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Moody's Upgrade
20 November, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The slight upgrade of India’s credit worthiness by Moody, that equates finance with nation, is being celebrated by the media as a mark of Modi’s success, but the criteria it has used to judge are in actuality open assaults by the government on the working population. To transcend such neo-liberal capitalism, the wrongness of this criteria must be understood first.
Neo-Liberal Capitalism and its Crisis
24 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Neo-liberal capitalism is marked by the hegemony of international finance capital which has many consequences, among which is the alarming upsurge of fascism, differing markedly from the fascism of the 1930s.
The Current Upsurge of Fascism
18 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
To describe the present upsurge of fascism as nationalist or populist would be misleading. Neither is it a replication of the fascism of the 1930s. However, it is marked by four features, which have been common to all fascist upsurges in the past, namely: rise of supremacism, apotheosis of unreason, proliferation of fascism as a movement, and intertwining of fascist movement and corporate capital.
Strangulating the Informal Economy
12 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current slowdown in the economy, aggravated by the persistent world economic crisis, has much to do with the twin coercive instruments of demonetisation and GST wielded by the state to strangulate the informal economy in a bid to formalise it.
The Class Content of the Goods and Services Tax
05 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
In the discussions about GST, the class content of this new tax regime has been missed. Through an overall increase in the taxation of the informal sector i.e. of the petty producers and the small capitalists, it has unleashed the twin process of centralization of political authority and the centralization of capital, which in turn strengthen one another.
The Growing Income Inequality
05 October, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The conclusion drawn by Piketty and Chancel in their recent paper shows a greater income inequality in India than it has ever been in the past century. But what stands out is that the trend perfectly synchronizes with transition to neo-liberalism, a stage of capitalism wherein international finance has gained hegemony, and no longer remains a policy choice.
A Bull in a China Shop
26 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The BJP government, through demonetization and GST, coupled with the world economic situation, it is causing a rare co-occurrence of three phenomena: a stagnation of the countrys’ economy, a revival of inflation, and a yawning current account deficit on the balance of payments. As the era of cheap money in the U.S. and elsewhere come to an end, Indian assets might pass into foreign hands.
The Epidemico of Vigilantism
20 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
In a situation where the secular political leadership has lost a good deal of its credibility and “grassroots vigilantism” is becoming a widespread, veritable epidemic under growing fascism, the judiciary continues to remain a credible instrument for the reassertion of the values that the Constitution associated with a “modern” India.
America's Turn Towards Fascism and Its Contradictions
04 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
While the turn of the U.S. towards fascism is unmistakable, the contradictions associated with this turn, and the complexity of the process of formation of the partnership between big business and fascist upstarts within the framework of a non-fascist bourgeois State to start with, are also clearly visible.
The Truth About Demonetization
01 September, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The recent RBI report that shows that 99% of the demonetized currency notes have been returned proves false the governments’ claim that the scheme, that shook the whole economy, would cripple the black economy, an argument whose success lay in the demonetized currency not coming back to the system. Moreover, with re-monetization complete, there has been no “flushing out” of black money whatsoever.
A Dangerous Analogy
24 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Democracy in India faces a severe threat from the penchant for centralization and uniformity that the Hindutva forces have and which Modi articulated in the Central Hall on July 1 through his misleading analogy between the GST and the integration of princely states by Vallabhbhai Patel during Independence. Such comparison puts a tax reform and democratic revolution on the same platform, confusing biased centralization with unity of the country.
Economy Plunging Headlong into Recession
16 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The few days old Volume II of the Economic Survey by Ministry of Finance shows a GVA growth rate much less than that of the previous year, and that too artificially boosted by seasonal variations in non-core sectors. This deceleration is most likely to continue, with growing NPAs and plunging exports, and interest rate cuts will not help in a demand-constrained economy unless the government starts thinking beyond “fiscal rectitude”.
Financing Education
08 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The central governments’ Draft National Education Policy promotes privatization of education to meet its target, which is not only logically absurd but also legitimizes inequality. Solutions like student loans are impractical with educated unemployment, and fee subsidies turn counterproductive. The one efficient way is to extract the private funds through progressive direct tax, but that seems impossible in this neo-liberal era.
Twenty Years After The Asian Financial Crisis
07 August, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
It was the free flow of foreign capital through “financial liberalization” that led to the East Asian Crisis of 1997, from which the “tiger economies” have not yet recovered fully. Even now, the augmented foreign reserves of these third world countries remain woefully inadequate to finance debt to foreigners, as the hegemony of international finance capital builds over their own assets.
Three Deaths
19 July, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Prabhat Patnaik mourns the deaths of three of his close friends, all brilliant people: Arup Mullick, Basudev Chatterji, and Nirupam Sen, whose outstanding character and intellectual genius will be greatly missed.
The Question Of Farm - Loan Waiver
23 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The primary reason why loan-waiver is being demanded at present is not an output fall owing to any natural calamity. It is the price-fall on account of the bumper harvest that underlies this demand. It is the breaking down of an appropriate institutional mechanism that is responsible for the peasants’ distress and periodic demands for loan-waivers.
The Economy under Modi
20 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
As per official data, half of the country’s population witnessed no improvement in real per capita income over the three Modi years. Other indicators like the demand from net exports, Central Government expenditure (as a proportion of nominal GDP) and number of new jobs created in the organized sector, all reflect a gloomy picture of the Indian economy. The government has been keen on keeping finance capital happy while compromising on these matters.
Growing class resistance against "Globalization"
19 June, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
Universal non-class use of the term “globalisation” and its “other” “nationalism” by the bourgeoisie has enabled them to show the former as progressive and latter reactionary for all classes. But recent election results in major countries reflect the rise of resistance of the worker class against the hegemony of “globalised” finance capital everywhere. Even in India, for the first time in three decades, anti-labour policies are being challenged by strong peasant movements in many states.
A Simple Arithmetic
25 May, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The advance GDP estimates for 2016-17, however calculated,show a grim picture of the economy. The real per capita income of the agriculture-dependent population, which constitutes half the country's populace, has remained stagnant or even marginally declined during the three years of the Modi government. While the pursuit of neoliberal policies can be held responsible for this, treating the aggregate growth as a “great achievement” for political mileage is unwarranted.
World Capitalist Crisis getting Accentuated
22 May, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
After a brief illusion of recovery in the U.S., the world economic crisis is getting accentuated. Trump administration would rather increase its fiscal deficit, if at all it does, through tax cuts than state expenditure under the hegemony of finance capital. This might further suppress consumption expenditure, already constricted by falling global wages. Such policies, paired with hostile protectionism, would make correcting over-production and hence overcoming world crisis, almost impossible.

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