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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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Syriza poster, Synaspismos office in Athens, Helena Sheehan on the streets with Syriza in Athens.
By Helena Sheehan
January 21, 2013 -- Irish Left Review, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal at the author's suggestion and with her permission -- A monumental drama is playing out before our eyes. It is a true Greek tragedy. The plot: A society is being pushed to its limits. The denouement is not yet determined, but survival is at stake and prospects are precarious. Greece is at the sharp end of a radical and risky experiment in how far accumulation by dispossession can go, how much expropriation can be endured, how far the state can be subordinated to the market. It is a global narrative, but the story is a few episodes ahead here.
January 17, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following protest letter, signed by 381 organisations and individuals inside and outside Thailand, was submitted to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and other Thai authorities on January 17. The letter was organised by the Thai Labour Campaign. Many more individual letters are due to be delivered on and before January 23, organised by Amnesty International, Australia Asia Workers Links and Clean Clothes Campaign. Readers of Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to send their own letters to the addresses below. Please cc a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org
Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens
By Richard Seymour
New York: Verso Books, 2012
Review by Doug Enaa Greene
January 19, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- First impressions do matter. Now it is said that first impressions can be unfair, not giving us a chance to understand a person’s complexity. In the case of Christopher Hitchens, my first impression of him was that of a witty tool for the George W. Bush administration’s wars. In 2005, I first saw Hitchens while randomly flipping through television channels and finding a debate between him and George Galloway on the Iraq War.
January 18, 2013 -- Since Monthly Review Press published Michael A. Lebowitz’s The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted it has generated quite a bit of discussion. Building on concepts he developed in The Socialist Alternative, Lebowitz examines the record of “real socialism”—the post-revolutionary societies of the 20th century, particularly in Russia and Eastern Europe. He makes a provocative argument that has implications for how we understand socialist planning and the struggle for socialism in the 21st century.
Now, Monthly Review Press is offering a special discount of 35% off the list price and has asked Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to make this offer available to its readers. This offer is good until the end of January.
"As an important part of the English-speaking left, the SWP over the years has influenced many individuals and groups. Without correction, the actions by the current leadership, along with the errors regarding women’s oppression and left organising, risk damaging the project of building a new left for the 21st century."
Evo Morales: Ten commandments against capitalism, for life and humanity -- 'Manifesto of Isla del Sol'
January 15, 2013 -- Climate and Capitalism/Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- On December 21, 2012, at a solstice celebration in Lake Titicaca, high in the Andes, Bolivia's president Evo Morales introduced the Manifesto of Isla del Sol. His talk, translated below, includes the full text of the manifesto.
South Africa: Harvesting discontent -- farmworkers rebel; Stop rural slavery! Respect the farmworkers!
By Mercia Andrews
January 13, 2013 -- International Viewpoint -- The protests and mobilisation that started in the small town of De Doorns on November 6, 2012, galvanised the anger of farm dwellers against decades of discontent at extreme exploitation and oppression that persist on farms, in rural towns and South Africa's agricultural sector.
By Nick Fredman
January 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal; this is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, copyright 2013 Taylor and Francis; Capitalism, Nature, Socialism is available at http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rcns20/current.
This article* examines the extent to which Green parties can be considered social-democratic formations. The Australian Greens, since 2010 in de facto governmental coalition with the Labor Party, are posited as an important case study of the global Green party movement. The Australian Greens have generally been seen as a far-left party, as expressing the views of the new social movements or as a site of tension between these two tendencies.
The case of Marita Veron would never have reached the courts except for the extraordinary courage, strength and persistence of Marita’s mother, Susana Trimarco, who fought obstructions by police, highly placed politicians and the judicial system in an attempt to get justice.
By Robyn Marshall, Buenos Aires
January 8, 2012 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The failure of three judges in the province of Tucuman to convict 13 men and women accused of the kidnapping and forced prostitution of Marita Veron has caused national uproar here in Argentina. The Argentinian women’s movement, outraged by the verdict, has been united in its response to the judicial failure to convict the men, with demonstrations all over Argentina. The case has been in the newspapers for weeks, highlighting the horrendous situation of thousands of women who have been kidnapped at a young age and forced to live the life of a sex slave, locked up, bashed and terrified into submission, in order to make millions for brothel owners.
[The following presentation was delivered to launch La Alternativa Socialista, the Chilean edition of The Socialist Alternative, in Concepcion, Santiago and Valparaiso, November 2012.]
By Michael A. Lebowitz
First, why don’t workers put an end to capitalism – given its destruction of human beings and the environment (something Marx was so conscious of). In particular, given the declining standards of life for decades in the United States, the economic disaster in Europe and the current crises, how is it that the system is reproduced without a significant challenge by the working class?
Second, why did the working class within what has become known as “real socialism” [the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe] allow those systems to revert to capitalism without resistance from the working classes, who were presumably its beneficiaries?
"Iskra. It is often argued that the early period of the organisation of Iskra resembled the small, highly homogenous and monolithic cadre grouping that today is promoted as the sine qua non of revolutionary organisation, but if one looks at the original concept of the Iskra editorial board, we can see it promoted debate among a plurality of tendencies."
Review by Doug Enaa Greene
The Contradictions of Real Socialism: the Conductor and the Conducted
By Michael A. Lebowitz
New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012.
For Asia-Pacific readers it is also be available from Resistance Books.
January 8, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Even though the dominant capitalist system is experiencing its worst crisis in decades, those in search of Marxist alternatives are often scared off by this regular refrain from the system's defenders: “Well, what about the USSR? Things didn't work out quite so well there.”
Fidel Castro with Chile's President Salvador Allende upon his arrival at Pudahuel Airport in Santiago on November 10, 1971.
[For more articles by John Riddell, click HERE.]
By John Riddell
January 6, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the US-inspired rightist coup in Chile that overthrew the leftist government of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. The coup was a historic disaster for working people in Latin America and globally. Socialists worldwide saw it coming. How did they attempt to counter this danger?
August Thalheimer, a revolutionary who knew and worked with both of them, insisted on the formulation “not Luxemburg or Lenin – but Luxemburg and Lenin”, explaining that “each of them gave ... what the other did not, and could not, give”.
January 3, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg first met in 1901 but actually got to know each other amid the revolutionary workers’ insurgencies sweeping through Russia and Eastern Europe in 1905-1906. As Luxemburg biographer J. P. Nettl tells us:
By Dick Nichols, Madrid
January 4, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- On the last day of the 10th federal convention of the Spain’s United Left (Izquierda Unida, IU), Juan Peña, young IU organisation secretary for the Castilian town of Valladolid, summed up his view of the impact of the indignado (15M) movement on the IU, one of the oldest broad left formations in Europe: “15M brought IU good news and bad news. The good news was that our programmatic proposals hit the mark, shared by the people who poured into the streets. The bad news was that the people thought that these proposals were new, their own.”
The United State’s robot wars in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries is the logical outcome of a shadowy war that has no definition and with no end in sight.
By Rupen Savoulian
January 7, 2013 -- Antipodean Athiest, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author -- The US National Defense Authorisation Act, updated by the administration of US President Barack Obama for 2013, has been signed into law. It provides for the indefinite detention of any person suspected of "terrorism" offences, prohibits the transfer of the remaining Guantanamo Bay detainees from that facility and allows the US military to detain any person, even US citizens without any recourse to civilian courts and legal access.
Obama, the "anti-war" candidate of 2008, has not only continued the Bush-Cheney-era "war on terror", he is ensuring that its continuation, its corrosive effect on civil liberties and the undermining of the already fragile democratic rights will go on spreading its toxic effect.
By Katu Arkonada, translation and notes for Bolivia Rising by Richard Fidler
December 18, 2012 -- La Epoca (Spanish) via Bolivia Rising, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- 2012 has been a year of transition for the process of change in the Plurinational State of Bolivia, notwithstanding the many events, problems and contradictions encountered by the executive branch during the last 12 months of its administration. A year of transition because we have left behind the 2010-2011 biennial of consolidation following the 64% victory of President Evo Morales in the December 2009 election and are now entering a new biennial, 2013-2014, which will take us very rapidly to the presidential elections of December 2014.
No to sexual assault! Socialist Alliance statement in solidarity with the international movement against violence against women
Mass protest against violence against women, India Gate, Delhi, December 23, 2012. Photo by Rakesh Kumar Meena.
January 5, 2013 -- The Socialist Alliance (Australia) stands in solidarity with the growing movement in India fighting violence against women. Progressive forces in that country have braved police brutality and repression, mobilising massive turnouts at protests against gender violence.
The wave of protests was sparked by the horrific rape on December 15, and the consequent death, of a 23-year-old woman in Delhi.
Indian activists report that a significant new movement against sexual violence has risen up and is putting serious pressure on the government to eliminate the institutionalised gender bias in laws and investigation mechanisms. Young and old people, women and men, who have never before participated in public protests are taking to the streets to demand gender justice.
By Baba Aye, SWL national chairperson
January 3, 2013 -- International Socialist Tendency -- The Socialist Workers League (SWL Nigeria) is bothered by the continued attacks against Comrade Femi Aborisade (pictured), a leading member of the SWL and the editor of Socialist Worker, the League’s newspaper, who is a senior principal lecturer at the Polytechnic Ibadan. Eight armed men stormed his house on December 29, 2012. This was the second of such attacks within five weeks.
the SWL promptly wrote to the commissioner of police demanding that action be taken to safeguard Comrade Aborisade and indeed all residents within the premises of the institution. At that time, we were rather reticent and refrained from categorically declaring the attack as being political. But for similar attacks to take place barely a month after, with the armed hoodlums calling out his name and demanding that he comes out, shows that there is much more to this matter than one of armed robbery.
Striking Chicago teachers rally, October 2012.
By Dan La Botz
December 31, 2012 -- New Politics -- The most important social conflict in the United States in 2012—the Chicago Teachers Union strike—suggests that the rising trajectory of social struggle in the United States that began at the beginning of 2011 may be continuing. While the United States has a much lower level of class struggle and social struggle than virtually any other industrial nation—few US workers are unionised (only 11.8%) and unionised workers engage in few strikes and those involve a very small numbers of workers—still, the economic crisis and the demand for austerity by both major political parties, Republican and Democrat, have led to increased economic and political activity and resistance by trade unions, particularly in the public sector.