If the Left has to recover, it must reinvent itself

by Prabhat Patnaik

The Telegraph | July 10, 2019

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury (extreme right) campaigning for Lok Sabha Election 2019 in West Bengal. Today there is little to distinguish the Left from others.

I am often asked: why has the Left, so powerful less than a decade ago, suddenly got eclipsed? The question is pertinent. True, the eclipse of the Left is mainly in the electoral arena, and the Left’s strength has to be judged in much more than electoral terms. But in one respect at least, which I consider important, the Left has got eclipsed, and this relates to its ability to draw young people into its fold. It has always been able to draw some of the best and the brightest among the youth into its ranks; it still does, but not to the same extent. The hope that with Hindutva’s ascendancy, there would be an influx of students to the ranks of the Left, which appeared justified some months ago, has been belied for the moment.Read More »

Lonmin’s murder, by money

by Patrick Bond

Pambazuka News | May 31, 2019

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Climate is warming faster than it has in the last 2,000 years

Global mean warming / cooling rates over the last 2,000 years. In red are the periods (each across 51 years) in which the reconstructed temperatures increased. Global temperatures decreased in the periods in blue. The green line shows that the maximum expected warming rate without anthropogenic influence is just under 0.6 degrees per century. Climate models (dashed orange line) are able to simulate this natural upper limit very well. At more than 1.7 degrees per century, the current rate of warming is significantly higher than the expected natural rate of warming, and higher than values for every previous century. Instrumental measurements since 1850 (in black) confirm these figures. © University of BernRead More »

In Venezuela, social, popular and communal unity is not an illusion

Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora | July 30, 2019

Ángel Prado, the spokesperson of the Socialist Commune El Maizal.

The Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora, a Chavista social and political organization, got the opportunity to interview Ángel Prado, the spokesperson of the Socialist Commune El Maizal, during the second national meeting of communal leaders. The Socialist Commune El Maizal is a Venezuelan peasant organization comprising of 22 communal councils dedicated to building socialism at the grassroots level, The organization celebrated its 10th anniversary on March 5.

Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y ZamoraWhat are the strategic and immediate objectives of the Socialist Commune El Maizal?Read More »

Tea workers in West Bengal to hold united rally

Peoples Dispatch | July 31, 2019

The Joint Forum of trade unions in the tea sector in the Indian state of West Bengal have called for a “united peaceful rally” on August 1. The Forum announced the rally during a meeting last week and stated that the goal is to press their long-standing demands. They also sent a memorandum to the district and national level government authorities, including the Planter’s Association, an employers association.

According to workers, their main grievances include the violation of the Minimum Wage Act and the Food Security Act, as well as the absence of a provision for household land rights to landless workers in tea plantation areas. The residents of tea gardens face a host of problems in enrolling in government welfare projects and are deprived of a secure, dignified life.Read More »