• The State under Neo-liberalism

    Much has been written on the subject of the capitalist State in the era of neo-liberalism.  Two features of the “neo-liberal State” in particular have been highlighted.1  One relates to the change in the nature of the State, from being an entity apparently standing above society and intervening in its economic functioning in the interests […]

  • The Structural Crisis of Capitalism

    There is a very pervasive view that the current capitalist crisis consists exclusively of the financial crisis and, in so far as the financial crisis is now over, the crisis as a whole is over.  This, I believe, is erroneous, and this is because, like Bob Brenner, I also believe that the current financial crisis […]

  • Socialism or Reformism?

    I We live at a time when resistance to the inequities that exist in this world and the struggle for a better world are almost totally detached from any striving for socialism.  Climate change, imperialist aggression, forcible dispossession of peasants in the name of “development”, oppression of the tribal population, gender discrimination, and ecological degradation […]

  • India: The Choice before the Maoists

    The Maoist leadership claims that it had nothing to do with the Jnaneshwari Express accident that killed 150 persons.  I am willing to take their word for it.  But this also means that those who caused the sabotage, while nominally belonging to the ranks of the Maoists, were acting on their own.  Nobody commits such […]

  • Capitalism’s Self-Destructive Spontaneity

    Under the Gold Standard the values of different currencies were fixed in terms of gold, which meant that the exchange rates between those currencies were fixed.  Exchange rate movements therefore could not be used to enlarge net exports and hence domestic employment.  At the same time governments were committed to the principle of “sound finance”, […]

  • On the Nature and Implications of the Expanding Presence of India and China for Developing Asia

    Prabhat Patnaik: I think there is an important difference, it seems to me, between the situation in the case of the advanced capitalist countries, or even the case of Japan, on the one hand, and in the case of countries like India and possibly even China at the moment.  In the case of the advanced […]

  • The Diffusion of Activities

    One of the striking features of the recent period has been the diffusion of manufacturing and service activities from the countries of the core to the periphery.  The logic of competitive striving for the export market among the many “labour reserve” economies in the periphery leads to the accumulation of ever-growing reserves and a constraint […]

  • The Theory of the Global “Savings Glut”

    For some time now, Mr. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, has been arguing that three observed phenomena in the world economy in the decade after 1996, viz. the substantial increase in the U.S. current account deficit, the swing from moderate deficits to large surpluses in “emerging-market countries”, and the significant decline in […]

  • The Public and the Private

    In the early 1950s, the then united Communist Party had led a famous struggle against the increase in tram fares in Calcutta by one paisa, and had succeeded in rescinding the increase.  In the sixties, leaders like Ahilya Rangnekar and Mrinal Gore had led a remarkable struggle against price rise in Bombay when housewives came […]

  • Socialism and Welfarism

    Socialism consists not just in building a humane society; it consists not just in the maintenance of full employment (or near full employment together with sufficient unemployment benefits); it consists not just in the creation of a Welfare State, even one that takes care of its citizens “from the cradle to the grave”; it consists […]

  • A Perspective on the Growth Process in India and China

    I It is possible to argue that the growth rate figures for both India and China are exaggerated.  But, we shall proceed by accepting them as correct.  The inequalities in both economies however have increased dramatically during this very phase of extraordinarily high growth, to a point where substantial segments of the population, particularly, but […]

  • Reflections on the Left

    Perhaps the most significant feature of the recent Indian election is the loss suffered by the Left.  The BJP’s defeat was more or less anticipated, except by the psephologists, as was some loss by the Left; but the actual extent of the Left’s loss has been quite staggering.  True, its vote share has fallen only […]

  • Finance Capital and Fiscal Deficits

    One of the central paradoxes in economic theory relates to the hostility that financial interests in a modern capitalist economy systematically display towards any policy of enlarged State expenditure financed by borrowing, even though such expenditure increases capitalists’ profits and wealth. Let us suppose that the government undertakes a larger borrowing-financed public expenditure programme, and […]

  • The Global Financial Community

    Lenin in Imperialism had talked about a financial oligarchy presiding over vast amounts of money capital through its control over banks and using this capital for diverse purposes, such as industry; speculation; real estate business; and buying bonds, including of foreign governments.  The finance capital that Lenin was talking about belonged to particular powerful nations; […]

  • Excessive Liquidity Preference

    Any recession by definition is associated with an excessive liquidity preference.  An ex ante excess supply of goods and services, i.e. the demand for goods and services falling short of the base output at the base prices corresponding to that output, which is what a recession is, must be associated with an ex ante excess […]

  • Socialism and the Peasantry

    One of the greatest insights of Karl Marx was his perception of the capitalist system as a self-acting, self-driven and “spontaneous” order.  Far from being a malleable system, where intervention by the State could be used for bringing about basic changes in the mode of its functioning, in which case of course the need to […]

  • The Crisis of the Capitalist World

    The current crisis of the capitalist world is commonly explained as resulting from “a lack of government regulation of the financial sector”, “insufficient supervision allowing reckless lending by financial institutions”, “the unbridled greed of the financiers”, in short a series of mistakes and aberrations.  These have contributed to a “systems failure” in the words of […]