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Capitalism's Discourse on "Development"
30 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Capitalism cannot overcome unemployment and poverty in the third world countries because of its inherent tendency to generate greater technological progress, which increases labor productivity and thereby slows down the employment generation process. Because of growing labor reserves, real wages remain at subsistence level, but since labor productivity would be growing, the share of surplus would be increasing. Therefore capitalism produces growth at one pole and aggravates poverty at another.
Has There Been an MSP Hike for Kharif Crops?
16 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The government’s MSP hike is just a cynical ploy, there has been no hike in real terms for major crops compared to the base year and the government not cognizing C2 in its MSP fixing while taking (A2+FL) is fundamentally erroneous and has no rationale as it leaves out the poorest landless farmers.
The Proposed Abolition of the UGC
09 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Modi government is bringing in legislation to abolish the University Grants Commission and replace it with Higher Education Commission of India. The composition of the HECI and the advisory council along with the fact that funds will be provided by the HRD ministry is a strong indicator of political interference in the country’s academic life.
Why didn't Socialism have Over-production Crises?
02 July, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The period after 2008 has witnessed prolonged overproduction crisis which was not seen in the old socialist economies. A market driven capitalist economy that has its foundations on the principle of antagonism is the source of this glut.
George Soros on The Current Conjuncture
25 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Factors like the U.S. sucking out finance capital from the rest of the world; the appreciating dollar; the looming crisis for the third world; the refugee problem for Europe are together pushing world capitalism into a serious crisis as put by George Soros. A Marshall plan may save the system but the basic foundations of capitalism are against this proposal.
The Invisible Class
20 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The peasantry has been dubbed as the ‘invisible class ‘for the simple reason that it has been outrightly ignored. A basic comparison of the per capita GDP of this invisible class across two years using the Economic Survey 2017-18 gives veracity to these claims.
Trump Versus the Rest
18 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Donald Trump’s protectionist stance at the G-7 summit is an example of how disunited capitalist countries are on a possible solution to the capitalist crisis. Because of the position of the US economy, Trump can afford to hold on to his protectionist policies while enlarging the fiscal deficit. What is wrong about this strategy is the possibility of long term repercussions, not just for America but for the capitalist world as a whole.
The Push for Privatizing Banks
11 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Historically, the push for bank privatization which has gathered momentum with a rise in tendencies to take to neo-liberal policies. The arguments for privatization have been put forward time and time again, depending on economic circumstances. As international finance capital demands outright privatization to control financial resources and popularizes the conception of social interest best served through free finance, the NPA crisis in India has become the justification of the day.
The Modi Government's "Achievement"
03 June, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Concluding the four years of Modi government is an unparalleled process of social and political retrogression in the country. A look at the declining per capita real income in agriculture and privatization of education and other essential services points at an expedition of neo-liberal tendencies during the Modi regime.
The So-called "Consumers' Interest"
21 May, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The argument in the wake of the Walmart-Flipkart deal, that having large multinationals in the sphere serves consumers’ interest not only ignores the plight of local producers but is also analytically unsound. “Consumers” are not an entity distinct from the displaced producers and will get affected adversely over time.
Ashok Mitra
03 May, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
A man of great wisdom, and generosity, scrupulously adhering to principles and willing to fight for them, but without any malice towards anyone, Ashok Mitra was a pillar of support for the Left.
Wisdom, For The People
03 May, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Ashok Mitra will be remembered above all as a strong champion of the rights of states. He played a major role in exposing the high degree of centralisation of powers and resources that existed in the country and went almost unnoticed. In his death, the country has lost a person of great wisdom, for whom the interests of its working people always came first.
A Tale of Two Discourses
19 April, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Hindutva bubble has clearly burst. Mass demonstrations by peasants, traders, doctors, teachers, students and even school children in the past few days have shown that not only the fear gripping the people is over but also the Indian political discourse is shifting towards material-practical matters, again acquiring a resemblance to what it had been in the pre-Modi years.
The Prospect of Food Shortage
09 April, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Contrary to the fears of orthodox economics, persistent and even growing hunger in the world today arises not due to “excessive population” but due to the social arrangement; not because there is too little output relative to population but because there is too little demand relative to output.
Commoditization and the Public Sphere
02 April, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The distinction between the sphere of market and the sphere of public discourse remains central to liberalism. But under capitalism, the public sphere becomes untenable due its “spontaneous” destruction by the markets’ immanent tendency towards commoditization, as we are witnessing everywhere today. In such a world, a fight towards democracy is itself a means of advancing the struggle for socialism.
Trump's Protectionism
26 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Trumps' announcement of tariff hike tantamount to a beggar-thy-neighbor policy that would inevitably attract retaliation. But these current protectionist measures on capital-in-production do not in any way restrict capital-as-finance. They are just desperate and counter-productive attempts at coping with a crisis, which is itself an outcome of the process of globalization of finance.
Technological Change and Impoverishment
19 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Socio-economic effects of technological change depend upon the property relations within the system they occur. While in socialism higher labour productivity can improve the conditions of workers, in capitalism, the same has lead to growing relative labour reserves, and hence impoverishment.
The Importance of Dissatisfaction
17 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The first step to overthrowing an oppressive system is “epistemic exteriority” or visualizing an alternative system outside of the existing one. But neo-liberal capitalism has been remarkably successful in thwarting such visualization, by proposing “epistemic closure” as an essential component of development.
The UGC Directive on Autonomous Colleges
12 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
Higher education in India is facing a twin danger of commoditization and communalization under the globalized capital today. This tendency is fueled further by the UGC directive that combines commoditization with a push towards centralization that is rampant under the Modi government.
The Tripura Election Verdict
07 March, 2018, Prabhat Patnaik
The Tripura reverse brings out the fact that it is exceedingly difficult for an opposition party, that has an incumbent government in any state to withstand the onslaught of the BJP, and in between states the one anti-BJP opposition force is different and scattered. For the Left it means a fight for survival.

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