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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).

      This site is best viewed with the Firefox internet browser.

      Revolutionary reels: Soviet propaganda film and the Russian Revolution



      By Shalon Van Tine?

      December 6, 2019??—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Cosmonaut?—?In 1896, the Lumière brothers visited Saint Petersburg to present their collection of moving pictures to a small Russian audience, marking the first viewing of film in Russia.[1]?The first film to be made in Russia was during the same year: a filming of the coronation of what would be Russia’s last monarch, Tsar Nicholas II.[2]?It would take nearly a decade for Russia to have its own film studio, and the advent of World War I slowed the influx of foreign cinema, leaving Russia to launch its own film industry instead of relying predominantly on foreign film distributors.[3]?Once established, Russia’s film industry grew, and, by 1914, about half of Russia’s urban population regularly attended the movies.[4]?

      Anticapitalists: ‘We need a left that is not a crutch for the PSOE’



      Interview with Raul Camargo, spokesperson for Anticapitalists, by Sato Díaz Cuartopoder, November 20. Translation and footnotes by Dick Nichols.

      December 6, 2019 —?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?— The election campaign, then the elections, then the results and then, after 48 hours, the announcement by Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias of the pre-agreement for a coalition government [between the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and Unidas Podemos (UP, United We Can)]. Everything very fast and then sudden silence. Away from the media, the negotiations between the PSOE and UP to devise a government and a program follow their course, while in parallel the PSOE works to win the support needed to achieve investiture before Christmas.

      The organisations involved in the possible coalition government (PSOE, Podemos, the United Left (IU) and En Comú Podem (ECP, Together We Can[1]) are consulting their memberships in internal referenda, in the hope of getting the green light. Other left-wing organisations are watching from the sidelines. Anticapitalists has long since been more outside than inside Podemos, except in Andalusia.[2] Always critical of governing with the PSOE and always in a minority within the purple formation[3], Anticapitalists today observes the course of Podemos with suspicion and distance.

      Socialist convergence and the Green New Deal: Notes on the actuality of revolution



      By Paul Le Blanc

      December 6, 2019 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — It is possible and necessary to build a powerful mass socialist movement in the United States by 2030 that could be in a position to provide an effective challenge to capitalism and transition to a socialist democracy. Both the objective possibility and the objective need exist. Revolutionary socialists have an opportunity to make it so – if we are willing to be serious, not just analytically and rhetorically, but in practice.

      We must move beyond commentary and aspirations to actualities. We have limited time. At present we are woefully unprepared – we must change that. The growth of socialist consciousness in the political mainstream of our country, and the conception of the Green New Deal as a response to the socio-economic and environmental crises of our time, provide the basis for changing what must be changed.

      Spanish elections: Vox threat scares PSOE and UP into government deal



      By Dick Nichols

      November 21, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?The apparent winner of the November 10 Spanish general election was Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez, whose party picked up the most seats (120) in the 350-seat Congress.

      The contest was the fourth general election in four years. Sánchez had won the most seats but not an absolute majority at the previous poll on April 28 with a scare campaign about “holding off the right”. Afterwards, however, the PSOE decided that it could gain still more by refusing to enter a governmental alliance with the more left-wing Unidas Podemos (UP). UP is an alliance between Podemos and the older left coalition, the United Left (IU).?

      Rosa Luxemburg and the actuality of revolution



      By Paul Le Blanc


      November 17, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?In these remarks, I want to do three things.? First, I want to suggest an approach to Rosa Luxemburg that makes sense to me, while mentioning other approaches that do not.? Then I want to suggest an answer to a question that has been raised about how Luxemburg was inclined to view and characterize – in the final years of her life – the Social Democracy in Germany and in general.? From there, I will want to consider advice on political strategy that she seems to offer socialist activists of today, to be found in volumes two and five of her collected works which I have helped edit, at the same time suggesting connections of this with a broader revolutionary tradition.??

      A rich diversity: Underground channels and stream of US Trotskyism, 1928-1965



      By Paul Le Blanc


      November 17, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?Perry Anderson once offered, in his Considerations on Western Marxism, a brief judgment regarding Trotskyism that certainly charmed a young (twenty-something) Trotskyist of 1976 like me. He wrote: “One day this … tradition – persecuted, reviled, isolated, divided – will have to be studied in all the diversity of its underground channels and streams. It may surprise future historians with its resources.”

      Over the past four decades I have made my way down an increasing number of such channels and streams. And I have found much polemical garbage. Not all polemics are garbage, but some are: designed to emphasize one’s superiority while trashing others with whom one disagrees, even though the disagreements could be discussed in ways that usefully clarify complex realities. But this clarifying approach all-too-often is not the mode of functioning, or even the underlying purpose, in so many proliferating polemics on the Trotskyist left. Such stuff clogs certain internet sites and other venues down to the present day.

      Dammed good question about the Green New Deal



      By Don Fitz

      November 17, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?Hydroelectric power from dams might be the thorniest question that proponents of the Green New Deal (GND) have to grapple with.? Providing more energy than solar and wind combined, dams could well become the backup for energy if it proves impossible to get off of fossil fuels fast enough.??

      An August 2019 forum on the GND included representatives from the Sunrise Movement, Renew Missouri and three of us in the Green Party.? Rev. Elston McCowan asked, “What does the Green New Deal say about rivers and dams?” I said “That’s a dammed good question” and went into some of the issues below.? Howie Hawkins and Dario Hunter, both candidates for the Green Party presidential nomination, told of their participation in local efforts to block dam construction. But trying to defeat a single dam begs the question of what policy a political organization has toward them. [1]

      Canada: After the federal election - the dangers and challenges that lie ahead



      By Pierre Beaudet and Richard Fidler
      November 9, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Life on the Left?—?It is still early to interpret fully the results of Canada’s October 21 federal election. But behind the immediate results some trends are clear.?

      Holding pattern: The 2019 Canadian election



      By?Andrea Levy


      November 9, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Rosa Luxemburg Foundation?—?In the parlance of the horse-race terminology favoured by election commentators, the 2019 Canadian Elections were a squeaker, or too close to call up until the last minute. Yet given the living fossil of Anglo-American representative democracy that is Canada’s winner-take-all electoral system, the outcome of the 2019 election held few real surprises. There was little doubt that it would be either the incumbent Liberal Party or the opposition Conservative Party which would walk away from election night victorious, if chastened, perhaps, by minority status. The French have a word for it:?alternance, two parties governing by turns in a protracted holding pattern. And the periodic alternation of the Liberals and the Conservatives, both parties of capital whose concrete policies have diverged chiefly in the details, has characterized Canadian politics virtually since Confederation.


      ‘Climate Plan 2030’: Red-Green Alliance leads Denmark’s climate crisis response



      Interview with Jon Burgwald, Climate and Environment Adviser to the Red-Green Alliance?by Dick Nichols


      November 9, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?Formerly Greenpeace’s Arctic campaigner, Jon Burgwald has overseen the development of the Danish Red-Green Alliance’s?Climate Plan 2030: A social justice route to a green society?(available in English translation?here).


      In this interview Burgwald explains how the plan?was developed, the impact it has been having on Danish politics and the problems it will confront in getting implemented.


      How 7000 Quebec workers went on strike against climate change



      By?Alain Savard


      November 9, 2019 —?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Labor Notes?—?With a crowd of 500,000, Montreal’s march for the climate was the largest in the world during the September 20-27 week of climate action. Yet it was also noteworthy for another reason.


      Despite provincial labor laws preventing unions from striking over political issues, 11 locals representing 7,500 workers formally voted to go on strike for a day.


      Extinction Rebellion: A socialist perspective



      By?John Molyneux?


      November 4, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Rebel News?—?Extinction Rebellion (XR) burst into international radical celebrity and global protest history in April 2019 when it occupied five prime sites in central London—Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Waterloo Bridge and Parliament Square—holding them for a week, and withstanding over 1000 arrests in the process.


      To describe this as spectacular is an understatement. It was quite literally unprecedented in modern English history and very unusual anywhere in Europe outside of revolutionary uprisings like the Paris Commune or Barcelona in 1936, and in a different way in May 1968 and Free Derry in 1969. That it should have captured the imagination of huge numbers of people both in Britain and internationally is hardly surprising.


      Flying above the clouds: the US military and climate change



      By?Martin Hart-Landsberg


      November 2, 2019??—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Reports from the Economic Front?—?Climate change is occurring, highlighted by dramatically shifting weather patterns and ever more deadly storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires.? And the evidence is overwhelming that it is driven by the steady increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide and methane, produced by our fossil fuel-based economic system.


      Aware of global warming’s deadly human consequences, millions of people have taken to the streets to demand that governments take action to end our use of fossil fuels as part of a massive system-wide economic transformation that would also be designed to ensure a just transition for all communities and workers.


      Cable Street remembered



      By Sam Gordon


      November 2, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?In October 1936, events occurred in the East End of London that captured the attention of Left political activists for a generation.


      World War I had laid waste to much of the industrial world and rejigged the colonial boundaries of Africa and the Middle East. The cold fog of the 1930s Great Depression had reinforced the Dickensian perception to east London. It was a place full of foreigners and poverty.? It was seen by many as a place to be avoided.


      Thoughts on the left in Canada



      By Jason Devine


      November 2, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?I have recently turned 39 and I have been a communist since I was 14. At that time I did not rush to join any self-declared radical left-wing organisation because I felt I did not know enough to make a reasoned judgement. It was only later, when I was twenty, that I joined the Communist Party of Canada (CPC). The reasons why I joined were because I wanted to learn, to actively promote revolution, and there was very little choice in Calgary. Most other groups only had a presence in Ontario or BC, but here things were sparse.


      Danish Red-Green Alliance congress: organising for climate and social justice



      By Dick Nichols


      October 28, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?This year’s Annual Meeting (congress) of Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance (RGA), its 30th, took place in Copenhagen on October 5-6 in a political context that contrasted strongly with that of its predecessor, held in April 2018.


      Eighteen months ago the 300-plus delegates of the RGA (known in Denmark as the Unity List—the Red-Greens) were preparing for a general election they hoped would lift the RGA into the role of main challenger to the Social Democrats for hegemony over what in Danish politics is called the "red bloc". Composed of the Social Democrats, the Socialist People’s Party (SF), the Social Liberals and the RGA, the red bloc has historically competed against its "blue" rival—the Liberals, Danish People’s Party (DF), Conservatives and Liberal Alliance—for the majority support that decides whether Social Democrats or Liberals will head the Danish government.


      Catalonia after the sentence: the tsunami of protest driving Spanish politics



      By Dick Nichols


      October 28, 2019?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?The emotional gap between the 75%-80% of Catalans who uphold their country’s right to self-determination and the Spanish elites and parts of Spanish society that just want to see it wiped out was already enormous before October 14. But on that day, when the Spanish Supreme Court condemned nine Catalan political and social movement leaders to a total of 99.5 years jail, it probably became unbridgeable.


      Since October 14, in bars, restaurants and public transport across Catalonia, there has been practically no other topic of conversation than the Spanish court’s vindictive sentences against the twelve leaders of the October 1, 2017 independence referendum and the torrents of protest that the verdict has provoked.


      An immediate indicator of the profound indignation the verdict caused was that every last social, recreational, scientific, artistic and sporting organisation— from the most to the least political, from Barcelona Football Club to the Catalan Association for the Defence and Study of Nature— immediately issued statements condemning the sentences.


      Punishment without crime: the judgment against the Catalan leaders analysed



      By Dick Nichols


      October 22, 2019 —?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?— The unanimous verdict of the seven Supreme Court judges that set off the still expanding wave of protest that has engulfed Catalonia was calculatedly vindictive. The nine Catalan leaders—seven former ministers and social movement leaders Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart—were found guilty of “sedition” for preparing the October 1, 2017 Catalan referendum of self-determination. For this eighteenth-century crime, long deleted from the penal codes of many other European states, they were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 9 to 13 years.


      The harshest sentence was handed out to former Catalan vice-president Oriol Junqueras as “leader of the sedition”. Former ministers Raül Romeva (foreign affairs), Dolors Bassa (social welfare) and Jordi Turull (minister of state) came next with 12 years: along with Junqueras they were also found guilty of “embezzlement”.


      Former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell incurred 11.5 years jail for allowing the chamber to vote on the referendum’s enabling law after being instructed by the Spanish Constitutional Court not to do so.


      What the New Deal can teach us about winning a Green New Deal: Part V—summing up the New Deal experience



      By Martin Hart-Landsberg


      October 20, 2019??—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Reports from the Economic Front?—?Growing awareness of our ever-worsening climate crisis has boosted the popularity of movements calling for a Green New Deal.? At present, the Green New Deal is a big tent idea, grounded to some extent by its identification with the original New Deal and emphasis on the need for strong state action to initiate social-system change on a massive scale.? Challenges abound for Green New Deal activists. ?Among the many, how to:


      • create supportive working relationships between the different movements currently pushing for a Green New Deal
      • develop a sharper, shared vision of the aims of a Green New Deal
      • increase popular support for those aims as well as participation in those movements
      • build sufficient political power to force a change in state policy along lines favorable to the Green New Deal
      • ensure that the resulting trajectory of change strengthens the broader struggle to achieve a socially just and ecologically sustainable political-economy


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