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BTL 3

Radhika Desai

  • The fate of capitalism hangs in the balance of international power

    Most commentary on international relations proceeds as if the global order floated above the patchwork quilt of the world map, an ethereal stage on which disembodied states play leading or bit parts in consequential but ultimately inexplicable plots. Inadequate at the best of times, such commentary will not serve when the fate of capitalism itself hangs in the balance of international power.

  • Know your enemy: The dangerous futility of pseudo-philanthropic neoliberalism

    How have Western responses to the pandemic remained within the neoliberal paradigm, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding? What does the behaviour and activities of its major leaders tell us about the new phase of neoliberalism which they will attempt to establish? Why is it almost certain to fail?

  • Political hope in search of an agent

    The left faces an historic disparity between its own long-depleted abilities and the hopes it has begun nursing. Its abilities—levels of union organization and votes for left-of-centre parties, to take only two of the more obvious indicators—have taken a beating amid the neoliberal assault of the past four decades. If one takes a longer historical view, its debility appears even more serious.

  • From pandemic to political pandemonium

    The present crisis mixes public health, economic and political crises. Each consists of the pandemic bringing decades-long processes of decay and decomposition to a head. As more and more governments move to relax lockdown restrictions while curves of infections and deaths flatten, rather than letting up, each of these crises is intensifying.

  • Political hope rises

    There is no pre-pandemic normal to return to. Neoliberal capitalism is certain to emerge from the present crisis transformed. There is, however, the question of how and by whom: by left forces in a progressive direction or by those of capital and the right in an even more authoritarian direction? That is what is politically at stake in the present moment. That is what this manifesto is about.

  • The unexpected reckoning: Coronavirus and capitalism

    The present pandemic is certain to be different not because it is more lethal than previous ones (it is not), nor because it is causing havoc in financial markets (as most crises of neoliberal era have), but because it is exposing the weaknesses, distortions and imbalances of the productive apparatus that neoliberalism has shaped over four decades.

  • The US, Iran and the danger of war

    With practically any major power it would care to engage, the US must count the cost of their retaliation and those of their increasingly powerful allies. The danger of war lies in the very real possibility that, in the prosecution of their internal civil war, the US executive will be unable or unwilling to count it. It also lies in the pervasive tendency in of the media, the political leadership and the intelligentsia to subordinate themselves to the needs of the war machine.

  • It’s the economy, stupid!

    The impression of a region teeming with internecine enmities along bewilderingly archaic ethnic and religious lines hampers understanding of the Middle East. Stephen Gowans’s book on Syria contests this impression powerfully. It focuses on of four key actors: U.S. imperialism, secular Arab nationalism, the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offshoots, and Saudi sponsored Wahhabism.

  • The University of Manitoba stands at a historic crossroads

    Turning education into a high-priced commodity is constricting access once again just when greater numbers of women, minorities, and Indigenous people have begun to access it. These are among the reasons why UMFA supports low or no fees, greater public funding of post-secondary higher education, and a return to universities’ core educational, researching, and training functions.

  • Keynes and the crisis

    After neoliberalism dispatched Keynesianism in the 1970s, the left was relieved of the need to confront Keynes. But as neoliberalism self-destructs in capitalism’s greatest crisis since the Great Depression, neoliberals and “third way” economists conjure up Keynesianism anew in their attempts to salvage it.

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