Imperialist Reconstruction or Depopulation in Syria and Iraq Ali Kadri

The recent reconstruction efforts of the Arab World further deconstructed the state and the unity arising from national identity around the state. In the Arab context, the reconstruction effort promoted the objectives of imperialism in setting the background for continued war. Imperialist_reconstruction  (Download the full text in PDF format)

Communalism and Working Class Struggles Prabhat Patnaik

Comrade B.T. Ranadive used to reminisce that in pre-independence Bombay (as it was then called) there would occasionally be impressive workers’ strikes at the call of Communist-led trade unions which were powerful in the city at that time, at which Hindu and Muslim workers would stand shoulder to shoulder. Not surprisingly however, given the colonial context, these strikes were not always successful, and, when that happened, they would often be followed by communal riots. This cycle, of unity followed by horrendous disunity leading even to communal riots, was an expression of contending forms of consciousness among the workers: a budding…

The End of Globalization? Prabhat Patnaik

Donald Trump’s recipe for reviving employment in the U.S. economy is to impose restrictions on imports from other countries. If at the same time he had taken steps to increase the level of aggregate demand in the U.S. in other ways, such as through increasing State expenditure financed by a fiscal deficit, then restricting imports from other countries would not lead to a reduction in the magnitude of such imports in absolute terms. It would not, in such a case, cause any unemployment in other countries for the sake of boosting employment in the U.S. Put differently, it would not…

Negative Interest Rates: A symptom of the crisis or instrument for recovery C.P. Chandrasekhar

The failure of the macroeconomic stance of shifting away from fiscal policy to an almost exclusive reliance on monetary policy has led to the phenomenon of negative rates in countries other than the United States, and the first sign of even a partial recovery in that country has been enough to set off a reversal. negative_interest_rates (Download the full text in PDF format) This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, March 25, 2017 vol. LII no. 12

Interpreting Trump’s Trade Diplomacy C.P. Chandrasekhar

As Donald Trump settles into his Presidency and his surprise economic appointees begin to travel the world, signals as to what the external economic agenda of the United States would be during Trump’s term are emerging. One such signal was the unwillingness of the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, while attending the G20 summit of finance ministers and central bankers at Baden Baden over 17-18 March, to accept the old normal that any departure from global free trade was taboo. Conventionally, every communique from G 20 summits since the first in 2008 had committed to “resist all forms of protectionism”.…

Once More on “The Humbug of Finance” Prabhat Patnaik

The renowned economist Joan Robinson had referred to the view that the government’s budget should always be balanced, as the “humbug of finance” (Robinson 1962), namely as a false proposition with no theoretical merit which was nonetheless promoted by finance capital. These days of course the insistence is not exactly on balancing the budget as was the case during the pre-second world war years. A certain amount of fiscal deficit relative to GDP, usually 3 percent, is considered “permissible”, though it is not clear what is so sacrosanct about the figure 3 and why 3 is better than zero. But…

The Rise and Fall of South Korea’s Chaebols C. P. Chandrasekhar

No discussion of South Korea’s dramatic transition from a poor underdeveloped country to a developed country member of the OECD club of rich nations can ignore the role of the chaebols—its ‘clans of wealth’. Consisting of a large number of legally independent firms controlled by a single family dominated-decision making centre (very much like India business groups), these Korean conglomerates grew rapidly during the regime of General Park Chung-hee (1961-1979), and today the top 10 of them earn revenues that are equivalent in value to around 80 per cent of the country’s GDP. For long credited as having implemented the…

Bad Bank Proposal for India T Sabri Oncu

The author’s bad bank proposal for India would be capitalised with zero coupon perpetual bonds the government would issue and would give the country some breathing time so that she can attack and tackle all her other problems. Bad_Bank_Proposal (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 52, Issue No. 10, 11 Mar, 2017.)

The Post-Neoliberal Conjuncture Prabhat Patnaik

The question of an alternative to neo-liberalism has now come on to the agenda not just as a matter of speculation or as a mere abstract means of mobilizing people against neo-liberalism, but as an urgent practical issue. This is because, for reasons I shall discuss shortly, neo-liberalism as we have known it till now has reached a dead-end. Sections I and II below discuss these reasons. Section III examines the fall-out of the crisis of neo-liberalism. Section IV discusses critically the alternative to neo-liberalism being attempted by Donald Trump in the U.S., and Section V suggests the outline of…