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LINKS UPDATE – 22nd AUGUST 2011

What’s new at Links: Marqusee on London riots, economy, Bolivia debate, Cuba, Agent Orange, Marxism, Venezuela CP, Palestine, Syria, Comintern, Baltics

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Mike Marqusee: Riots, reason and resistance

By Mike Marqusee

August 16, 2011 — “Criminality pure and simple” was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s initial verdict on the rioting. From the right came the mantra, “Down with sociology! Up with water cannon!” Don’t think but do act – harshly, punitively, peremptorily. In the wake of the riots, a powerful vested interest has been at work – a vested interest in people not making links, not searching for causes, not weighing contexts. Above all, an interest in derailing the growing resistance to the government’s austerity programme.

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Martin Hart-Landsberg: The troubled US economy means a shaky world economy

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

August 15, 2011 — The US economy is in trouble and that means trouble for the world economy. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Trade and Development Report, 2010, “Buoyant consumer demand in the United States was the main driver of global economic growth for many years in the run-up to the current global economic crisis.”

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Bolivia: How Jeffrey Webber’s ‘From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia’ turns reality on its head

Review by Federico Fuentes

August 19, 2011 — The Evo Morales government recently celebrated its 2000th day in power inBolivia– a feat in its own right for a country that has had around 180 coups since 1825 – any serious attempt to explain the underlying dynamics of this decade long political process should be welcomed. Combining his academic research and extensive fieldwork inBolivia, Jeffrey Webber sets out to do exactly that in From Rebellion to Reform inBolivia. Unfortunately, the end result leaves a lot to be desired.

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Cuba: Changes go deep — democratic reforms

By José Alejandro Rodríguez, Havana

August 17, 2011 — Apart from some exceptions, the powerful international media has ignored a recent Cuban parliamentary bill that would deepen democracy on the island. The reason is obvious: the news is not convenient. The initiative is made within socialist institutionalism, not in terms of the “transition” whose staging is highly anticipated and promoted by certain hegemonic interests in this world.

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Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin: ‘Agent Orange in Vietnam was a crime against humanity’

Appeal of the Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin Hanoi, Socialist Republic of Vietnam

August 9, 2011 — The Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, held in Hanoi from August 8 to 9, 2011, included participants from around the world: Agent Orange victims, victims of other toxic chemicals, scientists, lawyers and social activists. The conference is a significant and important historic event, marking the 50th anniversary of the first spraying of the toxic chemical Agent Orange (1961-1971) by the US forces inVietnam and Indochina.

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Marxism has an ecological heart

By Ash Pemberton

August 13, 2011 — We all know there’s a big problem with the environment and it needs drastic action to fix it. So does a Marxist analysis of the problem bring anything new to the table?

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Venezuela: Communist Party backs Hugo Chavez, builds workers’ control movement

By Rachael Boothroyd,Coro

August 10, 2011  – On August 7, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) concluded its 14th congress in Caracas following three days of discussions. More than 526 national delegates and 43 international representatives attended the conference, which was convened in conjunction with the PCV’s 74th anniversary.

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Does Palestinian Authority’s UN ‘statehood’ bid endanger Palestinian rights?

By Ali Abunimah

August 8, 2011 — The Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC), the steering group of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, has issued further guidance in the run up to the Palestinian Authority’s effort to gain UN membership for a “State of Palestine” in September.

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The Syrian ‘common’: an uprising of the working society

By  Yassin Al Haj Saleh

August 14, 2011 — There is a Promethean dimension to the struggle ofSyria’s protesters to wrench politics away from the self-deifying cabal [who rule] and to attempt to extend politics to all Syrians. The young Marx, who loved grandiose expressions, described Prometheus as “the most noble martyr in the philosophical almanac”, because he stole the fire from the Olympian gods and gave it to humans. The gods punished him by sending the eagles of the Caucuses to tear at his liver forever. Like Prometheus, the uprising represents the most noble rebellionSyriahas known since its independence 65 years ago. Like Prometheus, the wrath of the divine cabal is directed against the rebelling multitude. It is murdered, defamed, called names and insulted by the lowliest forces and motives inSyria.

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The Comintern’s unknown decision on workers’ governments

By John Riddell

August 14, 2011 — English-language discussion of the Communist International’s 1922 call for workers’ governments has been based on a preliminary draft that was significantly altered before its adoption. Below, probably for the first time in English, is the amended text that the 1922 congress actually adopted.

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Baltic far right attempts to rewrite history

By Rupen Savoulian

August 12, 2011 — Early in August, a major World War II anniversary was marked in Europe; August 1 was the 67th anniversary of the heroicWarsawuprising by the Polish underground resistance movement against Nazi German occupation forces. I raise this anniversary to highlight the importance of commemorating the courageous struggles by the peoples oppressed by the Nazi regime, and to underscore the importance of historical debate for comprehending the tremendous social forces that have shaped the world today.

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Links seeks to promote the international 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 coming from different political traditions. It seeks to bring together those in the international left who are opposed to neoliberal economic and social policies. It aims to promote the renewal of the socialist movement in the wake of the collapse of the bureaucratic model of “actually existing socialism” in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

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