictador Ferdinand Marcos. Después de que Marcos abandonase el país en 1986, todo había ido cuesta abajo para Las Filipinas y su pueblo, según el candidato del KBL.
March 10, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Intervention by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, candidate for the Left Front in the 2012 French presidential elections, in the Internationalist Summit for a Plan B, held in Paris on January 23-24. Mélenchon has recently formed the “France in Revolt” (France Insoumise) movement, for which he aims to be candidate in the 2017 presidential elections.
By Dick Nichols
March 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On March 1, all media outlets in the Spanish state were dominated by the images of two men: one was leaving prison near the northern city of Logroño to the cheers of inmates he was leaving behind; the other was trying to convince the Spanish parliament in Madrid to vote him in as prime minister.
[English translation is available here] March 9, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Lo que sigue es la presentacion hecha por Olga Fernández Ríos en el lanzamiento de la edicion cubana del libro "La alternativa socialista: El verdadero desarrollo humano" en la Feria Internacional del Libro de La Habana el 15 de febrero de 2015
Este oportuno libro anteriormente fue publicado por Colección Debates Sobre Socialismo, Corporación Plataforma Nexos, Escaparate Ediciones, Chile, octubre 2012.
Su autor es Profesor Emérito de Economía de la Universidad Simon Fraser de Canadá. Para nosotros los cubanos su obra nos s muy familiar y hoy podemos recordar varios de sus trabajos: Más allá de El Capital: la economía política de la clase obrera que recibiera el Premio Deutscher en 2004 a la mejor y más innovadora obra reciente de tradición marxista en el mundo angloparlante. Este texto fue publicado en Cuba en 2008 por la Editorial Ciencias Sociales. De igual forma en 2009 la Editorial Ciencias Sociales publicó El socialismo no cae del cielo y en 2015 Ruth Casa Editorial y el Instituto Juan Marinello publicaron Contradicciones del socialismo real: el dirigente y el dirigido. Más recientemente Lebowitz publicó The socialist imperative.
March 6, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following was a presentation given by Cuban scholar Olga Fernández Ríos at the launch of the Cuban edition of Michael Lebowitz' The Socialist Alternative: Real Human Development at the Havana International Book Fair, February 15, 2015. It has been translated by Sean Seymour-Jones.
Lebowitz will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.
This timely book was previously published by Colección Debates Sobre Socialismo, Corporación Plataforma Nexos, Escaparate Ediciones, Chile, October 2012.
Its author is a professor emeritus of economy from the Simon Fraser University of Canada. For us Cubans his work is very familiar and today we can recall many of his works: Beyond Capital: The Political Economy of the Working Class that received the Deutscher Prize in 2004 for the best and most innovative recent work of the Marxist tradition in the English-speaking world. This text was published in Cuba in 2008 by Editorial Ciencias Sociales. Likewise, in 2009 Editorial Ciencias Sociales published Socialism Doesn’t Fall From the Sky and in 2015 Ruth Casa Editorial and the Instituto Juan Marinello published The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted. More recently Lebowitz published The Socialist Imperative.
On this occasion, we dealing a study that covers a very topical subject of interest to our country and for the Latin American context: the pertinence and existing possibilities for the development of socialism with a correct understanding of the process of socialist transition.
[English version available here]
Harnecker will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.
Reviewed by Ian Richardson
A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-First Century Socialism
Monthly Review Press 2015, 224pp.
March 3, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Counterfire with the author's permission -- The reason for socialists to have an interest in the situation in Latin America today is simple; the most significant political advances in the world today are taking place in Latin America. The Chilean revolutionary Marta Harnecker’s book A World to Build is perhaps the most important English language attempt so far to analyse and to move forward the discussion on the left internationally around these changes.
Feeling the Bern Become a Flame: Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara on Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign
February 27, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Real News Network -- Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara discusses the strategies needed to keep the energy of the Sanders campaign thriving beyond presidential politics
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
The mainstream media narrative of the Democratic presidential race is that Bernie Sanders has lost momentum to Hillary Clinton. After he lost Nevada to Clinton by five percentage points, and is entering a tough race in South Carolina where he's expected to lose as well, many are asking themselves, what is behind the Bern?
Now joining us to discuss all of this is Bhaskar Sunkara. He is the founder of Jacobin magazine, and co-author of the book The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century. Thanks for joining us, Bhaskar.
BHASKAR SUNKARA: Thanks for having me.
DESVARIEUX: So let's talk about South Carolina. The average polling is showing that Sanders has about 28 percent of the vote, while Hillary Clinton has closer to 60 percent. So many are pointing to the fact that Sanders is not able to connect with the majority of black Southern voters. What do you think, what is presumably going to be a large defeat in South Carolina, this is attributed to?
By Renfrey Clarke and Roger Annis
February 29, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- A sharp controversy within the international left in recent times has concerned the place occupied by Russia in today’s capitalist world-system. Is Russia an imperialist power, part of the “centre” of global capitalism? Or, do its economic, social and politico-military characteristics mark it as part of the global “periphery” or semi-periphery – that is, as one of the majority of countries that, to one degree or another, are the targets of imperialist bullying and plunder?
Traditionally, the Marxist left has used the term “imperialism” with a high degree of discrimination. Imperialism for Marxists is not something called mysteriously into being when “greed” overcomes political leaders. Nor is it simply external military action, however aggressive. For Marxists, the imperialism of our time arises from specific features of the economies and social orders of the most advanced capitalist countries.
The classic Marxist definition of imperialism in the modern epoch was provided by V.I. Lenin in his 1916 pamphlet Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism. As viewed by the Bolshevik leader, the advanced capitalism that had emerged during the preceding decades had these salient characteristics:
What is there to celebrate on the 30th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution?By Sonny Melencio
February 25, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- I once had a chance to be a guest at the Rembrandt Kapihan together with a KBL (New Society Movement) senatorial candidate for the May 2016 election. The foul-mouthed KBL candidate went on a cursing spree to lambast an imaginary audience that had made Ninoy Aquino (the murdered father of current President Benigno Aquino, also known as PNoy) a hero of the first "Edsa Revolution". This seemed to be a response to my statement that we were going to celebrate Edsa 1 on February 25 with the usual protest rallies.
The KBL candidate spewed a barrage of crisp curses against the people’s uprising that brought down the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. After Marcos fled the country in 1986, everything went downhill for the country and the people, according to the KBL candidate.
A different Europe or bust
February 4, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Red Pepper -- As David Cameron’s renegotiation nears its uneventful conclusion, the big picture of what kind of Europe we want to live in is in danger of being lost, writes Luke Cooper. What can we do to change it?
That Europe is in urgent need of reform is beyond question. At risk of being lost in the current British public debate, however, is the discussion as to the type of reforms that Europe needs. The focus on David Cameron’s ‘wish list’ of demands has established an accepted discourse that presumes that these demands reflect ‘British interests’. It also presumes that were Cameron to win European acceptance for all of his demands, then this would be ‘a good deal for Britain’.
By Stuart Piper
January 25, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance with the author's permission
“They hit us in the stomach. The revolution, and we as social movements, haven’t been able to deal with the problem of food.” Marisa, community activist in La Vega, a day after the election.
Confrontation inside and outside parliament
On the morning of Tuesday, 5 January, a few thousand supporters of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition gathered around La Hoyada metro station in central Caracas. Most had travelled in from the better-off neighbourhoods to the east. The mood was euphoric, but tense. They would march the short distance west to the National Assembly, in the company of their newly elected representatives who were about to be sworn in.