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Unions edge closer to existential crisis

Our nation is often flummoxed by the chaotic and deceptive behavior of the Trump administration. Yet, these distractions disguise an economic agenda. That agenda is unapologetically determined to benefit corporate financial interests against the interests of all working people.

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The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China

Unending Hard Times: Whose Is the Toil and Whose Is the Wealth?

John Bellamy Foster and Robert W McChesney.  The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China.  New York: Monthly Review Press, 2012; Kharagpur, India: Cornerstone Publications, 2013.  pp x + 227.  Rs 150. The secular decline of decadal average annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates of the […]

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Kashmir — Hell of Internal Colonialism

When it comes to Kashmir, official mendacity in India seems to cross all bounds.  So even a prominent member of the Indian Establishment felt that the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s recent (May 22) open advocacy of “kaante-se-kaanta-nikaalte-hein” (a-thorn-to-remove-a-thorn) counterinsurgency tactics was “terrible” and that he should withdraw his out-of-line statement forthwith.  “You have to neutralise […]

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Calcutta Diary

“A Guernica of Political Prose”: Ashok Mitra’s Calcutta Diary

Ashok Mitra.  Calcutta Diary.  Kolkata: Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, 2014 (first published in 1977 by Frank Cass, London).  pp xxvii + 300.  Rs 395. They do not trumpet their inspiration from the rooftops: “their identification with the cause is nevertheless total”.  Amal Sen, the homeopath, was one such sympathiser.  A dreamer of socialist dreams, he medicated, […]

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In Shared Sorrow: Remembering ‘Comrade’ Nirmal da

This tribute to one of India’s finest radical economists first appeared in Analytical Monthly Review, May 2014.  AMR, published from Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of Monthly Review. Nirmal Kumar Chandra (1936-2014), referred to by his dear friend, Ashok Mitra, in The Telegraph (April 4, 2014) as “The Compleat Economist”, was in […]

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Bhagat Singh: Eighty-Three Years On

Chaman Lal.  Understanding Bhagat Singh.  Delhi: Aakar, 2013.  pp. 245. Left Traditions in South Asia Bhagat Singh is to South Asia what Che Guevara is to Latin America — a popular iconic figure who continues to inspire generations of youth in the subcontinent in their struggles against imperialism and the trajectory of national politics after […]

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Gujarat 2002, India 2014: ‘Numbers Sanctify’

“Numbers sanctify”.  The context is very different, but I couldn’t keep my mind off that quote from Charlie Chaplin’s Monsieur Verdoux.  After all, the alleged mastermind of the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat will soon be sworn in as India’s prime minister, at the head of a government in which his party, the BJP, will […]

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“Deglobalization” Versus “Inclusive Growth”

The race of globalization is leaving the majority of the world’s population far behind.  According to UNICEF, the richest 20% of the population gets 83% of global income, while the poorest quintile has just 1%.1  This trend is getting worse.  A new UNDP report called “Humanity Divided” estimates that 75% of the world’s population lives […]

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On the Terrorist Attacks in Damascus, Syria

The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba energetically condemns the criminal attacks by car bombs that took place in Damascus, Syria, causing dozens of dead and wounded.  Cuba condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and firmly opposes the attempts to undermine the stability of Syria, foreign interference, and the threats to its […]

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Yet Another Syrian Exile Opposition Council

So, yesterday, it was announced in Istanbul that yet another exile opposition group was formed.  It has no head.  There were conflicts among the various constituent groups. But I will tell you this lesson from Arab contemporary history: there has never been a case in which leftists or secularists were aligned with fundamentalists (Sunni or […]

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Germany’s Euro Trilemma: Interview with Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis is a prestigious economist who heads the Department of Economic Policy at the University of Athens.  From 2004 to 2007 Varoufakis served as economic adviser to George Papandreou.  Author of several books on Game Theory, Varoufakis is also a recognized speaker and often appears as guest analyst for news media such as the […]

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Syrian Tweets: “Peaceful Protests”?

Syrian Commando (2 August 2011): “Peaceful demonstration tools in #Hama #Syria for Ramadan“ Eslam Jawaad (2 August 2011): “Father is Druze.  Mother is Alawite.  They raised me as Muslim.  My wife is Sunni.  Brother’s wife Christian.  F#$k sectarianism.  Pray for #Syria“ 3arabiSouri (2 August 2011): “Syrians r so grateful to our Libyan brothers, if […]

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Syria: Rapping against the Nizam

نظام, nizam, Arabic for regime, order, system, but against which nizam? Against the SystemDudd Al-Nizam “Against the System”by Eslam Jawaad Against the Country by Murder Eyez Statement No. 1 Shabeeha Song by The Strong Heroes of Moscow Cf. Jackson Allers, “Syrian Revolution and Eslam Jawaad’s Response — ‘Dudd al-Nizam’ (Syria)” (Beats and Breath, 5 […]

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Syria: Semiramis Opposition Conference

I was rather skeptical, if not outright opposed, about the Syrian opposition conference in Semiramis Hotel in Damascus.  I thought that the event would be used by the regime to attain legitimacy and that the very convening of the conference would be exploited to prove the democratic impulse of the lousy regime. But I must […]

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