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South Korea: The general election and leftwing politics

By Won Youngsu

April 30, 2008 -- For the South Korean left, the general election of April 9 was another fiasco following the presidential election last December, in which the election of Lee Myung-bak brought forth the return of the conservative government, while Democratic Labor Party (DLP) candidate Kwon Young-gil received just 3 per cent of vote, less than the previous result in 2002 -- a drop of 300,000 votes.

The DLP won two constituency seats and three seats from the party list, with 5.6 per cent or 973,345 votes. The DLP's seats were halved compared with the result of the previous election in 2004 of 10 seats, two constituency seats plus eight list seats, respectively. The Progressive New Party, which split from the DLP, won no seats; it obtained 2.94 per cent, less the threshold of 3 per cent. In sum, the two leftwing parties suffered defeats in the election.

Main results of the election

Resolutions adopted at the Latin America & Asia Pacific International Solidarity Forum in Melbourne, October 11-14, 2007

International Solidarity Forum resolution: Statement of Solidarity

http://solidarityforum2007.org/?q=node/32

 

We came and met together from many different countries.
We came because we are some of those who have to struggle.
We have to fight the capitalists. We have to fight and win.

To fight we need to meet, and talk about our problems.
The ways we get defeated, the ways in which we are winning.

We have to talk together about our common struggle:
The issues that unite us, and where we don’t agree.
We need to make a plan that is a clear way forward.

The world is really ours. But capitalists have stolen it.

Pakistan: Social and economic crisis -- background and perspectives

Click for more on Pakistan.

By Farooq Tariq

February 11, 2008 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Pakistan is once again in the grip of military rule. Since 1999, the military generals have taken over the state and have ruled in the name of a ``smooth transition to democracy''. Thirty-three years of Pakistan's more than 60 years of existence have been under direct military rule. That reveals the real state of democracy, peace and security in Pakistan.

To understand the shortcomings of the democratic system in, and governance of, Pakistan, one must see where the weaknesses are in the political structure of the country. To begin with, government power is concentrated in the hands of an elitist bureaucracy and an over-ambitious military. The deeply rooted dominant feudal system in most of Pakistan and the weak capitalist class shares a common interest with the army, that is to loot and plunder national assets under the rule of suppression.

The religious grip on the society has played an important part in sustaining the military rulers and the politics of suppression in the name of ``fate'' and god-given circumstances. The religious political parties have taken refuge under military rule directly, but after 9/11, the rules are changing. The traditional partnership of mullah and military is no longer the same and is breaking down under the pretext of the ``war on terror''.

Vietnam: On the road towards the renewal of socialism

By Tran Dac Loi

Years ago, while we were fighting the US war of aggression, the word “Vietnam” became very familiar to the world. However, over the past decades, less information about Vietnam has reached to the outside world, and therefore understanding of Vietnam has become less among its world friends. It is against this background that I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a broad overview about history of Vietnam, with the main focus on its development over the past 30 years.

Resistance against capitalist restoration in China

By Eva Cheng
Beginning in late 1978, the Communist Party of China's ``reform and door opening'' program has purportedly sought to strengthen China's socialist course by introducing market mechanisms to speed the development of the productive forces. However, by the 1990s, especially in the second half, when state-owned enterprises were privatised en masse, displacing numerous workers and increasingly depriving retired workers of their hard-earned entitlements, the CPC's claims of staying on the socialist path had become a subject of hot debate.

The corruption and degeneration of a section of the CPC were issues even before the so-called reform, and were certainly made worse by the influx of foreign capital in the 1980s. This added to growing frustration with workers' worsening plight, forming the backdrop to the student protests beginning in 1986-87 and escalating into a series of bold mobilisations in early 1989, which Beijing answered by massacring the protesters on June 4, 1989.

A Property Law (Draft) that violates the constitution and basic principles of socialism

By Gong Xiantian
[Subtitled “An open letter prompted by the annulment of section 12 of the constitution and section 73 of the General Rules of the Civil Law of 1986”, this paper by Beijing University Professor Gong Xiantian was dated August 12, 2005. The translation for Links is by Eva Cheng.]

As a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, a professor who has engaged in years of research on the teaching on law, someone with party spirit, conscience, knowledge and experience, I am of the view that the Property Law (Draft) of the People’s Republic of China (abbreviated as Draft from here on) violates the fundamental principles of socialism and will roll the “wheel of history” backwards. In the absence of amendments of a principled nature, the National People’s Congress has no right to legislate the Draft because it violates the Constitution (see appendix)!

Ousting Arroyo: chronicle of the July and February days in Manila

By Sonny Melencio
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has so far survived two attempts to oust her from office. The first attempt constituted the so-called “opposition salvo” in July 2005. It was followed by the aborted “military uprising” in February.

The first attempt was staged by bourgeois opposition groups composed of rival electoral parties, top officials and teams who left Arroyo’s executive cabinet, the Makati Business Club (a prominent capitalist group) and former president Corazon Aquino. The second attempt was staged by rebel groups within the armed forces, composed mainly of junior officers and soldiers of the elite army force.

Both attempts were joined by so-called civil society groups, mainly the organised forces belonging to various militant formations. Chief among these are the forces that grouped together around Laban ng Masa,1 a newly formed coalition of the left that has persistently called for the establishment of a transitional revolutionary government as the alternative to the Arroyo regime. The transitional government (or trg as it is popularly called) is a coalition government that brings together in a transition council all the representatives of the major forces responsible for Arroyo’s ouster. The trg is also a reforming government that will carry out in its 1000 days of rule a program of economic relief and political reforms aimed at reversing the tide of neo-liberal economic onslaught and dismantling the reign of elite politics in the country.

China: is capitalist restoration inevitable?

By Eva Cheng

China today confronts revolutionary socialists with some intriguing and controversial questions. How far have capitalist production and social relations been restored? Does this constitute a social counterrevolution that has rolled back the post-capitalist property relations established since the 1949 revolution? And what are now the strategic goals and tasks for revolutionaries?

China’s ruling Communist Party (CP) bureaucracy’s persistent rhetoric that it is still firmly for socialism has sent confusing indications as to where the decollectivisation of rural and industrial production—under the so-called “economic reform” since 1978—might be taking China. The CP has claimed that these were merely manoeuvres to speed up the development of productive forces, much needed to take China beyond its current primary stage of socialism. Even if it was the genuine intention, it at best represents the view of only one faction at the power centre. Ultimately, however, neither intentions nor proclamations matter. Their social consequences—their implications for the property and social relations in Chinese society—are what’s crucial.

Theses on the class nature of the People's Republic of China

This resolution was adopted by the 18th Congress of the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia, held in Sydney, January 5-10, 1999.

I. Theoretical framework

1. For orthodox Marxists, as Lenin explained in his 1917 book The State and Revolution, the state is a centralised organisation of force separated from the community as a whole which enforces, through special bodies of armed people and other institutions of coercion, the will of one class, or an alliance of classes, upon the rest of society.

A brief introduction to the Socialist Party of Timor

By Max Lane

The Socialist Party of Timor (PST) is still a small party, with around 500-600 committed activists, now mostly based in branches in several East Timorese towns. It has received another 2000-2500 applications for membership in recent months. Its leaders acknowledge that the organisation is still in a very early stage of development and is not yet consolidated.

The left and UN military intervention in East Timor

By Terry Townsend

January-April 2000 -- The streets of what is left of Dili, the capital of East Timor, were packed on October 31, 1999, as tens of thousands of people joined a procession led by Catholic Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo. Ostensibly to mark the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, the procession was the culmination of two tumultuous months that brought the brutal 24-year-long Indonesian occupation and annexation of East Timor to an end.

The role of Australian imperialism in the Asia-Pacific region

Democratic Socialist Party

This is the text of a resolution adopted by the 19th Congress of the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, held January 3-7, 2001. Except where specified otherwise, dollars in this article are Australian dollars. At the time of writing, A$1 was approximately US$0.55

Police raid Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference in Jakarta

By Sundaram

This article originally appeared in the July issue of Liberation, the central organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

The Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference, scheduled June 7-10 at a site 50 kilometres outside the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, was meant to discuss ways of fighting neo-liberal policies and militarism in the region. But thanks to a draconian attempt by police and paramilitary groups to scuttle the event, the participants turned it into a real battle against the neo-fascist forces that are making a bid for power again in Indonesia.

It all started on June 8, the second day of the conference, when more than 100 policemen armed with carbines and tear gas barged into the venue to arrest foreign participants for alleged ``visa violations''. Sealing off the conference hall, switching off the lights and using megaphones to bark out their orders, the gun-toting policemen presented, to the more than 40 representatives of left groups from around the world, a taste of what former Indonesian dictator Suharto's New Order regime must have been like.

A preliminary report on China's capitalist restoration

By Liu Yufan

Liu Yufan is a leader of the Hong Kong socialist group Pioneer.

Today's China can no longer be considered a post-capitalist country in any sense. On the contrary, full-scale capitalist restoration has already been completed in two stages: first the qualitative changes in the class character of the state, then similar changes in the socioeconomic arena.

Militarism underpins globalisation

By Francisco Pascual

Francisco Pascual is the executive director of the Resource Center for People's Development, Manila, and a member of the International Coordinating Committee and coordinator of the International Secretariat, International South Group Network. This paper was presented at the Asian Workshop on "Women and Globalisation", November 22-24, 2001, in Manila.

The political situation of Indonesia

This article is taken from the June 2002 international edition of Pembebasan, published by the People's Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia.

Vietnam's long history of struggle

By Nguyen The Phiet

The author is the Vietnamese consul general in Sydney. This is an edited and abridged version of a talk given to an educational conference of the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspective in January 2005.

I have been asked to present a brief account of our history and of our anti-French and anti-US struggles and the important factors that made our struggles victorious, particularly those factors which I think are still relevant in our efforts for national defence and construction of our socialist homeland.

Vietnam has an age-old history. The ancient Viet, the ancestors of the presentday Vietnamese, and several other ethnic groups settled in Vietnam's territory right from the dawn of humankind. They explored and conquered nature to survive and develop. Over thousands of years of nation building, they had to fight continuously against foreign invaders and foiled invaders' attempts to assimilate this nation.

Vietnam has a history of building and safeguarding the country for thousands of years. This history can be divided into the following periods:

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