[Marxism] [Sanhati Newsletter] May 2014 Newsletter

Sanhati Newsletter newsletter at sanhati.com
Mon May 19 11:53:22 MDT 2014

Dear friends of Sanhati,

We hope you continue to be a regular reader of our website <sanhati.com>. 
Our aim is to provide a media outlet for evolving news, analyses, and
debates pertaining to the political economy of India and the world. We
endeavor to provide space for voices often unrepresented in, and ignored
by, the corporate media, with a cautious eye on the objectivity of

In order to better serve our readers, we are launching a monthly
newsletter.  We plan to send you an update every month, when the new
journal is published on the website (If you would prefer not receiving
future emails, please let us know.)

The latest issue of our journal features the following six articles. You
can also find a variety of articles on the general election on our

1) In "Is Overpopulation the Gravest Crisis on the Planet?", Manali
Chakrabarti debunks the oft-repeated Malthusian claim about overpopulation
being the scourge of continued human existence on earth. The article
demonstrates how overpopulation alarmists serve the interests of the
wealthy by masking the real reasons for hunger -- historical conditions
and prevailing social relations, obscenely high consumption levels and
control of resources by the wealthy, continuing land-grab by and capital
flows to the wealthy, and environmental damage wrought by corporations.
The article presents statistical evidence to remind us that hunger is
caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity; & fertility is not the
cause of poverty, but poverty (and the ensuing uncertainty about the
survivability of the newborn) is the reason for higher fertility.

2) In "The Economic Crisis: A Marxian Perspective", Ramaa Vasudevan
summarizes different Marxist explanations of the ongoing economic crisis
in the U.S.  The article draws parallels between the high income and
wealth inequality in the 1920s and 2000s, and the debt-fuelled consumption
that temporarily masked declining wages. It locates the roots of the
current crisis in Capital's attempts in the early 1970s to restore
profitability by waging a no-holds-barred offensive against the working
class, and illustrates how such crises are a natural and unavoidable
consequence of Capital's drive for higher profits. The "financialization"
of the economy starting in the 1980s, and tighter managerial control over
labor have ensured immense concentration of wealth and income, and an
unprecedented increase in private debt. Just like in the 1930s, the
resolution of this crisis will be highly contested and which of
finance/labor is restrained will eventually be determined by the balance
of class forces.

3) In "Impunity, War and Justice", Gautam Navlakha discusses the
implications of the legal and social sanction enjoyed by the army when it
engages in counter-insurgency operations in "disturbed" areas of our
county such as the North East and Kashmir. The article underscores the
obvious but frequently forgotten fact that when the state wages war
against its own people, civilians become easy targets. Laws such as the
AFSPA enable the army "to fire upon, even to the extent of causing death,
members of a group of more than five persons ..." and effectively grant
blanket immunity to the army. The article emphasizes that AFSPA is no more
than one layer of immunity for crimes such as killings, enforced
disappearances, torture and rape; it calls for doing away with such
provisions and building legal safeguards against state violence, and
insisting on a political resolution of all internal conflicts.

4) In "The Che Guevaras of Telugu Society", Bernard D'Mello reviews the
book "Understanding Maoists: Notes of a Participant Observer From Andhra
Pradesh." The article starts with an overview of the socio-economic
conditions that fostered the growth of revolutionary movements in Andhra
Pradesh, and outlines in brief the different streams of the Maoist
movement in AP. The article goes into some detail on the relatively less
publicized mass-struggle phase of the Maoist movement in AP (from
1978-85), shedding light on its "go the villages" campaigns that mobilized
the lower caste and dalit students and propelled them into local
leadership positions, and successful social boycott and public hearings
campaigns that invited the wrath of the rural gentry and the repressive
apparatus of the state. While acknowledging the state repression that led
to a spiral of violence and the Maoist movement privileging armed struggle
over political mobilization, the author cautions against the pitfalls of
this tendency and challenges the Maoists to imaginatively adapt
Marxism-Leninism to the Indian context.

5) In "General Elections 2014 : Rhetoric and Reality", Aloke Bhattacharya
cuts through the media hype about the significance of the 2014 elections,
and shines light on the unenviable record of the primary contending
parties, be it in regard to their complicity in communal pogroms, support
for neoliberal economic policies, or complete disconnect with working
class concerns. The article contends from the Gujarat experience that the
precariousness of the working class is set to worsen if the BJP is voted
to power.

6) CDRO (Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations) Bulletins for
February and March 2014

Additionally, our website also has the following sections:

1) Newsreel, which features updates from ground level sources, and
occasionally, articles which have been explicitly censored from the
mainstream media (such as <http://sanhati.com/articles/9734>);

2) Events, which features upcoming events;

3) Media Feed, which features important articles appearing in
mainstream/alternative media;

We welcome your comments and urge you to contribute content to the
website.  Feel free to contact us at newsletter at sanhati.com.

Sanhati editorial collective


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