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1917: The View from the Streets #8 - 'The only guarantee of Polish independence is international solidarity'
March 17, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal / John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — One hundred years ago, on March 17 (4) 1917, the following appeal calling on Polish workers to support the Russian Revolution and fight for Polish independence was adopted at a rally of Polish socialist workers in Petrograd.
After the outbreak of World War One, the bulk of Poland (which had previously been ruled by the Tsarist government) came under German occupation. By 1917, roughly three million Poles – many of whom had been evacuated from Poland on the eve of the German invasion – found themselves under Tsarist rule. In response, Polish socialist parties began organizing the large groups of displaced Polish workers in industrial cities like Petrograd and Moscow.
By Katarzyna Bielińska-Kowalewska
February 24, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from New Politics —In Poland the law on abortion is one of the most restrictive in the European Union, sex education does not exist, and contraception is both expensive and hard to obtain because a medical prescription is often needed.
According to a 1993 law, abortion is allowed only in three cases: when pregnancy is a threat to a woman’s life or health; when there is a high possibility of severe malformation or illness of a fetus, confirmed by a prenatal exam; or when a pregnancy is the result of a crime (rape, incest, or pedophilia). In other cases it is criminalized. A doctor or anyone else who helps a woman to perform an abortion, including a partner, a family member, or a friend, may be punished with three years of imprisonment. A woman who has aborted is not prosecuted. For more than 20 years this very restrictive law has been called a compromise by conservative, liberal, and social-democratic politicians.
By Gavin Rae and Czesław Kulesza
January 19, 2017 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Transform! Europe –– It has been over a year since the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) took over complete governmental control in Poland. The presidential election won by Andrzej Duda in May 2015 and the victory of PiS five months later, gave party’s leader Jarosław Kaczyński almost total control of the state.
Interview with Marcelina Zawisza and Maciej Konieczny by Lorenzo Marsili for MicroMega
July 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal translation by Revolting Europe— In ultra conservative Poland something is happening on the Left, with the birth of Razëm – which means Together – a new party that with over 4 percent of the vote has gained full rights of participation in the political and national media debate. Born from the social movements, inspired by the Spanish Podemos and, at least for now, has decided to break with the traditional parties of the twentieth century. Here’s their story.
A supporter of the the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) at a party rally.
By Jirí Málek
[This analysis was presented at the international workshop of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation “On the situation of the left in Europe after the EU elections: New challenges”. Held July 21-23, 2014, in Berlin.]
Transform! Network -- Before me is the task of speaking in a limited time on things that can hardly be responsibly described in brief. For that reason please allow me to make use of a method that could be compared to tossing a flat stone along a flat surface – ever grazing the water, making a couple of little waves and flying off a little more to brush the surface again. With regards to several issues I too will merely brush the surface and rush on to others. And it is likely more questions will arise than answers.
What will I be speaking about? The Karlovy Vary Film Festival has a section called: East of the West. Likewise we will devote this time to the area east of the West, though in the slightly narrower sense of the part of Central Europe otherwise known as the Visegrad Four: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland (total 106 European parliament seats – 14.1 %).
Liberación nacional y bolchevismo: la aportación de los marxistas de la periferia del Imperio Zarista
Bund miembros y las víctimas pogrom en Odessa, 1905.
Por Eric Blanc
Sinpermiso.info -- La perspectiva desde las regiones periféricas del Imperio Zarista nos obliga a repensar muchas presunciones largamente sostenidas sobre las revoluciones de 1905 y 1917, así como la evolución de muchos análisis marxistas sobre la liberación nacional, la lucha campesina, la revolución permanente, y la emancipación de las mujeres.
Este artículo analiza los debates socialistas sobre la cuestión nacional hasta 1914. Sostengo en él que la estrategia del marxismo anti-colonial que se acabó imponiendo fue elaborada por primera vez por los socialistas de las nacionalidades periféricas del Imperio Zarista, no por los bolcheviques. Lenin y sus camaradas fueron por detrás de los marxistas no rusos en este tema crucial incluso hasta después de haber comenzado la Guerra Civil. Esta debilidad política ayuda a explicar el fracaso bolchevique a la hora de establecer raíces en los pueblos dominados del Imperio Zarista.
Real News Network, May 28, 2014 -- Political economist and socialist Aleksandr Buzgalin discusses the latest developments in the Kiev regime's attack on the people of eastern Ukraine. He says negotiations are needed to end the civil war. Read the full transcript.
For more on Ukraine, click HERE.
By Gavin Rae
May 27, 2014 -- The Bullet (Socialist Project, Canada), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- The images from Odessa were truly horrific. Burnt corpses, a strangled pregnant woman, people jumping out of windows to their deaths. Yet perhaps the most disturbing of them all was the scene where a group of young educated looking teenage girls, draped in the Ukrainian flag, were happily making the Molotov cocktails that would later help cause the deaths of more than 40 people. These images encapsulated how the Maidan had transformed from being a movement for hope to one of tragedy.
Bund members and pogrom victims in Odessa, 1905.
By Eric Blanc
May 28, 2014 – Submitted to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by the author; also available at Johnriddell.wordpress.com -- A view from the Tsarist empire’s borderlands obliges us to rethink many long-held assumptions about the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, as well as the development of Marxist approaches to national liberation, peasant struggle, permanent revolution, and the emancipation of women.
By Chris Williams
November 22, 2013 -- Climate & Capitalism -- “The smell of inaction” is how Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth Mozambique’s international program director for climate justice and energy, summed up the atmosphere inside the giant Narodowy Stadium after the first week of the latest round of international climate negotiations, Conference of the Parties, otherwise known as COP 19, taking place November 11-22, 2013, in Warsaw.
Given that this is the 19th consecutive year of annual negotiations and with a meaningful global treaty more distant now than it was almost two decades ago, Bhatnagar’s olfactory deduction seems likely to be highly accurate.
As the pervasive smell of inaction seeped like a suffocating gas throughout the inside of the conference, outside, the choking effects of coal smoke waft from all corners of a country that obtains 90 per cent of its electricity from coal and whose government has pledged to keep it that way until 2060.
With corporations--steel giant Arcelor Mittal, General Motors, Emirates, coal companies--sponsoring the UN climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland, youth activists standing in solidarity with the Philippines demand: "Stop the Corporate Capture of Climate Talks".
November 7, 2013 -- Transnational Institute -- More than 135 groups internationally have condemned Poland and European Union for facilitating a corporate takeover of UN climate talks starting October 11, 2013, in Warsaw.
The EU aims to expand carbon markets that would benefit big polluters at the UN climate talks, COP19 in Poland, says a statement signed by 135+ groups, movements and networks from all over the world. The statement denounces the corporate capture of COP19 by the same companies that stand to profit from their responsibility for climate crisis.
“The European Commission and the carbon crooks who turn profits from the failing EU Emissions Trading Scheme [ETS] are pushing for a lifeline through linking up markets, foreshadowing a global carbon market”, stated Tamra Gilbertson from Carbon Trade Watch.
General L.G. Kornilov, Moscow, August 1917.
By John Riddell
September 15, 2013 -- Johnriddell.wordpress.com, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Two months after Egypt’s generals ousted its elected Muslim Brotherhood government, there is still a wide spectrum of views among socialists regarding the meaning of this event (see “Socialists need to rethink the military takeover”).
This discussion can be deepened by considering a few precedents from socialist history – some well known, others obscure.
1. 1917: The Kornilov coup
Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) with US President Ronald Reagan.
By Barry Healy
June 7, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As part of its attempts to turn back the clock in the Catholic Church the Vatican drew 1.5 million of the devout to Rome on May 1 for the beatification ceremony of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II. John Paul II may become the fastest declared saint in history.
The Vatican is also pushing the canonisation of Pius XII, who was pope during World War II.
While attention has been drawn to John Paul II’s woeful record on the issue of sexual abuse within the church little has been said about the reasons for the rush to beatification and sainthood.
Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies
By Kevin B. Anderson
University of Chicago Press, 2010, 336 pages
By Samir Amin
Monthly Review Press, 1988 (second edition 2009), 288 pages
Reviews by Barry Healy
October 22, 2010 -- In the foundational text of the Marxist movement, the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels paint a vivid word picture of the awesome, world-shaking advance of capitalism.
The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.
W ostatnich wyborach w związku zawodowym Narodowa Unia Sił Nauczycielskich (Sindicato Nacional Fuerza Magisterial, Sinafum), skupiającym istotną część nauczycieli, zdecydowane zwycięstwo odniósł Orlando Pérez, zwolennik pozostania Sinafum w federacji związkowej Narodowa Unia Robotników (Unión Nacional de Trabajadores, UNT). Wybory ogłoszono także w Krajowej Federacji Pracowników Sektora Publicznego (Federación Nacional de Trabajadores del Sector Empleados Públicos, Fentrasep), do której należy około 90 proc. urzędników. Mają się one odbyć 1 października. Komisja Krajowa UNT wyznaczyła w sierpniu kongres i wybór nowych władz. Te informacje, podobnie jak pogłębianie się procesu rewolucyjnego, to świetne wiadomości dla wenezuelskich robotników.
November 15, 2009 -- For the past few weeks the international capitalist mass media has been awash with triumphalist hoopla about the so-called ``collapse of Communism'' as it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. Below Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal posts a number of commenatries from the left that deal with facts and fictions of those dramatic events, and how the people most effected are faring today.
* * *
By Chris Slee
November 16, 2009 – Green Left Weekly -- The 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin wall -- November 9 -- was the occasion for self-congratulation by supporters of the capitalist system. They talked of the fall of the wall as heralding a new era of freedom.
They failed to note that other walls and fences have been built or strengthened during the past 20 years.
Hitler’s Priests, by Kevin Spicer, Northern Illinois University Press, 2008, 369 pp. US$34.95
Who Will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive, by Samuel D. Kassow, Indiana University Press, 2007, 523 pP., US$34.95
Kasztner’s Train: the True Story of an Unknown Hero of the Holocaust, by Anna Porter, Scribe, 2008, 548 pp., A$32.95
The Complete Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, Art Spiegelman, Pantheon, 1996, 296 pp., US$35.
Review by Barry Healy
July 28, 2009 -- In October 2008 the Catholic Synod of Bishops convened in Rome for a four-day theological discussion. Without warning, on the first day, Pope Benedict XVI suspended discussion and ordered the 200 participants to attend a special commemoration mass for Pius XII, who was the pope between 1939 and 1958.