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Hugo Chávez: Tribune of world’s dispossessed/Tribuna de los desposeídos del mundo

By John Riddell

April 15, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/America XXI -- Hugo Chávez was not only a great Bolivarian patriot; he was a tribune of the world’s dispossessed.

At an anti-imperialist conference in Cairo in 2007, I heard Chávez hailed for his solidarity with Palestinians as “a better Arab than the Arabs”; “closer to us than the Arabs that impose injustice”.

Chávez, the first Latin American president to declare himself of African descent, proclaimed in 2005, “Every day we are much more aware of the roots we have in Africa.”

Revolución Bolivariana inspira a militantes en Filipinas

[In English at http://links.org.au/node/3306.]

Por Sonny Melencio

15/04/13 -- America XXI -- El legado del fallecido presidente Hugo Chávez ha sido poderoso para las organizaciones socialistas revolucionarias de todo el mundo. En Filipinas, la Revolución Bolivariana liderada por el comandante Chávez inspiró la construcción de un nuevo partido político, que forma parte de las lecciones y experiencias que renuevan y revitalizan el socialismo en el siglo XXI.

El Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM o Partido de las Masas Trabajadoras) fue construido (o, más precisamente, reconstruido por diversos partidos políticos y grupos de activistas en Filipinas) en 2009. El documento que describe la formación del Partido examinó la experiencia venezolana, la Revolución Bolivariana y las ideas del socialismo del siglo XXI y las hizo guía para la lucha revolucionaria.

Bolivarian Revolution inspires Philippines revolutionaries

PLM members.

By Sonny Melencio

April 15, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The legacy of Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez has been overwhelming for revolutionary socialist organisations all over the world. In the Philippines, the Bolivarian Revolution led by Commandante Chavez inspired us in building a new political party that partakes of lessons and experiences that renews and revitalises socialism in the 21st century.

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM or Party of the Labouring Masses) was built (or, precisely, rebuilt by various political parties and activist groups in the Philippines) in 2009. The concept paper that outlined the formation of the party examined the Venezuelan experience, the Bolivarian Revolution and the ideas of Socialism in the 21st century and made them the guiding light in our conduct of revolutionary struggle.

France: Parti de Gauche launches ecosocialism manifesto; Jean-Luc Mélenchon on ecosocialism

Above and below, five-part video of Parti de Gauche leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon's seminar on the "Ecosocialist Revolution" presented on February 10, 2013, in Tunisia.

By Mathieu Agostini and Corinne Morel Darleux, Parti de Gauche, France.

March 29, 2013 -- Ecosocialisme -- On December 1, 2012, the Parti de Gauche (PdG, Left Party), organised a roundtable in Paris to discuss the ecosocialist project. This gave the opportunity to debate a new ecosocialist manifesto (Premier manifeste 18 thèses pour l’écosocialisme) around 18 themes. [PdG is a key part of the Front de Gauche, or Left Front (FdG), which is led by the PdeG's Jean-Luc Melenchon.]

Marta Harnecker: 'Chavez's legacy: with the people, building a socialist alternative to capitalism'

Thousands turn out in Caracas to remember Chavez.

By Marta Harnecker, translated by Yoshie Furuhashi for MRZine

March 6, 2013 -- La Segunda -- When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already floundering. The choice then was whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model -- clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking -- or to go ahead and try to build another model.

Special offer: 35% off 'The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”' by Michael A. Lebowitz

[For more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE. For a free excerpt from The Contradictions of "Real" Socialism: the conductor and the conducted, click HERE.]

January 18, 2013 -- Since Monthly Review Press published Michael A. Lebowitz’s The Contradictions of “Real Socialism”: The Conductor and the Conducted it has generated quite a bit of discussion. Building on concepts he developed in The Socialist Alternative, Lebowitz examines the record of “real socialism”—the post-revolutionary societies of the 20th century, particularly in Russia and Eastern Europe. He makes a provocative argument that has implications for how we understand socialist planning and the struggle for socialism in the 21st century.

Now, Monthly Review Press is offering a special discount of 35% off the list price and has asked Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to make this offer available to its readers. This offer is good until the end of January.

Evo Morales: Ten commandments against capitalism, for life and humanity -- 'Manifesto of Isla del Sol'

Click image for the original Spanish edition of the Manifesto of Isla del Sol. The cover shows Morales arriving at the Island of the Sun in a replica of the balsa rafts that Andean peoples used for centuries on Lake Titicaca.

[For more on Evo Morales and Bolivia, click HERE.]

January 15, 2013 -- Climate and Capitalism/Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- On December 21, 2012, at a solstice celebration in Lake Titicaca, high in the Andes, Bolivia's president Evo Morales introduced the Manifesto of Isla del Sol.  His talk, translated below, includes the full text of the manifesto.

Michael Lebowitz: Socialism for the 21st century -- re-inventing and renewing the struggle

[For more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE.]

[The following presentation was delivered to launch La Alternativa Socialista, the Chilean edition of The Socialist Alternative, in Concepcion, Santiago and Valparaiso, November 2012.]

By Michael A. Lebowitz

January 9, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Every socialist in the 21st century should try to answer two questions.

First, why don’t workers put an end to capitalism – given its destruction of human beings and the environment (something Marx was so conscious of). In particular, given the declining standards of life for decades in the United States, the economic disaster in Europe and the current crises, how is it that the system is reproduced without a significant challenge by the working class?

Second, why did the working class within what has become known as “real socialism” [the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe] allow those systems to revert to capitalism without resistance from the working classes, who were presumably its beneficiaries?

How real was 'real socialism'? Michael Lebowitz's 'Contradictions of Real Socialism'

[For more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz, click HERE. For a free excerpt from The Contradictions of "Real" Socialism: the conductor and the conducted, click HERE.]

Review by Doug Enaa Greene

The Contradictions of Real Socialism: the Conductor and the Conducted
By Michael A. Lebowitz
New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012.
221 pages

For Asia-Pacific readers it is also be available from Resistance Books

January 8, 2013 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Even though the dominant capitalist system is experiencing its worst crisis in decades, those in search of Marxist alternatives are often scared off by this regular refrain from the system's defenders: “Well, what about the USSR? Things didn't work out quite so well there.”

Indeed. The popular memory of the USSR is one of bureaucratic red tape, long lines for basic necessities and harsh repression. If the Marxist answer is that the inevitable outcome of any revolution is merely the drab and misery of the USSR, then it is best to accept capitalism (with all its warts). Or so we are led to believe.

Rising profits, sinking planet: socialist solutions to the climate crisis

"We have to put limits on the [capitalist] system's operation ... which means building a mass movement that has to build into itself not just the question of ecological justice, but also the question of social justice ... a movement with the radicalism of the 1960s' social movements with the social power of the union movements of the 1930s" -- Chris Williams.

Click HERE for more on Marxism and ecology.

Filmed by Doug Enaa Greene

How to change a destructive system

By Sam Wainwright

[Sam Wainwright is an elected municipal councillor in Fremantle, Western Australia, and a member of the Socialist Alliance. This is a talk he gave on the topic of how to achieve social change in Australia.]

December 9, 2012 -- Socialist Alliance (Australia) -- It's pretty obvious for anyone that cares to look that capitalism is a socially destructive and ecologically unsustainable system.

Based on the unequal distribution of wealth, it condemns billions to living in poverty worldwide.

In more wealthy places like Australia, where workers have much higher incomes, capitalism invents products for us to spend money on just as quickly as we win a wage increase. That we have one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world is but one proof that it doesn't provide people with a meaningful existence.

Now the worsening climate crisis -- caused by capitalism’s endless accumulation of profit and wealth -- threatens the very basis of life on Earth.

Malaysian socialist MP: 'Socialism and democracy are indivisible!'

Socialism 2012 ends with a rousing rendition of the "Internationale".

By Jeyakumar Devaraj

[The following paper was presented at the Socialist Party of Malaysia's Socialism 2012 conference in Kuala Lumpur, over the November 25-26, 2012, weekend. Jeyakumar is a member of parliament for the PSM.]

November 24, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Socialism has been painted as the antithesis of democracy – and millions of people the world over believe this untruth. Right-wing political propaganda states (among other things) that

  • A society based on socialism is “unnatural”. It goes against human nature which is individualistic. That’s why socialist and communist countries developed into totalitarian states. People had to be compelled to act against their normal human instincts.
  • A socialist program therefore will breed dictatorship and an authoritarian government with a repressive political police etc.
  • Democracy and a system of checks and balances are only possible in the free market (capitalist) system. Socialism will lead to totalitarianism.

False beliefs such as these are among the main reasons why, despite the ongoing implosion of capitalism in Europe, the majority of the people are not yet decisively moving towards a socialist economic model.

What might a socialist world look like?

November 29, 2012 -- Socialist Aotearoa -- Mike Treen, life-long socialist and national director of the Unite Union, describes what a socialist society might look like. 

Marta Harnecker: A la conquista de una nueva hegemonia

Por Marta Harnecker

[English at http://links.org.au/node/3038.]

29 Octunbre 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- En este texto pretendo reflexionar sobre los temas abordados en la mesa de trabajo que se realizó sobre el tema Estado, Revolución y Construcción de Hegemonía, en el VI Foro Internacional de Filosofía realizado en Maracaibo, del 28 de noviembre al 1 de diciembre 2011. Como es lógico, aquí retomo la mayor parte de las ideas de otros trabajos míos, pero en un ordenamiento diferente y agregando algunos matices. Las numerosas notas a pie de página sólo tienen la intención de permitir al lector interesado ir a las fuentes de las ideas aquí expuestas.

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Venezuela: Hugo Chavez's six-year plan for the Bolivarian Revolution

October 31, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following document is the political platform on which Hugo Chavez successfully sought re-election as the president of Venezuela. It was released in Spanish in June 2012. English translation courtesy of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Canberra, Australia.

Proposal of the Candidate of the Homeland,
Commander Hugo Chávez,
for the Socialist Bolivarian Government, 2013–2019

INTRODUCTION

I

Barry Commoner, 1917-2012: one of ecosocialism's most important pioneers

For more tributes to Barry Commoner, visit Climate & Capitalism and Climate Change Social Change.

By Ian Angus

October 2, 2012 -- Climate & Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission --  Barry Commoner died on September 30, at the age of 95 in New York. He never called himself an ecosocialist, but he was one of our most important precursors.

He was a founder of the modern environmental movement, an anti-war activist and a powerful critic of capitalism. His 1971 book, The Closing Circle, was a pioneering analysis of the economic and social causes of environmental destruction. At a time when most writers were blaming individual behaviour or overpopulation for pollution, Commoner exposed the role of capitalism and profit.

Marta Harnecker: Conquering a new popular hegemony

"In recent years, and in increasingly more countries, growing multitudes have rebelled against the existing order and without a defined leadership have taken over plazas, streets, highways, towns, parliament, but, despite having mobilized hundreds of thousands of people, neither the magnitude of its size nor its combativeness have enabled these multitudes to go beyond simple popular revolts. They have brought down presidents, but they have not been capable of conquering power in order to begin a process of deep social transformation." -- Marta Harnecker.

Read more by Marta HarneckerFor more discussion on revolutionary organisation, click HERE.

By Marta Harnecker, translated by Federico Fuentes

This article seeks to reflect on the issues raised during the roundtable discussion, “State, revolution and the construction of hegemony”, that occurred at the VI International Forum on Philosophy, held between November 28 and December 2, 2011, in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Logically, here I once again repeat some ideas that I have expressed in other writings, but have ordered them differently, while further refining some of them. It was written in July 2012 and first published in English at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.

Venezuela: Planning the next six years of the Bolivarian revolution

President Chavez with the plan on the day he registered to stand again for president.

By Tamara Pearson, Merida, Venezuela

July 6, 2012 -- Venezuelanalysis.com -- Planning the detail of the transition and revolution towards a socialist and more just society, from community and workers' organisation, to consciousness building, to production and distribution systems, to combating state and judicial corruption and bureaucracy, to agriculture, mining, petroleum, infrastructure and relationships with other countries, is no small task.

The truth is, it has been a hard task writing this analysis. It has required a certain level of restraint to force myself to be selective and pick out only the most salient points of Chavez’s 39-page proposed plan for the 2013-2019 period of the Bolivarian revolution. All of the objectives and strategic points and sub points seemed important, and that in of itself reflects something wonderful, I think.

Michael Lebowitz: Overture -- the conductor and the conducted (new book excerpt)

The Simón BolÍvar Symphony Orchestra, which is part of Venezuela’s Sistema, a world-famous program that connects young people from underprivileged backgrounds with classical music. 

The following is an excerpt from Michael Lebowitz’s new book, The Contradictions of "Real" Socialism: the conductor and the conducted, due to be released in mid-July 2012 by Monthly Review Press. It is posted with the kind permission of the author and Monthly Review Press. Readers of Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal are urged to order a copy HERE (USA). For Asia-Pacific readers it will also be available from Resistance Books.

Click HERE for more articles by or about Michael Lebowitz.

By Michael Lebowitz

Harmony and ecological civilisation: Beyond the capitalist alienation of nature


[Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal urges its readers to consider taking out a subscription to Monthly Review, where this article first appeared.]

By Fred Magdoff

June 4, 2012 -- Monthly Review -- Let me begin by making clear that I am not a philosopher nor am I well versed in Chinese cultural history. My background is in agriculture, specifically soil fertility and health, from which I have branched out into areas of ecology and ecological approaches to agriculture and society.

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