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socialism

Germany: Die Linke's program in English (adopted October 2011)

May 23, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Below is the full text of Germany's radical left Die Linke party's program in English. It can also be downloaded HERE. At the time of publication, this document was unavailable anywhere else on the web.Germany: Die Linke's program in English

Socialist Alliance releases 'Towards a Socialist Australia' discussion document

May 5, 2012 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The following document,Towards a Socialist Australia, was adopted as a discussion draft by the 8th national conference of the Socialist Alliance, held in Sydney, January 20-22, 2012.

Socialist Alliance also voted to consult with members, supporters and allies in the social movements to improve the draft and deepen our collective understanding of the political climate and the nature of the economic and environmental crises.

We hope that by starting a broad discussion about socialism we will advance and further unite the socialist movement in Australia.

To comment or give feedback on this draft, visit the Towards a Socialist Australia website, or to attend one of the consultative discussions being organised in major cities and centres around the country. Contact your nearest Socialist Alliance branch for details here.

Venezuela: Making a ‘state for revolution’ -- the example of community and public media

By Lee Artz

May 1, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela has built mass organisations of workers and communities that have erratically challenged class and market relations—verifying that taking political power is difficult but essential to fundamental social change and that capitalist cultural practices complicate the revolutionary process. This article identifies components of state power, separating state apparatus (government) as a crucial site for instituting social change. The case of democratic, participatory communication and public media access is presented as central to the successes and problems of Venezuela’s 21st century socialism. Drawing on field research in community media in Caracas, this essay highlights some of the politico-cultural challenges and class contradictions in producing and distributing cultural values and social practices for a new socialist hegemony necessary for fundamental social change.

May Day greetings from the Socialist Alliance: Time for a wide discussion about socialism in the 21st century

May 1, 2012 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia sends warm comradely greetings for May Day 2012.

May Day this year takes place in tumultuous conditions: the multiple crises confronting global capitalism are deepening, while mass resistance to its brutal rule grows. Taken all together, the people’s uprisings across the Arab world, the mass demonstrations and strikes occurring in Europe, the Occupy actions in the United States and the ongoing efforts of Latin American revolutionaries to construct socialism of the 21st century pose a huge challenge to the capitalist system.

The capitalist class is desperately striving to force working people and the entire Third World to pay for the worldwide economic, social and ecological crises it has created, but the momentum towards change and the creation of a system that puts the needs of people and the environment before private profit cannot be easily stopped.

USA: 'Capitalism or Common Sense?' An Occupy Wall Street Class War Camp pamphlet

At the request of the author, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is happy to make available a new pamphlet produced by radical Occupy activists in United States, in the interests of the advancing discussion in the movement. The pamphlet can be downloaded free HERE (in PDF) or you can read it on screen below.

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For more on the #Occupy movement, click here.

By Pham Binh

April 18, 2012

Occupy!

Who would’ve imagined the word “occupy” would inspire millions to take direct action and stand up for the 99% here in America after brutal occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine?

Now there’s Occupy Pakistan and even Occupy Nigeria.

Occupy is more than a movement, less than a revolution, and long overdue. Occupy isn’t about ideology, it’s about the 99%, hence why pacifists and insurrectionists, anti-capitalist anarchists/socialists and pro-capitalist libertarians, liberal Democrats and Ron Paul Republicans, vegans and omnivores have come together despite our differences.

South African metalworkers: 'Workers must lead the transition to a green economy'


Frank Hammer interviews Cedric Gina, president of the 287,000-member National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA), about the need for workers to lead the transition to a green economy and the creation of green jobs. NUMSA advocates public ownership to achieve the necessary changes required to combat global warming. The interview, broadcast on the Real News Network on February 12, 2012, followed a NUMSA-sponsored conference on fighting climate change. More details on the conference can be found on Frank Hammer's Converge2Convert website.

An exchange on Marx and Engels and 'small is beautiful'

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

By Samar Bagchi; response by John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff

February 2012 -- Monthly Review -- I am a regular reader of Monthly Review. I read with interest the recent articles on ecology and Marxism (Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster, “What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism,” MR, March 2010, and Fred Magdoff, “Ecological Civilization”, MR, January 2011).

It is true that Marx and Engels conceive that capitalism engenders a “metabolic rift” in nature and society. But both of them emphasise that the industrial growth that socialism would produce is beyond imagination under capitalism. Engels writes in Principles of Communism: “Once liberated from the pressure of private ownership, large-scale industry will develop on a scale that will make its present level of development seem as paltry as seems the manufacturing system compared with the large-scale industry of our time. This development of industry will provide society with a sufficient quantity of products to satisfy the needs of all.”

Nigeria: A smouldering rage; Disappointment and anger at strike suspension

Kano, Monday 16 January

Anti-government rally, Kano, Nigeria, January 16, 2012.

By Nnimmo Bassey

January 18, 2012 -- Pambazuka News -- The nationwide strike in Nigeria against a petrol price hike ended under rather curious circumstances. The strike called by labour unions had crippled the economy save for the fact that the oil pipelines continued to deliver their load. Labour leaders and civil society coalitions entered into dialogue with a government that favours monologues. It was not surprising that the game was over before the labour leaders knew it.

Nigerians woke up at the dawn of the new year to learn that the price of a litre of petrol had been jerked up by about 120 per cent. Petrol now costs 141 naira and N200 (about US$1) per litre in an economy where the minimum wage is N18,000 (about $110). We note that even before organised labour called out workers on strike, citizens had already hit the streets in protest against what they see as an insensitive and unacceptable action by the government.

Germany: Die Linke's road to an anti-capitalist program

By Dick Nichols, Erfurt

November 18, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly -- Late on October 23, 2011, a chilly Sunday afternoon, the culminating vote of the program congress of Germany’s Left Party (Die Linke) came in Erfurt’s cavernous Congress Centre: 503 delegates raised their voting cards to support the document as finally amended by the congress, with only four against and 12 abstentions.

Is the #Occupy movement 'socialist'?

Occupy Brisbane, Australia.

For more on the Occupy movement, click HERE.

By Ash Pemberton

October 29, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly -- Some conservative commentators have declared the global Occupy movement to be “socialist”. Right-wing musician Ted Nugent said in the Washington Times on October 14: “Occupy Wall Street is nothing more than anti-American socialism on parade... These useful idiots are clamoring for social justice, as if they don’t have enough of that already.” Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly declared: “The Occupy Wall Street movement is basically socialistic.”

Two radio interviews with Ian Angus: What is ecosocialism? Are there too many people?

October 24, 2011 -- Is the ecosocialist revolution coming? Ian Angus is a veteran of the socialist and environmental movements in Canada. He is also the founder of climateandcapitalism.com, and co-author of the new book, Too Many People? Population, Immigration and the Environmental Crisis. He visited Adelaide, South Australia, in September, to speak at a public forum organised the Socialist Alliance, on “Political solutions to the climate crisis: What is ecosocialism?” He was in Australia to participate in the Climate Change, Social Change conference in Melbourne, September 30-October 3.

How socialists work to win mass support

By Dave Holmes

[The following talk was presented at the Socialist Ideas Conference organised by the Australian Socialist Alliance and Resistance, Melbourne, September 3, 2011. It first appeared at Dave Holmes' Arguing for Socialism and is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission.]

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Will the level of popular and working-class struggle rise significantly in the coming years? How can we overcome or neutralise the deadly effect of ruling-class propaganda on the minds of so many ordinary people? Can left-wing forces rally significant support and lead big struggles? How do we work towards this goal?

Bible sects like the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons go door to door preaching their message. Their success depends on the scope of the effort: How many people can they mobilise and how many doors can they knock on? It also depends on the general level of social distress and alienation in society, on the number of people searching for solace and comfort.

Socialists obviously don't reject propaganda, we are putting it out all the time, but our strategy is — and must be if we are serious — fundamentally based on something else.

Ian Angus: How to make an ecosocialist revolution

By Ian Angus

October 8, 2011 -- Green Left Weekly/Climate and Capitalism/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Ian Angus is editor of Climate and Capitalism and co-author, with Simon Butler, of the new book Too Many People? This is his keynote presentation Climate Change Social Change conference in Melbourne, on October 2, 2011. For more material from the conference, click HERE. Thanks to artist Margaret Scott for permission to use her drawings in the PowerPoint slides visible in the video.

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Lucy Parsons: 'More dangerous than a thousand rioters'

Lucy Parsons, 1930: "I have seen many movements come and go. I belonged to all of those movements. I was a delegate that organized the Industrial Workers of the World. I carried a card in the old Socialist Party. And now I am today connected with the Communists."

By Keith Rosenthal

Fred Magdoff & John Bellamy Foster: 'What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism' (exclusive excerpt)

August 1, 2011 -- Monthly Review Press has kindly given permission to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal to publish "The growth imperative of capitalism", an exclusive excerpt from Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster's just released What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism. You can download the excerpt HERE (PDF), or read it on screen below.

John Bellamy Foster will be a featured international guest at the second World at a Crossroads: Climate Change – Social Change Conference, Friday, September 30 – Monday, October 3, 2011, Melbourne University.

Excerpts from 'Environment, Capitalism and Socialism': Sources of modern environmentalism; Currents in ecological thought

The following are excerpts from Environment, Capitalism and Socialism, drafted for the  Democratic Socialist Party of Australia by Dick Nichols,and  published by Resistance Books in 1999. The book can be purchased from Resistance Books' website. The extensive footnotes are only available in the hard copy. (The DSP merged with the Socialist Alliance in January 2010.) Despite its age and inevitable flaws, this book was ahead of its time in many respects and was among the first serious attempts by a revolutionary party to apply a Marxist analysis to the environment question. It remains an essential document for socialists and ecologists alike.
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Deep ecology versus ecosocialism

[Ian Angus will be a feature speaker at the World at a Crossroads II: Climate change: social change conference, in Melbourne, Australia, September 30-October 3, 2011.]

By Ian Angus

June 19, 2011 --This article first appeared at Climate and Capitalism. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Some people believe that deep ecology is not just compatible with ecosocialism, but a way to improve it. That’s a profound misconception that ignores deep ecology’s anti-human core. The following was first posted on the online discussion group that was set up after the founding of the Ecosocialist international Network. I have added some suggestions for further reading.

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Cuba: Notes on socialist democracy, by Dario Machado Rodriguez

Photo by Roberto Suarez.

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic reforms in Cuba, and assessments of the sixth congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, click HERE.]

Introduction by Marce Cameron

June 12, 2011 -- Cuba's Socialist Renewal, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Generation R is an new bilingual blogin Cuba launched by pro-revolution Cuban university students. It's their answer to Generation Y, the blog of Yoani Sanchez, a Havana-based counterrevolutionary whose diatribes just happen to be translated almost instantaneously into over a dozen languages by her "fans" overseas. You can check out the English version of Generation R here.

Sexual self-determination in socialist Cuba: An interview with CENESEX director Mariela Castro Espín

CENESEX director Mariela Castro Espín (centre).

March 23, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- In Cuba, there is a LGBTT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, transsexual] movement whose gestation is found at the intersection of the state and organised civil society. This movement seeks to tackle the main themes of LGBTT reality from the perspective of human rights, health and social integration, while inserting itself into the national project of a just society. Historically, the space for its existence was provided by the country’s women’s movement, which was largely responsible for making Cuba, in 2008, the first country in the Americas to have sex-change operations included in the universal health-care system.  

Camila Piñeiro Harnecker: `Cuba needs changes, to take us forward rather than backwards'

Cuban workers march on May Day 2009. Photo by Bill Hackwell/Havana Times.

[For more analysis and discussion on the economic reforms in Cuba, click HERE.]

Translator's introduction

January 15, 2011 -- Cuba's Socialist Renewal -- Alongside and intersecting with the grassroots debates on the Draft Economic and Social Policy Guidelines and the informal debate, there is a rich discussion and debate taking place among Cuban intellectuals and academic specialists from a variety of disciplines and a spectrum of political perspectives within the broad camp of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban magazine Temas (Themes) is one publication that carries contributions to this debate among Cuba's revolutionary intelligentsia.

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