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United States: Are deaths from COVID-19 just more unintended, but acceptable, collateral damage for the capitalist state?

 

 

By Vince Montes

April 27, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The concept of collateral damage is the death and injury to civilians, or other damage inflicted, as the unintended result of military operations. In this conceptualization, collateral damage, similar to the military euphemism for the killing of civilians, is the idea that there is unintentional, but acceptable death, injury, and damage associated with the carrying out a stated goal. However, unlike the goal of winning a war or when this concept is used in an Orwellian way to describe the “unintended” deaths of non-combatants killed in counterinsurgency operations, designed to kill, injury, and ultimately terrorize a people into submission, the death, injury, and destruction of COVID-19 can be see as collateral damage because it is unintended, yet deemed acceptable for the continuation of U.S. capitalism. 

United States: Now is the time for solidarity - Democratic Socialists of America statement on COVID-2019

 

 

March 12, 2020  — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Democratic Socialists of America — From the 2008 global financial collapse to the natural disasters caused by climate change that rocked Northern California, New Orleans, New York, and Puerto Rico, capitalism is causing devastating human crises. During each of these crises, it has been poor, working-class, and already marginalized people who have suffered the most — while banks, energy companies, and the real estate industry have been bailed out.

United States: Demands from grassroots organizers concerning COVID-19

 

 

March 10, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transformative Spaces — The Trump administration has botched its response to COVID-19. Due to incompetence and an unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes, the administration has worsened an already serious situation. COVID-19 is a deadly public health threat that must be taken seriously. We are a group of organizers whose work addresses a variety of issues, and we recognize that there is no organizing community or area of our work that will not be touched by this crisis. We hope this list of demands will serve as a tool for organizers and activists who are crafting their own responses to COVID-19. Panic is dangerous and often accompanied by violence against marginalized people. We believe responsible, productive dialogues about the needs of our communities must be initiated throughout the country.

United States: Why is Joe Biden winning?

 

 

By Dan La Botz

March 8, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — Joe Biden turned out to be the big winner on Super Tuesday. While not all of the votes have been counted, Biden seems likely to end up with a majority. He is now positioned to do well in the rest of the primaries and is likely to come into the Democratic Party Convention with majority of delegates. The major media, as to be expected, are hailing him as the Democratic Party savior.

Bernie might make a comeback. Perhaps, as some have suggested, Elizabeth Warren, whose own campaign has no way forward, might endorse him. Sanders and Warren aides are reportedly discussing that possibility. That would give Sanders a real boost—but it seems unlikely. Remember that Warren declared, “I’m a capitalist to my bones.” A Warren endorsement of Biden might win her a cabinet post.

But let’s turn to the real question: Why is Biden winning?

US Presidential election: following the money

 

 

By Kim Moody

March 6, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from RS21 — Political parties without members. Presidential elections in which you don’t vote for the candidate you favour and where the candidate with a majority of the votes can lose. An electoral ‘college’ with no classrooms or physical location composed of ‘electors’ you’ve never heard of. ‘Primary’ elections invented a century ago by elitists who called themselves ‘progressives’ to undermine party organisation. These are the basic elements of the US system of choosing the county’s president and vice president. Not clear? All bourgeois democracies have ‘democratic deficits’, but that in the United State has some unique features. Let’s start at the beginning.

United States: How socialists can govern

 

 

By Bill Fletcher Jr. 

March 5, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Dissent — Bernie Sanders’s presidential primary run in 2016 saw 13 million people vote for a democratic socialist. Two years later, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s underdog, grassroots-driven victory against one of Congress’s most powerful Democrats shook the political establishment. Combined with the election of Donald Trump, these two campaigns reignited interest in something many on the left had shied away from for the better part of a century: electoral power.

United States: Left debates Green Party campaign, safe states and 2020 election strategy

 

 

An open letter to the Green Party about 2020 election strategy

By Noam Chomsky, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Leslie Cagan, Ron Daniels, Kathy Kelly, Norman Solomon, Cynthia Peters, and Michael Albert

January 27, 2020 As the 2020 presidential election approaches the Green Party faces the challenge of settling on a platform, choosing a candidate for president, and deciding its campaign strategy. In that context, Howie Hawkins, a contender for Green Party presidential candidate, recently published a clear and cogent essay titled "The Green Party Is Not the Democrats' Problem." It represents a precedent Green Party stance which may guide Green campaign policy. We agree with much, but find some ideas very troubling.

Climate change, the Green New Deal and the struggle for climate justice

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

February 6, 2020 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — Most calls for a Green New Deal correctly emphasize that it must include a meaningful commitment to climate justice.  That is because climate change—for reasons of racism and capitalist profit-making—disproportionately punishes frontline communities, especially communities of color and low-income.

Dammed good question about the Green New Deal

 

 

By Don Fitz

November 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Hydroelectric power from dams might be the thorniest question that proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) have to grapple with.  Providing more energy than solar and wind combined, dams could well become the backup for energy if it proves impossible to get off of fossil fuels fast enough.  

An August 2019 forum on the GND included representatives from the Sunrise Movement, Renew Missouri and three of us in the Green Party.  Rev. Elston McCowan asked, “What does the Green New Deal say about rivers and dams?” I said “That’s a dammed good question” and went into some of the issues below.  Howie Hawkins and Dario Hunter, both candidates for the Green Party presidential nomination, told of their participation in local efforts to block dam construction. But trying to defeat a single dam begs the question of what policy a political organization has toward them. [1]

Politicians agree: “Any white cop can kill a Black man”

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

September 30, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In 2017 my Links article, “Any White Cop Can Kill a Black Man at Any Time,” told how St. Louis cop Jason Stockley killed a 24-year-old black man, Anthony Lamar Smith.  Though Stockley claimed he had fired in self defense when Smith pulled a gun on him, evidence showed that he had planted the gun after the killing.  When Stockley was found “not guilty” protests by thousands in St. Louis lasted for months, just as in 2014 when another white cop Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in neighboring Ferguson.

 

Crises of cops indiscriminately killing black men keep intensifying throughout the area.  In 2018, Stockley sued the City of St. Louis for putting him on trial in a case that could have created a precedent for cops being able to kill without ever being held accountable.  Then, on September 20, 2019, news broke that in 2012, soon after the killing, the Missouri Attorney General’s office had suppressed evidence regarding Stockley’s DNA being found on the gun he claimed belonged to his victim.  This is after months of the St. Louis Police Officers Association (SLPOA) harassing the City’s first black female Circuit Attorney for attempting to defend citizens from racist attacks.

 

United States: What the Sanders' campaign opens

 

 

By Dianne Feeley

 

September 18, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Solidarity — Bernie Sanders’ campaign of four years ago put socialism on the U.S. political agenda for the first time in generations. He’s on the trail again, explaining what a “democratic socialist” vision means, beginning with building mass movements and supporting unions and union organizing.

 

Bernie distinguishes his vision from others running in the Democratic primary in several ways.

Washington intensifies its collective punishment of Venezuelans

 

 

By Kevin Young

 

August 17,2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from NACLA — On August 5, the Trump administration issued an executive order escalating its sanctions against Venezuela. The order froze all Venezuelan government assets in the United States and threatened third parties around the world with punitive action if they trade with the Venezuelan government.

 

The next day, National Security Adviser John Bolton delivered a speech to a meeting of foreign governments in Lima, Peru. “We are sending a signal to third parties that want to do business with the Maduro regime: proceed with extreme caution,” he said. “There is no need to risk your business interests with the United States.”

 

In response, the Nicolás Maduro government cancelled its negotiations with self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó, which had been scheduled for later that week in Barbados. The Venezuelan foreign minister plausibly speculated that Washington was “trying to dynamite the dialogue.”

 

The move is the Trump administration’s latest escalation of its coup campaign in Venezuela.

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part II—Movement Building

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — In Part I in this series on lessons to be learned from the New Deal, I described the enormous economic and social costs of the first years of the Great Depression and the reluctance of business and government leaders to pursue policies likely to threaten the status quo.  I did so to demonstrate that we should not assume that simply establishing the seriousness of our current multifaceted crisis, especially one that has yet to directly threaten capitalist profitability, will be enough to win elite consideration of a transformative Green New Deal.

 

I also argued that it was the growth of an increasingly militant political movement openly challenging the legitimacy of the police, courts, and other state institutions that finally transformed the national political environment and pushed Roosevelt to change course and introduce his early New Deal employment and relief programs.  In this post, I examine the driving force of this movement, the movement of unemployed.

 

What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part I–Confronting Crisis

 

 

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

 

August 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — The New Deal has recently become a touchstone for many progressive efforts, illustrated by Bernie Sanders’ recent embrace of its aims and accomplishments and the popularity of calls for a Green New Deal.  The reasons are not hard to understand. Once again, growing numbers of people have come to the conclusion that our problems are too big to be solved by individual or local efforts alone, that they are structural and thus innovative and transformative state-led actions will be needed to solve them.

 

The New Deal was indeed a big deal and, given contemporary conditions, it is not surprising that people are looking back to that period for inspiration and hope that meaningful change is possible.  However, inspiration, while important, is not the same as seeking and drawing useful organizing and strategic lessons from a study of the dynamics of that period.

 

United States: Should the Green Party stand down in 2020?

 

 

By Howie Hawkins

 

July 29, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — We can expect much commentary on why the socialist left should unite behind the Democrats in 2020 to get rid of the dreaded Trump. The Green Party will be told to stand down in the 2020 presidential campaign.

 

The quadrennial attacks on the Green Party will come from the usual whiny liberals like Eric Alterman, Jonathan Chait, Katha Pollitt, Michael Tomasky, and Joan Walsh in publications like The NationThe New Republic, and The Daily Beast. They are already recycling their 2016 attacks on Bernie Sanders for being too left to beat Trump.

 

Principles and tactics: Socialists utilizing the Democratic Party ballot-line

 

 

Contributions to a debate by Paul Le Blanc, Rob Lyons & Matthew Strauss

 

Preface by Paul Le Blanc

 

With the one-sentence preface “these ten points indicate where my thinking is now on certain questions,” I initiated a tempest in the little teapot of my FaceBook page, although the storm – such as it was – swept through other sites and beyond the virtual reality of the worldwide web.  

 

What generated the debate were ten fairly succinct points on how I felt revolutionary socialists should respond to socialists running on the ballot-line of the Democratic Party (the most famous so far being Congressional representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and the related question of the Bernie Sanders campaign.  Many had assumed I would express “revolutionary rejection” – and the fact that I expressed something different astonished many.

 

United States: A left strategy for the 2020 elections and beyond

 

 

By Carl Davidson & Bill Fletcher Jr.

 

July 17, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Truthout — As the 2020 presidential campaigns begin in 2019, nearly everyone on the left knows the stakes are high. The defeat of Donald Trump and the ejection of his right-wing and white supremacist populist blocfrom the centers of political power is a tactical goal of some urgency not only for Democrats but also for leftists. The outcome of the upcoming election will have a direct effect on thwarting right-wing populism and the clear and present danger of incipient fascism and war.

 

Regime change in Venezuela: “Made in the USA”

 

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

February 9, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  republished from NACLA: Report on the Americas —  Since its outset, the Trump administration has ratcheted up pressure on Venezuela and radicalized its positions. In the process, the Venezuelan opposition has become more and more associated with—and dependent on—Washington and its allies. An example is the opposition protests slated for February 4. The actions were timed to coincide with the European Union’s “ultimatum” stating that they would recognize the shadow government of Juan Guaidó if President Nicolás Maduro did not call elections within a week’s time.

 

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