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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.
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.
By Umair Muhammad
August 17, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's blog with permission — During the summer of 2014 I became involved in an anti-pipeline campaign in Toronto. Part of the campaign against the oil pipeline involved occupying worksites. I myself was able to take part in two such occupations. The first occupation resulted in a one-day stoppage of work. The second stopped work for at least two days and resulted in work equipment being carried offsite. The occupations were in part meant to serve as precursors for larger actions to come, allowing the activists involved to build links and gain experience.
By Juan Antonio Gil de los Santos
August 10, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — When the 15-M movement broke out onto the streets across Spain in 2011, it didn’t coalesce into a series of political parties on either end of the political spectrum. In fact, there was a common declaration that stood out among all of the indignados: “They don’t represent us”.
[Original in English here.]
[Original article in English here]
By Eric Blanc
June 3, 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal traducido para Sin Permiso por G. Buster -- En los últimos años, los socialistas han discutido encarnizadamente sobre la cuestión de los llamados “partidos amplios”. Muchos han defendido que hay que desechar el modelo "leninista" en favor de formaciones más amplias, como Syriza, Podemos, el Partido Laborista británico, los Verdes, etc. Otros han rechazado participar en este tipo de organizaciones, con el argumento "leninista" de que la construcción de partidos marxistas revolucionarios independientes sigue siendo la tarea de organización estratégica de los socialistas.
Entrelazado con este debate ha habido una seria reevaluación del propio "leninismo". En particular, después de la publicación del monumental Lenin Rediscovered de Lars T. Lih, se han abierto algunas grandes interrogantes: ¿Rompió Lenin en la teoría y / o práctica con la estrategia "ortodoxa" articulada por el teórico marxista Karl Kautsky? ¿Fueron los bolcheviques, en otras palabras, un "partido de nuevo tipo"?
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.
By Doug Enaa Greene
"We do not wish to evangelize, but to ignite, and when the moment arrives the flame will burst forth." These passionate words were uttered by the Italian socialist Amadeo Bordiga in 1912 and summed up his life's revolutionary mission: to organize for international communist revolution.
By Doug Enaa Greene
To my brother, Daniel, who also made me see the possibilities contained in a moment.
April 4. 2016 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, it has been fashionable to say that the time for communist politics has passed. One commentator went so far as to claim that “history had ended,” which meant capitalism was the only game in town. For many leftists, politics shifted from Marxist theory, revolutionary strategy and fighting to win, to begging the ruling class for “realistic” reforms. Yet there remained a stubborn few who refused to accept that capitalism was the sole vision on the horizon, but maintained a stubborn fidelity to Marxism and revolution. One of these was the French Trotskyist, Daniel Bensaïd (1946-2010), a key figure of the Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire, a leading participant in the May 1968 general strike and a militant Marxist intellectual. Bensaïd practiced a critical and creative Marxism throughout his life that fruitfully engaged with other radical political thinkers, such as Blanqui and Benjamin, and he refused to believe that the last word on our future had been said. Rather, he argued that resistance to capitalism was not only possible, but he gave serious thought about what it would take to win. Daniel Bensaïd remains a powerful voice to argue for strategic thinking and developing a “resolute subject” that could overcome the crushing weight of the “objective situation.”
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”.
By David Renton
February 23, 2015 -- Lives; running, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- When I was young, I used to believe that I knew what a revolution would look like.
It would begin with a bitterly unpopular government and a political system which allowed no space for dissent to be expressed. Anger with the government would rise and, with it, popular organisation, until the will of the people would be like a great wave of water overwhelming every wall put up by the enemy. An alternative revolutionary government would be formed; it would derive its support from the workers, winning other classes to their side because of the wholly principled way in which it would deal with every social question.
Hugo Chavez and supporters at Chavez’s final campaign rally in Caracas on October 4, 2013, three days before his re-election as president.
By Mike Treen, director of the Unite union in Aotearoa/New Zealand
February 19, 2015 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The election of the radical left-wing SYRIZA party in Greece and a possible victory of the similarly radical party Podemos in Spain has raised the hopes of millions of people across Europe and the globe that we can put an end to austerity-type policies, put in place policies that will protect working people from the capitalist crisis and advance society to a new era of social justice governments.
Doug Enaa Greene presented a talk on the life and thought of Louis-Auguste Blanqui to the Center for Marxist Education in February 2014.
By Doug Enaa Greene
Dedicated to my father
October 24, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- “I am accused of having said to thirty million French people, proletarians like me, that they had the right to live”. These words are the opening remarks of then 27-year-old revolutionary, Louis-Auguste Blanqui's defence speech when he was tried for treason by the French state in 1832. Blanqui's words were nothing less than a declaration of war upon the rule of the bourgeoisie on behalf of a mercilessly exploited proletariat.
For more by or about Marta Harnecker and her ideas, click HERE.
October 17, 2014 -- TeleSUR English, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Greg Wilpert interviews the well-known theoretician of the Latin American left Marta Harnecker. The Chilean-born author and activist is known worldwide for her writings on Marxist philosophy, Venezuela and Hugo Chavez, and the challenges facing the Latin American left in the 21st century.
Her latest book A World to Build-New Paths to 21st Century Socialism will soon be out in English. In the interview Harnecker discusses the differences between 20th and 21st century socialism and key strategic issues posed for left-wing movements today.
August 6, 2014 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- Paul Le Blanc is a veteran socialist and author, most recently, of Unfinished Leninism: The Rise and Return of a Revolutionary Doctrine. In response to an article by British socialist Ian Birchall published at the Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century website [published by the socialist group of the same name, abbreviated as RS21], Le Blanc wrote this commentary to contribute to the discussion of "Leninism".
* * *
Ian Birchall has made an important contribution to the ongoing discussion on the international left about the meaning and value of Leninism, which is one of the focal points of my recent collection Unfinished Leninism: The Rise and Return of a Revolutionary Doctrine. Here I would like to make a few comments about what this esteemed comrade has to say.
Salvador Sanchez Ceren.
Marta Harnecker interviewed by José P. Guerrero[i], translated for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal by Federico Fuentes
July 22, 2014 -- The new El Salvador government faces the challenge of deepening the pro-majority changes that have occurred, while updating the historic experiences of a fighting and conscious people seeking social transformation, said contemporary critical thinker Marta Harnecker, in an interview with weekly newspaper El Siglo XXI.
An Impatient Life: A Memoir
by Daniel Bensaïd, translated by David Fernbach, with an introduction by Tariq Ali,
Verso Books, 2014.
Review by Paul Le Blanc
May 11, 2014 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Daniel Bensaïd (1946-2010) was one of the most respected theorists to emerge from the 1960s radicals of Western Europe. Always inclined to think “outside the box”, waving aside venerable dogmas and shrugging off standard formulations, he found fresh ways, energised with the aura of unorthodoxy, to express and apply truths from the revolutionary Marxist tradition.
For more on the transitional method, click HERE.
By Dave Holmes
[Text of a talk given to the Geelong branch of Socialist Alliance on December 3, 2013.]
December 4, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The unity discussions between Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative have come to an end. In a November 3, 2013, letter on behalf of the Socialist Alternative national executive, Mick Armstrong wrote: “The overall political projects of both organisations are not sufficiently similar to carry through a sustained and productive unity that could advance the cause of the revolutionary left in Australia and the broader class struggle.”
Building effective campaigns and coalitions is extremely important. Socialist Alliance members at the Sydney national day of action on climate change, November 17. Photo by Peter Boyle.
By Dave Holmes
[The following talk was presented at the Socialist Ideas Conference held in Melbourne, November 2, 2013, organised by the Socialist Alliance.]
November 18, 2013 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Arguing for Socialism -- In Australia, as in all the imperialist countries, the capitalist class is carrying out a massive assault on all the gains won by working people in more than 150 years. Every TV news bulletin these days features reports of cutbacks, selloffs and outsourcing, attacks on workers' rights and attacks on civil liberties — as well as wars and massive misery abroad.
With social democracy firmly in the neoliberal camp and the left marginalised, the capitalist class sees its chance and is pressing home the attack as vigorously as possible.
Syriza supporters march. "Left reformists"?
By Ed Rooksby
October 7, 2013 -- International Socialism -- There has been a significant revival of interest among the radical left in “big picture” questions of socialist strategy that, as Mark L. Thomas has pointed out, represents a return to “important debates of the left largely absent over the last three decades”.1
It is not difficult to identify the major factors driving this. Several years of deep capitalist crisis together with the almost total capitulation of social-democratic parties across Europe to the austerity agenda have opened up a clear space to the left of these organisations—a development that has reinvigorated the radical left, but which has also forced it to confront fundamental questions of strategic orientation.