Our current COVID moment has fuelled hopes for the embrace of progressive economic policies, basic income included. But Finland’s experiment suggests that not all applications of BI are necessarily progressive. Indeed, it is important to register that policy experiments precisely operate as a means for the state to open out new frontiers. In this instance an experimental policy opened out new routes to promote the restructuring of labour supply.
We live in unprecedented times. A pandemic shut down public places, businesses and global movement, revealing the farce of global capitalism as it demonstrated we don’t need to work. After the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the anger about state-tolerated police violence against Black people turned to rage. Protests exploded in scores of cities across the United States. When governors and mayors imposed curfews, many police officers took this as a signal to release their own rage on peaceful protesters and journalists.
The palpable fear and anger among protesters only accentuated the extraordinary levels of this state violence. Protests against police brutality suddenly shifted on live television broadcasts into more police violence by more threatening tactical law enforcement personnel. Following three years of President Donald Trump stating that the news media are “enemy number one,” it is not a big leap for the police to target journalists reporting on democratic protests with pepper spray, rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash bang grenades. Indeed, this is not normal.
When our call for a special issue of Fast Capitalism entitled “This Is Not Normal” about the Trump era went out last year, we could never have predicted how extraordinarily abnormal […]
I wrote Critical Reflections on Economy and Politics in India: A Class Theory Perspective (published by Brill in 2020) as an attempt to ‘apply’ to the Indian context, some of the general ideas about class presented in my Marxist class theory for a skeptical world (published in 2017). Many scholars argue that class analysis is not relevant to India because India is a caste-society or that Marxist class analysis cannot adequately capture India’s unique post-colonial conditions. I instead assert that in examining India’s economy and polity, one must begin with the mutually antagonistic interests of classes.
The class-perspective prompts theoretically rigorous and empirically-corroborated research on a wide variety of topics. Only a few of these are covered in the book’s 12 main chapters. Some of the main themes are briefly discussed below.
Nature of the capitalist class relation
If capitalist class relation revolutionizes the development of productive forces as Marx had thought, and yet if the level of development remains as low as it is in India, then could it be that India is not (dominantly) a capitalist country? Conversely, if India is a capitalist country, why does it have such a low level of economic development? There is therefore […]
There are two fundamental axes along which we need to keep following the further mobilization of the far right: is the far right moving from Republican-manipulated networks to an organization in its own right? Is it formulating a social vision of its own, which might conflict with the plundering instincts of the shortsighted business families who now hold the reins? So far, Trumpism’s mass organizational and ideological thrusts have been restricted to election years. It will likely remain that way, but some dynamics might change especially as the Left mobilizes further.
The dynamics of US-China rivalry is an inter-imperial rivalry driven by inter-capitalist competition. Competition for the world market could soon turn into intensifying clashes of spheres of influence and even war. It is not new. It resembles a lot of the dynamics as described in Lenin's Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism. In the book, published in 1917, Lenin talked about the competition between German and British banks to lend to Latin American countries to build railroads and to ensure the projects would rely on German or British supplies. This is just like talking about the competition between China and the U.S. to offer credits to Belt and Road countries to build infrastructure. In the early twentieth century, inter-capitalist competition led to inter-imperial rivalry culminated in two world wars.