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My notes 14-09-2015

Sep 14, 2015


Roots of European refugee crisis

  1. The endless conflict has ruined the social, political and economic structures of west Asia. It killed their secured livelihoods.
  2. The abundance of energy resources made the west Asia geo-economically relevant for the west. There was enough evidence to prove that on the pretext of promotion of pro-democratic forces in Syria, western powers ended up helping the radical group and birth of the ISlamic state.
  3. The EU has unveiled a refugee quota plan to address the crisis but is already facing an opposition from eastern members.  Ex-The Czech Republic.


Reasons for the decline of left

  1. Reformist zeal in the west Bengal made it unpopular with masses
  2. Internal feuds in Kerala
  3. Obstructionist emphasis of central leadership on reformist zeal of state leadership
  4. Failure of the party to change with time - It did not have innovative political tactics to reach out to changing India- The emphasis is on negation - resistance, obstruction, and dependence on statism. It is seen as  a party that opposes everything and stands for nothing.
  5. It confined its mobilisation tactics limited to organising the poor and did not focus on urban residents who lack amenities. This space occupied by new parties like AAP.

So, It is suggested that Indian left parties shall learn from latin America and Europe , the new strategies of mobilisation and organisation building.


Growth of Left in the west

  1. Bernie sanders inUSA, Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, Pablo Iglesias founder of the podemos political party, Beppe Grillo from Italy all represent the growth of Left in the west.
  2. The recent victory of Syriza in greece is a symbol of hope for a more citizen-oriented, democratic, transparent political narrative.
  3. Raise in Inequality and unemployment in the west can be said as major reasons for the growth of left.
  4. After liberalisation, the top one percent Americans earnings increased by 191%, but the middle class wages fell by 5%.
  5. As Francis Fukuyama states, today’s liberal democracies are increasingly undergoing repatrimonialisation — the capture of independent state institutions by powerful elites. The egalitarian ethos, tempered by the idea of a society, has dissolved.
  6. In the 1890s, the rise of the progressives like Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt reformed the Government and political economy away from the Gilded age. Today, We are in the middle of a Second Gilded Age, with rent-seeking plutocrats accumulating vast fortunes. Amid this, a new progressive class has emerged, technologically savvy and intolerant of a corrupt and oligarchic government. It seeks sweeping reforms of government and public services. Despite institutional resistance, these efforts could culminate in a Newer Deal.
  7. This Progressive Era has its challenges. To cut inequality, we need to raise the level of minimum wages, strengthen collective bargaining, and improve employment benefits. Women need equal wages, flexible work environments and better childcare facility. We need better regulation of business, especially for rent-seeking sectors. Climate change requires a systemic response, with enhanced environmental protection.. With new demands for reservation based on economic criteria, the old politics of ethnic, racial and caste based reservation or affirmative programmes will soon die.


Jeremy Corbyn as leader of opposition in the UK

  1. There is a rising tide of Left in the west. Jeremy Corbyn election as the leader of opposition presents an end of Tony Blair s era of New Labour pragmatism.
  2. The economist described Mr Jeremy Corbyn as the most left-wing MP in the house of commons.
  3. His ideas on key issues are constant and have not changed on any important issue since the 70s. They include an opposition to public spending cuts, renouncing nuclear weapons, welcoming refugees etc.
  4. The major challenge here is though he was elected by labour party.. Many of the labour MPs did not show interest in joining in his shadow cabinet.
  5. It is in line with general leftist trend visible in the entire west and Europe in particular. Syriza in greece, Podemos in Spain, Corbyn in the UK all reflect this.
  6. Probably, the continued recession, decreasing employment opportunities might be the reasons.



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