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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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Introduction by Richard Fidler
September 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The articles below describe and analyze a major confrontation in Bolivia in recent months that ended tragically in several deaths and blew up an uneasy alliance between the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government headed by Evo Morales and an incipient bourgeoisie in the mining industry. The government responded to the crisis by strengthening its alliance with the proletarian forces in the mining industry and taking further steps to regain state control over the industry.
By Dick Nichols
September 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — A month ago, on August 8, it became official—the high school governors agreed that the headmaster had acted correctly in not caning the two miscreant schoolkids.
The schoolkids are Spain and Portugal; their misdemeanour was to keep missing the public sector deficit reduction targets that are set under the European Union’s “excessive deficit procedure”; the headmaster is the European Commission, headed by president Jean-Claude Juncker; and the school governors are the finance and economy ministers of the EU’s 27 member states (who meet as the Ecofin committee).
Extracts of vive-president Garcia Linera's address at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (May, 27, 2016).
September 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Open Democracy — We are facing a historical turning point in Latin America. Some are talking about a throwback, about restorers moving forward. The truth is that in the last twelve months, after ten years of intense progress, of territorial diffusion of the progressive and revolutionary governments in the continent, this progress has stalled, in some cases it has given ground, and in some other cases its continuity is in doubt. Wherever conservative forces have succeeded, an accelerated process of reconstitution of the old elites of the 80s and 90s, which seek to take control of the management of the state, is under way.
By Jason Devine
September 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — As I have extensively argued elsewhere, “dialectical materialism” as the philosophy of Marxism does not exist. Indeed, when Marx listed in his famous letter to Joseph Weydemeyer what he felt and understood to be his scientific contributions, dialectical materialism as a name, concept, and system was conspicuously missing. Further, when Engels spoke at Marx’s graveside he mentioned Marx’s scientific discoveries, but at no point did he mention dialectical materialism as a name, concept, or system. This is no surprise as the phrase “dialectical materialism” was never used by Marx or Engels and hence appears nowhere in their entire oeuvre, either published or unpublished. Indeed, Marx developed a new scientific method, not a system.
Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler
September 8, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left with permission — The global drop in commodity prices has been detrimental to the development strategy of many Latin American governments, some of which had used the new income from increased exports of largely unprocessed resources, accompanied by higher royalties and taxes, during the last decade to reduce poverty levels and reinforce and institute new social programs, while attempting to create new industries oriented to the domestic market or adding value to their exports.
By Alan Broughton
September 7, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Soil Alliance — There is money to be made in farming, but not by the farmers. This paper examines the reasons why farmers around the world are poor and there are a billion hungry people. The terms of trade for farmers continually declines and farmers are forced off the land. Governments and international bodies advocate further deregulation and trade liberalisation and greater use of technology, yet these policies have undoubtedly failed in their stated aims of increasing food security and rural prosperity. The beneficiaries have only been the agribusiness corporations which have been instrumental in the design of the new order of agricultural production.
By Sam Gindin and Herman Rosenfeld
September 7, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project — Ever since the sit-down strikes of the 1930s, the cycle of ‘Big Three’ auto bargaining has been a major economic and political event, an indicator of the progress of the class struggle in North America. If such interest has sagged of late, it charged back into the news with the aggressive declaration of Unifor's president, Jerry Dias, that winning new investments for Canada is at the top of the union's agenda in its current bargaining round with General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler. Dias followed up this challenge to management's right to unilaterally decide investments with the audacious warning that if these U.S.-based corporations don't deliver on bringing a fair share of investments to Canada, they can expect a strike.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. Popular movements and, more generally, the different social protagonists engaged in the struggle against neoliberal globalization both at the international and national levels, reject — with good reason — attitudes that aim to impose hegemony or control on movements. They do not accept the steamroller policy that some political and social organizations tended to use that, taking advantage of their position of strength and monopolizing political positions, attempts to manipulate the movement. They do not accept the authoritarian imposition of a leadership from above; they do not accept attempts made to lead movements by simply giving orders, no matter how correct they are.
By Pete Dolack
September 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Systemic Disorder — All of us who struggle for a better world are disheartened that so many advances of the 20th century have been lost. The mounting crises of the environment, the global economy and ever more constricted political systems are unmistakably moving humanity toward a cliff. And yet social movements, for all the victories here and there, again and again fail to sustain momentum.
Why are we in this predicament? No single person or organization can fully answer such a question, of course, but we do need to seriously reconsider what has been done and how. In this spirit, Marta Harnecker’s “Ideas for the Struggle” is a document that merits wide discussion. Originally written in 2004 and updated this year, the paper consists of 12 short, closely linked sections. And although written with Latin America in mind, the ideas are borderless.
By Angela Klein
September 1, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Within a year two populations of Europe – one in the south, the other in the north – have voted against the EU and its policy. They did this out of entirely different motives and with different aims. Whereas on 5 July 2015 the Greek OXI was directed against the austerity dictates of the Troika and the degradation of Greece to the state of a semi-colonial country, the British Brexit above all was characterized by the fear of “foreigners” and the desire to escape from the freedom of movement in the EU. But at the same time the Brexit expressed the desire to settle accounts with the ruling political elites. Whereas the left was the driving force of the Greek NO, the British NO was captured by the right.
By Pablo Stefanoni, translated by Federico Fuentes
August 31, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal originally published in Spanish at Nueva Sociedad — The conflict between the Bolivian government and cooperative miners is new not in terms of its dynamic, but in terms of its scale: the brutal death of a vice-minister, beaten after being kidnapped, has cause a commotion in a country accustomed to radical social protests. Moreover, the crime has put in doubt the advances made towards creating a “strong state”, Evo Morales goal since 2006: not even during the 2003 Gas War, which brought down the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada government, has a similar type of aggression occurred against such a high level functionary.
By Steve Williams
August 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Ideas for the Struggle should be required reading for all organizers, political activists and would-be revolutionaries in these troubling and challenging times.
By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal
1. The recent and not so recent popular uprisings that rocked numerous countries across the world have clearly demonstrated that the initiative of the people, in and of itself, is not enough to defeat ruling regimes.
August 29, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Crisis and Revolt — Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria on 24 August was flagged up as a move to drive the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) out of the border town of Jarabulus. But that is just a cover: Turkey’s not very secret major objective is to crush the 50,000-strong Kurdish YPG (people’s Protection Unit) militia, and overrun the three autonomous Kurdish dominated areas, collectively called ‘Rojava’ by the Kurds.
By Phil Hearse and Sarah Parker
August 27, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — In the wake of the failed military coup in Turkey, and the massive wave of state repression that has followed, building solidarity with the progressive resistance in Turkey and Kurdistan is even more vital. The attention of socialists and democrats worldwide will be turned towards the reactionary mobilisation that the ruling AKP has unleashed. This will put the HDP (Peoples Democratic Party) and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) centre stage.
August 25, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Solidarity (US) — A year after marriage equality was legalized nationwide, and two months since the June 12 massacre at a gay club in Orlando, the LGBT movement confronts a contradictory future. Although Orlando dramatized that violence against LGBT people persists, fueled by rightwing politicians’ hateful attacks, great victories have been won, and public acceptance of queer people has expanded to levels that once seemed unimaginable.
August 22, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — I don’t need to tell you we face an existential threat. Scientists tell us we face a “climate emergency.” Last year was the hottest year ever recorded, beating 2014, which beat 2012. We break new records every year. The fourteen hottest years ever recorded have been recorded since 2000. January and February temperatures were torrid. Global temperatures hit new all-time highs in February; the northern hemisphere breached the 2 degrees-Celsius-above-normal mark for the first time in recorded history. Svalbard, Norway, averaged 10 degrees Celsius above normal. Parts of the Arctic were more than 16 degrees Celsius warmer—basically no winter. There were record-setting low measures of maximum Arctic sea ice this “winter.” In the United States, the winter was record-warm from coast to coast, breaking all-time temperature records for February. The same in Asia. In the tropics, record warmth is massively bleaching the Great Barrier Reef.
Together with New and Old Project, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing a revised and updated edition of Marta Harnecker's "Ideas for the Struggle", a collection of 12 articles looking at the question of how to organise for socialism in the 21st century.