ECONOMIC NOTES

The Peasantry’s Victory over Imperialism

PARTICULAR battles often have a significance that goes beyond the immediate context, of which even the combatants may not be fully aware at the time. One such was the Battle of Plassey, which was not even a battle since one side’s general had already been bribed by the other not to lead his troops against it; and yet what happened in the woods of Plassey that day ushered in a whole new epoch in world history.

The Scourge of Demonetisation

IN the entire history of post-independence India, no single economic measure has been as devastating for the people and as utterly futile in achieving its stated objectives, as the demonetisation of currency notes, of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denomination, decreed by the Modi government on November 8, 2016.

Foodstocks, Bio-Fuels and Hunger

THE Modi government’s attempt to “explain” away India’s slipping from being 94th on the world hunger index in 2020 to 101st in 2021, a rank well below that of neighbours Pakistan, Nepal or Bangladesh, by questioning the “methodology” of the index, is jejune enough; but even more shocking is its total inability to see the reason behind the acute hunger in the country.

Finance Capital and the World Economy

THE period of neo-liberalism witnesses an increase in the share of economic surplus in total output both in individual countries and also for the world as a whole. This is because the “opening” up of the economy to freer trade in goods and services leads to a rapid introduction of structural-cum-technological change, which, because of its labour-displacing character, keeps down the growth rate of employment, to even below the natural growth-rate of the work-force.

Peasants and the Revolution

MARXIST theory develops with changing times, as capitalism itself develops, which is why it remains a living doctrine. On the question of the role of the peasantry in the revolutionary process that leads to the transcendence of capitalism, there have been significant developments in Marxist theory, which I propose to discuss here.

IMF’s Issue of Fresh SDRs

THE International Monetary Fund has announced a fresh issue of $650 billion Special Drawing Rights in August which would be distributed among member countries in proportion to their IMF quotas. This amount is less than what had been demanded by many, which was a trillion dollars, but it does represent a small temporary comfort for the heavily indebted third world countries.

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