Capitalism, Socialism and Over-Production Crises

by Prabhat Patnaik

News Click | February 14, 2020

This article is meant to clarify a point made earlier (Why Didn’t Socialism Have Over-Production Crisis, Newsclick, June 30, 2018) about the erstwhile socialist economies not having over-production crises as capitalist economies do.

It is in the nature of capitalism to have “over-production crises”, i.e., crises arising from “over-production” relative to demand. “Over-production” does not mean that more and more goods keep getting produced relative to demand, so that unsold stocks keep piling up. This may happen only for a brief period in the beginning; but as stocks pile up, production gets curtailed, causing recession and greater unemployment.

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Julian Assange Must Be Freed, Not Betrayed


Countercurrents | February 18, 2020

On Saturday, there will be a march from Australia House in London to Parliament Square, the centre of British democracy. People will carry pictures of the Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange who, on 24 February, faces a court that will decide whether or not he is to be extradited to the United States and a living death.

I know Australia House well. As an Australian myself, I used to go there in my early days in London to read the newspapers from home. Opened by King George V over a century ago, its vastness of marble and stone, chandeliers and solemn portraits, imported from Australia when Australian soldiers were dying in the slaughter of the First World War, have ensured its landmark as an imperial pile of monumental servility.Read More »

The Lancet publishes letter from doctors: “End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange”


Countercurrents | February 18, 2020

This week’s edition of the Lancet—the world’s pre-eminent peer reviewed medical journal—carries a letter from 117 medical doctors in 18 countries, renewing their call for urgent action to save the life of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Their letter appears less than one week before the start of the US extradition hearing in London that may decide Assange’s fate.

The doctors’ two-page letter appears in the correspondence section of the Lancet under the heading “End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange.” It was written by Dr Stephen Frost (UK), Dr Lissa Johnson, clinical psychologist (Australia), Dr Jill Stein (former leader of the US Green Party) and William Frost (UK).Read More »

Cuba exposes efforts to discredit our judicial system

Granma | February 17, 2020

Photo: Cubavision
The truth of Cuba has once again shattered a campaign to discredit our country’s judicial system, unleashed by the U.S. government and its mercenaries, since the arrest of counter-revolutionary criminal José Daniel Ferrer García.

More strong evidence was presented in a February 7 report on Cuban television, with facts and testimony that were disseminated on social media, in the wake of the public outcry produced by the publishing of information, November 27, 2019, confirming Ferrer’s guilt in acts for which he is accused, and others.

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Thousands march in Germany against warmongers at Munich Security Conference 2020

People’s Dispatch | February 17, 2020

Protest against Munich security conference
Over 5,000 people marched in Munich on Saturday against the security conference. (

On February 15, thousands marched in Munich, Germany, protesting against the Munich-Security Conference 2020 hosted in the city from February 14 to 16 Sunday. More than 5,000 people joined the protest called by anti-war, anti-NATO organizations against the meeting of the war hawks of the European Union (EU) and NATO. North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between North American and European countries and is often criticized for its imperialistic and warmongering manuverous. Activists from the German Communist Party (DKP), Socialist German Workers Youth (SDAJ), Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and Turkish Communist Party (TKP)  have also joined the protest. Read More »

Australia: West Gate Tunnel saga shows risk of ‘lock-in’ on mega-projects pitched by business


The Conversation | February 18, 2020

Victoria’s government finds itself in a big hole with its West Gate Tunnel project. As diggers lie idle in a dispute over what to do with contaminated soil, it’s facing long delays and billions in extra costs. But the government appears locked into a contentious project that was put to it as a market-led proposal, an arrangement that bedevils transport projects across Australia.

Australian governments look increasingly to mega-projects to solve urban and regional transport problems. These projects are city-shaping. They can transform how entire urban regions function.

The public has a clear stake in these projects, but unsolicited market-led proposals are subverting planning processes that are meant to protect the public interest.Read More »

Quality childcare has become a necessity for Australian families, and for society. It’s time the government paid up


The Conversation | February 16, 2020

An Australian family on the average wage typically spends close to A$6,000 out of pocket per year on child care, a new analysis from the Mitchell Institute shows. This is more than the average cost of sending a child to a private primary school.

Unlike the school sector, families don’t have the option to choose a low cost publicly delivered childcare service.

Childcare costs in Australia are among the highest in the OECD, eating up around 27% of families’ incomes. Many families are being forced to choose affordability over quality.Read More »

‘Victory for Farmers’ as Jury Awards Grower $265 Million in Damages From Drift of Monsanto’s Dicamba


Common Dreams | February 17, 2020

Brad Rose looks at rows of soybean plants that show signs of having been affected by Dicamba use on Aug 9, 2017
Brad Rose looks at rows of soybean plants that show signs of having been affected by Dicamba use on Aug 9, 2017. He doesn’t use it on his crops and he’s assured by neighbors within a mile and a half that they haven’t used it either. According to him, that means that the chemical had to travel about two miles to reach his crops. Dicamba, a weed killer that has been used for over 50 years, is now having a devastating impact in Arkansas and neighboring states because because the Monsanto is now selling new soybean and cotton varieties that have been genetically altered to tolerate dicamba. (Photo: The Washington Post)

German chemicals giant Bayer announced Monday its intention to “swiftly appeal” a U.S. jury’s decision to award a Missouri peach farmer over $265 million in compensation for years of crop losses as a result of drifting dicamba weedkiller.

The legal challenge was the first dicamba suit to go to trial and was brought forth by Bill and Denise Bader, owners of Bader farms. Dicamba is produced by Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018.

Mr. Bader’s suit challenged (pdf) Monsanto’s “willful and negligent release of a defective crop system—namely its genetically modified Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II Xtend cotton seeds (“Xtend crops”)—without an accompanying, EPA-approved dicamba herbicide.”

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UK Development Bank ‘Doing More Harm Than Good’ After Failed Reforms—Report

Global Justice Now | February 17, 2020

WASHINGTON – A new report from anti-poverty campaigners Global Justice Now has found that Britain’s development bank, CDC Group, is doing more harm than good around the world, nearly a decade after the Conservative-led government pledged to reform it following a string of scandals.

As the sixth international development secretary in the last five years, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, takes up her role, the campaigners are calling for CDC to be given a new mandate and structure as part of a root and branch reform. Read More »