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(Updated Jan. 24) 'Too Many People?' Ecosocialists debate population and environment

[For more on the population debate, click HERE.]

January 9, 2012 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal/Climate and Capitalism -- Veteran British socialist Alan Thornett has published a highly critical review of the new book, Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis. Below is Thornett’s critique, followed by a reply from the book’s authors, Ian Angus and Simon Butler.

Too Many People: a review

By Alan Thornett

January 2, 2012 -- Socialist Resistance -- As a long-time comrade of Ian Angus, a fellow ecosocialist, and an admirer of his work on Marxism and ecology, I am disappointed by the tone he has adopted in his new book on population Too Many People? – which he has authored jointly with Simon Butler, co-editor of the Australian publication Green Left Weekly.

Road maps, dead ends and the search for fresh ground -- How can we build the socialist movement in the 21st century?

[For more discussion on how socialists organise, click HERE.]

By Dan DiMaggio

December 2010 -- Cultural Logic, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Dan DiMaggio's permission -- For the past seven-plus years I have devoted much of my life to effort to build a socialist movement in the United States. As a member of one of the many tiny socialist groups on the US left, I have organised dozens of anti-war, labour solidarity, immigrant rights and other rallies and campaigns. I have toured the country to speak at college campuses about socialism. I have set up numerous study groups and conferences and written and edited hundreds of articles for socialist publications. Most people might say, “Dan, you’re crazy if you think that socialism can be achieved in a country like the United States!” But despite the challenges, I hope to continue doing this for the next 50 or so years.

United States: #Occupy activists and the Democratic Party -- a debate

For more on the #Occupy movement, click here.

By Dave Duhalde and Dan La Botz

December 4, 2011 -- Against the Current -- Below is a debate between David Duhalde of the Democratic Socialists of America and Dan La Botz of Solidarity that was first published on the website Talking Union.

Where is the beef? An open letter to Dan La Botz on DSA and the Democrats

Dear Dan,

Ανατέμνοντας τους αριθμούς για τον υπερπληθυσμό

[In English (Αγγλική εκδοχή σε) at http://links.org.au/node/2520.]

των Ίαν Άνγκους και Σάιμον Μπάτλερ

Μαρξιστική Σκέψη, τόμος 4, Ιανουάριος-Μάρτιος 2012, σελ. 416, 13€

 

Από το 1798, όταν ο Πάτερ Μάλθους υποστήριξε ότι ο πληθυσμός αυξάνεται με γεωμετρική πρόοδο (2, 4, 8, 16...), ενώ η προσφορά τροφίμων αυξάνεται μόνο αριθμητικά (2, 3, 4, 5...), το επιχείρημα για τον υπερπληθυσμό έχει εξαρτηθεί από τους αριθμούς. Είναι σπάνιο να διαβάσει κανείς ένα άρθρο, φυλλάδιο ή ιστοσελίδα για τον υπερπληθυσμό που δεν περιλαμβάνει δηλώσεις όπως αυτές:

Occupy and the tasks of socialists

"Out of clouds of pepper spray and phalanxes of riot cops a new generation of revolutionaries is being forged, and it would be a shame if the Peter Camejos, Max Elbaums, Angela Davises, Dave Clines and Huey Newtons of this generation end up in separate “competing” socialist groups ... Now is the time to begin seriously discussing the prospect of regroupment, of liquidating outdated boundaries we have inherited, of finding ways to work closely together for our common ends. "

For more on the #Occupy movement, click here.

By Pham Binh

Australian socialists debate ecosocialism

By Ian Angus

December 13, 2011 -- Climate and Capitalism (Canada) -- Should ecologically concerned socialists call themselves ecosocialists? Members of the Socialist Alliance are conducting a public policy debate.

Is there a need for the word “ecosocialism”? Does it mean something substantially different from socialism without the prefix? Will using it help to build the left? Or is it an unnecessary and dangerous concession to greens who lean to liberalism and anarchism?

Here at Climate and Capitalism, we gave our answers to those questions long ago, by putting the words “Ecosocialism or barbarism: there is no third way” at the top of every page.

But on that question we are in a minority. While the word “ecosocialism” is used by growing numbers of green lefts and left greens, it is still very far from being universally accepted.

Of course, it is just a word. What’s important is the idea that in the 21st century the fight against environmental destruction and the fight against capitalism are inextricably linked – neither can succeed without the other. The label anyone chooses to apply to that concept is far less important.

Bolivia: Solidarity activists need to support revolutionary process; Rumble over jungle far from over

March from TIPNIS arrives in La Paz. Photo by Dario Kenner.

By Federico Fuentes

November 20, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The recent march in Bolivia by some Indigenous organisations against the government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS) has raised much debate among international solidarity activists. Such debates have occurred since the election of Bolivia's first Indigenous president, Evo Morales, in 2005 on the back of mass uprisings.

Overwhelmingly, solidarity activists uncritically supported the anti-highway march. Many argued that only social movements — not governments — can guarantee the success of the process of change.

However, such a viewpoint is not only simplistic; it can leave solidarity activists on the wrong side.

Kevin Young’s October 1 piece on Znet, “Bolivia Dilemmas: Turmoil, Transformation, and Solidarity”, tries to grapple with this issue by saying that “our first priority [as solidarity activists] must be to stop our governments, corporations and banks from seeking to control Bolivia’s destiny”.

Is democracy the enemy? A reply to Slavoj Zizek

Slavoj Zizek addresses Occupy Wall Street.

By Louis Proyect

October 31, 2011 --  The Unrepentant Marxist, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Although the content of Slavoj Žižek’s post in the London Review of Books blog ("Democracy is the enemy") is not so nearly as bad as the title, it still betrays the same kind of misunderstanding of the relationship between democracy and socialism that I addressed in my critique of “The Idea of Communism” conference held a couple of weeks ago in New York City [that featured Žižek:

Who’s causing the environmental crisis: 7 billion or the 1%?

October 26, 2011 -- Grist via Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Ironically, while populationist groups focus attention on the 7 billion, protesters in the worldwide Occupy movement have identified the real source of environmental destruction: not the 7 billion, but the 1%

This article, published today on the environmental website Grist, has provoked a vigorous discussion there. Many of the comments defend variations of the “consumer sovereignty” argument,  that corporations only destroy the environment in order to provide the products and services consumers demand. We encourage readers to join that conversation.

* * *

By Ian Angus and Simon Butler

The United Nations says that the world’s population will reach 7 billion people this month.

Zeitgeist, far-right conspiracy theories and Occupy Wall Street

October 27, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The global Occupy movement sparked by  Occupy Wall Street has mobilised tens of thousands of people angered at the actions of the big corporations, banks and financial institutions. Protesters rightly hit out at government bailouts of the banks and the close relationships between politicians and big business, while leaving the majority -- the "99%" -- to pay the price through austerity and attacks on their rights.

Bolívia: As ONGs equivocadas com relação a Morales e à Amazônia

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes

28/09/2011 -- Horadopovo.com.br -- Declarações, artigos, cartas e petições circularam na Internet durante o mês passado pedindo o fim da "destruição da Amazônia".

O objeto dessas iniciativas não têm sido as corporações transnacionais nem os poderosos governos que as respaldam, mas o governo do primeiro presidente indígena da Bolívia, Evo Morales.

No centro do debate está a proposta do governo boliviano de construir uma estrada através do Território Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS).

O TIPNIS, que cobre mais de 1 milhão de hectares de florestas, obteve o estatuto de reserva indígena do governo de Evo Morales em 2009. Cerca de 12.000 pessoas de três grupos indígenas diferentes vivem em 64 comunidades dentro do TIPNIS.

Bolivia: NGO's geven verkeerd beeld over Morales en Amazonewoud

Mars in Trinidad tegen de snelweg op 15 augustus.

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes, vertaald uit het Engels door Sabrina Verswijver

28/09/2011 -- DeWereldMorgen.be -- Het doelwit van de acties waren deze keer niet de transnationale bedrijven of machtige overheden die dergelijke bedrijven steunen, maar wel de eerste inheemse president van Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Aan de basis van het debat ligt het controversiële voorstel van de Boliviaanse overheid om een snelweg aan te leggen door het Isiboro Secure Nationaal Park en Inheems Gebied (TIPNIS).

TIPNIS beslaat meer dan één miljoen hectare aan bos en kreeg in 2009 de status van inheems gebied toegewezen door de regering-Morales. Ongeveer 12.000 mensen van drie verschillende inheemse groepen leven in 64 gemeenschappen in TIPNIS.

Bolivia: le ONG sbagliano su Morales e l'Amazzonia

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

di Federico Fuentes

25/09/2011 -- Radiocittaperta.it -- Dichiarazioni, articoli, lettere stanno circolando in Internet chiedendo la fine della "distruzione dell'Amazzonia".

L'obiettivo di queste iniziative non è rappresentato dalle corporazioni transnazionali né dai potenti governi che le appoggiano, ma il governo del primo presidente indigeno della Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Al centro del dibattito c'è la controversa proposta del governo boliviano di costruire un'autostrada attraverso il Territorio Indigeno del Parco Nazionale Isidoro Sécure (TIPNIS).

Il Tipnis, che copre una superficie di più di 1 milione di ettari di foresta, ha ottenuto lo statuto di territorio indigeno dal governo di Evo Morales nel 2009. Circa 2.000 persone vivono in 64 comunità all'interno del TIPNIS.

Bolivia: Las ONG equivocadas respecto a Morales y la Amazonía

[Available in English at http://links.org.au/node/2512 and http://boliviarising.blogspot.com.]

Federico Fuentes, traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

28-09-2011 -- Declaraciones, artículos, cartas y peticiones han estado circulando en Internet durante el pasado mes pidiendo un fin a la “destrucción de la Amazonía”.

El objetivo de esas iniciativas no han sido las corporaciones transnacionales ni los poderosos gobiernos que las respaldan, sino el gobierno del primer presidente indígena de Bolivia, Evo Morales.

Al centro del debate está la controvertida propuesta del gobierno boliviano de construir una carretera a través del Territorio Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS).

El TIPNIS, que cubre más de 1 millón de hectáreas de bosques, obtuvo el estatuto de territorio indígena del gobierno de Evo Morales en 2009. Cerca de 12.000 personas de tres grupos indígenas diferentes viven en 64 comunidades dentro del TIPNIS.

The euro on a knife edge: Are the Greeks to blame? What is the left position on the euro crisis?

On October 19 and 20, 2011, Greece will be stopped by the latest in a series of general strikes against austerity. Above and below: Workers march on October 19. All photos by WFTU International.

By Dick Nichols, Barcelona

October 19, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- “Bloody Greeks—corrupt and lazy, born cheaters who think the world owes them a living. Why should the hard-working taxpayers of the euro zone core economies like Germany have to fund billion-euro rescue packages for those scoundrels?” That’s the vicious tone of Germany’s tabloids and conservative politicians towards Greece’s galloping public debt crisis and the Greek people’s protests against the austerity programs imposed on them by the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (the “troika”) as the price of bail-out funding.

Discussion: Left critiques of Occupy Wall Street -- How did I get here? By know-it-all subtraction?

Occupy Wall Street. Photo from Solidarity.

This article first appeared at the Kasama Project website under the title, "Occupy critiques: How did I get here? By know-it-all subtraction?". It is a response to sections of the US left on the Occupy Wall Street movement that has sprung up across the United States, and is inspiring similar initiatives in other parts of the world. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with Mike Ely's permission in the interests of discussion. Comments are welcome.

[For more on Occupy Wall Street, click HERE.]

* * *

By Mike Ely

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house,
with a beautiful
wife
And you may ask yourself,
Well…How did I get here?!

'Dissecting those "overpopulation" numbers', excerpt from "Too Many People?" by Ian Angus and Simon Butler

October 4, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Haymarket Books has kindly given permission for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to publish "Dissecting those 'overpopulation' numbers", an excerpt from the just published Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis by Ian Angus and Simon Butler. Links' readers are urged to purchase this essential book. You can order it directly from the publisher HERE; Australian readers can also purchase it at Resistance Bookshops in their city, or online at Resistancebooks.com.

Download "Dissecting those 'overpopulation' numbers" HERE (PDF), or read it on screen below.

* * *

(Updated Oct. 4) Bolivia: Avaaz, NGOs wrong on Morales and Amazon protests; police attack condemned

March in Trinidad, Bolivia, against a proposed highway that would go through part of the Amazon, August 15.

By Federico Fuentes

September 25, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon". The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the government of Bolivia's first Indigenous president, Evo Morales.

At the centre of the debate is the Bolivian government’s controversial proposal to build a highway through the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). TIPNIS, which covers more than 1 million hectares of forest, was granted Indigenous territory status by the Morales government in 2009. About 12,000 people from three different Indigenous groups live in 64 communities within TIPNIS.

Democracy Now! debate: Does UN statehood bid advance or undermine Palestinian struggle?

September 23, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations in defiance of U.S. and Israeli threats... While supporters have hailed the bid as a step forward in the struggle to end the Israeli occupation and bring peace to the Middle East, critics call it a ploy by the Palestinian Authority to cling to power while undermining the rights of Palestinian refugees. We host a debate with two leading Palestinian analysts: Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the website The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, and Mouin Rabbani of the Institute for Palestine Studies and the webzine Jadaliyya. See also http://links.org.au/node/2453.

* * *

JUAN GONZALEZ: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to officially submit a statehood request to the United Nations Security Council later today. The United States has vowed to veto the move.

Bolivia: Development before environment?

Indigenous Bolivians begin a 500-kilometre protest march to La Paz.

By Federico Fuentes

September 8, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- The decision by leaders of the Sub Central of the Indigenous Territory and National Isiboro Secure Park (TIPNIS) to initiate a 500-kilometre protest march on Bolivia's capital of La Paz has ignited much debate about the nature of Bolivia’s first Indigenous led-government. The Sub Central of TIPNIS unites the 64 indigenous communities within the park.

Much analysis has focused on the supposed hypocrisy of the government headed by Evo Morales, Bolivia's first Indigenous head of state. The Morales government has been criticised for pursuing pro-capitalist development and trampling on the rights of its own Indigenous people.

Many analysts have also highlighted the contradiction between Morales’ public discourse in defence of Indigenous rights and Mother Earth, and the proposal of his government’s to build a highway that would run through this protected area of the Amazon.

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