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Marta Harnecker

Ideas for the struggle #9 - Respect differences and be flexible in regards to activism



By Marta HarneckerLinks International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. There continues to be a difficulty within the left to deal with differences. In the past, the tendency of political organizations, especially parties that declared they were parties of the working class, was always towards homogenizing the social base within which they carried out political work. If this attitude was once understandable due to the past identity and homogeneity of the working class, today it is anachronistic when confronted with a working class that is quite differentiated, and with the emergence of a diversity of new social forces. Today, we increasingly have to deal with a unity based on diversity, on respect for ethnic and cultural differences, for gender and for the sense of belonging of specific collectives.


Ideas for the struggle #6 - The need to unite the political left and the social left



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. The rejection by a majority of the people of the globalization model imposed on our continent intensifies each day given its inability to solve the most pressing problems of our people. Neoliberal policies implemented by large transnational financial capital, which is backed by a large military and media power, and whose hegemonic headquarters can be found in the United States, have not only been unable to resolve these problems but, on the contrary, have dramatically increased misery and social exclusion, while concentrating wealth in increasingly fewer hands.


Ideas for the struggle #5 - Minorities can be right



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. Democratic centralism implies not only the subordination of the minority to the majority, but also the respect of the majority towards the minority.


Ideas for the struggle #4 - Should we reject bureaucratic centralism and simply use consensus?



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. For a long time, left-wing parties operated along authoritarian lines. The usual practice was that of bureaucratic centralism, influenced by the practice of Soviet socialism. Most decisions regarding principles, tasks, initiatives, and the course of political action to take were restricted to the party elite, without the participation or debate of the membership who were limited to following orders that they never got to discuss and in many cases did not understand. For most people, these practices are every day becoming increasingly more intolerable.


The best homage we can pay Fidel: look outward together in the same direction



By Marta Harnecker


September 14, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Over half a century ago, as Latin American households were celebrating the start of a new year, some good news arrived from Cuba: a guerrilla army with a social base among the peasantry triumphed on the Caribbean island, liberating the country from the tyrannical Batista regime. A political process began that not only aimed to overthrow a dictator, but sought to follow a consistently revolutionary line: genuinely transform society for the benefit of the great majority.


Ideas for the struggle #3 - To be at the service of popular movements, not replace them



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. We have previously stated that politics is the art of constructing a social and political force capable of changing the balance of forces in order to make possible tomorrow that which today appears to be impossible. But to be able to construct a social force political organizations must demonstrate a great respect for grassroots movements, and contribute to their autonomous development, leaving behind all attempts at manipulation. They must take as their starting point the fact that they are not the only ones with ideas and proposals; on the contrary, grassroots movements have much to offer us, because through their daily struggles they have also learned things, discovered new paths, found solutions and invented methods which can be of great value.


Ideas for the struggle #2 - Convince, not impose



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. Popular movements and, more generally, the different social protagonists engaged in the struggle against neoliberal globalization both at the international and national levels, reject — with good reason — attitudes that aim to impose hegemony or control on movements. They do not accept the steamroller policy that some political and social organizations tended to use that, taking advantage of their position of strength and monopolizing political positions, attempts to manipulate the movement. They do not accept the authoritarian imposition of a leadership from above; they do not accept attempts made to lead movements by simply giving orders, no matter how correct they are.


Building a better movement



By Pete Dolack


September 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Systemic Disorder — All of us who struggle for a better world are disheartened that so many advances of the 20th century have been lost. The mounting crises of the environment, the global economy and ever more constricted political systems are unmistakably moving humanity toward a cliff. And yet social movements, for all the victories here and there, again and again fail to sustain momentum.


Why are we in this predicament? No single person or organization can fully answer such a question, of course, but we do need to seriously reconsider what has been done and how. In this spirit, Marta Harnecker’s “Ideas for the Struggle” is a document that merits wide discussion. Originally written in 2004 and updated this year, the paper consists of 12 short, closely linked sections. And although written with Latin America in mind, the ideas are borderless.


‘Ideas for the Struggle’: required reading for activists in these challenging times



By Steve Williams


August 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalIdeas for the Struggle should be required reading for all organizers, political activists and would-be revolutionaries in these troubling and challenging times.


Ideas for the struggle #1 - Mass uprisings or revolutions? The role of the political instrument



By Marta Harnecker, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


1. The recent and not so recent popular uprisings that rocked numerous countries across the world have clearly demonstrated that
the initiative of the people, in and of itself, is not enough to defeat ruling regimes.


The relevance of Marta Harnecker's 'Ideas for the Struggle' today



Together with New and Old Project, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is republishing a revised and updated edition of Marta Harnecker's "Ideas for the Struggle", a collection of 12 articles looking at the question of how to organise for socialism in the 21st century.


Marta Harnecker on strategies for social change: people's power and political instruments


May 28, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At the recent Socialist Alliance's Socialism in the 21st Century Conference held in Sydney in May 2016, Marta Harnecker, a Chilean psychologist, writer, journalist and a prominent investigator and commentator on experiences of social transformation in Latin America, presented this paper on: People's power and political instruments.

Review: A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-First Century Socialism by Marta Harnecker


Marta Harnecker's A World To Build shows us alternatives to neoliberalism in recent movements in Latin America, where political strategies have claimed important victories, argues Ian Richardson.


Harnecker will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.


Reviewed by Ian Richardson


A World to Build: New Paths toward Twenty-First Century Socialism
Marta Harnecker
Monthly Review Press 2015, 224pp.


March 3, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Counterfire with the author's permission -- The reason for socialists to have an interest in the situation in Latin America today is simple; the most significant political advances in the world today are taking place in Latin America. The Chilean revolutionary Marta Harnecker’s book A World to Build is perhaps the most important English language attempt so far to analyse and to move forward the discussion on the left internationally around these changes.


Social Movements and Progressive Governments - Building a New Relationship in Latin America

Marta Harnecker (pictured) will be one of the keynote speakers at Socialism for the 21st century: Moving beyond capitalism, learning from global struggles being held in Sydney on May 13-15.


By Marta Harnecker, translated by Richard Fidler


January 2016 — Monthly Review, reposted on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission — In recent years a major debate has emerged over the role that new social movements should adopt in relation to the progressive governments that have inspired hope in many Latin American nations. Before addressing this subject directly, though, I want to develop a few ideas.


The situation in the 1980s and ’90s in Latin America was comparable in some respects to the experience of pre-revolutionary Russia in the early twentieth century. The destructive impact on Russia of the imperialist First World War and its horrors was paralleled in Latin America by neoliberalism and its horrors: greater hunger and poverty, an increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, unemployment, the destruction of nature, and the erosion of sovereignty.


Marta Harnecker interviewed: From Allende’s Chile to Chávez’s Venezuela

For more by or about Marta Harnecker, click HERE.

Marta Harnecker interviewed by Isabel Rauber, introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

April 21, 2015 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Marta Harnecker (above), a Marxist writer and lecturer of Chilean origin, is one of the foremost international exponents of the revolutionary process in Latin America today.

In the following interview she outlines some of the lessons she has derived from her experience with the Popular Unity government of Chile’s Salvador Allende (1970-73) that are applicable to current attempts in Latin America to build “an alternative society to capitalism that is essentially democratic”.

Marta Harnecker: The origins of capitalist exploitation

For more by or about Marta Harnecker, click HERE.

By Marta Harnecker, translated by María Poblete and Federico Fuentes

April 17, 2015 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This text incorporates much of booklet #2 from the original series Cuadernos de Educación Popular (Booklets for Popular Education), which was titled “What is socialism?” and was written by Marta Harnecker in collaboration with Gabriela Uribe. This series was published in Chile during the Popular Unity government, lef by Salvador Allende, and was reprinted in various countries and languages. The text has been revised, some errors have been corrected, and supplementary examples and text boxes have been added, in order to make it easier to comprehend some of the complex ideas it tackles.

In this Booklet for Popular Education we hope to study the fundamental mechanism that explains why, under capitalism, you have a small group of people who possess a lot of wealth and enjoy an easy life, while a significant portion of workers find themselves in a very difficult situation.

Marta Harnecker: Decentralised participatory planning based on experiences of Brazil, Venezuela and the state of Kerala, India

Marta Harnecker.

For more by or about Marta Harnecker and her ideas, click HERE.

By Marta Harnecker, translated by Federico Fuentes

[Paper presented at the International Scientific Academic Meeting on Methodology and Experiences in Socio-environmental Participatory processes, Cuenca University, November 13-15, 2014.*]

December 19, 2014 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- These words are aimed at those who want to build a humanist and solidarity-based society. A society based on the complete participation of all people. A society focused on a model of sustainable development that satisfies people's genuine needs in a just manner, and not the artificial wants created by capitalism in its irrational drive to obtain more profits. A society that does all this while ensuring that humanity’s future in not put at risk. A society where the organized people are the ones who decide what and how to produce. A society we have referred to as Twenty-First Century Socialism, Good Living or Life in Plenitude.

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