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Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal seeks to promote the exchange of information, experience of struggle, theoretical analysis and views of political strategy and tactics within the international left. It is a forum for open and constructive dialogue between active socialists from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies, and reject the bureaucratic model of "socialism" that arose in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China.

Inspired by the unfolding socialist revolution in Venezuela, as well as the continuing example of socialist Cuba, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is a journal for "Socialism of the 21st century", and the discussions and debates flowing from that powerful example of socialist renewal.

Links is also proud to be the sister publication of Green Left Weekly, the world's leading red-green newspaper, and we urge readers to visit that site regularly.

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Philippines: The emergence of a united left opposition to Duterte

 

 

Two articles looking at the rise of Laban ng Masa (Struggle of the Masses),
a coalition of socialist groups that has emerged in opposition to
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte.

 

Pakistan: Revival of the left

 

 

By Rashed Rahman

 

March 30, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Rashed Rahman blog  — The task of reviving the Left to once again become an effective player in the polity has been exercising minds in the surviving Left parties and groups for long but the achievement of this goal has proved difficult. It is therefore heartening to note the follow-up of the meeting of 10 Left parties and groups in Lahore on December 29, 2017 by the formation of a 17-parties/groups’ platform dubbed Lahore Left Front (LLF).

 

Democratic production and the Workers' Opposition of revolutionary Russia

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

March 29, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — In a post-capitalist society, who should control production? How should decisions about work life be made? Who should decide what is produced, where it is produced and how it is exchanged within a country and between countries? For the first time in history, the great Russian Revolution of 1917 had to confront these issues in more than a theoretical way. The issues became painfully pragmatic during intense conflict between the party majority and the Workers' Opposition (WO) of 1919-1921.

 

Too many discussions of the Bolsheviks focus on political battles and treat economic debates as barely secondary. In fact, struggles at the point of production were core; political conflicts reflected many of these differences; and, today, perspectives on top-down control version self-management permeate every vision of a new society.

 

Russia’s elections: views from the left

 

 

By Volodya Vagner

 

March 29, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Virtually all the candidates running in Russia’s recent presidential election openly admitted that what they were participating in was a circus. And as expected, the circus director won. After gracefully skipping the televised debates that saw profanity-laden shouting matches and physical confrontations between his opponents, Russian president Vladimir Putin was re-elected by a landslide on March 18. The real question in the run-up to the vote was never who would win, but how legitimate Putin’s victory would be.

 

Lenin for today

 

 

Lenin for Today
By John Molyneux
Bookmarks, 2017
289 pages
£12.99; $44.01
Paperback

 

Reviewed by Paul Le Blanc

 

March 27, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The first chapter of John Molyneux’s newest book, Lenin for Today, is one of the best discussions one can find of the relevance of Lenin. It is also the best part of the book. Far from being an organic whole, Lenin for Today offers seven distinct essays, each of which can more or less stand alone. Some offer analysis and explication of Lenin’s own ideas and perspectives, with indications of their continuing relevance. Others – increasingly as the book goes along – present discussions of current issues and recent events from the standpoint of the author and his organization (the Socialist Workers Party in Britain and its sister organization of the same name in Ireland, where he currently resides.)

 

Trump’s new militarism

 

 

During the 2016 US election campaign Donald Trump promised an end to pointless foreign wars and attacked “useless” and massively expensive new military equipment, like the $1.5 trillion Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter. But the Trump presidency has ushered in a new era of militarism, as the United States prepares for high tech, massively violent wars against Russia and China, argues Phil Hearse.

 

France: 'If Macron starts to wobble, the whole show collapses' — Unions, left confront Macron’s attacks on rail services and job

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

March 26, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — France is once again on the brink of an all-out industrial war — and its outcome could transform the country’s political landscape. The showdown is over the plans that President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe have for the state-owned National Railway Company (SNCF), which have been described by Le Monde as “the biggest change for the SNCF since its founding in 1937”.

 

The stakes in the fight are huge: France’s 150,000 rail workers could suffer a defeat like that of Britain’s miners under Margaret Thatcher. On the other hand, Philippe could suffer the same fate as former PM Alain Juppe, whose 1995 economic “reform” was trashed by a vast wave of industrial action and popular revolt.

 

Elections in Russia, 2018: Managed Democracy?

 

 

By David Mandel

 

March 25, 2018 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Project  — This article examines the bases of popular support for recently re-elected Russian president Vladimir Putin. Although this support is strenuously “cultivated” by the regime by various illicit means, it nevertheless has a genuine basis that needs to be understood by people on the left who are trying to develop an enlightened position in the escalating confrontation between the “West” and Russia.

 

Mexico: Left debates upcoming presidential elections

 

 

By Nevin Siders

 

October 14, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Indubitably Mexico’s present conjuncture imposes great challenges on political organization and creativity which test consistency for strugglers with ecosocialist and human rights principles.

 

'If we stop, the world stops': Behind the millions-strong women’s strike that shook the Spanish state

 

 

By Julian Coppens and Dick Nichols

 

March 20, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On an International Women’s Day (IWD) in which demonstrations took place in an unprecedented 177 countries, the Spanish state stood out as the place where the mobilisation for women’s equality was biggest — at least five million, the greatest mobilisation for women’s rights in history. Why?

 

There are many causes. To begin with, the #MeToo campaign of women film stars, media personalities and political figures coming out against sexual harassment by creeps in positions of power had a big impact in Spain, where machismo is all-pervasive. Yet that campaign wouldn’t by itself have produced the explosion of protest from women of all generations and all walks of life that took place in 120 cities and towns across the peninsula on March 8.

 

This was the biggest Spanish mobilisation of women ever, and on an oceanic scale that recalled the May 15, 2011 protests and square occupations that launched the indignado movement and made it such a potent factor in politics.

 

‘Inadmissible evidence’ — the truth about Sri Lanka

 

 

March 17, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalIn recent years many people have fled Sri Lanka by boat and sought political asylum in Australia. Most are members of the island's Tamil minority. They are survivors of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who fought for an independent Tamil state but were defeated in 2009.

 

The Australian government has begun sending back asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, claiming that Sri Lanka is now peaceful and democratic. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has produced two “country reports” on Sri Lanka, which purport to show that it is now safe to send people back.

 

A group of people who disagree with this conclusion came together and produced a counter-report (see below). This document was launched on March 3 in Melbourne. Michael Cooke, one of the authors of the counter-report, gave the following speech at the launch.

 

Labour should grasp the Brexit nettle

 

By Alan Davies

 

March 17, 2018 Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialist Resistance  — Claims of ‘unity’ by Theresa May after her ‘keynote’ Mansion House Brexit speech on Friday March 2 had stopped by Sunday when Michael Heseltine had dismissed it as just more ‘phrases, generalisations and platitudes’.

 

Are new Catalan elections coming despite pro-independence majority?

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

March 16, 2018
— Links International Journal of Socialist RenewalAfter the December 21 Catalan election reconfirmed a majority for independence, it seemed only a matter of time before a new administration would be sworn in. More than two months later however, the spectre of a repeat election troubles the political landscape.

 

Three central issues facing the Catalan independence movement

 

 

Introduction and translation by Richard Fidler

 

March 16, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the LeftAlthough parties supporting Catalonia’s independence from the Spanish monarchy won a majority of deputies in the autonomous community’s December 21 election, they have been unable to elect a Generalitat, or government, due in part to internal disagreements but primarily to blockages by the Spanish government and its courts.

 

A major obstacle is the fact that prominent leaders of the pro-independence forces are either imprisoned — four, including ANC leader Jordi Sànchez and ERC leader Oriol Junqueras, facing their 150th night in jail — or in European exile: former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and four of his former ministers, as well as former CUP leader Anna Gabriel.

 

La política británica en transición: la austeridad, Brexit y el desafío Corbyn

 

 

Originally published in English on Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal here

 

Por Phil Hearse

 

16 de Marzo, 2018
Sin Permiso traducido por Enrique García — En medio del invierno más duro de más de una década, Gran Bretaña se encuentra aún atenazada por los dedos helados de la austeridad neoliberal. Tanto el servicio de salud (NHS) como los gobiernos locales van de crisis en crisis, y los recortes salvajes del gasto público del gobierno conservador de Theresa May hacen imposible la prestación de servicios adecuados, utilizados principalmente por las personas con discapacidad, los ancianos, los enfermos, los pobres y las personas sin hogar. Ocho años de austeridad y moderación salarial dura impuesta a los trabajadores del sector público han hecho caer el crecimiento económico en picado, lo que reduce drásticamente los ingresos fiscales, dando así una vuelta de tuerca más los recortes conservadores.

 

Rosa Luxemburg and the revolutionary party revisited

 

 

By Eric Blanc

 

March 10, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist essays and commentary  — This article re-examines Rosa Luxemburg’s approach to the party question by analysing the overlooked experience of her political intervention and organisation in Poland. In particular, I challenge the myth that Rosa Luxemburg advocated a ‘party of the whole class’, ‘spontaneism’ or consistent party democracy. The perspectives and practices of her party – the  Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL) – demonstrate that there were no steady strategic differences between Luxemburg and V.I. Lenin on the role of a revolutionary party. In practice, the most consequential divergence between their parties was that the Bolsheviks, unlike the SDKPiL, became more effective in mass workers’ struggles during and following the 1905 revolution.

Spain’s ‘transition to democracy’ as a passive revolution

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

March 10, 2018 — 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — After decisively defeating the Second Spanish Republic in 1939, the triumphant dictatorship of Francisco Franco presided over a regime of unbridled state terror, concentration camps and murder. Resistance survived during the long years of repression, but Franco was never beaten. By the time of Franco's death in 1975, the bourgeoisie recognized that fundamental reform was needed to deal with a militant labor movement, the leftist opposition and a mounting economic crisis. To that end, the post-Franco government began a process of “liberalization.” However, the Spanish bourgeoisie would not have been able to make the transition from fascism to a constitutional monarchy without the willing collaboration of the left-wing parties who renounced any other alternative in the interests of “national reconciliation.”

 

It was always #MeToo: Korea’s fight against sexual violence

 

 

By Hwang Jeong-eun

 

March 3, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy CenterIn October 2017, in the U.S., the hashtag #MeToo went viral as women shared online incidents of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. The hashtag soon made news headlines with accusations of sexual misconduct by film producer Harvey Weinstein.

 

On January 28, 2018, Prosecutor Seo Ji-hyun’s historic televised revelation of sexual harassment in 2010 by a senior prosecutor stirred the rapidly spreading #MeToo movement in Korea’s judicial and cultural arts sectors. While Seo’s accusations were being investigated, revelations of sexual assault spread into the culture and entertainment sectors. This soon prompted the supporting hashtag #WithYou. Though the #MeToo movement marked a specific advancement in the fight against sexual violence, it is also part of a larger historical movement.

 

David Harvey nie l'impérialisme

 

 

par John Smith, traduit de l'anglais par Gabriel Stollsteiner

 

2 février 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposté depuis le site Review of African Political Economy — David Harvey, auteur de l'ouvrage The New Imperialism[1] ainsi que d'autres livres reconnus sur le capitalisme et l'économie politique marxiste, croit non seulement l'âge de l'impérialisme révolu, mais aussi qu'il marche aujourd'hui à l'envers. Dans son Commentaire sur A Theory of Imperialism[2], de Prahbat et Utsa Patnaik, il déclare :

 

"Ceux d'entre nous, qui pensent que les anciennes catégories de l'impérialisme ne fonctionnent pas aussi bien de nos jours, ne nient pas du tout le flux complexe de valeur qui étend l'accumulation de richesse et de pouvoir dans une partie du monde au détriment d'une autre. Nous pensons simplement que les flux sont plus complexes et changent constamment de direction. Le siphonage historique de richesse de l'Est vers l'Ouest pendant deux siècles, par exemple, a été largement inversé au cours des trente dernières années (Souligné par moi, ici et ci-après - John Smith, p.169)."

 

Malaysian socialists put forward 'people's' alternative to TPP, free trade agreements

 

 

By Duncan Roden

 

March 2, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  — The movement against the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and other pro-corporate “free trade” deals seek to halt the signing of such agreements. To do this, many opponents seek not just to expose the dangers of the CPTPP, but put forward a better model for trade.

 

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) is one group that has sought to set out an alternative vision for international trade, releasing a People's Charter on International Trade Agreements in January.

 

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