[Marxism] What's new at Links: Australia, utopia, Swaziland, S. Africa strike, Pakistan floods, Philippines, sport, Gramsci, DSP, NT indigenous struggle, Venezuela & food

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Mon Aug 30 01:45:25 MDT 2010

What's new at Links: Australia, utopia, Swaziland, S. Africa strike, 
Pakistan floods, Philippines, sport, Gramsci, DSP, NT indigenous 
struggle, Venezuela & food

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    Australia: Swing to Greens a shift to left as neither major
    capitalist party wins a mandate <http://links.org.au/node/1854>

By *Peter Boyle *

August 24, 2010 -- By denying both the ruling Australian Labor Party 
(ALP) and the opposition Liberal Party-National Party coalition an 
outright majority, in primary votes and in federal House of 
Representatives (lower house) and Senate (upper house), Australian 
electors on August 21 voted "neither of the above" for the traditional 
parties of government. The result after election night was a hung 
parliament, with several rural independent MPs and one Greens MP to 
decide which party will form the next government.

This followed an election campaign in which the major parties conducted 
an ugly race to the right, most notoriously by scapegoating the few 
thousand desperate refugees who attempt to get to Australia on boats.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1854>

    Rehabilitating utopia and saving the future

By *Ben Courtice*
August 29, 2010 -- Socialism was conceived as a creative and idealistic 
movement, but lost its way for most of the 20th century. Recapturing 
this imaginative energy can help find solutions to such huge threats as 
climate change. This article started as a short impromptu speech I gave 
to launch the third edition of the Australian Socialist Alliance's 
/Climate Charter 
Socialism used to be a rallying point for idealists, utopians, dreamers 
and those who were simply hopeful. It carried an almost millenarian 
promise of redemption and salvation. More importantly, it allowed its 
advocates to exercise their imagination. If socialism was to 
democratically realise the wishes of the common working people, why 
should they be restrained in their wishes?

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1864>

    Swaziland: Small country, big struggle -- global day of action for
    democracy <http://links.org.au/node/1857>

[The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC), formed by trade unions, 
political parties, civil society groups and churches, has called for a 
global day of action on September 7, 2010. It will include a mass 
protest and show of "defiance" in Swaziland.]
By *Mike Marqusee*
August 23, 2010 -- Swaziland is a small country with a big problem. The 
1.3 million inhabitants of the land-locked southern African kingdom live 
under the thumb of one of the world's last absolute monarchies, a venal 
and repressive regime whose plunder of the country is systematic and 

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1857>

    Pakistan: The flood disaster and the way out

By the *Labour Party Pakistan* (Karachi) and the *National Trade Union 
August 20, 2010 -- The recent floods represent the worst disaster in 
Pakistan's history. The country has been devastated from the northern 
areas to its southern tip. The state, stripped of its capacity to meet 
peoples' needs by neoliberalism and militarism alike, has been found 
wanting---both in its longstanding failure to maintain existing 
infrastructure, and in its response to the calamity.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1853>

    South Africa: COSATU calls `total shutdown', condemns state
    `scabbing', violence <http://links.org.au/node/1858>

August 26, 2010 -- Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) 
general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi on August 24 announced that its 
affiliated unions will launch a solidarity "secondary strike" on 
September 2 in support of the country's 1.3 million public servants and 
teachers, who are on strike for better wages and allowances. "All COSATU 
unions, in both the public and private sectors, will embark on a 
sympathy strike. No member of COSATU will be at work next week", Vavi 
According to the August 25 Johannesburg /Times/, Vavi told a press 
conference following a COSATU executive meeting (see statement below) 
that the African National Congress (ANC) government was being 
"disingenuous"."We do need a total shutdown until government comes to 
its senses and accede to the legitimate demands of the working class." 
He likened ANC cabinet ministers who lived "caviar lifestyles" to "the 
shepherd feeding himself, forgetting about the lambs".

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1858>

    Philippines: PLM calls for an independent inquiry on the hostage
    killings <http://links.org.au/node/1863>

By *Sonny Melencio*, Partido Lakas ng Masa
August 28, 2010 -- The Philippines Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the 
Labouring Masses) commiserates with the families of the eight Chinese 
nationals killed in the tour-bus hijacking in Manila on August 23. The 
blunders of the Philippines police and officials in the hijacking 
crisis, which led to the deaths of the eight tourists, are indefensible 
from many aspects.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1863>

    Estallan tensiones sociales en Bolivia <http://links.org.au/node/1862>

Escrito por *Federico Fuentes* (/Green Left Weekly/), traducido por 
*Robert Cavooris* y *Janina Suárez-Pinzón* (/Upside Down World/)
Agusto 24, 2010 -- Las escenas recientes de bloqueos de carreteras, 
huelgas e incluso un atentado con dinamita en la casa de un 
vice-ministerio en el departamento boliviano de Potosí, recuerdan los 
tiempos de los anteriores gobiernos neoliberales y han dejado a muchos 
preguntándose qué está sucediendo realmente en la "nueva" Bolivia del 
presidente indígena Evo Morales.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1862>

    Sport and capitalism -- Would Gramsci go to the footy?

Review by *Phil Shannon*
Sport tells lies. According to Jim McKay, sport is a social prop to the 
domination of capitalist ideas and values. Fundamental to the 
maintenance of this dominance are the mass media, which ``selectively 
articulate capitalist rationality, masculine hegemony, Eurocentric 
racism, militaristic nationalism and liberal values'' -- a toxic mix of 
ideological viruses.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1861>

    Video: Antonio Gramsci -- Life of a revolutionary

By *Paul D'Amato*
June 18, 2010 -- A talk presented at the *International Socialist 
Organization* of the United States' Socialism 2010, in Chicago. This 
talk was first posted at Wearemany.org. Paul D'Amato is a leader of the 
ISO, publisher of /Socialist Worker/.

    Australia: The DSP in the 1980s <http://links.org.au/node/1859>

[This first appeared as the introduction to /Building the Revolutionary 
Party: Jim Percy Selected Writings 1980-87/ (Resistance Books: 
Chippendale, 2008).]
By *Dave Holmes*
This is the second volume of writings and speeches by Jim Percy, one of 
the founders of Australia's Democratic Socialist Perspective and its 
longtime central leader until his death in 1992. These seven items --- 
reports given by Jim to conferences and leadership gatherings of the DSP 
(or SWP, Socialist Workers Party, as it was known in this period) --- 
span the years 1980 to 1987.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1859>

    Australia: Film -- `Alyawarr walk-off protest vs Northern Territory
    intervention <http://links.org.au/node/1856>

By *Actively Radical TV*
August 25, 2010 -- In July 2009, the Alyawarr people in the township of 
Ampilatwatja, approximately 350 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, 
in Central Australia, walked out of the government "proscribed area" and 
into the desert to set up a protest camp.
This protest action was in defiance of the /Northern Territory 
Intervention Act 2007/, brought in under the conservative Coalition 
government of then-prime minister John Howard. The intervention was and 
continued under the Australia Labor Party governments of prime ministers 
Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. The Alyawarr community and others are 
calling for the intervention to be abolished and reinstatment of the 
Racial Discrimiation Act, which was suspended in order to bring in the 
racist /Northern Territory Intervention Act/.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1856>

    Venezuela: Land reform, food sovereignty and agroecology

By *Alan Broughton*
August 20, 2010 -- A massive transformation of agriculture is occurring 
in Venezuela, a transformation that has lessons for every other country 
in the world. The /Law of the Land and Agrarian Development/, the /Law 
of Food Sovereignty and Security/ and the /Law of Integrated 
Agricultural Health/ set out the agenda (they can be found on 
www.mat.gob.ve, in Spanish). The policies are based on the premises that 
farmers should have control of their land and product, that the country 
should produce its own food, and that chemical fertilisers and 
pesticides should not be part of agriculture.

    * Read more <http://links.org.au/node/1855>

* * *
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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