The pursuance of neo-liberal ideology has run out of policy options to take the Indian economy out of the current crisis. That is the message of this year's union budget.
With the continuing crisis of the world economy, critical/radical perspectives in economic theory are staging a comeback. This is a welcome development, given the manifest bankruptcy of neoliberal ideas, which unfortunately has gripped large sections of the economics profession. For those looking for emancipation from the prison of economic orthodoxy, here are a few recent leads/blurbs.
Two recent events forced me to reflect on the training in economics that I received in CESP both as a MA student (1995-97) as well as a doctoral student (1998-2003). The first was when the queen of England asked economists during a visit to the LSE at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 why nobody had seen it coming.
The anti-people character of the neoliberal regime and the bankruptcy of its free market ideology are getting thoroughly exposed with the deepening economic crisis and the irrational, vested-interest-driven actions of the bourgeois governments. With the weakening hegemony of neoliberal ideas, debates over alternatives to globalised capitalism are emerging, along with a revival of interest in Marxism and socialist ideas across the world. Attempts are also underway to better understand and analyze the contemporary world from a Marxist standpoint.
The decision of the UPA government to open up the retail sector in the country to FDI is an example of the basic fallacy in the 'growth fetishism' of the votaries of neo-liberalism. While the government argues that this move will generate investor confidence in the Indian economy and lead the country to high growth, in reality the problems of the common people- deprivation, poverty and hunger- far from being ameliorated will actually be intensified.
The authors, Rohit and Srinivasan Ramani, of the original introductory piece - "What Does 21st Century Socialism Mean" respond to Arjun Sengupta's critique of it.
An attempt is made to ask some basic questions with respect to the 20th Century Socialist experiments and see what it holds for the socialism of the present century. This note is organised in the following format. It begins with posing two theoretical questions viz. the stage-theory interpretation of Marxism and the principle of democratic centralism, both of which have had effects on the current praxis of certain communist parties. To draw a contrast with this theoretical understanding of Marxism and the consequent praxis, of which China is an apt example, we present the case of alternative forms of socialist experiments being tried in the Third World, particularly in Latin America. To locate them in a historical context, a brief overview of the neoliberal model and its devastating impact on these countries is presented to show where they first derived their strength from. Following this overview, a somewhat detailed political-economic analysis is made of the countries which could be a starting point for the road map for the 21st Century Socialism.
A blogpost on the current Chinese growth process and its implications for socialism in that country.
Just when the failed policy ensemble called ‘good governance’ had run through its course nationally both under the NDA and the UPA, Mr Nitish Kumar’s NDA government in Bihar breathed new life into it. Seven years into sushasan, there are gaping holes in this faith based lore.