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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.

                                Cuba: From AIDS, dengue, and ebola to COVID-19

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                By Don Fitz

                                April 18, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?Preparing for a pandemic requires understanding that a change in the relationship between people is primary and the production of things is secondary and flows from social factors.? Investors in profit-based medicine cannot comprehend this concept. Nothing could exemplify it more clearly than Cuba’s response to the corona virus (COVID-19).

                                The US dawdled for months before reacting.? Cuba’s preparation for COVID-19 began on January 1, 1959.? On that day, over sixty years before the pandemic, Cuba laid the foundations for what would become the discovery of novel drugs, bringing patients to the island, and sending medical aid abroad.

                                The role of planning in the ecosocialist transition – a contribution to the debate

                                 

                                 

                                By Michael L?wy.?Introduction by?Richard Fidler

                                April 18, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Life on the Left?—?The semiannual French review?Les Possibles, a publication of Attac France, in its most recent issue (23) features a number of articles on planning for the ecological and social transition. Most are addressed to the issue of socialist planning vs. capitalist markets that was prominent in the debates of 20th?century socialism. The?contribution by Michael L?wy?puts this debate in the ecosocialist framework that has emerged in this century. My translation of it is published below.

                                Another impeachment and the collapse of the conservative opposition: South Korea holds general elections amid COVID-19 crisis

                                 

                                 

                                By Youngsu Won

                                April 17, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?South Korea held its 21st general election to elect MPs on April 15. The final result was pretty decisive: the ruling Together Democratic Party (TDP) won an absolute majority of 163 seats on the constituency ballot, plus another 17 seats on the party list ballot, for a total of 180 seats in the 300-member parliament.?

                                In contrast, the main opposition United Future Party (UFP), a new party formed out of a merger of various parties including that of former president Park Geun-hye who was impeached in 2017, won 84 constituency seats and 19 party list seats for a total of 103 seats. This represented a huge defeat for the UFP, and led to party leader Hwang Gyo-ahn resigning even before the final vote was published.

                                Governance and social conflict in a time of pandemic

                                 

                                 

                                By?Cinzia Arruzza?& Felice Mometti

                                April 17, 2020 —?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Viewpoint Magazine?— On Monday March 29th,?General Electric factory workers?staged a protest against the thousands of layoffs announced by the company’s management, demanding the reconversion of production and asking a simple?question: “If GE trusts us to build, maintain, and test engines which go on a variety of aircraft where millions of lives are at stake, why wouldn’t they trust us to build ventilators?”

                                COVID-19 and circuits of capital

                                 

                                 

                                By?Rob Wallace,?Alex Liebman,?Luis Fernando Chaves?& Rodrick Wallace

                                April 17, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?monthly Review?—?COVID-19, the illness caused by coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the second severe acute respiratory syndrome virus since 2002, is now officially a pandemic. As of late March, whole cities are sheltered in place and, one by one, hospitals are lighting up in medical gridlock brought about by surges in patients.

                                Brazil: Emergency platform to confront the coronavirus pandemic and crisis

                                 

                                 

                                By?Brasil Popular Front & Povo Sem Medo

                                April 16, 2020 — The Brasil Popular Front and Povo Sem Medo (People Without Fear) along with the social, people’s and student movements, central unions, political parties, traditional religions and entities of civil society, signatories to this document, concerned with the life of the Brazilian people, present and defend an emergency platform, in order to save our people from the tragedy of the new coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis, the lack of income and the irresponsible policy of the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which can kill thousands of Brazilians.

                                The moment we are going through is unprecedented in recent history. Humanity has come to know the enemy and its own weaknesses during the battle. We don't have, nor does anyone else have, the magic recipe for overcoming this situation. All exits involve the submission of private interests to those of the whole of society, collective action, unity and popular solidarity.

                                Four socialist movies to watch during quarantine

                                 

                                 

                                By Shalon van Tine

                                April 16, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Left Voice?—?Since millions of workers around the world are currently under quarantine, now is the perfect time for socialists to catch up on the classics of leftwing cinema. Here are four?movies?for the lockdown that focus on themes of antifascism, labor, capitalism, and imperialism.?

                                Ten revolutionary books to read under quarantine

                                 

                                 

                                By Doug Enaa Greene

                                April 16, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Left Voice?—?Many people can’t leave the house to COVID-19. But we can prepare for coming struggles. Here are 10 books to learn about Marxism.?

                                This pandemic is ecological breakdown: different tempo, same song

                                 

                                 

                                By Vijay Kolinjivadi

                                April 13, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Uneven Earth?—?In late 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) emerged from a wet market in Wuhan in the province of Hubei in China. At the time of?writing, it has resulted in cases approaching 1 million and the deaths of over 42,000 people worldwide. Only a couple months ago, the world was taken aback by unprecedented bushfires in Australia, massive youth movements striking for stronger action to tackle climate change, and a groundswell of protests across the world demanding greater democracy, an end to state oppression, and against debilitating economic austerity in places ranging from Hong Kong, to India, to Chile, respectively.

                                Covid-19: the ecological dimension

                                 

                                 

                                By Alan Thornett

                                April 13, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Socialist Resistance?—?The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread rapidly around the world and remains out of control – other than in those countries, led by China, that had (crucially) moved early and decisively to control it, and had prepared for such a situation in advance.?The biggest governmental failures, on the other hand, are by administrations led by right-wing populists like Johnson and Trump who started, in effect, as virus deniers, but were forced belatedly to recognise Covid-19 as a serious threat after their actions had ensured that hundreds of thousands of people would lose their lives unnecessarily.

                                Such pandemics, we have to be clear, are an integral part of the global ecological crisis we are facing, and must be seen and treated as such. They are not just happening at the same time.

                                When oil markets go viral

                                 

                                 

                                By Adam Hanieh

                                April 11, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Verso?—?The ecological dimensions of COVID-19 have become increasingly prominent in much recent discussion, with several important?contributions?exploring the pandemic in relation to capitalist agribusiness, widespread loss of biodiversity, and the destruction of natural ecosystems. There is, however, a further element to COVID-19’s ‘ecology’ that deserves much greater attention: the ways the escalating pandemic intersects with, and is simultaneously acting to accelerate, a profound shock to the fossil fuel industry. Global oil markets are undergoing an unprecedented transformation as a result of this shock, and while longer-term trajectories remain open, this moment will undoubtedly shape the politics of oil – and the prospects of mitigating climate change – for decades to come.

                                Keith Bolender’s ‘Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba’: A case study of corporate media disinformation

                                 

                                 

                                By Stansfield Smith

                                April 11, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?—?Some alternative media have exposed the US government and its corporate media fake news reporting on Russian “election interference,” on Venezuela, the war on Syria, China’s Xinjiang and Hong Kong, Nicaragua and Palestine, among others. But one of the longest running media disinformation campaigns has been directed at Cuba. It is well covered in Keith Bolender’s Manufacturing the Enemy: The Media War Against Cuba. This thoroughly documented work is a good antidote to the constant anti-Cuba disinformation we are subjected to, which inevitably influences all of us. According to a well-known quote, itself falsely attributed to Nazi leader Goebbels, "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

                                The Eurozone’s coronavirus debt crisis

                                 

                                 

                                By Emma Clancy

                                April 11, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Tribune Magazine?—?After the Eurogroup meeting concluded last night, Eurogroup President and Portuguese Finance Minister Mário Centeno?tweeted: “The Eurogroup answered the call from our citizens for a Europe that protects. We agreed to 3 safety nets (for workers, businesses & public finances) adding up to half trillion euro, and a plan for the recovery to ensure we grow together & not apart once the virus is behind us.”?

                                South Africa: A programme of action in the time of Covid-19 – a call for social solidarity

                                 

                                 

                                April 10, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Alternative Information and Development Centre?—?We, as civic organisations, trade unions, organisations of informal workers, faith-based organisations and community structures in South Africa, call on all people, every stakeholder and sector, to contain the infection, reduce transmission and mitigate the social and political impacts of the Covid-19 virus. We put forward the following Programme of Action for all of us to work towards in the coming days.

                                The government retains a critical role in coordinating actions and distributing resources, yet its efforts will not be enough if we do not hold it to account and commit to a broad, bottom-up, public effort at this time. In a society as unequal as ours, we must work together to ensure that all safety measures are shared equitably.

                                Coronavirus: the need for a progressive internationalist response

                                 

                                 

                                By Transnational Institute

                                April 10, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?TNI?—?This pandemic health crisis impacts a world already in crisis. It will have a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in our society and particularly in the Global South unless we mobilise and demand a just response to the pandemic. It is a wake-up call that the current capitalist economic system is not fit to protect the health of us as individuals or as societies.? We must learn the lessons to defeat COVID-19, address the multiple crises we face―from accelerating inequality to the climate crisis―and build the just sustainable society we all desire.? ?

                                Socialist Alliance (Australia): How we must confront the COVID-19 crisis

                                 

                                 

                                By Socialist Alliance?

                                April 7, 2020 —?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Socialist Alliance?— The COVID-19 pandemic has already infected more than 1.2 million people and taken almost 70,000 lives around the world. Unless urgent measures are taken here, it could overwhelm Australia’s health system, as it has in other countries, at the cost of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

                                How can lives be saved? How can people’s livelihoods be protected? Here is what has to be done so that we can protect our health and livelihoods in the face of this immense challenge.

                                Socialist Alliance (Australia): Suppressing the spread of COVID-19

                                 

                                 

                                By Socialist Alliance

                                April 7, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Socialist Alliance?—?Socialist Alliance supports rapid action to suppress the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in order to save as many lives as possible.

                                While mitigation, the declared strategy of the federal and state governments, will save lives compared to doing nothing, it will still result in many deaths because it assumes the majority of the population will still acquire the virus.

                                In contrast the strategy of "suppressing" the virus seeks to completely stop community transmission with extensive testing, tracking and quarantine.

                                A period of “lock down” or "shut down" can be used to support either the mitigation or suppression strategies. Socialist Alliance supports a period of shut down in Australia that includes schools and all non-essential industries where there is a risk of virus transmission (including construction and fossil fuel exports) in order to suppress the virus while seeking to accomplish the following:

                                Philippines: For socialist solutions to the capitalist crises

                                 

                                 

                                By Reihana Mohideen

                                April 7, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Angmasa?—?We can’t go back to normal, because the normal that we had was precisely the problem?— ?this graffiti, scrawled on a wall in Hongkong, has become a universal slogan capturing the essence of the crisis we face, now being revealed to millions more people, under the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has illuminated many normally invisible social and economic relationships of capitalist society and has exposed much of its exploitative and irrational nature. The neoliberal capitalist state is unable to deal with crises even when it would benefit capitalist society to do so. The corona crisis has highlighted the fact that continuing on the capitalist path, including some reformed social democratic version of it, is no longer an option. It’s suicidal.

                                Philippines: Emerging cracks within the Duterte factions?

                                 

                                 

                                By Sonny Melencio

                                April 7, 2020?—?Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal?reposted from?Angmasa?—?On March 23, both houses of Congress passed the ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One Act’ granting President Rodrigo Duterte additional or special powers to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Duterte signed it into law two days later, but declared that he was delegating most of his powers to various departments in government, save for two powers he reserved for himself. These are the power to direct the operation of private establishments, and the power to require businesses to prioritize contracts for materials and services necessary for the crisis. These are actually the coercive type of powers that Duterte wants to secure and monopolize for himself.

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