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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.
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.
The Destruction of a University
28 February, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The Jawaharlal Nehru University administration has, in the past two years, undermined the norms and conventions that have established it as a premier institution of higher learning in India.
The Politics of being a Dalit Woman
22 January, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
To deal with the political and economic marginalisation of Dalit women, it is necessary to recognise the significant differences among them not only according to socio-economic context, degree of education and occupation but also by subcaste.
Destroying our Wetlands
10 January, 2018, Jayati Ghosh
The specific rules for wetlands framed in 2010 have remained only on paper and do not seem to be able to stop proscribed activities in such areas, with even a five-star hotel being constructed on one in Udaipur.
The Problem with the Indian Left
27 December, 2017, Prabhat Patnaik
The current problem with the Indian Left, and in this term I include all sections of the Left, from the so-called "parliamentary Left" to the so-called "revolutionary Left", is in my view, its lack of appreciation of the dialectics between "reform" and "revolution".
The Obscenity of Hunger Deaths
22 December, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
There is no doubt that human life is cheap in India, perhaps more so now than ever before. The attacks, atrocities and killings of people from minorities and marginalised groups that have now become so common are particularly appalling because they reflect a culture of impunity.
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.
Widowhood in India
11 October, 2017, C.P. Chandrasekhar & Jayati Ghosh
Public policy has largely ignored specific problems of widows in India. And given their numbers, this exclusion can prove costly for society in general.
Agrarian Conditions and Recent Peasant Struggles in Sikar
25 September, 2017, Vikas Rawal
Kisans of Sikar have fought many valiant struggles against oppression and against anti-people state policies. This year’s struggle in Sikar has once again shown that it is only through such mobilisations of working people that anti-people actions of the current government can be checked.
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.
150 years of 'Das Kapital': How relevant is Marx today?
24 August, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
After 150 years of Das Kapital, the seminal work of the 19th century economist still provides a framework for understanding contemporary capitalism. The unique social relations such as free labour and commodity fetishism, that according to Marx, define capital, are reflected in the uneven and unstable development of the world market.
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.
Progressive mobilization in Europe
20 July, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The G20 summit in Hamburg was an occasion for public affirmations of the continued power of progressive ideas and calls for action around issues that really matter, in the form of an alternative summit, performance art demonstrations, and marches.
The Macroeconomics of Basic Income Grants
07 July, 2017, Jayati Ghosh
The idea of Universal Basic Income, today treated as novel, in fact dates back to Kautilyas Arthashastra and Thomas Mores Utopia in the 16th century. Milton Friedman's negative income tax also revolved around the same idea, which was rightfully criticized by Minsky for inducing inflationary expansion in place of direct welfare schemes. Considering distributional effects, direct job creation is a more effective way to tackle poverty.
The Rights of the Child and the G20 Summit
03 July, 2017, Sir Richard Jolly & Gabriele Kohler
Fresh research from UNICEF shows that the number of children in poverty, in rich countries has increased as a result of austerity policies. An average of one in five children in 41 high income countries lives in poverty. Children and their rights do not even seem to feature in the G20 manifesto, even as it stresses the ending of austerity policies and encouraging public budgets that promote development and poverty eradication.
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.

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