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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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A victim of security forces, who opened fire on protesters outside the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo (Mustafa Ozturk | ABACA Press).
By Jadaliyya Egypt editors
July 27, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- Since the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt has become a battlefield of narratives. Each narrative has sought to appropriate and define the January 25 Revolution.
Read some of Doug Lorimer's writings HERE.
By Pat Brewer
July 27, 2013 -- Green Left Weekly -- Doug Lorimer, a life-long committed revolutionary, died on July 21 in Sydney after a year of fighting deteriorating ill health and long-term hospitalisation.
Lorimer was born April 17, 1953 in Dundee in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents Connie and Bill when he was four years old to settle in the South Australian steel town of Whyalla.
Lorimer radicalised as a high school student. He first became involved in left politics through the Australian movement against the imperialist war in Vietnam, when he and his mother joined the moratorium marches in Adelaide in 1970.
Lorimer was recruited to the Socialist Youth Alliance — which later became the youth organisation Resistance — aged 16 in late 1971 in his final year in high school. He then went on to enrol in a science degree majoring in physics at Flinders University.
He dropped out of the degree during his first year as his commitment to building a revolutionary party grew. However, his interest in science never waned.
[English at http://links.org.au/node/3451.]
Militant trotskyste aux Etats-Unis, historien marxiste renommé, l’auteur avait été invité à intervenir dans le cadre du cycle de conférences publiques, intitulé Marxism, que le SWP de Grande-Bretagne organise chaque année au début de l’été. C’est de cet événement et des échanges qu’il a eus à cette occasion, dans le contexte particulier de la crise que ce parti traverse en 2013, que Paul Le Blanc rend compte ici.
Comme il le rappelle dans son texte, l’auteur est désormais membre de l’ISO (International Socialist Organization, la principale formation de la gauche révolutionnaire aux Etats-Unis, exclue en 2001 de l’IST, le courant international du SWP britannique), alors qu’il provient et continue de se réclamer d’une tradition politique différente, celle de la section états-unienne de la IV° Internationale (l’ancien et défunt SWP de James P. Cannon et Joseph Hansen – à ne pas confondre avec son homonyme insulaire). -- Jean-Philippe Divès
Floods in Mozambique have worsened.
By Bobby Peek
July 24, 2013 -- Pambazuka News, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Just across the border in Mozambique there is neo-colonial exploitation underway. It is not Europe or the United States that are dominating, but rather countries that are often looked up to as challengers, such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS). This is a dangerous statement to make but let us consider the facts.
South Africa is extracting 415 megawatts of electricity from Mozambique through the Portuguese developed Cahora Bassa Dam, which has altered permanently the flow of the Zambezi River, resulting in severe flooding on a more frequent basis over the last years. In the recent floods earlier this year it is reported that a women gave birth on a rooftop of a clinic, this follows a similar incident in 2000, when Rosita Pedro was born on a tree after severe flooding that year.
Anti-TPPA protest outside Malaysia's parliament on July 16.
The statement below was released by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) on July 10, 2013.
* * *
The PSM is deeply concerned about the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) free trade agreement. The 18th round is to commence in Kota Kinabalu in east Malaysia from July 15 until July 25.
Since its first inception as the United States-Malaysia bilateral Free Trade Agreement in 2006, the PSM has consistently protested the decision of the Malaysian government to enter into such negotiations. It was very clear since then, that the FTA is part of the agenda of US corporations to expand and control trade in the region.
Having failed to impose their interests via the World Trade Organisation, US corporations quickly lobbied Congress to start bilateral agreements with the countries in Asia.
Threatened by the growing economies of China and India, the US and European Union are competing to control trade for their respective interests. It is another form of imperialism that will negate our national sovereignty.
Now, after the fast track to negotiate the FTA during the Bush administration expired in 2007, the TPPA is a renewed approach for the same goals. TPPA is FTA on steroids.
By Lindsey German
July 25, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- I would like to respond to the articles by Abbie Bakan and Sharon Smith concerning Marxism and feminism today. Abbie’s article refers to me as a proponent of “Marxist Anti-Feminism”. I was a member of the British Socialist Workers Party (SWP) for 37 years until I left in 2010 because I was unhappy with the direction away from the wider movements in which the party was going. I am now a member of Counterfire, a socialist organisation in Britain. I wrote a number of books and articles on the subject of women’s oppression during that time.
Like most people on the left, I have been horrified by the accusations of rape against a leading SWP comrade, and with the way in which the party has handled the issue. I therefore welcome the discussions on issues of women’s oppression that have been, in part at least, triggered by these revelations. Whatever disagreements we might have, those of us on the left have a responsibility to further develop our theories in order to deal with current questions. I feel, however, that some of the arguments relied on here are partial and in some cases distorted.
Let me run through a few points.
By Paul Le Blanc
July 20, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is an important “far left” organisation in Britain which, among other things, organises an annual educational conference -- Marxism -- in London. The SWP is undergoing a crisis which is only one aspect of a much larger phenomenon, taking place on a global scale within the revolutionary left. This involves a recomposition of the revolutionary socialist movement as a political force, in tandem with the struggles of the multi-faceted working class struggling against the effects of the present world crisis of capitalism.
In what follows, I want to offer a report on what I was able to observe while attending Marxism 2013 (July 11-15, 2013). I will also take up various issues having to do with discussions and debates having to do with the Leninist tradition and how it relates to realities and struggles of our time.
Mary Burns’ younger sister, Lizzie, c.1865. Lizzie lived with Engels after her sister died, and married him a day before she herself died. No image of Mary is known to exist.
By Mike Dash
Alexis Tsipras addresses the congress.
The following speech was presented by party leader Alexis Tsipras to the Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) first national congress on July 13, 2013. One of the major decisions to be made at the congress was the question of forming a single united left party from the many left organisations that to that point operated as part of the coalition. Click HERE for a report on the congress.
* * *
Do you know what the message from the outside is? The message from an agonising and fighting society, with all the things that are going on in it?
The message is: get done or we’re done for.
We’re watching you, we’re waiting for you, but we’re running out of time.
We’re sinking; we’re drowning.
The message is: it’s now or never.
The message is not just political: SYRIZA or memoranda.
The message is: SYRIZA or humanitarian catastrophe.
Because those shameless appointees of the lenders, those executors of the memoranda implementation, they have no shame at all.
They have no respect or pity for anything or anybody.
Document of the Greens/Green Party USA, submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Don Fitz, national committee member of the Greens/Green Party USA. It is posted in the interests of discussion.
July 22, 2013 -- Why should we work longer hours in order to …
- put our neighbours out of work,
- produce fall-apart products that poison our children and grandchildren, and
- have less time to enjoy life?
People are losing their jobs and homes. Many throughout the world are without food, medical care and transportation. Instead of addressing real needs, governments and international financial institutions are designing “austerity programs” that cut back on basic services and privatise everything from education and mail delivery to pension plans and public health.
Simultaneously, climate change intensifies before our eyes as summers warm, droughts expand, polar ice caps melt, and those who live in coastal areas are threatened by rising waters. This occurs amid heightened use of radioactive and other toxic chemicals, the destruction of biodiversity and a drive to pull the last resources out of the Earth so that nothing will be left to future generations.
Syriza congress delegates vote.
By Pedro Filipe Soares (Left Bloc, Portugal), translated by Dick Nichols
July 19, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Over the July 10-14 weekend, at the first congress of Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left), it was obvious that history was being written in indelible ink. This was a congress that changed the Greek left.
Faced with the challenge of rising growth opening the door to future government, the left coalition took the step of becoming a party. Hence this first congress, where everything was spelled out — from founding principles to political orientation and statutes. And, of course, where everything was discussed and different positions clarified, always with typical Greek passion.
Attendance: 3430 delegates. This statistic reveals the enormous commitment that the party invested into building this congress. Its deliberations lasted from July 10 to July 14, when 3412 delegates participated in the election of the president. It was an extraordinary sensation to enter that hall and feel the energy of the delegates, the intensity of the discussion and the attention given to all points of detail.
By activists of the Zashchita union, Moscow, translated by Renfrey Clarke
July 21, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Metrovagonmash factory has begun producing large numbers of railway wagons with defective braking systems. In June, after three serious incidents on the Moscow Metro, the factory was fined 6 million rubles. The trade union Zashchita (“Defence”) has brought a suit in the prosecutor’s office, anticipates the laying of criminal charges against the factory directors, and is beginning a protest campaign.
The factory management and the workshop chiefs are forcing workers to fit defective components despite breaches of technical standards and serious faults in the parts involved. Plant employees are concerned for the reputation of its products and for the safety of Metro passengers. But workers who refuse to install the parts, demanding that quality standards for the factory’s products be adhered to and normal working conditions observed, are being subjected to reprisals and threatened with the sack by Metrovagonmash chiefs.
July 19, 2013 -- The above talk,"Legacy of Interrnational Socialism", was presented by the US International Socialist Organization's Ahmed Shawki at the organisation's annual Socialism conference in Chicago, June 27-30, 2013. It outlines the some of the history of the International Socialist Tendency and how the Socialist Workers Party of Britain came to dominate and command it. It deals with the relationship between the ISO and SWP, and the current crisis afflicting the UK SWP. It opens a discussion on the basis of international collaboration between left parties. This and other talks are also available at Wearemany.org.
Activists discuss plan for free transit at the occupied municipal chambers. Bottom picture: outside the walls of the municipal chambers, “Não Nos Representam!” (Doesn't represent us).
[For more on Brazil, click HERE.]
By Manuel Larrabure
July 18, 2013 -- The Bullet -- It started as a good idea. Rather than taking the path of the old Latin American left, in the form of the guerrilla movement, or the Stalinist party, Brazil's Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT), aided by strong union and social movements, decided to try something new. The challenge was to somehow combine the institutions of liberal democracy with popular participation by communities and movements.
July 11: National Day of Struggle.
[For more on Brazil, click HERE.]
By Alfredo Saad Filho
July 15, 2013 -- The Bullet -- The mass movements starting in June 2013 were the largest and most significant protests in Brazil in a generation, and they have shaken up the country's political system. Their explosive growth, size and extraordinary reach caught everyone – the left, the right, and the government – by surprise. This article examines these movements in light of the achievements and shortcomings of the democratic transition, in the mid-1980s, and the experience of the federal administrations led by the Workers’ Party (PT) since 2003.
A Summary of the facts
By Phil Hearse
July 12, 2013 -- Socialist Resistance -- A supporter of the Morning Star/Communist Party of Britain (CPB), under the pseudonym "Michael Ford", has written the most substantial rebuttal of the proposal to found a new left party in Britain – “Left Unity’s Modest Flutter”, posted on the Left Unity site.
Weighing in at more than 9000 words Ford’s article assesses almost every conceivable objection, from the weighty to the absurd. By analysing his critique in depth we can be more precise about what the case for a new party actually is and on what basis it can be built.
For more on Egypt, click HERE.
By Bassam Haddad
July 12, 2013 -- Jadaliyya -- Hossam El-Hamalawy is an Egyptian journalist and activist who maintains the popular site www.arabawy.org. He is associated with the Revolutionary Socialists group. Hossam El-Hamalawy starts by rejecting the "coup vs. revolution" debate, and addresses briefly the short and long history of the military's involvement in politics in relation to the June 30 events.
He then moves on to discuss in more detail the developments of the past two years, revealing that we cannot assume that "what we had was an 'Ikhwani' [Muslim Brotherhood] regime; it was still the Mubarak regime, but they gave a share of the cake to the Islamists". The army assumed they can use the opportunistic leaders to stabilise the streets, according to Hossam.
The following is an excerpt from Alan Wieder's new book, Ruth First and Joe Slovo in the war against apartheid, published by Monthly Review Press. It is posted with the kind permission of Monthly Review Press. Readers of Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to order a copy HERE.
July 14, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Ruth First and Joe Slovo, husband and wife, were leaders of the war to end apartheid in South Africa. Communists, scholars, parents, and uncompromising militants, they were the perfect enemies for the white police state. Together they were swept up in the growing resistance to apartheid, and together they experienced repression and exile.
Hugo Chávez addresses oil workers in 2007, pushing for more national control of the country’s oil.
By Federico Fuentes
July 15, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the recent period, political discussion in Venezuela has centered on the government’s economic strategy. The reasons seem obvious. Inflation during the first half of the year climbed to 25%. First quarter growth was only 0.7%. And then there are the shortages affecting various basic goods. The questions many are asking is: has Chavismo’s economic model reached its limits?
A number of critics say yes. Underpinning the current crisis, they argue, are incorrect government policies that have contributed to the rise of a bureaucratic state residing over an excessively centralised economy that is increasingly dependent on oil revenue.
President Evo Morales (right) and vice-president Álvaro García Linera.
Introduced and translated by Richard Fidler, article by Fernando Molina
July 14, 2013 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Bolivia’s achievements in recent years have inspired interest and solidarity among many on the left outside that country, and not just in Latin America. Conversely, the government of Evo Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) has produced corresponding hostility from Washington and its allies.
But some of the harshest criticism has also come from some left critics, including a few foreign academics and Bolivia-based NGO activists. Readers of their accounts might wonder how it is that the Morales government still gets the popular support it clearly does in Bolivia.