IT is often believed that the ability to pass on property to one’s progeny is an essential element of capitalism, without which the capitalists’ incentives will dry up and the system will lose its dynamism.
Author Archive | Prabhat Patnaik
India is being pushed toward a de facto unitary state, with states being kept totally out of the loop in decision-making, as seen in the new agricultural laws, goods and services tax compensation, Jammu and Kashmir bifurcation and new National Education Policy.
The fact that the Center made unilateral and fundamental changes in agricultural marketing arrangements that fall within the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution was a blow against federalism.
WEALTH distribution data are notoriously difficult to interpret. This is because variations in stock prices affect wealth distribution, so that a stock market boom suddenly makes the rich appear much richer, while a stock market collapse makes wealth distribution less unequal overnight.
The economic programme suggested for such a front included the right to strike, banning reductions of wages and dismissals of workers, an adequate minimum wage and 8-hour day, a 50 per cent reduction in rents and banning the seizure of peasant land against debt by imperialists, native princes, zamindars and money lenders.
The Modi regime believes that no matter how impoverished the people are their electoral support can always be won by promoting Hindutva and effecting a communal polarization. It is an utterly cynical view, but then, the present dispensation represents the acme of cynicism.
THERE is a commonly-held view that the current crisis in capitalism, which has resulted in a massive output contraction and increase in unemployment, is because of the pandemic; and that once the pandemic gets over, things will go back to “normal”.
Its two major sources of foreign exchange, tourism and remittances from the Gulf and elsewhere, have virtually dried up owing to the pandemic, causing its currency to depreciate massively, its external debt to be impossible to service, and its ability to import essential commodities which are the lifeline of the population to be severely curtailed.
It is a common practice all over the world that when those incarcerated face a threat to life, the authorities send them home.
The real problem with the World Bank’s poverty estimates, is that its International Poverty Line is set at an impossibly low level, which greatly underestimates world poverty.
DD Kosambi uses a telling example to illustrate the crisis of Indian feudalism: at the third Battle of Panipat in 1761, the troops on oneside had not had enough to eat, while the troops on the other side just managed to assuage hunger by looting villages in the neighbourhood; neither side in short had arranged […]
Altogether, as philosopher Cornel West put it, the U.S. is showing every sign of being a “failed social experiment”. And yet there is a veritable boom in the U.S. stock market. The stock market index Nasdaq has increased by more than 40 per cent since March 23 and is now “within striking distance of all […]
The problem before metropolitan capitalism therefore is: how to acquire control over the use of this tropical land-mass in order to obtain the products it needs?
There is a massive problem of external debt building up for the third world, of which the recent Argentine debt crisis was only one manifestation. At the root of the problem is the collapse of primary commodity prices in the world market which began in April 2011.
Radical reforms in reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades will need to be put on the table. Governments will have to accept a more active role in the economy. They must see public services as investment rather than as liabilities and look for ways to make the labour market less insecure. […]
The war on labour is a continuation of the attacks which the BJP has been launching on the religious minorities and dalits; its economic consequences will be disastrous.
The current globalization was always legitimized by the argument that capital today, unlike in colonial times, had become blind to racial and other such distinctions across countries in deciding upon its location; it would now flow wherever opportunities for profitable investment existed.
There is an exodus of finance from the third world at present, far exceeding in scale what had occurred in 2008 after the financial crisis.
SSER-IDEAS Online Lecture Series — COVID-19 Pandemic: Policy Failures and Their Impact on the Lives of People
THE current pandemic has brought to the fore, and with exceptional clarity, the fundamental contradiction underlying contemporary globalisation, namely, the contradiction between the interests of finance and those of the people. Indeed this contradiction, which characterizes the era of globalisation as a whole, has now come to a head.