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The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume 1: The 60s

 

 

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is sharing with its readers a downloadable PDF version of Barry Sheppard’s book The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume 1: The 60s which was originally published in 2005 by Resistance Books. To order a hard copy version of the book, visit Resistance Books . Links will also be posting Volume 2 in the coming days

 

Life after Bernie Sanders: People’s Summit searches for the movement’s political future

 

 

By Dan La Botz

 

July 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics — The mood among the 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters meeting in Chicago McCormick Place was improbably optimistic over the weekend of June 17-19, with many of the speakers proclaiming to cheering crowds that the movement has been victorious — even though Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party has received a majority of the popular votes and a majority of elected delegates and super-delegates, as well as the endorsements of President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

 

That disjuncture — between the Sanders’ movement’s belief that we have achieved something quite important and Clinton’s clear victory in the primary — provides the contradictory context for this conference of progressives, radicals, and socialists searching for the way to the future, I among them.

 

De-Privatize! A slogan for the Green Party in the 2016 elections

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

July 3, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In the middle of June 2016, the US House Committee on Natural Resources approved HR 3650, an effort to expand privatization of public lands. The bill would transfer control of “up to 2 million acres of eligible portions of the National Forest System” from the federal to state governments. Since state governments cannot afford firefighting budgets for such huge pieces of land, the law is a slick maneuver to make certain that lands will end up in the hands of private corporations. Endgame: increased logging, increased mining, increased destruction of ecosystems, increased profits for a few of the super-rich, decreased recreational sites, decreased jobs for the 6.1 million Americans working in recreation.

 

There is a word that the Green Party might consider putting at the front and center of its 2016 presidential campaign. That word would show the commonality of hundreds, if not thousands, of local struggles in the US and set the pace for Green Parties across the globe. It's a word that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won't touch. The word is: “De-Privatization.”

 

Strike strategy today

 

 

Verizon workers on strike in Washington, DC in August 2011

 

By Tim Goulet

 

June 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Why has the use of the strike in the US become so scarce? While subjective factors are more difficult to quantify, certain basic reasons seem more readily evident. Union membership, particularly in the private sector, is at an all-time low. Most of the unions are heavily bureaucratized, and central labor councils ossified. “Sympathy strikes,” long ago outlawed by Taft-Hartley, militate against the sort of broad-based solidarity so essential to an industrial victory. Moreover, many unions have accepted no-strike clauses for the duration of their contracts, effectively tying one hand behind their backs.

 

Despite it all, the recent victory of 39,000 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Communications Workers of America (CWA) workers at Verizon furnishes a stark reminder of what kind of power resides in the organized section of the working class when it is in motion.

 

It also shows the power of the strike weapon, and how it can be an effective tool -- in not only realizing demands and raising working class living standards -- but also rebuilding our unions.

 

The Afterbern: How Bernie Sanders has changed the US and what we do now

 

 

By Salar Mohandesi

 

May 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal republished from Viewpoint Magazine -- One of the most significant political stories of the year is the meteoric rise of a little-known, seventy-four year old, self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” senator from the small state of Vermont. Although he may win many of the remaining contests, it seems extremely unlikely that Bernie Sanders will clinch the Democratic nomination. Nevertheless, his bid for the presidency has dramatically, perhaps irreversibly, changed the political landscape in this country. At this point, the question for socialists is not whether or not to support Bernie’s campaign, but rather: what do we do now? What, if any political possibilities have emerged, and how can we seize these opportunities to advance revolutionary politics? To answer that, we first need to determine exactly how Bernie has changed the political situation in the United States.

 

Thinking and voting outside the two-party box: Interview with US Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein

 

 

May 10, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from US Socialist Worker -- Dr. Jill Stein (pictured) is a leading member of the Green Party and its likely presidential candidate in 2016. A longtime activist, including around issues of health care reform and ecological justice, Stein ran for several offices as a Green in Massachusetts, before becoming the party's presidential nomination in 2012, where she won 456,169 votes. She talked to Todd Chretien about why she's running again and the importance of an independent alternative to the two-party system.

How Bernie Sanders can harness the kind of momentum transforming British politics

 

 

A Momentum rally in Oxford, England in February.

 

By Kate Aronoff

 

April 23, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Waging Nonviolence — After his double-digits win in Wisconsin on April 5, Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign has a fair amount of momentum behind it. Still, many are asking what comes next, and how to carry the political revolution forward — whether he wins the Democratic nomination or not.

 

Lessons for Sanders might come from the movement that formed around another white-haired progressive challenger to the political establishment: British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Sanders and the Left After Super Tuesday - Why there is still hope and why the Left should rejoice and push forward

 

Supporters at a primary campaign rally in Littleton, New Hampshire wave signs as they wait for candidate Bernie Sanders to make a speech.

 

By Brad A. Bauerly and Ingar Solty

 

March 19, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project -- While some have become skeptical, there are those – from The Nation via Politico and Tom Cahill ( U.S. Uncut) to Robert Reich – who are now saying that this is not the end of the line for Bernie Sanders U.S. presidential bid.

 

‘Plan B’ for Bernie Sanders supporters? An interview with Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein

 

Green Party 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein

 

An interview with Jill Stein by Cory Collins

March 18, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Ricochet with permission -- You wouldn’t know it from watching the mainstream media, but there is political life in the United States outside of the Democratic and Republican parties.

 

Dr. Jill Stein was the 2012 presidential nominee for the Green Party of the United States, and is widely expected to be the party's nominee for 2016 as well. Recently, she has cast her campaign as a potential “plan B” for supporters of Bernie Sanders, should he not win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

 

As Jacobin recently pointed out, the Green Party is the only independent party of the left with a national presence in the United States. Ricochet spoke with Dr. Stein last week about her campaign and the comparisons with Sanders, as well as about Canadian and U.S. politics.

 

A Bolivarian Bernie? The Latin American Roots of Sanders’ Social Democratic Populism

 

Bernie Sanders at a rally held by National Nurses United in support of his candidacy.

 

By Lucas Koerner

 

March 12, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Venezuela Analysis with the author's permission -- Since the US political establishment began taking seriously the threat posed by Bernie Sanders’ presidential candidacy in recent months, the self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” senator has faced an endless barrage of red-baiting attacks.

 

On several occasions, Sanders’ social democratic program has been likened to Venezuela and other Latin American countries of the so-called “pink tide”, conjuring up the now routine images of apocalyptic economic meltdown replayed ad nauseum by corporate media outlets.

 

Sanders, for his part, has emphatically denied the comparisons– not without a small amount of red-baiting himself– preferring to draw his inspiration from Scandinavian social democracy, where a strong capitalist state guarantees a host of key social welfare provisions for its largely homogenous populace.

 

“We're not talking about Venezuela, we're not talking about Cuba. We are talking about the concept, which I don't think is a radical idea, of having a government which works to represent the needs of the middle class and working families rather than just the top 1 percent,” the Democratic presidential contender explained at a recent forum hosted by Telemundo.

 

These assertions aside, there is, however, something about Sanders’ left populist crusade against the “billionaire class” that is much more at home in Caracas than in Copenhagen.

 

Feeling the Bern Become a Flame: Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara on Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign

 

February 27, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Real News Network -- Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara discusses the strategies needed to keep the energy of the Sanders campaign thriving beyond presidential politics

 

JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

 

The mainstream media narrative of the Democratic presidential race is that Bernie Sanders has lost momentum to Hillary Clinton. After he lost Nevada to Clinton by five percentage points, and is entering a tough race in South Carolina where he's expected to lose as well, many are asking themselves, what is behind the Bern?

 

Now joining us to discuss all of this is Bhaskar Sunkara. He is the founder of Jacobin magazine, and co-author of the book The Future We Want: Radical Ideas for the New Century. Thanks for joining us, Bhaskar.

 

BHASKAR SUNKARA: Thanks for having me.

 

DESVARIEUX: So let's talk about South Carolina. The average polling is showing that Sanders has about 28 percent of the vote, while Hillary Clinton has closer to 60 percent. So many are pointing to the fact that Sanders is not able to connect with the majority of black Southern voters. What do you think, what is presumably going to be a large defeat in South Carolina, this is attributed to?

 

Should socialists get behind Bernie Sanders? - Two views from the US left

Bernie Sanders' campaign to win pre-selection in the Democratic primaries and become the party's presidential candidate has generated much debate on the US left.

Bernie Sanders' Socialist America

 

By Ethan Earle

 

January 2016 -- Reposted from Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, New York Office -- I was born in North Carolina, but my parents are from Vermont and I grew up taking long summer road trips up the east coast to visit our family in Burlington, the state’s largest city with just over 40,000 people. It was on one of these trips, sometime in the early 1990s, that I first learned about Bernie Sanders and his uniquely American brand of democratic socialism.

 

The raw material of exploitation: Harry Braverman's 'Labor and Monopoly Capital'

For more by Doug Enaa Greene.

By Doug Enaa Greene

August 26, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Work sucks. Every day, workers go into jobs they hate, whether in a factory, office or on a checkout line. Workers are made to perform menial and demeaning tasks that have already been outlined for them, down to the smallest details, by management. Their job is so simple that anyone can do it. Ultimately, the worker possesses no control at the workplace.

How that situation came about and what it means for class struggle is the subject of Harry Braverman's classic work, Labor and Monopoly Capital. Braverman's book not only unveils how work is degraded under capital, but remains an important resource for how we understand capitalist society, working-class consciousness, and the class struggle today.

Puerto Rico, la Grecia americana

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4542.]

Por Barry Sheppard, traducción Faustino Eguberri para VIENTO SUR

31 de julio de 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, Viento Sur -- Mientras el mundo entero tiene su atención fija en el espectáculo que dan el FMI, la CE y el Banco Central Europeo (la troika) aplastando al pueblo griego, hay otros numerosos ejemplos de poderosos países imperialistas que utilizan la "crisis de la deuda" para extraer más riquezas de los países más débiles que ellos, así como de países imperialistas más pobres.

Un caso típico es el de la colonia de Puerto Rico (3,6 millones de habitantes). En una entrevista concedida al New York Times, el gobernador de la nación caribeña declaró: "Nuestra deuda, que asciende a 73 mil millones de dólares, no es pagable. No hay otra opción. Sería feliz si hubiera otra opción más fácil. Pero no es cuestión de política, sino de matemáticas". Puerto Rico no ha podido pagar un plazo de más de mil millones de dólares que vencía el pasado 1 de julio.

Barry Sheppard: Screwed by vulture funds, Puerto Rico is the Washington's 'Greece'

For more on Puerto Rico, click HERE, and more by Barry Sheppard.

By Barry Sheppard

July 27, 2015 -- Green Left Weekly, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker.

A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

Puerto Rico, which remains a territory of the US, has missed a July 1 deadline on a payment of more than $1 billion.

United States: Kshama Sawant wins 52% of vote in primary

Kshama Sawant's 2015 primary election night speech. As of the close of counting August 7, Kshama's total vote was 51.88%.

Click HERE for more on Kshama Sawant and other socialist municipal election campaigns.

By Tom Crean, Seattle

August 5, 2015 -- Socialist Alternative, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  -- A fired-up crowd of more than 200 supporters of Socialist Alternative Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant gathered in the Melrose Market Studios in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighbourhood to hear the result of the non-partisan primary for the Seattle City Council election.

Many thousands more around Seattle and the nation were anxiously awaiting the outcome of the first stage of the most important electoral battle for the left in the United States in 2015, to hold the seat Kshama won in 2013 as the first open socialist elected to a council in a major urban area in decades.

Porto Rico. La «Grèce» américaine

[English at http://links.org.au/node/4542.]

Par Barry Sheppard

18 juillet 2015 -- A l'encontre -- Pendant que le monde entier a eu son attention fixée sur le spectacle montrant le Fonds monétaire international, la Commission européenne et de la Banque centrale européenne (la « Troïka ») en train d’écraser le peuple grec, il y a de nombreux autres exemples de pays impérialistes parmi les plus puissants qui utilisent une «crise de la dette» pour extraire plus de richesse de pays plus faibles qu’eux, ainsi que de pays non impérialistes plus pauvres.

United States: Should the left back Bernie Sanders' campaign? Two views

The attitude to the presidential campaign of long-time independent US senator and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders has become a major debate on the US left. Some see his decision to run as a Democrat as the major dividing line, accusing him of sidetracking the left into support for the capitalist Democratic Party. Others, while recognising Sanders' shortcomings, point to the wider role his campaign can offer in providing a more radical pole of attraction in US politics at a time when the left is weak. Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal makes available two views from significant sections of the US socialist left. Readers' comments are encouraged in the comments box after the articles.

Puerto Rico: Washington's 'Greece' -- Party of the Working People fights austerity

Rafael Bernabe, spokesperson for the Partido del Pueblo Trabajador. He was its candidate for governor in 2012.

By Rafael Bernabe

July 2015 -- New Politics, posted at Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Partido del Pueblo Trabajador—the Party of the Working People (PPT)—is a political project of the Puerto Rican left addressed to working people in the context of the island’s deep economic crisis. It would be hard to exaggerate the gravity of Puerto Rico’s present social and economic situation, which can only be compared to the impact of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

United States/Cuba: Cuban embassy opens in Washington

Democracy Now! July 20, 2015 -- Report from the opening of Cuba's new embassy. Transcript available HERE.

By Robert Craven and Olivia Marple

July 20, 2015 -- COHA, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Amid cheers of “Cuba sí, bloqueo no” (Cuba yes, embargo no), hundreds gathered on Washington, DC’s busy 16th Street to bear witness to the symbolic close to one of the more misguided chapters of US foreign policy. Trumpeting fanfare sounded as Cuban honour guard soldiers raised their country’s flag above what is now Cuba’s embassy in the United States.

Cuba's foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla presided over the flag raising and was accompanied by a large US delegation led by assistant secretary of state Roberta Jacobson.[1]

“It’s a new beginning, it’s a new opportunity for the people of Cuba,” said Karla Ramos, one of the spectators, in an interview with COHA, mirroring the sentiments of many others there to celebrate this momentous occasion 54 years in the making.

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