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Issue 30

Socialism is here to stay in Malaysia

By S. Arutchelvan

In August, the Appeal Court dismissed the Socialist Party of Malaysia's (PSM) application to be registered as a political party, with costs. All major newspapers in the country carried the news. The second highest court used technical arguments to dismiss the PSM's case, although the PSM's argument was on the issue of violation to fundamental liberties enshrined in the country's federal constitution and on the issue of natural justice. Four main national organisation did watching briefs of the case -- the Malaysian Bar Council, the Malaysian Human Rights Organisation, Voice of the Malaysian People and aliran.

The Philippine left's alliance with the military

By Sonny Melencio

On February 24, 2006, a Friday, the Philippine media reported an aborted coup d’etat allegedly launched by rebel military forces against the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was supposed to be headed by young officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) led by a former senator and colonel, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan. He is said to command a group of junior officers and soldiers that has formed an alliance with the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army. A few days later, the government announced a bounty of five million pesos for the arrest of Honasan, who had gone into hiding since that Friday. The government also released a list of more than fifty alleged co-conspirators in the coup attempt, although the prize money was reserved for Honasan, who topped the list.

Lalit develops program for impending systemic crisis in Mauritius

by Ram Seegobin

[Ram Seegobin is a member of the Central Committee of Lalit and active in the working-class struggle. As medical practitioner, he was part of a village health cooperative for twenty-five years.]

At the most recent general election, in July 2005, Lalit presented candidates in all twenty constituencies.1 In the ten days leading up to polling day, the national radio and TV station carried party political broadcasts in short slots recorded by members of parties participating in the election.

Work Choices: a huge challenge for organised labour in Australia

By Graham Matthews

Work Choices is the Orwellian name given by the Australian federal Liberal-National (conservative) Coalition government to its second wave of industrial relations legislation, passed through parliament on December 2, 2005, and proclaimed as law on March 27.

Towards a historical materialist history of Australian working-class politics

By Jonathan Strauss
The theory of the labour aristocracy argues that opportunism in the working class has a material basis. Class-collaborationist politics express the interests of a relatively privileged stratum of workers supported in their benefits by monopoly superprofits. Karl Marx and, especially, Frederick Engels, first developed this theory. It is most closely associated with V.I. Lenin, however, for whom it became “the pivot of the tactics in the labour movement that are dictated by the objective conditions of the imperialist era”.1

Is the bottle half full or half empty?

Review by Alex Miller

Gregor Gall, The Political Economy of Scotland: Red Scotland? Radical Scotland? University of Wales Press, 2005.

This is not the time for the empty conceits of vainglorious demagogues, but the occasion for well-grounded marxians smartly able to seize the upsurging opportunities to rouse and lead our class to victory. English labour is bound to respond to our call if we in Scotland strike out boldly for political conquest.—John MacLean, 19201

The Russian Revolution and national freedom

By John Riddell

When Bolivian President Evo Morales formally opened his country's constituent assembly on August 6, 2006, he highlighted the aspirations of Bolivia's indigenous majority as the central challenge before the gathering. The convening of the assembly, he said, represented a ``historic moment to refound our dearly beloved homeland Bolivia''. When Bolivia was created, in 1825-26, ``the originary indigenous movements'' who had fought for independence ``were excluded'' and subsequently discriminated against and looked down upon. But the ``great day has arrived today ... for the originary indigenous peoples''.[1]

During the preceding weeks, indigenous organisations had proposed sweeping measures to assure their rights, including guarantees for their languages, autonomy for indigenous regions and respect for indigenous culture and political traditions.

This movement extends far beyond Bolivia. Massive struggles based on indigenous peoples have shaken Ecuador and Peru, and the reverberations are felt across the western hemisphere. Measures to empower indigenous minorities are among the most prestigious achievements of the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela.

The US and Israel

By Michael Karadjis

The unconditional and mostly uncritical support that the United States has provided Israel over many decades has been more pronounced than us attitudes even to some of its most favoured Third World puppets. While the us may from time to time give half-hearted official support to criticisms by human rights bodies of other pro-us governments, in virtually every case it has used its veto in the United Nations to block even the mildest criticism of blatant violations of human rights or international law by Israel.

Israel, although a First World economy, is the largest recipient of us aid in the world, currently averaging some $3 billion a year. Since 1949, the us has provided Israel some $84 billion; when the interest costs borne by us taxpayers on behalf of Israel, another $49 billion, are added, the total is more than $134 billion.1

Caroline Lund (1944-2006)

By John Percy
Caroline Lund, a lifelong fighter for socialism, workers’ rights and women’s liberation, and a contributing editor of Links, died at her home in Oakland, California, on October 14, aged 62. She will be sorely missed by her friends and comrades in the us and around the world who knew her, especially her lifelong partner and comrade Barry Sheppard.

Caroline succumbed to the ravages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (als, sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, physicist Stephen Hawking being a long-term sufferer.)

Caroline was won to revolutionary socialist ideas in 1962 when she attended Carlton College, a small liberal arts college just south of Minneapolis. Caroline quickly became a leader of the swp’s youth organisation, the Young Socialist Alliance (YSA). In 1965 she moved to New York where she met and married Barry Sheppard, a key younger swp leader. From 1967, she was often on full time for the swp in a range of assignments—leading different campaigns, organising, international work and writing for the socialist press.

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