Issue 24

Movement history: Socialists and the anti-war movement

By Gus Horowitz

This is the text of a speech that was printed in the Militant, the newspaper of the us Socialist Workers Party, on October 10, 1969, shortly before the massive anti-war demonstrations scheduled to occur in mid-November of that year. Gus Horowitz was the SWP's national anti-war director during that year and through the first half of 1970. Minor spelling and punctuation changes have been made in the text reprinted here. The introduction was by the Militant.

Introduction

On Labour Day weekend [September 1969] in New York, the Socialist Workers Party held its national convention. One of the central points on the agenda was a resolution assessing developments within the movement against the Vietnam War and the role of the SWP within that movement.

Discussion on the resolution was initiated with a report by Gus Horowitz, a member of the party's national committee and its representative to the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

The Bolshevik Party and 'Zinovievism': Comments on a caricature of Leninism

By Doug Lorimer

The disintegration of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union opened an important debate within the Marxist movement about how to evaluate the history of the socialist movement, and especially of the Bolshevik Party, the party that led the world's first successful socialist revolution. One of the central aims of Links has been to provide a forum for such debate.

It is obviously important to carry out this evaluation in a way that does not make the mistake of confusing Stalinism with the theory and practice of the Bolsheviks when Lenin was the foremost leader of that party. Moreover—as was only to be expected—there are different views of what constituted the theory and practice of Bolshevism. Some of these differences have revolved around the role of Grigory Zinoviev.

Venezuela and the new Latin American Revolution

By Jorge Jorquera

The following article is based on the author's pamphlet, Venezuela—The Revolution Unfolding in Latin America, Resistance Books, 2003. Jorge Jorquera is a long-term Chilean solidarity activist and at the time of writing a member of the National Executive of the Democratic Socialist Party.

CONTENTS

The Golitsino consensus

By Boris Kagarlitsky

Links contributing editor Boris Kagarlitsky is well known for his many books and articles on Soviet and post-Soviet society. Translated by Renfrey Clarke.

For many years, Russian leftists have talked of the need for a process of unification. The results, however, have been poor. The reasons for this have not lain in the disagreements and ambitions of leaders, or in the ideological positions of the various groups. The main problem has been the weakness and immaturity of the movement itself. Experience has shown that the weaker the left is, and the smaller its influence on society, the greater its inclination to sectarianism.

The events that unfolded from June 20 to 22, 2003, in the town of Golitsino near Moscow can be considered crucial not only because a conference on the future of the left finally initiated a unification process, but also because this meeting itself provided evidence of a level of maturity and seriousness in the movement that is quite new and unfamiliar for Russia.

Australian Socialist Alliance takes a new step for left unity

By Peter Boyle and Sue Bolton

Peter Boyle is a member of the incoming Socialist Alliance national executive and a member of the DSP national executive. Sue Bolton is a member of the national trade union committee of the Socialist Alliance and a member of the DSP national executive. Conference documents are available from <http://www.socialist-alliance.org>.

CONTENTS

Reviving militant unionism

Perspectives debate

United front approach to ALP, Greens

Developing socialist policy

Tendency rights protected

Prospects for the Socialist Alliance

PMP-Merger Blazes Trail for Revolutionary Movement in Philippines

by Ramani De Silva

Ramani De Silva is a member of the Central Committee of the Partido ng Manggagawang Pilipino.

CONTENTS

In a historic step forward for the Philippine left, more than a hundred delegates from three revolutionary parties held a unity congress in August 2002 and formed a unified party, after more than a week of congress debates and deliberations.

Campaigning and Parliamentary Priorities

By Tommy Sheridan

Tommy Sheridan was the first member of the SSP elected to the Scottish Parliament, in 1999.

The election of six socialist MSPs represents both a massive advance for and a huge challenge to the socialist movement in Scotland.

Undoubtedly the ability of the SSP to link its socialist activity within the Scottish parliament to its socialist program outside parliament has played a major role in promoting the party in relation to anti-poverty, pro-trade union, pro-peace and anti-war campaigns.

The way the party was able to take the abolition of poundings and warrant sales campaign out into the communities and bring pressure to bear back inside the parliament was a model for uniting parliamentary and extra-parliamentary activity. A similar and even broader exercise was conducted in relation to the free school meals campaign. Even though the end result was unsuccessful, the party still managed to pressure thirty-five MSPs to vote for a significant anti-poverty and pro-health measure.

Scottish Politics has changed for ever

By Allan McCombes

Alan McCombes is a member of SSP National Executive and was the coordinator for the party's 2003 election campaign. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Links.

For the complacent ruling establishment, the spectacular rise of a new left opposition in Holyrood came like a snowstorm in the Sahara.

Right up until literally the midnight hour, the SSP, the Greens and the independents had been ignored, or at best patronised, by the mainstream media.

Nothing prepared the political commentators for the shock of witnessing the big four parties lose one and a quarter million votes across the two ballots; or for the lurch to the left across Scotland and the election of seventeen radical anti-establishment MSPs.

The centre right continues to rule Scotland through the Lib-Lab coalition. But the political centre of gravity in Scotland has shifted decisively to the left.

There is now a clear red gulf separating Holyrood from Westminster. Scotland has become the political Achilles heel of the UK capitalist state.

Scottish socialists' election advance

Analysis of the SSP's 2003 Election Results

By Allan Green

Allan Green is a member of the National Executive of the Scottish Socialist Party and a member of the Editorial Board of Links.

CONTENTS

What happened with the second vote

SSP achieved a relatively stable, committed vote

Different layers support SSP and Greens

Conclusions on the second vote

Left election results in England and Wales

The role of the party in this success

 

The entire Scottish Socialist Party can be justifiably proud of our performance in the Holyrood elections on May 1. The vision, principles, courage and commitment of the party over four years have produced an election outcome that will permanently change the face of Scottish politics.

Another forum is possible?

By Sundaram

A version of this article originally appeared in the March issue of Liberation, the central organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). The author is an independent journalist and film-maker.

After they popularised the slogan "Another world is possible", it was inevitable that one day some wit would taunt the organisers of the World Social Forum with a parody of the original: "Another forum is possible?"

But mid-way, as we are, between the third WSF (concluded earlier this year in Porto Alegre, Brazil) and the fourth WSF (scheduled for January 2004 in Mumbai, India) this half-mocking, half-humorous quip is taking on more serious tones. Is indeed another WSF possible?

Lessons of the mass anti-war campaign in Australia

By Pip Hinman

Pip Hinman is a member of the Political Committee of the Democratic Socialist Party, and national coordinator of Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific. She was the national coordinator of the DSP's campaigning against the war, and much of the content of this article was first presented as a report to the DSP National Committee, April 26-27, 2003.

CONTENTS

The basis of mass dissent

Building an independent mass movement

Labor conservatism

Weak union response

Youth and the anti-war movement

Canberra Convergence

Oppose US-UN occupation

Can the movement rise again?

Notes

US empire after Iraq: analysis and perspectives

By Malik Miah, Barry Sheppard and Caroline Lund

The authors are longtime socialist activists in the United States and wrote "The Bush Doctrine" in issue 22. Miah is a member of the editorial board of Links; Sheppard and Lund are contributing editors.

CONTENTS

1. What US imperialism accomplished in the war

2. Obstacles for imperialism revealed by the war

3. Tasks of revolutionary socialists

"We will be called imperialists regardless, so we might as well be competent imperialists." (Stephen Peter Rosen, professor of strategic studies at Harvard University, Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2003.)

"It's time for the US to behave more like an occupying power." ("The Bremer Regency", editorial, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2003.)

"The notion that you can't export democracy through the barrel of a gun is simply wrong. We did it in Germany, Italy, Japan and elsewhere." (Max Boot, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 4, 2003.)

1. What US imperialism accomplished in the war

The most powerful military power humanity has ever seen is beating its chest and proclaiming to the world: "Do what we say or face the consequences".

Issue 24: Editor's introduction

Getting organised against the empire

In this issue, we focus on the struggle against imperialism and the effort to build an international revolutionary socialist movement as part of that struggle. Discussing and documenting changes and developments in these areas is an ongoing need.

The opening article, by Malik Miah, Barry Sheppard and Caroline Lund, all frequent contributors to Links, analyses the state of the US imperial project after the Bush-proclaimed "end" to the war in Iraq.

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