By John Bellamy Foster
June 1, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — István Mészáros was a global thinker strongly committed to anti-imperialist struggles. In this respect, he allied himself with those fighting for socialist transformation in the Philippines, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, and elsewhere. He argued that in the descending phase of capitalism there was a “downward equalization of the rate of exploitation,” by which he meant a race to the bottom in wages and working conditions, enforced by a global system of monopolistic competition.1 In 1978, he edited and introduced a book consisting of thirteen essays by the great Filipino historian and political theorist Renato Constantino, titled Neo-Colonial Identity and Counter-Consciousness: Essays in Cultural Decolonisation, in which Constantino developed the concept of counter-consciousness into a powerful philosophy of cultural liberation.2 Mészáros took great interest as well in Brazilian developments and struggles over the state, supporting various socialist movements there. But his most singular contribution to struggles in the Global South was the role he was to play in his strong strategic support of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution.
By Steve Ellner
May 7, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s repeated calls for dialogue with the U.S. in order to normalize relations seem to be paying off.
His openness to rapprochement contrasts with the Biden administration’s nebulousness regarding the degree to which Washington is willing to recognize Maduro as president (full diplomatic recognition is out of the question).
Biden’s use of sanctions as a bargaining chip to wrest concessions from Caracas is a harder sell than former President Donald Trump’s regime-change narrative on the basis of the preposterous Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle, sometimes referred to as “humanitarian intervention.”
Over the last two months, the flip flops and timidity of the Biden administration have been put on full display.