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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.

Please explore Links and subscribe (click on "Subscribe to Links" or "Follow Links on Twitter" in the left menu). Links welcomes readers' constructive comments (but please read the "Comments policy" above).

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'Colombia is safe for business, but not for people': interview with Daniel Kovalik

 

 

December 1, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Investig'Action — Murders of trade unionists and social leaders, paramilitary activity, coca production… If we only paid attention to the mainstream media we would not get the idea that these problems are actually growing in Colombia, one year after the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC came into place. To get a better picture and understand how all these elements connect to US policy and corporate interests, we interviewed Daniel Kovalik, a lawyer and human rights activist who has long been involved in the struggle for peace and justice in Colombia.

 

100 years of Russian Revolution: Lessons of the October Revolution

 

 

Panel presentation for Socialism 2017 conference, Malaysia

 

By Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance (Australia)

 

December 1, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal There is much for us to learn from the Russian Revolution in which, for the first time in history, working people took power and held onto it for years against all the odds.

 

Building on the legacy of socialism

 

 

 


 

By Vaios Triantafyllou

 

November 30, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from MR Online — Following the intense revolutionary experiences and struggles of the past century, intense debate has emerged on the relationship between socialist theory and practice. How is socialist theory applied during struggles for civil and economic rights, and how is it applied when a revolutionary struggle is successful? What is the role of democracy in such a process, and how are democratic principles incorporated in the pursuit of socialism? Were the mistakes and failures in the effort to build a socialist society inherent to its premises, or were there other factors that led to those failures?

 

‘All Power to the Soviets’ – A slogan that launched a revolution

 

 

The following talk was presented by video to meetings organized by Socialist Alliance in Australia on 7 November 2017.

 

By John Riddell.

 

November 29, 2017 — 
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from John Riddell's Marxist Essays and Commentary website — Tonight we’re going to revisit the Russian revolution by telling the story of a slogan that shaped its outcome, “All power to the soviets.” Before beginning, I want to acknowledge my debt to recent historical writing on this period by Lars Lih, Eric Blanc, China Miéville, and Paul Le Blanc. Thanks also to Doug Williams, my videographer, and Lars for originating the idea of tracing the “biography” of this slogan.

 

And so let us go back to Russia a little more than 100 years ago, to a gray and hungry Petrograd still locked in winter, where people’s hearts were suddenly full of hope.

 

Candlelight Revolution Part 2: South Korea’s Constitutional Reform

 

 

By Dae-Han Song

 

The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea shall reside in the people, and all state authority shall emanate from the people.” – Article 1 of the Republic of Korea Constitution

 

November 29, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy Center — A democracy is founded upon the consent and power of the people. Its fundamental compact is the constitution which establishes the rules and government that shape and determine the lives of its people. Yet, rarely is a constitution drawn up by them or with their consultation. Rather, it is done by a political regime mediating the interests of the ruling class. The world’s first completely written constitution was established in 1789. To “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority,” it created the United States Senate [1].

 

Korean Crisis - A South Korean Perspective

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

November 29, 2017 
 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières — Will a verbal war between a senile dotard and a little rocket man result in an actual war? Probably not, but at the very moment, the risk is unprecedented, the highest without question. The reason?

 

Simply because the consequent of any action will be beyond imagination, and extremely catastrophic in every sense of the word. This is the only imaginable deterrent of any possible war, unfortunately.

 

National struggle and class struggle: complementary or contradictory?

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

November 23, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — A major item on the agenda of the upcoming convention of Québec solidaire (QS), to be held in the Montréal suburb of Longueuil December 1-3, will be a proposal for fusion with another pro-independence party, Option nationale (ON). This will entail revisiting the relationship between the parties’ support for Quebec independence (basically the entire program of ON) and Québec solidaire’s attempt to link the national question with its social justice program.

 

The current struggle for national self-determination in Catalonia quite naturally suggests parallels with the issues posed in the Quebec pro-sovereignty movement. In recent weeks, two leaders of Québec solidaire — Manon Massé, a party spokeswoman and member of Quebec’s National Assembly, and André Frappier, a member of the QS National Coordinating Committee — have visited Catalonia as invited guests of the Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP), a left pro-independence party that is now contesting the December 21 Catalan election.

 

Catalonia: Democratic revolution or authoritarian state

 

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

November 23, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — The Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) is a left pro-independence party in Catalonia that has emerged in recent years and developed around an anticapitalist program. With ten seats in the now-deposed Catalan parliament, it gave critical support to the Puigdemont government, ensuring a pro-independence majority, but was not a member of the government as such.

Revisiting the “killing times” in the Kimberley frontier of Western Australia

 

 

November 23, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Historian and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History at the University of Western Australia, Dr Chris Owen has produced a monumental history of the “killing times” in the Kimberley region in the decades leading up to Federation.

 

It is estimated that 10,000 to 30,000 Aboriginal people lived in the area before police entered the region. It is impossible to calculate how many were killed in the decades of the land war.

 

Understanding Abdullah Ocalan

 

 

The Political Thought of Abdullah Ocalan: Kurdistan, Woman's Revolution and Democratic Confederalism
Pluto Press 2017

 

Reviewed by Chris Slee

 

November 19, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Abdullah Ocalan has been held in a Turkish prison on Imrali Island since 1998. For most of that time he has been kept in solitary confinement. Access to lawyers and family members has been limited and sometimes cut off altogether for long periods. At the time of writing, access to Ocalan is completely blocked, with no contact whatsoever since September 2016.

 

Ocalan is considered the leader of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party). His isolation means that he cannot participate in the party's day-to-day decision making, but his ideas are taken as the basis for the political strategy of the PKK in Turkey and similar groups in Syria, Iraq and Iran.

 

Despite the difficult conditions of prison life, Ocalan has written extensively while in prison. This book's four chapters are articles by Ocalan written at different times.

 

The first chapter, “War and Peace in Kurdistan”, begins with a brief history of the Kurdish people from prehistoric times to the present day.

 

Catalan election shapes up as Europe’s critical battle for democracy

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

November 10, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On November 2, judge Carmen Lamela of Spain’s National High Court—direct descendant of the Franco-era Court of Public Order—took the war of the Spanish state against the Catalan pro-independence government to a new level of judicial violence.

 

It was not enough that Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, the two leaders of the Catalan mass pro-independence organisations the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Catalan cultural and language association Omnium Cultural, were already in jail. It was not enough that the Catalan government had been sacked on October 27 under article 155 of the Spanish constitution.

 

Now the deposed ministers had to be humiliated: facing charges of rebellion (up to 30 years jail), sedition (up to 15 years jail) and misuse of public moneys, eight of the ministers were sent into preventive detention supposedly to prevent them destroying evidence and fleeing the Spanish state.

 

Clearing up Marx and profit: ending the ‘Transformation Problem’ once and for all

 

 

Money and Totality, A Macro-Monetary Interpretation of Marx’s Logic in Capital and the End of the ‘Transformation Problem’
By Fred Mosely
Haymarket Books, 2016,
416 pp., $47.99

 

By Barry Healy

 

October 31, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Karl Marx published Volume 1 of Capital in 1867. By the time of its second German edition, just six years later he wrote, in a postscript: “That the method employed in ‘Das Kapital’ has been little understood, is shown by the various conceptions, contradictory one to another, that have been formed of it.”[1]

 

If anything, the contradictory conceptions have grown worse since then with various, near-intractable debates raging within Marxist circles. One of the fiercest of those debates is over the so-called “Transformation Problem”.

 

Catalonia braces to resist Spanish state war on its self-rule

 

 

By Dick Nichols

 

The Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has decided to impose direct rule on Catalonia under article 155 of the Spanish constitution. This clause allows the central government to take over the powers of a regional government if it “does not carry out its constitutional and legal obligations or acts in a way that seriously damages Spain’s general interest".

 

Rajoy announced the package enforcing the intervention on Saturday, October 21. The main measures are: sacking Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont, deputy premier and treasurer Oriol Junqueras and all other ministers and having their departments run from Madrid; prohibiting the Catalan parliament from appointing any replacement Catalan premier or adopting any legislation unacceptable to the Spanish government; and holding elections when the Catalan political and social situation has "normalised", in six months at most.

 

Venezuela: The significance of Chavismo's regional elections victory

 

 

Jim McIlroy, Steve Ellner, Dario Azzellini and Ricardo Vaz dissect Venezuela’s October 15 regional election results and its significance for the Bolivarian Revolution.

 

Understanding the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar

 

 

By Lionel Bopage

 

October 19, 2017
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal The Rohingya are the world’s largest stateless community. Most of them live in the western coastal state of Rakhine, one the poorest states in Myanmar. The majority of the Rohingya are Muslims and have for centuries lived in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct from other dialects spoken in Rakhine State and Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country's 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless. Since August 2017, more than half a million Rohingya have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh alone.

 

Blanqui’s Politics of Revolution: An Interview with Doug Greene

 

 

October 18, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Left Voice — In this interview, historian Doug Greene talks about Blanqui, his life and politics, and more. His new book, Communist Insurgent: Blanqui's Politics of Revolution, will be out next month.

 

Spanish state to Catalonia: 'Surrender or we'll take you over'

 

 

A meeting of one of the many local Committees to Defend the Referendum t
hat have sprouted up across Catalonia.

 

By Dick Nichols

 

October 16, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — Catalonia’s Premier Carles Puigdemont officially declared an independent Catalan republic on October 10, only to announce the immediate suspension of independence to allow for negotiations with the conservative Spanish People’s Party (PP) government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The declaration of independence formalised the result of the October 1 referendum held under extreme police repression: in it 90% of those voting (43% of the electorate) said ‘Yes’ to independence.

 

The harsh reply from Madrid came two days later: Catalonia had to abandon all thought of secession or see its self-rule erased under article 155 of the Spanish constitution. The Catalan government was formally notified by fax that it had until 10am Monday, October 16 to make clear whether it had declared independence or not and, if it had, until 10 am Thursday, October 19 to abandon independence and "return within the framework of the constitution".

 

Moreover, only a clear written Yes or No would be accepted--"any statement different from a simple negative or affirmative reply will be considered as affirmative."

 

The fight for independence in Catalonia: What lessons for Quebec?

 

 

‘We are the grandchildren of the grandparents you bashed' October 3 demonstration 
outside the Spanish National Police headquarters in Barcelona

 

Introduction by Richard Fidler

 

October 16, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Life on the Left — Following the October 1 referendum in Catalonia — held in the face of massive repression resulting in hundreds of injured — the people shut down production and massed in cities and towns across the autonomous state on October 3 to protest the Spanish government’s attempt to deny them the elementary democratic right to vote on their constitutional and political future.

 

Marxist theories of the state played out in Venezuela

 

 

By Steve Ellner

 

October 15, 2017 
— Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Steve Ellner's Blog on Venezuela, Latin America and Beyond — An abridged version of this article was published in Historical Materialism, volume 25, no. 2, 2017, pages 29-62

 

The Chimes at Midnight: Trotskyism in the USSR 1926-1938

 

 

To the memory of my grandparents, Dorothy and Charlie, who probably wouldn't have approved of the content of this essay, but hopefully I still made them proud.

 

By Doug Enaa Greene

 

I. Midnight in the Century

 

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