The contrast could not have been sharper. When the Union government unleashed a double assault on the people, through a diesel and cooking gas price hike and by allowing FDI in multi-brand retail, as every housewife, every man on the street, complained, the stock market boomed and the rupee climbed up. Capital is delighted when the people are hit. Finance cheers as the working people are squeezed. India’s “credit rating”, as officials were quick to point out, would now improve!
Pragoti is carrying three short pieces, which were reactions to the decision by the Union governemnt to allow FDI in multibrand retail. These pieces were originally published in Ganasakthi and also available at www.cpimwb.org.in, the website of the CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee
Everybody agrees that capitalism is undergoing a serious crisis, but different people read this crisis differently. The commonest view, held even by progressive economists like Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, is that the crisis is entirely a consequence of the collapse of the housing ''bubble''; since in this situation of crisis, private expenditure, whether on consumption or on investment, is unlikely to increase in the foreseeable future, a revival is possible only through an increase in State expenditure, which means that both in the United States and in Europe, far from adopting austerity measures, the State should instead be increasing its expenditure. [This article was first published here]
"Empiricisation or the pursuit of a political praxis that is uninformed by the project of transcending capitalism was ultimately responsible for the defeat of the CPI(M) in West Bengal. It is this empiricisation that is far more worrying than the election defeat itself. In a period when many have abandoned the concept of imperialism, the CPI(M) remains steadfast in its adherence to this concept; as long as the concept and the project remain valid, the historical relevance of the party remains unimpaired. But if the party does not arrest the process of empiricisation it has been experiencing and finally ends up accepting the hegemony of bourgeois theory, then it will get supplanted by some other communist formation subscribing to a theoretical position similar to what it has today" argues Prabhat Patnaik.
On a television channel on counting day, the panellists discussing the assembly election results were asked to offer advice to the Left, which had lost both the large states it ruled, one of them quite massively, on how it should reform itself for a future resurrection. The overwhelming opinion among them was that it should forget Lenin, and, as the anchor explicated, become ‘social democratic’. The Left I suppose should be obliged to the panellists for being so concerned about its future; the question is: should it follow their advice and become ‘social democratic’?
Leading macroeconomist and Marxist-Leninist theorist Prabhat Patnaik writes on Contemporary Imperialism.
The upsurge among the people in the 1930s and 1940s has shaped the subsequent history of modern India and the birth of whatever freedom we enjoy today lies in that period of upsurge.
There are three obvious problems with the Allahabad High Court judgment on the Babri Masjid issue. Each of them in isolation is potentially damaging for the Constitutional fabric of the country; together they can cause irreparable harm. Professor Prabhat Patnaik writes.
Much is being written these days, especially in the context of West Bengal, about what is wrong with the CPI (M). For a Party that has been in power in the state for more than three decades, this is hardly surprising. But if a Party has been in power in a state for more than three decades, then something must also be right with it. Besides, no matter what the outcome of the forthcoming Assembly elections, it would still be the case that almost half of the electorate in the two most intellectually-advanced states in India, West Bengal and Kerala, would have voted in them for CPI (M)-led formations. What explains this, and also the fact that, notwithstanding all its omissions and commissions, the CPI (M) still continues to attract some of the finest young minds of the country?
The concept of ''infrastructure'' itself, has a class dimension.