Today, as the dominant global power, the US roles out its brand of unfettered capitalism across the world. US citizens constitute just five percent of the world’s population but consume 24 percent of global energy. Consider the consequences of a US-style model of ‘development’ if it were to be aspired to and copied throughout the world (which it is in places[Read More…]
The association of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, popularly known as BRICS, finds itself at an interesting juncture in its existence. After limited success in restructuring international financial institutions, which was the stated intention of the forum, the BRICS governments established the New Development Bank that has been functioning for more than two years. At a time when[Read More…]
Big news – at times – go completely unnoticed. (Thanks to the mediatised times we are passing through) And thus it did not appear surprising that the decision by Posco, the South Korean steelmaker, the fourth biggest in the world, to exit the proposed 12 million-tonnes a year steel plant in Odisha did not cause much flutter. Yes, newspapers[Read More…]
As you may know from the media about recent the statement by Odisha’s Industry Minister, Devi Prasad Mishra that “POSCO confirmed the withdrawal of its project by requesting the Odisha government to take back the land transferred in its name”. We strongly believe this is not just a victory for our people but also the victory for the all the[Read More…]
Access to the right financial tools at critical moments can determine whether a poor household is able to capture an opportunity to move out of poverty or absorb a shock without being pushed deeper into debt. When microfinance-provision of financial services tailored to fit the needs of low income people – made its first appearance, everyone was infatuated by[Read More…]
Corporations today are run as if their employees are members of a military at war. Obedience to hierarchy is prized above every other consideration. Loyalty to the corporation comes before loyalty to the laws of the country. Like the ‘thin blue line’ employees are expected to never go outside the chain of command no matter how illegal or dangerous is[Read More…]
While misogyny, racism, and ethnic taunts were conspicuous signposts on Donald Trump’s path to the White House, much of that road was paved with “populist”, “anti-establishment” and “anti-globalization” rhetoric. Trump’s inaugural address featured numerous populist lines (e.g. “What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people”), attacks on the status[Read More…]
One of the conspicuous absences from the sound and fury last weekend’s protests was the impending executive act of President Donald Trump affirming the US exit from the Trans-Partnership Agreement. Not that that was much in doubt: it had not been ratified nor voted upon in Congress, and that particular body had been cooling towards it. It was a blow[Read More…]
My father likes to say that some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The same could be said of the neoliberals of the world, who–in case you missed my previous piece–are now transcendent in most policy circles across the world. To review, the neoliberal agenda is one of deregulation, unfettered trade, fiscal austerity (with the[Read More…]
Bourgeois democracy is facing threat from within. It’s the perception of the world elites. The elites are going to gather in Davos, a snow covered village in Switzerland, in their annual moot – the World Economic Forum (WEF); and their annual flagship report – The Global Risks Report 2017 (GSR) – prepared on the basis of perception of hundreds of[Read More…]
As Donald Trump prepares to become U.S. president on Jan. 20, the future of NAFTA is in doubt. He has promised to either renegotiate or withdraw from the trade agreement. Despite the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, there are still many different existing North American integration mechanisms that remain in place. Over the last year, the globalists have quietly[Read More…]
Microfinance continues to thrive despite being under fire from legions of critics. One plausible reason for the lingering faith in the power of microfinance is that it provides a convenient strategy for investors to demonstrate that that they are active fighters against poverty and are trying to save the poor while making a substantial amount of money from them. Microfinance –[Read More…]
When India ushered in neoliberal economic reforms during the early 1990s, the promise was job creation, inclusive growth and prosperity for all. But, some 25 years later, what we have seen is almost 400,000 farmers committing suicide, one of the greatest levels of inequality out of all ‘emerging’ economies, a trend towards jobless ‘growth’, an accelerating and massive illegal outflow[Read More…]
Co-Written by Helena Norberg-Hodge and Rupert Read The election of Donald Trump was a rude awakening from which many people in the US have still not recovered. Their shock is similar to that felt by UK progressives, Greens, and those on the Left following the Brexit referendum. In both cases, the visceral reaction was heightened by the barely-disguised racist and[Read More…]
The election of Donald J. Trump on Tuesday, November 8 terrified many who consider themselves notionally progressive or traditional republicans. It also terrified free trade ideologues, and those who believe that opening borders to boundless consumer goods and services eradicates poverty. There are few better exponents of this idea on trade than Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, whose insistence that[Read More…]
Armed men in jackboots, some masked and toting assault rifles, stand mockingly, defiantly, heavily on the mound of graves – a sacred indigenous burial ground. A site non-natives can understand as similar to Arlington National Cemetery. How US nationalists would feel if the situation were reversed, and people were occupying or plowing up Arlington to bury a pipeline that will[Read More…]
The Obama administration faced reality on Friday when they recognized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would not be ratified by this Congress. The TPP is dead. How did people power win?
Most interesting watching the progress of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU through the various opaque backroom ministrations this past week. NAFTA first As the progeny of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, 1994) it serves to refer to a bit of history. Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney very recently on CBC said that[Read More…]
GENEVA (28 October 2016) – The trade deal set to be signed by the European Union and Canada is a corporate-driven, fundamentally flawed treaty which should not be signed or ratified without a referendum in each country concerned, a United Nations human rights expert says. Alfred de Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international[Read More…]
This column is the second part of a series. To read Part One, click here. In Part One, I argued that a healthy society requires that governments be accountable to the people for the well-being of all, and that corporations be accountable to democratic governments. Last week, Bayer, a transnational drug and pesticide company, secured funding for its $66 billion offer[Read More…]
In this most bizarre of presidential elections, no one is talking about one of the biggest—if not the biggest—issues of our time. Namely, the global power imbalance between corporations and governments. Not Donald Trump, as he obsesses over the weight of a long-past Miss Universe. Not Hillary Clinton, despite her many substantive proposals that the media largely ignores. Not even[Read More…]
Eight years after the eruption of the global financial crisis, the conditions are being created for another meltdown of even bigger proportions, amid rising geo-political and economic tensions between the major capitalist powers. This is the implication of three reports issued by the International Monetary Fund in preparation for its annual meeting, which begins in Washington today. The World Economic[Read More…]
The Oxford Martin School is based at Oxford University in the UK. In what seems to be a laudable aim, the school has set up the ‘Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations’ (OMC), which has brought together 19 international leaders from government, business and civil society to address the growing short-term preoccupations of modern politics and business and identify ways of overcoming[Read More…]
As soon as we start speaking about “globalization,” we inevitably associate it with the excessive financial markets that are disconnected from the real economy. There is less public awareness of another type of globalization that also involves the forced unification of institutions all over the world: the institution of private property and privatization strategies. The driving forces behind this development[Read More…]
Imagine that a group of highly concentrated transnational corporations in the knowledge industries such as pharmaceuticals, high-tech, and entertainment pack so much lobbying clout that they can convince the governments of the industrialized world to bully developing countries to “harmonize” their copyright, patent and trademarks laws into a global intellectual property regime. That is what happened in the 1990s when[Read More…]
Financial speculation in food commodities has become one of the main drivers of food price volatility, with devastating impacts on small producers and the poor. Yet the disruptive influence of financial speculation on food markets is only a preview of future crises. International financial markets are now attempting to dominate many conventional markets as a long-term strategy to extract greater[Read More…]
Being savaged by Donald J. Trump on one side of the electoral aisle, and modestly beaten by the Democratic presumptive candidate, Hillary Clinton, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is lying somewhere between near death and miraculous survival. Those breathing life into that unfortunate beast remain politicians who embraced the mythology of free trade while never questioning what was free. The scurrying[Read More…]
It took two days for 60 members of the Cowboy and Indian Alliance to plant the heirloom seeds by hand. It was the spring of 2014, and there were prayers, burning of sage and sweetgrass, and, one by one, volunteers pressed the red corn seeds into the earth of Art and Helen Tanderup’s farm in Neligh, Nebraska. There, along the[Read More…]
“The only way to counter globalisation—just a plot of land in some central place, keep it covered in grass, let there be a single tree, even a wild tree.” This is how dear friend and eminent writer Mahasweta Devi, who passed away on July 28, at the age of 90, quietly laid out her imagination for freedom in our times[Read More…]
What is the purpose of the European Union? This question has been of the minds of everyone following the UK vote in favor of Brexit. Yet in the mad scramble to make sense of the United Kingdom’s rejection of the EU, little lucid commentary has been made. European leaders, the fawning media, and UK citizens alike portrayed the vote as[Read More…]
About two thousand years ago, the Romans had developed the most effective military apparatus seen before in history and, with it, they had created a vast empire. However, with the first century before our era, they found that they had a problem: their stupendous military power was going out of control. One of the warlords of that time, Julius Caesar,[Read More…]
The Brexit crisis was being used as an excuse to fascistify things, regardless what other outcome it might have. Even an essentially progressive vote of the public, to free their nation from the dictatorship in Brussels (the EU), was thus turned into an excuse for the nation to veer far to the right.
Rufus Yerxa, the top lobbyist for the National Foreign Trade Council, told World Trade Online, on July 12th, that he believes “there is enough time and congressional support to get TPP passed during a lame-duck” session of Congress, meaning the session between November 9th and January 3rd, which would be in time for U.S. President Barack Obama to sign it into U.S.[Read More…]
Earlier this year, a collection of papers was published under the title of Building Global Labor Solidarity in a Time of Accelerating Globalization (Scipes, ed., 2016). It was a strong effort by seven labor activists and scholars from different parts of the world to think out how workers today can support each other globally; initially so as to defend against[Read More…]
Africa is facing a new and devastating colonial invasion driven by a determination to plunder the natural resources of Africa, especially its strategic energy and mineral resources. That’s the message from a damning new report from War On Want ‘The New Colonialism: Britain’sscramble for Africa’s energy and mineral resources’ that highlights the role of the British government in aiding[Read More…]
When I woke up on June 24th and checked the news, I cried. Along with millions of people around the world. I’m a diehard believer in independence, freedom, democracy, and strong local economies. For some, the Brexit result represented those things. If that had been the reality, I would’ve supported it too. But like every other choice offered in the[Read More…]
The Brexit verdict brings out the weakness of the concept of European Union. It raises questions whether integration based on the concept of common markets and free flow of capital and goods, services and people can be transformative for all the social classes. Whether integration based on supremacy of finance capital and markets and designed at promoting their profitability at[Read More…]
The British working class, millions of other ordinary Brits and a swathe of British nationalists have voted for Brexit, the exit of Britain from the EU, with immigration and national self-determination being major issues. The British political Establishment, the political elites, Mainstream media, EU officials and the Americans view Brexit as irresponsible and damaging, and the Brexit supporters have[Read More…]
Recent decision of the MHRD to hike the fees of IITs, NITs and IISERs has once again made it clear that the paradigm of this government is to betray the masses and to serve the profit hungry corporates
The enraged liberal reaction to the Brexit vote is in full flood. The anger is pathological – and helps to shed light on why a majority of Britons voted for leaving the European Union, just as earlier a majority of Labour party members voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader. A few years ago the American writer Chris Hedges wrote[Read More…]
Implicit in all the rhetoric promoting globalization is the premise that the rest of the world can and should be brought up to the standard of living of the West, and America in particular. For much of the world the American Dream – though a constantly moving target – is globalization’s ultimate endpoint.
There remains a conspicuous fear in the US Republic that civilization must be a centralising endeavour. Smaller states only matter if they are wedged into a series of agreements and arrangements with an overseeing hegemon. The hegemon dictates the measures to be taken, even if they may be cushioned by promises of good relations and a false sense of autonomy.
Twenty-four hour news networks are both terrible and worthy sites to gauge herd-like assumptions. A gaze at CNN over the coverage of the Brexit over the course of Friday suggested the dismay, growing into outrage that the infallible market had somehow failed to detect the Leave voters on its all divine radar.
This vote is expected to trigger a wide range of far-reaching social, economic and geo-political ramifications at the domestic, European and international levels. Many of these effects would be long-term and are yet to be fully comprehended. Even though the Leave vote was largely influenced by the immigration issue but other important concerns have not been given adequate attention.
Alfred de Zayas, the U.N.’s Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, is assigned the task to apply the standards of international law to proposed treaties, to determine whether they’re in accord with international law. On Friday, June 24th, he issued his finding on three large proposed treaties regarding international trade among Atlantic countries: TTIP, TISA, and CETA. Earlier, on February 2nd, he had issued a similar finding on the proposed TPP treaty between Pacific countries, and his conclusion there was the same: that the proposed treaty violates international laws, and is inconsistent with democracy.
Instead of accelerating further integration, the member states should reclaim more sovereignty from Brussels. The EU nomenclature is out of touch with the real world. They do not serve the interest of the peoples but rather corporate interests such as the TTIP negotiations show that are held in camera. If the EU doesn’t change track, it will fall apart.
The policy makers of the developing countries must not fall prey to such deceptive arguments, instead, they must formulate policies which suit the interests of their working classes. The only trouble is that the governments of the Third World are dependent on foreign investment and the global loan sharks, that’s why, they cannot adopt an independent economic and trade policy.
Describing itself as a major ‘global communications, stakeholder engagement and business strategy’ company, APCO Worldwide is a lobby/PR agency with firm links to the Wall Street/corporate America establishment (arguably, part of it) and functions to serve its global agenda. India PM Narendra Modi turned to APCO to help transform his image and turn him into electable pro-corporate PM material. It also helped Modi[Read More…]
Neoliberalism or free-market fundamentalism The central dogma of neoliberalism is economic growth, achieved by: # Increasing competition through deregulation (watering-down of social, welfare, health, labour and environmental laws), and opening domestic markets to foreign competition, and # Severely limiting the role of the State by privatization of state assets and liberalization of economic policies, simultaneously increasing corporate influence and involvement[Read More…]
The RSS did not participate in the freedom struggle, and that it was responsible for Gandhi’s assassination, are facts that are not new. These arguments have been used repeatedly against the RSS since the Independence of India in 1947. The RSS does not claim a stake in the freedom struggle, but refutes the accusation of being party to Gandhi’s assassination.[Read More…]
The world’s economies are facing a glut and there is excess manufacturing capacity, amounting to almost 30%, and China is no less a culprit with almost 40% overcapacity. The “Johnny-Come-Lately”, India is going to face a stone wall with its efforts to build a huge manufacturing capacity to take on China at this stage. And the trillions of dollars of investment required are supposed to be met through FDI inflows. The first question that stares us in the face is, “who in his right mind will be willing to invest in new manufacturing capacity, when there is so much over capacity coupled with slackening demand?”
There are some who would believe that collaboration at the pan-European level could facilitate a path to genuine economic decentralization. Others are convinced that those steps to localize can best be taken by first leaving the EU. Still others don’t favor either of these paths. We are not trying to tell UK readers how (or even whether) to vote; we are asking you to help us shed light on and bring sanity to this volatile situation. Whichever way you vote, please reject the glaringly stupid rhetoric in the media. Speak out, let your voice be heard for ecological and economic sanity, for a fundamental turnaround
Usually, we don’t stop to think about how the whole economy works together. A major reason is that we have been lacking data to see long-term relationships. In this post, I show some longer-term time series relating to energy growth, GDP growth, and debt growth–going back to 1820 in some cases–that help us understand our situation better. When examining these[Read More…]
Foreign Ship Owners And Ship Breakers Outwitting UN’s Basel Convention, Threaten India’s Maritime Security
Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA) disapproves of efforts by foreign Shipowners and Shipbreakers to outwit UN’s Basel Convention on transboundary movement of hazardous end-of-life ships, threatening India’s maritime security and environmental and occupational health of workers in the ship breaking facilities in Indian waters. These ship owners have been lobbying with the Ministry of Shipping to amend the Shipbreaking Code 2013[Read More…]