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United States

United States: Other revolving doors

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

July 16, 2018 
 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It’s more than doors between the US government and the businesses that they supposedly regulate that go round and round. One of the other swinging doors is between the Democratic and Republican Parties.

 

The rise of far-right populism in the world – A ‘morbid symptom’ of our times

 

 

By Bulent Gokay

 

June 23, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci wrote in his Prison Notebooks, in 1930, that “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.” Gramsci was preoccupied with the breakdown and collapse of the liberal order which was the dominant pattern in international affairs after World War I. In particular, when struggling to understand the rise to power of Benito Mussolini, Gramsci used the term, “morbid phenomenon”. For Gramsci, Mussolini was one such morbid symptom. The term “interregnum” was originally used to denote a time-lag separating the death of one royal sovereign from the enthronement of the successor. Interregnum here, as referred by Gramsci, can be understood with a new wider meaning as a period where one arrangement of hegemony is waning, but prior to the full emergence of another.

 

Trump’s new militarism

 

 

During the 2016 US election campaign Donald Trump promised an end to pointless foreign wars and attacked “useless” and massively expensive new military equipment, like the $1.5 trillion Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter. But the Trump presidency has ushered in a new era of militarism, as the United States prepares for high tech, massively violent wars against Russia and China, argues Phil Hearse.

 

United States: Barre’s hidden history of Italian-American radicalism

 

By Kate Frey

 

February 23, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  — Barre, located in central Vermont, not far from the capital, Montpelier, with a population of 8710, was for a time in the early 1900s an internationally known center of Italian-American radicalism.

 

The city was founded in 1788 as a farming community and was named after Issac Barre, a British politician who supported the American colonies in the period leading up to the Revolutionary War. Vermont is known for rocky soil and a cold climate, making farming difficult and many of the first generation of settlers eventually moved away.

 

Large granite deposits were discovered shortly after the War of 1812 and Barre’s first granite quarry opened in 1813. Vermont’s hilly terrain made transporting granite difficult though and it wasn’t until the Central Vermont Railroad ran a spur into Barre in 1875 that the granite industry took off.

 

United States: Settler colonialism and the second amendment

 

 

By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

 

February 23, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly ReviewThe Anglo-American settlers’ violent break from Britain in the late eighteenth century paralleled their search-and-destroy annihilation of Delaware, Cherokee, Muskogee, Seneca, Mohawk, Shawnee, and Miami, during which they slaughtered families without distinction of age or gender, and expanded the boundaries of the thirteen colonies into unceded Native territories.

 

Afrin between the claws of the major powers

 

 

By Cihad Hammy

 

February 2, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Region In an article I wrote a day before the Turkish state's invasion of Afrin, I intended to scrutinize the underlying ideological structures of the Turkish ruling party (AKP) and the driving force behind the invasion of Afrin. This article will focus more on the role of major powers, mainly US and Russia, in the recent invasion of Afrin and the stances held by the Assad regime and Iran.

 

United States: Greitens scandal - looking beneath the surface

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

January 17, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal When I shook hands with Eric Greitens following the 2016 debate for Missouri Governor, none of us on the Green team imagined that, a year before, he had tied a woman up, blindfolded her, undressed her, photographed her and warned that he would release the photo if she ever said what happened. The story made local and US news on January 11, 2018 when the now-Governor Greitens followed his “State of the State” address with an admission that he had had an affair, that he and his wife had come to terms with it, and they wanted to get on with their lives.

 

He failed to mention whether the “affair” included bondage and sexual blackmail. During and following Donald Trump's ascendency to the White House, there had been a year of non-stop sex scandals in the US and a story had to be beyond the pale to make the headlines in early 2018. The Missouri governor's scandal hit that mark.

 

Why North Korea developed nuclear bombs

 

 

By Park Jae-seong (Planning Committee Member, ISC), translated by Dae-Han Song (Chief Editor, The [su:p]

 

December 3, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy Center — The North Korean nuclear conflict started in 1990. Few people are aware that before taking out its nuclear card, North Korea had approached the United States in earnest. As Communism crumbled and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with North Korea’s southern counterpart, the country’s leaders couldn’t help but feel insecure. In an attempt to gain political recognition as an independent state, North Korea signed a basic North-South agreement, a denuclearization agreement (preventing the development of nuclear weapons in  the Korean Peninsula) and even joined the United Nations, all by 1991. 

 

United States: Where any white police officer can kill any Black man at any time…

 

 

… And the police officer will not go to jail.

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 23, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal This is what has sparked protests by thousands of people in St. Louis since September 15.

 

In 2011, St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley fired five to seven shots at Anthony Lamar Smith, killing him. Stockley claimed that Smith was selling drugs, chased him at high speed and shot him to defend himself. The story was briefly reported as another drug deal gone bad and that it was just incidental that the police officer was white and the victim was black.

John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, eighty years on

 

 

Reviewed by Barry Healy

 

Of Mice and Men
By John Steinbeck
Penguin, 1993 (first published 1937), $8.95

 

September 23, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal This year marks the 80th anniversary of Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men. At less than 200 pages it carries enormous force as a mythic account of alienation under US capitalism.

 

United States: Trump’s war on immigrants

 

 

 

By Justin Akers Chacón

 

September 11, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — At the press conference to announce his run for President in 2016, Donald Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as “drug dealers, criminals, rapists” who must be stopped by “building a wall.” Since taking office, Trump has continued to reiterate that message through policy initiatives designed to further degrade the quality of life for undocumented workers and their families. The overtly racist targeting of migrant and immigrant people by Trump has excited the far-right, and emboldened their efforts to organise and mobilise on a national scale, and terrorise working class communities of colour.

 

BRICS Xiamen Summit: Capitalist ‘deglobalisation’ could crack the bloc even if internal geopolitical strife eases

 

 

By Patrick Bond

 

August 31, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal The Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa summit in Xiamen from September 3-5 is already inscribed with high tension thanks to Sino-Indian border conflicts. But regardless of a welcome new peace deal, centrifugal forces within the fast-whirling world economy threaten to divide the BRICS. South Africa, which plays host to the BRICS in 2018, is already a victim of these trends – even as President Jacob Zuma continues to use the bloc as a primary crutch in his so-called “anti-imperialist” (talk-left walk-right) political survival kit.

 

Estados Unidos: Sanders y los Demócratas

 

 

[Original in English here.]

 

Por Barry Sheppard

 

12 de agosto de 2017 — Viento Sur — En junio, Bernie Sanders escribió un artículo en la sección “toma de posición” del New York Times titulada “How Democrats Can Stop Loosing” (Cómo los demócratas podrían dejar de perder, 13/06/2017).

 

En dicho artículo escribía: “En 2016, el Partido Demócrata perdió la presidencia frente a un candidato que es, quizás, el menos popular en la historia estadounidense. Los Demócratas perdieron también el Senado y la Cámara en favor de los Republicanos, cuyo programa extremista está muy alejado de las orientaciones de la mayor parte de los estadounidenses en el plano político. Ahora los Republicanos controlan casi las dos terceras partes de los puestos de gobernador y han ganado cerca de 1000 escaños en diferentes legislativos de los Estados durante los nueve últimos años. En 24 Estados, los Demócratas no tienen casi ninguna influencia."

 

United States: Successful convention moves Democratic Socialists of America to left

 

 

By Dan La Botz

 

August 10, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — The socialist movement in the United States took a big step forward this past weekend as almost 700 delegates representing over 25,000 members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) met at the organization’sbiennial national convention in Chicago. This convention, the first since DSA more than tripled in size following last year’s election, brought together delegates from all of the country’s major cities and many towns large and small.Most were new members who had joined in the last year either came out of the Bernie Sanders campaign or joined in reaction to the frightening prospect of the Donald Trump presidency. The convention cohered the hundreds of new members into a national organization in what was virtually a re-founding of the DSA. It gave them the experience of beginning to run their own organization, and the delegates adopted constitutional changes and policy resolutions that moved the organization to the left.

 

The need for a new US foreign policy towards North Korea

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

 

June 13, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — US-North Korean relations remain very tense, although the threat of a new Korean War has thankfully receded.  Still the US government remains determined to tighten economic sanctions on North Korea and continues to plan for a military strike aimed at destroying the country’s nuclear infrastructure.  And the North for its part has made it clear that it would respond to any attack with its own strikes against US bases in the region and even the US itself.

 

This is not good, but it is important to realize that what is happening is not new.  The US began conducting war games with South Korean forces in 1976 and it was not long before those included simulated nuclear attacks against the North, and that was before North Korea had nuclear weapons.  In 1994, President Bill Clinton was close to launching a military attack on North Korea with the aim of destroying its nuclear facilities.  In 2002, President Bush talked about seizing North Korean ships as part of a blockade of the country, which is an act of war.  In 2013, the US conducted war games which involved planning for preemptive attacks on North Korean military targets and “decapitation” of the North Korean leadership and even a first strike nuclear attack.

 

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.

 

Who actually subverts democracy?

 
 

By Charles Pierce

 

March 22, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Since December 9 last year, when the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made its allegations to U.S. Congressional leaders, ranking politicians of both major parties have gone on a concerted rant against Russia for allegedly subverting American “democracy”. The specific allegations are: (1) that Russian state operatives hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC); (2) that Russia then used WikiLeaks as an intermediary to make public internal DNC emails which would embarrass the DNC and hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign; (3) that Russia’s objective was to help Donald Trump win the Presidency; and (4) that Russia’s intervention changed the outcome of the Presidential election. For reasons given below: (1) and (2) are possible but unproven, (3) is unlikely, and (4) is fantasy. 

 

Meanwhile, the major U.S. news media outlets have reported the story with a persistent evasion of highly relevant facts including the U.S. government’s many subversions of elections in other countries. 

 

A Letter from North America #3 – Our migrant crisis

 
 

 

March 18, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left UnityThis is the third of Ernie Tate’s letters to Left Unity detailing and analysing the struggles against Trump as they emerge on the other side of the pond. Ernie is a lifelong revolutionary who emigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland as a young man. He was one of the most important activists of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign in the 1960s and has recently produced a two volume memoir, “Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s”.

 

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A by-product of present toxic atmosphere in the United States against immigrants and refugees has been a sharp increase in this country in recent weeks in the number of asylum seekers walking across the Canadian border, often placing themselves and their families in harm’s way from our extremely harsh winter. It’s also a consequence it should be noted, of the military interventions by the American empire in the Arab and African world — now greatly destabilized because of it, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union. And like everywhere else, reactionary forces here are attempting to exploit it to stoke up anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment.

 

Syria: A confederal or theocratic revolution?

 
 

By Davide Grasso

 

March 15, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from InfoAUTWhen Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on December 17, 2010 – few of us knew the dimensions of what was about to happen. North Africa and Southwest Asia were ticking time-bombs waiting to explode, waiting to manifest, sometimes rapidly, sometimes slowly, deep contradictions and new paths towards the future. Few among us were aware of how unprepared we were for these events and, initially, for developing a solid analysis of what was happening beyond the Mediterranean.

 

At the time, a friend told me: "These 'springs' have swept away the Salafis from the history of those countries denying that tendency to be the dominant one among the youth." The following events, up to the present ones, demonstrate how incomplete and one-sided this impression was. We were projecting our expectations on the events. We did not analyze the facts in all their complexity, for what they were, albeit in their ambivalence; we looked at them for what we wanted them to be.

 

Trump and after: Letters from North America

 
 

March 7, 2017 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left UnityOne of the most important areas of work for socialists in Europe in the period of Trump will be to establish ongoing working political relationships with comrades in the US and Canada. To that end Left Unity will increase our coverage of politics across the pond. We will begin with a new ‘letter from North America’ courtesy of Ernie Tate. Ernie is a lifelong revolutionary who emigrated to Canada from Northern Ireland as a young man. In the 1960s working in Britain he was one of the most important activists of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign. He has recently produced a two volume memoir of that period, “Revolutionary Activism of the 1950s and 1960s”, published by Resistance Books. Now at the age of 82 and living in Toronto he is still active and an acute observer of the political scene. Ernie will send us his thoughts twice monthly. Below are the first two instalment written to Phil Hearse his longtime friend and comrade.

 

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