“Fora Temer – eleições diretas já!” Brazil’s political rupture and the left’s opportunity Alfredo Saad-Filho

The Brazilian Workers’ Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT) won the country’s presidential elections four times in a row; first with Luís Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-06, 2007-10), then with his hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff (2011-14, 2015-16). During its 13 years in office, the PT changed Brazil in many ways; four are principally worth mentioning, as they would come to play key roles in the elite conspiracy to impeach Dilma Rousseff and destroy her party. First, the PT democratised the state. It implemented the social and civic rights included in the 1988 ‘Citizen’s Constitution’, and advanced Brazil’s emerging welfare state across…

Growing class Resistance Against “Globalization” Prabhat Patnaik

The term “globalization”, though much used, is extremely misleading, as is its presumed “other”, “nationalism”. This is because both terms are used as blanket terms without any reference to their class content, as if there can be only one kind of “globalization” and only one kind of “nationalism”. Using concepts detached from their class content is a favourite ploy of bourgeois ideology: what it amounts to is to confer universality on concepts that essentially belong only to the bourgeois discourse, as if this is the only universe of discourse possible and all choices are confined only to alternative trajectories within…

Brexit and the Economics of Political Change in Developed Countries Jayati Ghosh

The economic forces underlying Brexit—and the election of Donald Trump in the US—are similar, but also well advanced in many European countries, where much of the population faces similar material insecurity and stagnation. These frustrations can easily be channelled by right-wing xenophobic forces. To combat this, the EU needs to undo some of its design flaws and move from austerity to a more flexible union based on the solidarity of its people. Brexit (Download the full text in PDF format) ( This article was originally posted in the Taylor and Francis online on June 2, 2017.)

The Age of Anxiety: The Crisis of Liberal Democracy in a Post-Hegemonic Global Order Ziya Onis

The crisis of liberal democracy has been accelerated by the global financial crisis of 2008 with its dislocating effects in the established democracies. Relative stagnation and rising inequality and unemployment, coupled with mass migration and terrorist attacks, have instigated the rise of right-wing radical populist sentiments. As Western powers lose their influence, liberal democracy is challenged by the rise of strategic models of authoritarian or hybrid capitalism in a changing global context. Age_of_Anxiety (Download the full text in PDF format)

Imperialism Still Alive and Kicking: An Interview With Prabhat Patnaik

An interview by C. J. Polychroniou C. J. Polychroniou: From the 1980s onwards, with the process of economic globalization having picked up speed, the concept of Imperialism has been largely removed from the political lexicon of much of the Western Left, deemed essentially irrelevant for understanding and explaining the dynamics of contemporary capitalism. However, you beg to differ with this assessment, and have been vociferously arguing for the continuing relevance of imperialism. Firstly, how do you define imperialism and, secondly, what imperialist tendencies do you detect as inherent in the brutal expansion of the logic of capitalism in the neoliberal…

U.K. election: the Tories’ last gamble? Radhika Desai and Alan Freeman

Even in an age of political and electoral upsets, Thursday’s U.K. election contained so many shocks that commentators ran out of superlatives. Historic Conservative losses and Labour gains, the setback to Scottish independence, the demise of Hard Brexit and a triumphal result for Sinn Fein were topped off by the humiliating spectacle of a minority Conservative government relying on a bigoted Unionist rump in Northern Ireland. These outcomes are not random, but are the maturation of historic problems of the U.K. state. The key lies in the Tory party itself, whose vote share has been declining since the 1970s. For…

Public Bank Privatisation in a Post-truth World C.P. Chandrasekhar

Narendra Modi government appears to have decided to privatise public sector banks (PSBs). Preparations are underway with arguments being marshalled that “there is no alternative” to privatisation. Privatisation (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 52, Issue No. 19, 13 May, 2017)

Ideological Struggles in Contemporary Capitalism Prabhat Patnaik

Globalization has brought acute distress to the working people all over the world. This distress is not confined only to the period of the post-housing-bubble crisis; nor is it confined only to the workers of the advanced capitalist countries. Joseph Stiglitz’s finding that the average real wage of a male American worker in 2011 was somewhat lower than in 1968 clearly suggests that this distress has had a long duration. Likewise the presumption that the distress afflicts only the advanced country workers whose job opportunities have shrunk because metropolitan capital has been relocating economic activity to low-wage third world countries,…

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…

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”.…