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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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Rosa Luxemburg’s bloc with the SPD bureaucracy

 

 

By Eric Blanc

 

February 3. 2018 — 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — Rosa Luxemburg’s contributions to the revolutionary movement and the development of Marxism are undeniably important. Yet many writers today uncritically romanticise Luxemburg as a humanistic, undogmatic, and democratic alternative to Social Democracy, Leninism, and/or Stalinism. Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, for example, argues that Luxemburg ‘inaugurated the heritage of an alternative understanding of Marxism with a revolutionary humanist face, as distinct from liberalism, social democratic revisionism as well as Stalinist authoritarianism. It is through the lens of Rosa Luxemburg that it is possible to understand what went wrong with Soviet socialism and how we can reposition our understanding of socialism in the twenty-first century.’[1]

 

David Harvey denies imperialism

 

 

By John Smith

 

February 2, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Review of African Political Economy — David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism and other acclaimed books on capitalism and Marxist political economy, not only believes that the age of imperialism is over, he thinks it has gone into reverse.

Afrin between the claws of the major powers

 

 

By Cihad Hammy

 

February 2, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Region In an article I wrote a day before the Turkish state's invasion of Afrin, I intended to scrutinize the underlying ideological structures of the Turkish ruling party (AKP) and the driving force behind the invasion of Afrin. This article will focus more on the role of major powers, mainly US and Russia, in the recent invasion of Afrin and the stances held by the Assad regime and Iran.

 

Socialist Party of Malaysia on upcoming elections: boycott or not?

 

 

By Mark Johnson

 

January 31, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières — As general elections approach, Malaysian leftists are hesitating between between a boycott, and voting for the liberal-social democrat opposition coalition as the lesser of two evils.

 

Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) Central Committee member S Arutchelvan sympathises with those who propose spoliing their ballot papers in frustration with the lack of choice in Malaysia’s upcoming general election.

 

Women, nature, and capital in the Industrial Revolution

 

 

By John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark

 

January 30, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly Review — The remarkable rise in recent years of “social reproduction theory” within the Marxist and revolutionary feminist traditions, identified with the studies of such figures as Johanna Brenner, Heather Brown, Paresh Chattopadhyay, Silvia Federici, Susan Ferguson, Leopoldina Fortunati, Nancy Fraser, Frigga Haug, David McNally, Maria Mies, Ariel Salleh, Lise Vogel, and Judith Whitehead—to name just a few—has significantly altered how we look at Karl Marx’s (and Frederick Engels’s) treatment of women and work in nineteenth-century Britain.[1] Three conclusions with respect to Marx’s analysis are now so well established by contemporary scholarship that they can be regarded as definitive facts: (1) Marx made an extensive, detailed examination of the exploitation of women as wage slaves within capitalist industry, in ways that were crucial to his overall critique of capital; (2) his assessment of women’s working conditions was seriously deficient with regard to housework or reproductive labor;[2] and (3) central to Marx’s (and Engels’s) outlook in the mid-nineteenth century was the severe crisis and threatened “dissolution” of the working-class family—to which the capitalist state in the late nineteenth century was compelled to respond with an ideology of protection, forcing women in large part back into the home.[3]

 

Dialectical logic in Plato’s ‘Parmenides’, Hegel’s ‘Logic’ and Marx’s ‘Critique of Political Economy’

 

 

By Jason Devine

 

January 29, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Leon Trotsky once contended that the “Dialectic training of the mind” was “as necessary to a revolutionary fighter as finger exercises to a pianist.”[1] Regardless of one’s appraisal of the man, his observation was incontestably correct. To be a revolutionary in our modern times is to be a Marxist, and to be the latter is to adhere to Marx’s dialectical method. This method, by its very nature, cannot be unconsciously absorbed: it must be consciously striven for and then put into practice. The essential path to beginning this process of “training” is the study of works of dialectical logic.[2] Of course, not all such works are equal or accessible. For example, to fully understand Marx’s dialectics, a study of the works of Hegel is necessary; but starting with Hegel is notoriously difficult. Nevertheless, one piece of writing which is generally accessible and, moreover, an exemplar, is Plato’s dialogue Parmenides.

 

It should be recalled that, as Hegel’s system is an organic integration and summation of all previous philosophy, any previous work could be said to be necessary for an understanding of his thought. Certainly this touches the very heart of the man’s philosophy, for he had already noted in 1807, in his famous preface to the Phenomenology, that,

 

Fruits and perils of the ‘bloc within’: The Comintern and Asia 1919-25 (Part 3)

 

 

Chen Duxiu

 

By John Riddell

 

January 28, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — The most advanced experience of Communist alliance with national revolutionists occurred in Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) prior to the Baku Congress. However, it was not mentioned at the congress, even though one of its architects – the Dutch Communist Maring (Henk Sneevliet) – was present in the hall. Maring had been a leader for many years of revolutionary socialist Dutch settlers in Indonesia, who had achieved the remarkable feat of transforming their group into one predominantly indigenous in leadership, membership, and programmatic orientation. The key to success had been a close alliance with a mass national-revolutionary organization of the type described by the Second Congress, called Sarekat Islam.

 

Their tactic, which they called a “bloc within,” involved building a Communist fraction within the Islamic organization both by sending comrades into the movement and recruiting from its ranks. The bloc with Sarekat Islam, which started up before the Comintern was formed, had resulted in consolidation of a small but viable Communist party in Indonesia.[1]

 

Should Communists ally with revolutionary nationalism? The Comintern and Asia 1919-25 (Part 2)

 

 

Turar Ryskulov (1894-1938)

 

By John Riddell

 

January 28, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — As described in part 1 of this series, the Comintern leadership concluded at the end of 1919 that “[T]he civil war of the working people against the imperialists and exploiters in all the advanced countries is beginning to be combined with national wars against international imperialism.”[1]

 

But how would the proposed alliance of workers’ and national uprisings be effected? This strategic issue was addressed in the Comintern’s Second Congress, held in Moscow 9 July-7 August 1920.

Toward a global strategic framework: The Comintern and Asia 1919-25 (Part 1)

 

 

Manabendra Nath Roy

 

By John Riddell

 

January 28, 2018 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — The revolutionary activists who founded the Communist International (Comintern) in 1919 had little contact with movements for national and colonial liberation outside Russia. Nonetheless, only a year later, in July 1920, the Comintern adopted a far-reaching strategy for national and social revolution in dependent countries, later termed the anti-imperialist united front.

 

Venezuelan people are prime victims of Ottawa’s sanctions

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

January 27, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — “Since 2014,” writes a reporter in the online journal Venezuelanalysis, “Venezuela has been suffering from a deep economic crisis brought about by the drop in global oil prices, a dysfunctional exchange rate system, and a decrease in oil production levels.

 

“So far the crisis has been characterised by triple digit inflation, and a shortage of hard cash and everyday staples. Nonetheless, the situation has worsened since December 2017.”

 

The Maduro government is by no means exempt from responsibility for these deteriorating conditions. It has displayed a remarkable ineptness in its failure to overcome the economic crisis by tackling its underlying causes, notwithstanding some innovative maneuvering that has, for now, staved off the offensive by its right-wing political opponents and their foreign supporters.

 

Turkish socialists: In the face of nationalist consensus and militaristic unreason, we condemn Erdogan’s war on Afrin!

 

 

By Sosyalist Demokrasi icin Yeniyol

 

January 25, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International ViewpointAfter weeks of moral preparation, diplomatic pressure and massive disinformation, the Turkish state has finally attacked the predominantly Kurdish enclave of Afrin, located in north-western Syria. Skilfully playing on the cleavages between Washington and Moscow, the Turkish President has launched a major military operation involving air strikes, the deployment of Islamist militias and the incursion of Turkish troops on Syrian soil ready for the offensive.

 

We strongly condemn this war, cynically called “Olive Branch”, which will have no other consequence than to aggravate the tensions between the Turkish, Kurdish and Arab peoples, to postpone any hope of life together and whose ultimate objective is undoubtedly the consolidation of Erdogan’s dictatorial regime.

 

Vanguards of Humanity: Why I support Afrin & the Rojava Revolution

 

 

By Marcel Cartier

 

January 26, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Region — The dark clouds of 21st-century fascism are once again hanging over the heads of the people of northern Syria. As if the inhabitants of the region often referred to as Rojava haven’t suffered enough over the course of the past 7 years of war, the Turkish state has come to the conclusion that the time is ripe to pick up the fallen, bloodied sword from the corpse that is Islamic State. Together with Salafist mercenaries carrying flags of the Syrian ‘rebels’ – one of the many components of what at one historical juncture seemingly all so long ago was a cohesive ‘Free Syrian Army’ – Erdogan’s regime vows a ‘swift operation’ to destroy ‘terrorism’ in Afrin.

 

It is Afrin that has been a beacon of stability in Syria over the course of the war, not only taking in tens of thousands of refugees from elsewhere in the country, but establishing the principles of direct democracy, women’s liberation and ecology in the midst of an otherwise catastrophic and tumultuous period. It is precisely this model of a socialistic, multi-ethnic, feminist canton advocated by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that Erdogan’s AKP government sees as ‘terrorism’. The irony could not be more obvious.

 

Karl Korsch's Philosophical Bolshevism

 

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

January 25, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal When Karl Korsch is remembered, he is generally alongside Georg Lukács and Antonio Gramsci as one of the founders of “Western Marxism”. Western Marxism is typically viewed as a diverse trend that focuses more on issues of culture and ideology instead of political economy, and eschews political engagement. It is certainly the case that most of what we understand by Western Marxism, notably the Frankfurt School, falls under that broad definition.

 

After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Korsch believed that Marxism needed to be restored as a revolutionary philosophy. Korsch wrote his most famous work, Marxism and Philosophy, in 1923 when he was a leader in the Communist Party of Germany. Far from being a Western Marxist, Korsch like Gramsci and Lukács, is better characterized as a “Philosophical Bolshevik” who was committed to the theory and practice of socialist revolution.

 

Syria: Solidarity with Afrin, al-Ghouta, Idlib against all military attacks

 

 

By Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists

 

January 23, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists Since January 20, 2018, Turkish military assisted by pro-Turkish Syrian opposition militia groups have launched a large scale air and ground offensive, dubbed "Operation Olive Branch" on Afrin province located in northwest Syria with a Kurdish majority population and controlled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG). At least 30 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the operation.

 

United States: Greitens scandal - looking beneath the surface

 

 

By Don Fitz

 

January 17, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal When I shook hands with Eric Greitens following the 2016 debate for Missouri Governor, none of us on the Green team imagined that, a year before, he had tied a woman up, blindfolded her, undressed her, photographed her and warned that he would release the photo if she ever said what happened. The story made local and US news on January 11, 2018 when the now-Governor Greitens followed his “State of the State” address with an admission that he had had an affair, that he and his wife had come to terms with it, and they wanted to get on with their lives.

 

He failed to mention whether the “affair” included bondage and sexual blackmail. During and following Donald Trump's ascendency to the White House, there had been a year of non-stop sex scandals in the US and a story had to be beyond the pale to make the headlines in early 2018. The Missouri governor's scandal hit that mark.

 

Geopolitics of Syrian Kurds and military cooperation with the US

 

 

By Ercan Ayboga

 

December 4, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from ANF English — How did the US end up supporting the Kurds in Rojava?

 

Since October 2014 the Syrian Kurds and their non-Kurdish Allies have discussed military cooperation with the US-led Global Coalition against the “Islamic State” (IS). Towards the end of 2014, the mainly Kurdish People’s/Women’s Defense Units (YPG/YPJ) defended Kobanî, nowadays the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes ten thousand non-Kurds in its ranks, have liberated Raqqa, the de facto IS capital and the eastern parts of the Deir Ez-Zor province. Many leftist and progressive organizations and movements around the world have discussed and were divided about this military cooperation due to the historically contradictory ideological positions of the two forces. On the one hand there are those including some within the Kurdish solidarity organisations, who voiced concerns that the revolution of Rojava could lose its emancipative-liberating value and independent stance. On the other hand, critics think that the SDF is already instrumentalized by the US and has betrayed the revolution.

 

Why North Korea developed nuclear bombs

 

 

By Park Jae-seong (Planning Committee Member, ISC), translated by Dae-Han Song (Chief Editor, The [su:p]

 

December 3, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy Center — The North Korean nuclear conflict started in 1990. Few people are aware that before taking out its nuclear card, North Korea had approached the United States in earnest. As Communism crumbled and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with North Korea’s southern counterpart, the country’s leaders couldn’t help but feel insecure. In an attempt to gain political recognition as an independent state, North Korea signed a basic North-South agreement, a denuclearization agreement (preventing the development of nuclear weapons in  the Korean Peninsula) and even joined the United Nations, all by 1991. 

 

Kanaky/New Caledonia: A referendum that is far from a level playing field

 

 

By Bernard Alleton

 

December 3, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Viewpoint — Within the next year the referendum on the self-determination of Kanaky / New Caledonia [1] must be held. This territory of the Pacific has been a French colony since 1853, and was re-registered in 1986 by the United Nations on the list of non-autonomous territories to be decolonized. The Kanaks have never accepted the spoliation of their lands and the denial of their culture.

 

Anti-imperialists must understand the relationship between the Syrian Democratic Forces and US

 

 

By Marcel Cartier

 

December 2, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from The Region — On October 17, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the liberation of Raqqa from the reactionary forces of the Islamic State after the so-called ‘Great Battle’ in which over 600 of their comrades lost their lives. The freeing of the city from the region’s most brutal fascistic group was a great moment of jubilation for the forces of the SDF, both in its Arab militias and the predominately Kurdish-forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ).

 

The long ecological revolution

 

 

By John Bellamy Foster

 

December 2, 2017
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Monthly ReviewAside from the stipulation that nature follows certain laws, no idea was more central to the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, and to the subsequent development of what came to be known as modern science, than that of the conquest, mastery, and domination of nature. Up until the rise of the ecological movement in the late twentieth century, the conquest of nature was a universal trope, often equated with progress under capitalism (and sometimes socialism). To be sure, the notion, as utilized in science, was a complex one. As Francis Bacon, the idea’s leading early proponent, put it, “nature is only overcome by obeying her.” Only by following nature’s laws, therefore, was it possible to conquer her.
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