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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal seeks to promote the exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of "socialism" that arose in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

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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'The Kurds': Internationalists or narrow nationalists?



By Marcel Cartier


May 9, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from TeleSUR EnglishIt seems impossible. I look down from the hilltop that I’m standing on to see a very narrow stretch of river — from here appearing rather insignificant. This, I’m told, is the mighty Tigris, and on the other side of it lies Iraq. Where I stand is Syria, the war-torn country that has already endured six years of destruction up to this point. To some in my company this particular region is more frequently called Rojava, but to the even more politically correct of comrades the name Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria is used (I will from here on use the abbreviation DFSNS rather than Rojava for reasons that will be explained later in this article).


Julius Nyerere: Legacy and defeated dreams in Tanzania



By Alan Broughton


May 8, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– Julius Nyerere is regarded as one of the greatest African political leaders. He was a visionary for African unity, socialist development and self-reliance in the aftermath of colonialism, and still commands great respect. Though much of his vision failed to materialise he leaves a legacy of ethnic and religious tolerance and peace in his East African country, Tanzania.


New Catalan political space: one hurdle cleared on the road to left unity



By Dick Nichols


May 7, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The struggle to build a Catalan political force inspiring the level of support and activism needed to implement radical social change took a step forward in Barcelona on April 8, when the new “political subject” provisionally called Un País en Comú (“A Country Together”) held its founding congress.


Un País en Comú, whose final name will be decided by membership referendum, is the third Catalan progressive unity project with en comú (“together” or “in common”) in its title. The first, in June 2014, was the broad activist coalition that under the name of Barcelona En Comú won the May 2015 Barcelona city council election. In defeating the ruling conservative nationalist Convergence and Union (CiU) the new formation made former housing rights activist Ada Colau the city’s mayoress and a reference point for radical politics across the Spanish state.


Catalonia: What Un País en Comú stands for




By Dick Nichols


May 7, 2017 
–– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– This appendix to the article “New Catalan political space: one hurdle cleared on the road to left unity” tries to summarise the essential content of the first draft of Un País en Comú.


Germany: The return of hope - for an offensive double strategy



By Michael Brie and Mario Candeias


May 7, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform NetworkThe future has gone astray. The neoliberal utopia is exhausted just as are left alternatives. The decades of an initially conservative-orthodox neoliberalism from Margaret Thatcher to Helmut Kohl; its generalization under the governments from Tony Blair to Gerhard Schröder; and, finally, its authoritarian deepening and anchoring in the years of the crisis have caused social inequalities and dynamics, which are hardly under control. The structural crisis is not resolved and cannot be solved in the old framework. The attempts to stabilize financial market capitalism only extend the agony and tear apart the European Union and our societies. The situation is however not characterized by rupture; instead, an old quote from Antonio Gramsci applies: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” One such morbid symptom is the new radical Right in its various forms.


Winning power, not just government



By Florian Wilde


May 6, 2017
 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Jacobin with the author's permission Is it a shortcut, if it’s seemingly the only path on offer? Many left parties in Europe today see participating in a center-left coalition government as the only realistic way to win reforms. They often justify joining these administrations by reasoning that having a left party in government will at least block the most regressive policies and keep a more reactionary formation from taking power. These parties also believe government participation will increase their credibility in the eyes of voters and members, ultimately strengthening their prospects to govern on their own.


Twenty-five years of history, however, suggest that these expectations are rarely met.


South Africa: World Economic Forum-Africa hosts a turf battle between Jacob Zuma and ‘white monopoly capital’



By Patrick Bond


May 3, 2017
–– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– At a time when US and South African presidents Donald Trump and Jacob Zuma personify controversies over crony capitalism, corruption, populist rhetoric and self-serving economic strategies, will big business calm down the politicians – or just egg them on?


Feminist organising and the women’s strike: An interview with Cinzia Arruzza

Cinzia Arruzza interviewed by George Souvlis and Ankica Čakardić. FIrst published at Salvage

Jobs and industry in the Hunter Valley: Context for a conversation about a Just Transition away from coal




By Steve Phillips


May 5, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The Hunter Valley is famously, or infamously, one of the most coal-mining-dominated regions in the world. We have one of the highest concentrations of mines on the planet, and we host its biggest export coal facility. Many will tell you that the Hunter has always been a coal-mining region, and it's true. But in the past it played a lesser role, and only in recent years has mining come to dominate the physical, social, and economic landscape of the Hunter Valley.


South Korea: How candlelight protests impeached a president and created spaces for direct democracy



By Jeong-eun Hwang


April 28, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– At 9 am on March 10, people gathered in front of the Constitutional Court to await the court’s ruling on whether to impeach South Korean president Park Geun-hye. Two hours before the verdict was read, those gathered chanted: “The Constitutional Court should uphold Park’s impeachment!”


At the designated time of 11am, the crowd held its breath as the eight judges appeared on the large screen set up in front of the court. As acting chief Lee Jung-mi calmly read the verdict, the crowd broke out at times in cheers and at others times in groans. After 20 minutes, Lee concluded the verdict by stating that the president would be removed from office. The crowd erupted with shouts, clapping and crying.


Those that had come out onto the streets in protest had finally “impeached Park.” For the past four months we had gathered at the square to realize our demands and acted on them, creating a space for direct democracy. In winter, we planted the seeds to make fundamental changes in Korean society shouting slogans, from the impeachment of Park to the eradication of deep-rooted problems like corrupt conservative forces and the chaebols that had been reigning over our laws. As spring comes, we await the seeds to sprout, nourished by the radiance of people power.


South Africa: Mass protests follow cabinet reshuffle as Zuma impeachment vote looms



By Patrick Bond


April 28, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On South Africa’s political left, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party dominated recent news by leading a mass march on President Jacob Zuma’s office in Pretoria, following a government power shift seen as amplifying corruption. The move also catalysed a ‘junk’ rating by two neoliberal credit ratings agencies. And an impeachment process on the immediate horizon represents the first real parliamentary threat to Zuma’s eight-year reign.

Asia: Statement in defense of Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution - no to foreign intervention!




Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — We, the undersigned organizations, express our support and solidarity for the people of Venezuela and Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, against the ongoing threats of counterrevolution and violent attacks orchestrated by right-wing forces with the backing of the US imperialist power.


French presidential election: An earthquake? Yes and no



Manifestation of France Insoumise with Jean-Luc Mélenchon on 18 March


By Maxime Benatouil


April 27, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform Network — After the predicted but non-the-less spectacular result of the first round of the presidential election, on the left urgent questions are burning each and everyone’s lips: what shall we do in two weeks?


Going for Emmanuel Macron to make sure that Marine Le Pen looses? Abstaining from voting, thus taking the risk to see her move in the Élysée Palace? Would not five years of ‘more of the same’ politics be ultimately leading to the victory of the far-right in 2022?


Letter from North America: NAFTA redux and on steroids



By Ernie Tate


April 27, 2017  Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity with the author's permission — The new Trump administration has made NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States, a major issue in its relations with its two neighbours. Recently, Trump has threatened to tear it up. With his standard nationalist demagogy, he claims “previous bad trade deals”, have cost the United States many jobs as a result of American manufacturers moving plants off-shore. He is now in the process of triggering the required ninety day notification period, telling Canada and Mexico the new administration is prepared to bully its way to a new and more favourable arrangement for itself.


Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs


Reviewed by Chris Slee

Chasing the scream 
By Johann Hari 
Bloomsbury Circus London 2015


April 9, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Over the past hundred years, millions of people around the world have been jailed for drug use. The United States has been particularly harsh. Its huge prison population, disproportionately Black and Latino, includes many people jailed for drug use.


But until 100 years ago, drug use was not a crime in the US (or in most parts of the world). Opiates were sold in pharmacies as remedies for a range of ailments.


Johann Hari explains that: “You could go to any American pharmacy and buy products made from the same ingredients as heroin and cocaine. The most popular cough mixtures in the United States contained opiates, a new soft drink called Coca-Cola was made from the same plant as snortable cocaine, and over in Britain the classiest department stores sold heroin tins for society women”. [page 9]


Most people used these products without any problem: “Just as a large majority of drinkers did not become alcoholics, a large majority of users of these products did not become drug addicts.


Marta Harnecker: "Ninguém pode negar que um novo sujeito revolucionário foi criado na Venezuela"

[Original in English here.]

April 8, 2017 — Tlaxcala — Essa entrevista com Marta Harnecker foi feita pelo jornalista Tassos Tsakiroglou para o diário grego Efimerida ton Syntakton. Apareceu no país no dia em que foi inaugurada a Conferência Internacional "150 anos de publicação de O Capital, de Marx: Reflexões para o século 21", da qual Marta era convidada. O evento realizou-se em Atenas, de 14 a 15 de janeiro de 2017 e foi organizado pela revista de teoria marxista Theseis em colaboração com a fundação Rosa Luxemburg. Essa tradução ao português do Brasil foi feita por alunos de tradutologia, para finalidades exclusivamente didáticas.

The presidential election in France — an election like no other



By Murray Smith 


April 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — What is happening in France this spring is much more than an election, or a series of elections, presidential and legislative. The two great poles of French political life, the Socialist Party (PS) and the Republicans (LR, right), are in crisis.



In the case of the PS, the crisis could prove to be terminal. The far right and the radical left occupy considerable spaces in the campaign and in the polls. And the campaign has been marked by so many twists and turns that everything still seems possible. We are witnessing an unprecedented political crisis of the Fifth Republic which will not be resolved so quickly, regardless of the results of these elections.


'I Am Not Your Negro' - A review


By Ernie Tate


April 5, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Unity — Now and then, and despite its capitalist and racial biases,our culture throws up something that can speak quite eloquently and uniquely about the times we’re living through.  In this case, I’m referring to an amazing documentary film that has been released recently, “I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO”, by Raoul Peck, an acclaimed Haitian director with major films to his credit.This latest work is well worth seeing and has been well received here.


A meticulously woven story of the civil rights movement at a critical juncture in its history, expressed in the marvellous words of James Baldwin, the documentary focuses on the lives of three central leaders of that movement in the 1960s, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, their lives tragically cut short by assassinations, killings that strategically weakened the movement and from which it never recovered.


Russia in the world


By Renfrey Clarke


April 3, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalFor several weeks in mid-December, media outlets were aflame with the news: Russian President Vladimir Putin, no less, had led a cyber-assault on US democracy, hacking the files of the Democratic Party in an effort to secure the election of his ally Donald Trump.


Or perhaps, the real source of the tale had nothing to do with Russia: perhaps it was an attempt to reinforce the self-hypnosis of US liberals that Hillary Clinton’s defeat did not stem from the disgust of millions of rust-belt workers at years of disdain and neglect by Democratic Party politicians.


Retired US intelligence experts soon shot the “hack” allegations full of holes.[1] But the refutations were ignored by the mainstream media. And the prejudice the allegations created would survive, to strengthen the rationale for Western economic, diplomatic and military pressures on Russia unparalleled in the post-Cold War period.


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