In this episode, we take a look at the numbers being India being declared the world’s fifth largest economy. We also hear from an all-India students’ rally demanding a fair education system and learn why the country’s IT hub went under water recently.
Growth under capitalism is associated with an increase in absolute poverty. Marx had recognised this and expressed it as follows: “Accumulation of wealth at one pole is, therefore, at the same time accumulation of misery, the torment of labour, slavery, ignorance, brutalisation and moral degradation at the opposite pole, ie, on the side of the class that produces its own product as capital” (Capital Volume I); or again, “As productive capital grows…the forest of uplifted arms demanding work becomes ever thicker, while the arms themselves become ever thinner” (Wage Labour and Capital).Read More »
A Frontier Editorial | Vol. 50, No.25, Dec 24 – 30, 2017
Persons in power had been boasting about India’s high rate of growth in terms of the GDP. Now the fall in the rate of growth is being highlighted, while the official spokesmen are dishing out the hope, somewhat against hope that the rate of growth will soon pick up.
For one thing the impact of the global recession on the Indian economy was not negligible. The Indian economy was, however, not as much export-oriented as that of China. This was not due to the perspicacity of India’s policy makers but to popular struggles of varying forms and degrees, which prevented the ruling authorities from implementing full-scale globalisation. Recently, however, Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move has had a debilitating impact, particularly on the informal sector of the economy, besides causing immense harassment to the common money-using public. The fact that 99% of the demonetised cash returned to the baking system bears testimony to the fact that the so-called campaign against black money is a big failure, if not a big bluff. Demonetisation coupled with Goods and Services Tax (GST) has slowed down the rate of growth of the GDP; on this there can be no disagreement. The twin evils seem to have hastened the process of decline of the manufacturing sector that grew by just 1.2 percent in the first quarter in 2017-18, as compared to 5.3 percent in the preceding quarter in 2016-17.Read More »
The concept of ‘Africa rising’ poses crucial questions. How can Africans ‘rise’ when they do not possess the thing that allows them to enter the world of Beings seeking sustained economic development? How can they achieve economic growth in the global political economy when the very idea of ‘economic growth’ is counter-defined against them? How can those who are the quintessential slave within the world’s collective imagination ‘rise’?
The last decade or so has seen the emergence of the concept of ‘Africa Rising’. It broadly pertains to the idea that greater and better adherence by African states to western notions of liberal democracy such as peaceful elections and anti-corruption practices, will make them more attractive to foreign investment and therefore induce a sustained period of economic growth, itself leading to an emergent middle class and a corresponding rise in income levels. Most of the critical engagement with the concept has so far been varied. Some, such as Vijay Mahajan, have been optimistic. They posit that Africa is indeed rapidly rising from the throes of economic impoverishment and will soon be in a position to comfortably provide public goods such as adequate health care, primary and secondary school education and paved roads to its populace.