The Hindrance to a New Deal Today

by Prabhat Patnaik

People’s Democracy | July 13, 2020

What had been only a suggestion by several prescient members of the capitalist establishment till now, has become official policy, at least in Britain where Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that his government will undertake public investment to stimulate the economy, as FD Roosevelt had done under the New Deal in the 1930s in the US. In fact, Johnson specifically referred to Roosevelt’s New Deal, and expressed his intention of increasing taxes on the rich if necessary. Amusingly, he prefaced his speech by the remark “I am not a Communist”.

It does Johnson credit to have recognised that neoliberal capitalism has reached a dead-end and that the system now needs State intervention, so vilified under neoliberalism, to lift itself from its present crisis. This basic point continues to elude the Modi government in India, which still keeps repeating like a broken record the old and tiresome clichés about incentivising the “wealth creators”. The problem however is that a New Deal cannot be simply switched on at will even by Johnson or any other western leader.

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Coronavirus, Crisis And The End Of Neoliberalism

by Alfredo Saad-Filho

Progress in Political Economy | April 15, 2020

Suddenly, we find ourselves in a transformed world. Empty streets, closed shops, unusually clear skies, and climbing death tolls: something unprecedented is unfolding before our eyes.

News about the economy is alarming almost everywhere: the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the sharpest and deepest economic contraction in the history of capitalism.[1] To paraphrase The Communist Manifesto, all that was solid has melted into air: ‘globalisation’ has gone into reverse; long supply chains, that were previously the only ‘rational’ way to organise production, have collapsed and hard borders are back; trade has declined drastically, and international travel has been severely constrained. In a matter of days, tens of millions of workers became unemployed, and millions of businesses lost their employees, customers, suppliers and credit lines.[2] Several economies expect contractions of GDP to be measured in double digits, and a long line of sectors beg governments for a bailout. In the UK alone, banks, railways, airlines, airports, the tourism sector, charities, the entertainment sector and universities are on the verge of bankruptcy, not to speak of the displaced workers and the (nominally) self-employed, who lost everything because of an economic shock that has not yet even been felt in full.[3]Read More »

How Che Guevara Taught Cuba to Confront COVID-19

Monthly Review | 2020Volume 72, Issue 02 (June 2020)

Cuban doctors head to Italy to battle coronavirus

Cuban doctors head to Italy to battle coronavirus, Physicians Weekly, Mar 23, 2020.

Beginning in December 1951, Ernesto “Che” Guevara took a nine-month break from medical school to travel by motorcycle through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. One of his goals was gaining practical experience with leprosy. On the night of his twenty-fourth birthday, Che was at La Colonia de San Pablo in Peru swimming across the river to join the lepers. He walked among six hundred lepers in jungle huts looking after themselves in their own way.

Che would not have been satisfied to just study and sympathize with them—he wanted to be with them and understand their existence. Being in contact with people who were poor and hungry while they were sick transformed Che. He envisioned a new medicine, with doctors who would serve the greatest number of people with preventive care and public awareness of hygiene. A few years later, Che joined Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement as a doctor and was among the eighty-one men aboard the Granma as it landed in Cuba on December 2, 1956.Read More »

Beyond Covid-19, cholera and ebola, Cuban doctors saved tens of thousands of children from Chernobyl

by Linda Pentz Gunter

Morning Star | July 14, 2020

SETTING AN EXAMPLE: Cuban doctors in west Africa Photo: Granma

CUBA’S Henry Reeve Medical Brigade of doctors, nurses and public health specialists, currently engaged in the global fight against Covid-19, has now delivered support to 27 countries.

Indeed, over the past 15 years, Cuban doctors have treated an estimated 3.5 million patients abroad, while offering free medical training to overseas students in Cuba.

Their current efforts and long history of humanitarian aid — most notably in the successful fight against Ebola in West Africa, in what was originally tagged a “suicidal mission” — has prompted a campaign calling for the Brigade to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Read More »

WWII: Myths and facts: Yalta Conference and liberation of Warsaw

A Journal of People report


Winston Churchill (left) with Franklin D Roosevelt (centre) and Josef Stalin with their advisers at the Yalta Agreement talks, February 1945.
 Winston Churchill (left) with Franklin D Roosevelt (centre) and Josef Stalin with their advisers at the Yalta Agreement talks, February 1945. Photograph: PA News  

The Yalta Conference, held in then-Soviet Black Sea resort of Yalta in Crimea from February 4 to February 14, 1945, was between Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. 

In the conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named Argonaut and Magneto, the leaders of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and the UK discussed the post-WWII future of Germany and the rest of Europe. Yalta Conference was the second of three major wartime conferences among the Big Three. It was preceded by the Tehran Conference in November 1943, and was followed by the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. It was also preceded by a conference in Moscow in October 1944, not attended by U.S. President Roosevelt, in which Churchill and Stalin had spoken of European Western and Soviet spheres of influence.Read More »

Romila Thapar And Others Appeal For Prompt Treatment For Varavara Rao

Countercurrents | July 12, 2020

According to press reports and the statement of his family, the renowned Telugu poet and writer, P. Varavara Rao is extremely ill in Taloja jail. He is suffering from low levels of sodium and potassium as diagnosed by the JJ Hospital, Mumbai, where his treatment was abruptly terminated and he was taken back to Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai. This is a life threatening situation for someone who is 81 years of age, and already suffers from high blood pressure and heart conditions.Read More »

India: PUCL Demands immediate transfer of Varavara Rao to specialised Hospital!

People’s Union For Civil Liberties | July 13, 2020

Vara Vara Rao is a nationally renowned Telugu poet and intellectual who has been incarcerated since August, 2018 in the Bhima Koregaon case. He is considered one of the best critics in Telugu literature and has taught Telugu literature to undergraduate and graduate students for about 40 years. He founded Srujana (creation), a forum for modern literature in Telugu in 1966, which was a quarterly and successfully converted into a monthly and continued till 1992. 15 poetry collections of his own have been published, besides a number of poetry anthologies which he edited.Read More »

India: Pray for Bachchan But Free The People’s Poet Varavara Rao


Countercurrents | July 14, 2020

Ever since the Bollywood star tested positive for COVID 19, the social media is flooded with messages for his speedy recovery.

Amitabh Bachchan and three generations of his family, including son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, and their eight-year-old daughter, were tested positive. This has obviously alarmed their fan following, as husband and wife too, like the family patriarch, have acted in the film industry.

The development has been widely reported in the international media, including CBC and Global, and Bachchan’s admirers are publicly praying for his well-being.Read More »

Comrade DV Rao: Unique Role In Indian Communist Movement


Countercurrents | July 12, 2020

Prominent communist revolutionary (CR) leader of India, DV Rao (Devulapalli Venkateswara  Rao 1917 June 1-1984 July 12), was  known for his unique role in leading the historic Telangana People’s Armed Struggle (1940-51). Every year  in July he, and his inseparable comrade-in-arms T. Nagi Reddy (TN 1917-1976), who also died in the same month,  are remembered by thousands of people through various programs in Telangana and AP.

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Has Germany finally had enough of U.S. bullying and militarism?

by Victor Grossman

People’s World | July 13, 2020

Has Germany finally had enough of U.S. bullying and militarism?

Protesters rally at Ramstein U.S. air base in Germany. Germans are growing increasingly concerned by the presence of nuclear weapons and drones on their territory, making them a target in the event of outbreak of war. | YouTube

BERLIN – Despite concern here about the continuing coronavirus danger, some still have an eye or an ear for new dangers on the international relations front. If they look and listen hard they are hearing an unusual tearing sound.

It could be emanating from a recent development, the yet inconclusive but undeniable ripping apart of that eternal brotherhood between the German Federal Republic and its great patron, provider and protector, the USA, a seemingly indestructible alliance cemented after World War II.

One key location in this process, however, is now soundless. The chug-chug of the special Swiss ship which had laid over 1,000 kilometers of the underwater gas pipeline from Russia to Germany – called Nord Stream 2 – is now silent. It had only a measly 150 km left to reach its goal when Washington made good on the very undiplomatic threats barked out by then U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell (once a commentator for Fox and Breitbart): Any company helping with the pipeline would get slammed by sanctions as tight as those used against Russia or Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. To the surprise and anger of Angela Merkel and many German businessmen, that is just what happened.

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