Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dipankar Chakraborty, Aneek Editor, Passes Away

Dipankar Chakraborty, the founding editor of the independent left Bangla journal Aneek, passed away on Sunday night.  He was 71.  A cardiac patient, he had suffered a respiratory problem in the evening and died on the way to hospital.  He is survived by his wife, son, daughter, and grandchildren.
Always active in people's movements, Chakraborty had a pioneering role in the civil rights movement.
As editor of Aneek, Chakraborty played an important role in educating generations of activists.  At the same time, the Bangla monthly, under his editorship, raised important political and cultural issues for debate.
Chakraborty was born in Dhaka in 1941 and grew up in Murshidabad after the partition.  Educated in Baharampur and Kolkata, he taught economics at Krishnanath College at Baharampur.  He later settled in Kolkata.
A veteran of the left movement since the sixties, Chakraborty began publishing and editing Aneek in 1964 when ruptures in the CPI on ideo-political issues led to its first split and the birth of the CPI (M).
In the wake of the Naxalbari uprising three years later that triggered the second split and the birth of the CPI (ML), Chakraborty did not join the new party.  But he made Aneek an independent forum for debates on contemporary communist movements, both national and international.
Under his stewardship, Aneek became one of the leading left periodicals in Bengal and among the few 'little magazines' which had survived five decades against all odds.  He himself was an accomplished political commentator and had several books to his credit.
Chakraborty was jailed by the S.S Roy government during the Emergency.  A lifelong defender of human rights, he was also one of the founders of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and its vice-president.
He was always active in campaigns to release political prisoners irrespective of the creeds of the ruling parties and governments.  He stood by people's movements and joined protests in their support despite his failing health-- from Maruti to Nonadanga.
Chakraborty translated into Bangla a couple of essays by Paul M Sweezy.  He also edited a collection of Bangla-translated essays by Sweezy.  Aneek regularly carried essays by John Bellamy Foster and other Monthly Review authors.
Chakraborty was also one of the founders of People's Book Society, a major publishing house, and an enthusiast of the 'little magazine' movement in Bengal.
Noted novelist and activist Mahasveta Devi, who knew Chakraborty closely, expressed her 'profound shock'.  "I am deeply grieved.  It's an irreplaceable loss for the human rights movement as well as for me,'' the octogenarian writer said.  Poet Sankhaya Ghosh also mourned Chakraborty's death.  "I feel like losing a near and dear one,'' he said.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

For Workers, A Thinner Slice of Pie

Once again, the much told fact has been reiterated: Workers get a thinner slice of pie. ILO's Global Wage Report 2012/13: Wages and Equitable Growth records the fact. The bigger slice is always for capital. This is the rule, and the rule was enacted and being implemented by capital. There is no division of power; although capital markets the power-division formula in democracy market.
An amalgamation of crises, especially financial and economic crises in the advanced capitalist countries have intensified capital's war against labor. One of the gains by capital in this war is labor's declining share in income. The ILO report finds: “ Workers get a smaller share of GDP, as a bigger slice goes to capital income.” Capital income shares increased in a majority of countries. In China , wages tripled over the last decade, but GDP grew at a faster rate than the total wage bill. This surge cut down the labor's share.
In 16 developed economies, the average labor share dropped from 75% of national income in the mid-1970s to 65% in the years just before the economic crisis, and in 16 developing and emerging countries, it decreased from 62% of GDP in the early 1990s to 58% just before the crisis.
Labor's declining share in income means labor is paid less for its necessary labor time, and less payment for necessary labor time means labor is pressed down or squeezed out more for more profit by capital, which is labor's increased hardship, deprivation, suffering. Then, labor is dictated to keep silent. And, this is the democracy capital practices. A real capitalist democracy!
To put it point blank: It's labor's starved, half-starved days, untreated diseases, degrading housing condition, more work, less rest, more uncertainty, less security, more indignity. This puts pressure on labor, weakens labor's bargaining power. So, the ILO report finds: “W age growth suffered a double-dip in developed economies.”
Between 1999 and 2011, the report tells, average labor productivity in developed economies increased more than twice as much as average wages. In a number of larger economies including the US , Germany and Japan wage growth lagged behind productivity growth.
In Germany , average wages declined in spite of positive average labor productivity growth in the years 1999–2007. In 2011, hourly wages were only marginally (0.4 percent) above their 2000 level while hourly labor productivity had grown by 12.8% over the same period. Real monthly wages remained flat although labor productivity soared by almost a quarter over the past two decades.
Citing S. Fleck, J. Glaser and S. Sprague's “The compensation–productivity gap: A visual essay”, in Monthly Labor Review (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jan. 2011) the ILO report says: The gap between hourly labor productivity and hourly compensation growth contributed to a decline in the labor share in the US, where real hourly labor productivity in the non-farm business sector increased by 85% since 1980 while real hourly compensation increased by only around 35%. In the UK , despite “productivity gains real average wages declined sharply”.
The declining trend is also “amazing”. In a number of countries including Greece and a number of new EU member-countries, wages declined considerably more than labor productivity.
Lower wages
Large numbers of employees are getting lower wages, finds the report. The reasons include reduced working hours and less overtime.
Companies in several countries have reduced employees' working time: Three or four-day weeks have replaced five-day week, daily hours have been reduced, and even plants have been shut down for weeks or months.
Reducing working hours is no kind-heartedness of capital. The same is with less overtime work. The measure has been taken to avoid lying off labor as lying off labor creates risky situation for capital, especially during the period of increased social tension. Threat to capital's political instability increases.
“Real average wage growth”, the ILO report finds, “has remained far below pre-crisis levels globally, going into the red in developed economies, although it has remained significant in emerging economies…. Omitting China , global real average wages grew at only 0.2 percent in 2011, down from 1.3 percent from in 2010 and 2.3 percent in 2007.” This is the hard fact of 0.2 percent, and the fact turns harder if one casts glimpses on the company, especially bank balance sheets of loss and profit. The sheets show a higher profit, higher dividends.
In developed economies, wages suffered a double dip; in eastern Europe and central Asia, real wages contracted severely in 2009; in the Middle East, real average wages appear to have declined since 2008; and in Russia , the real value of wages collapsed to less than 40% of their value in 1990s. It took another decade before the Russian wages regained its initial level. In terms of real value of wages, is it a decade lost in Russian capitalist wilderness?
In India , wage trends appeared “somewhat unclear”, as the report observes. It says: “[R]eal wages declined in a majority of recent years, shrinking the purchasing power of wage earners. This would explain the many concerns expressed by workers in India about rapidly increasing prices, particularly food prices. The trend, however, is surprising in the light of the country's rapid economic growth over the last decade.”
In a number of Arab countries, the Arab Spring “seems to have prompted [...] to make further increases in wages for local people working in the public sector. [But in] the private sector, minimum wages and collective bargaining are underdeveloped in the Arab region.”
Wage-productivity gap
The wage growth-labor productivity growth gap, the ILO report finds, is widening.
The fact turns out: Labor is made to move wheels with more speed, move its limbs and brain faster, stretch its muscles further but the number of coins that are thrown down on its frail hands increases with a slower speed. The gap widens.
When necessary labor time is squeezed down further, wheels are turned speedier, and labor's bargaining power is weakened, the crueler reality declines to hide. It gets exposed. It's hard time for labor, a time of intensified exploitation of labor, a time for higher profit by capital. It's not “equitable growth”, the ILO report's 2012/13 edition looks at. So, the academic parlance emerges: “working poverty”.
But there is cheap labor: Workers in the Philippine manufacturing sector were paid $1.40 for every hour worked. It was less than $5.50 in Brazil , $13 in Greece , $23.30 in the US , about $35 in Denmark .
A treacherous space is there. “Throughout the crisis wages continued to grow in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia .”
Growth in wages in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia will not reach the level in Europe and the US in near-future. So, there will be scope for threatening labor in these two continents, there will remain space for bargaining with it, and there will be profit.
IMF intervention
In Greece , the report notes, wages were growing ahead of productivity before the crisis. But, average wages were forced down by austerity programs. However, in 2010-2011 cumulatively it fell down close to 15%. The minimum wage has been severely cut, losing 22 percent of its previous value, informs the report.
“This change was made on the request of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the IMF as a condition for giving the Greek Government access to bailout funds from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).” The report cited The IMF's advice on labor market issues , IMF Fact sheet ( [17 Sep. 2012]): “Wage cuts were necessary if the country was to regain competitiveness and growth.... The IMF also considered that the minimum wage in Greece was substantially higher than in other developed economies, even though ... it was not out of range.”
Referring the case of Portugal the report says: In the country, “access to EFSF came at the condition of a minimum wage freeze.”
In Serbia and Albania , the report says, “real wages fell in spite of positive labor productivity growth, a reflection of the freezing of nominal wages in the public sector.”
Citing M. Arandarenko and S. Avlijas' “Behind the veil of statistics: Bringing to light structural weaknesses in Serbia ” in V. Schmidt and D. Vaughan-Whitehead (eds): The impact of the crisis on wages in South-East Europe (2011) the report says: “In Serbia, an agreement with the IMF signed in April 2009 included a commitment by the government to keep public sector wages and pensions frozen in nominal terms in 2009 and 2010 – as a result of which real wages in the public administration declined. This measure came with a ban on new employment in the public sector. Similarly, on the advice of the IMF, budgetary restrictions on wage growth in the public sector have been introduced in Albania .”
The IMF's wage-freezing “story” is told, at least for now.
Space for capital
It's preached: companies need breathing space – scope for making profit – in times of crisis. So, an arrangement was imposed on labor: work sharing.
Many companies, the report finds, have adopted new working practices, and labor's hourly wage rates were changed. Brains in the moneybag of capital have not suggested reducing profit rate.
Citing ILO's Decent world country profile: Ukraine (Geneva, 2011) and G. Kulikov and V. Blyzniuk's Impact of the financial and economic crisis on wages, income distribution and the tax system (Budapest, 2010) the report says: In Ukraine, “[m]any employees had to go on unpaid leave, especially in the industrial sector while others saw their basic wages frozen and their bonuses cut.” The Ukraine labor has experienced the award of formally resorting to open market its red turned white party bosses promised.
However, the reality emerges: capital finds its breathing space by further and further encroachment of labor's breathing space.
Capital's increased share
The report says: “The mirror image of the fall in the labor share is the increase in the capital share of income (often called the profit share), which is measured most frequently as the share of gross operating surplus of corporations as a percentage of GDP.... [I]n advanced economies, profits of non-financial corporations have increasingly been allocated to pay dividends, which accounted for 35 percent of profits in 2007 and increased pressure on companies to reduce the share of value added going to labor compensation.”
The report shows: In many countries, there is a long-term trend towards labor compensation's falling share and profit's rising share.
Citing studies/reports including OECD's Divided we stand: Why inequality keeps rising ( Paris , 2011) and J. Roine and D. Waldenström's “On the role of capital gains in Swedish income inequality” (in Review of Income and Wealth , Vol. 58, No. 3, 2012) the report said: In the period 1987–2008, a large part of the increased surplus of corporations went into boosting the dividends to shareholders. In France , total dividends increased from 4% of the total wage bill in the early 1980s to 13% in 2008. In the US , three-quarters of the increase in gross operating surplus went into the payment of dividends. The greater concentration of income with capital instead of labor, booming dividends have often contributed to higher overall household income inequality.
No interpretation is needed. “Truth needs no flowers of speech”, writes Pope.
Void capitalist globalization
Capitalist globalization was hawked vociferously by mainstream. But, void promise by capitalist globalization has been exposed. Financialization is actually gambling with incapacity by a few that savages broader society. To labor, capitalist globalization is a savage fact. Capitalist globalization-lords delivered sermon on benefits of trade globalization, expansion of financial markets, etc. But, reality has exposed those lies.
“The drop in the labor share is due to technological progress, trade globalization, the expansion of financial markets, and decreasing union density, which have eroded the bargaining power of labor”, says the report. “Financial globalization, in particular, may have played a bigger role than previously thought.”
Citing D. Rodrik's 1997 work Has globalization gone too far? (Washington DC, Institute of International Economics) and Ö. Onaran's “Globalisation, macroeconomic performance and distribution” in E. Hein and E. Stockhammer's (eds) A modern guide to Keynesian macroeconomics and economic policies (2011) the report says: “[F]inancial globalization has probably weakened workers' bargaining position.
In developed economies, the report says, “global financialization contributes 46 percent of the fall in labor income shares, compared to contributions of 19 percent by globalization, 10 percent by technology and 25 percent by changes in two broad institutional variables: government consumption and union density. ... [F]inancialization, globalization and technological progress have all grown in magnitude over time, thus contributing negatively to changes in labor income shares between the two periods.”
The working poor
“One of the key findings”, the report says, “is the growing inequality in income, in terms of functional and personal income distribution.”
“[M]any waged and salaried workers in developing countries are in fact living with their families in poverty”, says the report. Out of about 209 million wage earners in 32 developing countries from 1997 to 2006, about 23 million were earning below US$1.25 a day and 64 million were earning less than US$2 per day, the international poverty lines for 32 developing countries.
An “interesting” relation is mentioned in the report. “A lower labor share”, the report says, “was associated with a higher share of net exports in all countries. A 1 percent lower labor share was associated with higher rates of investment in GDP in nine countries as well as in the eurozone group, but had no perceptible effect on investment in five emergent economies and the US . The positive effect of lower labour share on exports is perhaps not surprising, given the close relationship between the concept of the labour share and the concept of unit labour costs. A decline in unit labour costs is often seen as an improvement in external cost competitiveness [...] lower unit labor costs are [...] frequently advocated as a means of restoring economic growth and promoting employment. This is [...] the rationale behind the decision in Greece to reduce the minimum wage by 22 percent, with a further 10 percent cut for young workers, together with a reduction in non-wage costs (social security contributions) by 5 percentage point. Similar [...] measures were also part of IMF programs in Portugal , Serbia and Latvia .”
The fact shows capital's efficiency in imposing burden on labor: To sharpen competitive edge, press down, squeeze out labor, ask labor to “sacrifice”/“contribute”, which is actually appropriation. To ensure the “sacrifice”/“contribute”, there is force, the force of political mechanism. And, to hide the act of appropriation and use of force, there are crude jargons “innovated” by a section of dignified academic brains.
The reality of shrinking income, increasing hardship, growing poverty of the labor, and rising profit of capital finds Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, write in the Preface of the report: “On a social and political level this trend risks creating perceptions that workers and their families are not receiving their fair share of the wealth they create.”
In developed economies, according to the report, unemployment rose from less than 6% to more than 8% of the labor force. The figure was double-digit in Greece , Ireland , Portugal and Spain . Worldwide unemployment has gone up by 27 million since the start of the crisis, bringing the overall number of unemployed to about 200 million or 6% of the global labor force.
In this saturnalia organized by capital, shall labor's discontent and rising appear immoral and illogical?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012-2013, And Quiet Flows The Time-Stream

Here, 2013, a new year, has already dawned. But, 2012, the yesteryear, deny departing as streams of concussions and conflicts, deals and diplomacies flow into 2013 with their complexities and knots, with sounds and force.
In areas of economy and politics, society and culture around the globe, 2012 saw changes and stalemates, initiatives and thwarted efforts. A glimpse into 2012 may help track unfolding time.
Crises in banking, finance, debt, employment, economy, and increased competition in world market and for sources of energy and labor produced diplomatic intrigues, direct and proxy interventions, bloodshed and suffering of peoples in countries in 2012.
Austerity, unemployment, apprehension of EU’s possible implosion, much touted Arab Spring’s turning back to Arab Winter, elusive recovery overwhelmed 2012. Anger, protests, demonstrations and general strikes raged in countries. Capitalism found none to defend it in 2012. Even parts of mainstream media and academia publicly criticized capitalism.
Austerity & Poverty
Capital exposed its shrewd and cruel face as it imposed austerity measures with all tact and powers in countries. With increasing suffering of peoples in countries austerity turned out as a major issue in political and financial circles and among economists in 2012. It was debated, and it was forcefully implemented.
But people rejected it within their capacity and available opportunity. The election results in France and Greece came out as peoples’ verdict against austerity.
Suicides followed austerity. Suicide of a Greek activist made headline in international media. The increasing number of suicides in Greece and Spain turned out as an authentication of crisis in economy.
Hunger, poverty, eviction from mortgaged homes, longer breadlines, ailing hospitals, rickety schools appeared regular reality in some European countries. To many European youths, 2012 was hopeless. In search of work, a flow of migration, although tiny, from Europe to Africa began. Poverty was not only a Third World case; it turned out as a European case also.

As an outgrowth of crisis neo-Nazis appeared on the Greek political scene.
Workers in countries found shrinking wages, longer work hours, dwindling real income although productivity increased.
Fear of a food crisis gripped policy makers while it spirited speculators.

Listless Europe
In 2012, EU faced biggest ever challenge as crises deluged economy and politics induced a question: shall the Union implode? The PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain – mastered finance bosses’ and bankcrats’ minds, and nervy markets. Germany dictated terms in the crises atmosphere. Downgrading of ratings of important economies brought annoyance.
Dictations of the Troika – the tripartite bank alliance – were unprecedented on European soil. Bankers’ high-handedness was a developing world-phenomenon. But, the on-going crises made a “strange” add-on in bankers’-dictation pattern. There was change of regime in two European countries. Actually, those were bankers’ coups, unprecedented in post-WWII in Europe. Greece kept creditors annoyed. Grexit and Brexit, pair of terms with deeper meaning, emerged in lexicon of EU-politics.
Tension centering missile system around Russia was a new phenomenon in post-USSR period.
Lenin, it seemed, was not harsh in his criticism of bourgeois press as a part of mainstream UK press got exposed with its blackmail, bribe, machination and wicked connivance.
North America
Unemployment, poverty, hunger rose and spread in the US as the country went through election process. Tea Party lost its steam. Teachers strike was unprecedented. Reelection of Barack Obama confirmed public aspiration. Scandals, in finance and politics and among generals, wrecked careers of a number of personalities in politics and military. Recovery was like a mirage.
The last days of the year found spreading protests and hunger strike in Canada.
China’s in-road in European economy, and its increasing trade and economic relations in Africa and South America heightened competition. The year saw further expansion of Sino-Russian trade, part of BRICS and Shanghai cooperation initiatives.
Arab Winter
With interventions, collusions and unresolved contradictions within society the much advertised the Arab Spring turned back to Arab Winter. In countries in the Arab world, contradiction between retrogressive and liberal forces sharpened as liberty, bread and employment remained elusive.
Tunisian towns and cities experienced demonstrations, blockades. Tunisian president was pelted with stones. Discontent rose in protests.
The Benghazi killing including the US ambassador, unprecedented in recent times, exposed fault lines in many areas within Libya and in the USA. Pogrom of black workers in Libya remained a subject of silence. In-fighting turned approach to resolve issues of governance in the country as it faced threat of bifurcation.
Not only Bahrain, Kuwait and the neighboring oil kingdom also experienced days of protest. The kingdom had to take softer stance in some areas including its history. It opened its archeological sites, unimaginable only a few years ago. A report said the oil-rich kingdom would turn net oil importer.
Egypt witnessed a betrayal to its Tahrir-time, the democracy uprising, a revolution claims a section. Demonstrators once reached periphery of presidential palace in Cairo as they were protesting dictatorial moves and sectarian constitution.
Syria turned a chess board to world powers as oil and gas in the Mediterranean flamed competition. But, to Syrians, the days bore last chance to save the country as blood drenched the old land, as hundreds of thousands crossed borders, as thousands dropped down to dire poverty.
The Jordanian monarchy succeeded in facing sporadic gusts of the so-called Arab Spring.
AfPakIraq, the Deadly Zone
The year that passed failed to find peace in the lives of people in three countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
Taliban, Al Qaida, drone assaults, explosions, deaths, Karzai brothers and corruption, departure of part of foreign troops left many questions unanswered in Afghanistan.
Osama, PakTaliban, relations with the US, corruption, legislative-judiciary tug and the question of gender equality that got highlighted with the Malala-incident dominated Pakistan society and politics.
Days without death, killing, executions and explosions were hard to find in Iraq. The governance system being constructed in the country faltered throughout the year with its unstable power equation. The Iran factor in Iraq and the dissonant Kurdish question remained alive in Iraq.
Palestine’s Victory
Palestine’s diplomatic victory in the UN and Israeli aggression in Gaza moved simultaneously that expose meaningful relations. In the UN, it was a victory of political fight free from adventurism and intolerance. It was a fight that provided no scope to resort to arms. The blood of the Palestinians that flowed in Gaza found its recognition in the comity of nations.
The Palestinian victory in the UN exposed US diplomatic isolation as the mighty country bagged only nine votes while it opposed Palestinian aspiration. It was a lesson to many, and an example of declining power.
In Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, a part of political forces failed to get out of Egyptian intelligence machine.
Climate Crisis
Extreme weather in countries including the US and excessive rain and flood in the UK compelled many climate crisis deniers change position. Dusts of drought flew over dried rivers and crop fields in the US. The “curse” of crop failure seemed real. The question came: Shall dust bowl return in the US?
News of melting down of glaciers, reports from the Arctic and the Antarctic were grim in 2012. But the climate crisis talks failed to produce the cherished output.
Protests & Strikes
Many European cities and towns experienced protest marches, demonstrations, street clashes, mega strikes, and anarchic adventures. Repeated general strikes in a number of European countries exposed non-responsive governance system. Coal miners marched for days in Spain. They fought for days.
Miners’ heroic struggle and their massacre in South Africa raised questions related to capital’s power to shape politics.
Student movement stood against neo-liberalism in South America. Students in advanced capitalist countries also rose in protest against rising tuition fees and specter of unemployment.
With the old resource wars in countries, preparations for greater and deeper interventions from the other side of the Atlantic Africa turned a hot bed of conflict.
Mali, CAR – Central African Republic took their places on headlines. Bifurcated Sudan was not free from conflict, displaced persons and hunger.
A number of economies in the continent gained momentum to follow the path of free market. Land grabbing by MNCs created news.
The continent now bears elements of heightened tension, increased competition and conflict and more bloodbaths. Increased presence of AFRICOM annoyed many.
However, the pirates of the Atlantic appeared subdued although pirates of African resources tightened their grips on the continent.
The Asia-Pacific
Increased mobilization of resources for bolder presence in the Pacific heightened tension. Geostrategic moves found increased military presence of the US in the region.
China’s commissioning of an aircraft carrier, its development of armory, isle dispute, North Korea’s posture, and increased US meddling in the region were part of increasing competition in the region.
Myanmar appeared a state in a process of adjustment with possibilities of increased rivalry between two world economies as it took steps towards widening its gate to MNCs. Political measures paired there.
Elections in Egypt, US and Venezuela raised interests around the world. The elections carried significances.
In Egypt, Morsi, the president, now dubbed the new pharaoh, faced a society charged with tension between religious and liberal elements. Workers, women, Christians, lawyers, media and progressives were opposing Morsi as he curtailed their rights.
In Venezuela, Chavez promised to carry Bolivarian revolution, an initiative having far-reaching implication. Obama’s reelection highlighted changes in electoral map that GOP has to recon with.
South America
Despite many constraints South America continued its emergence as a challenge to hegemon. Brazil’s journey remained unabated. Nationalization steps by Argentina and Bolivia stirred power blocks.
Chavez’s struggle to restructure the Venezuelan society and economy was steadfast despite his deadly encounter with cancer. The country continued its initiatives with participatory democracy. Its election process was praised by international observers.
Cuba kept its hope high with promises of oil in its sea, a development that some experts in the related area forget.
Decreasing poverty and income inequality in a number of South American countries startled many. Asserting sovereignty over national resources turned bold in the continent. The solidarity and integration process in the region continued. Fidel kept on making news with his silence and reflections.
Asylum for Assange
Assange, the person behind massive exposure of states’ doings and misdoings, became an issue of diplomatic David and Goliath incident in London as he sought asylum in a South American country. Now, bogged in an embassy he has already become a symbol of democratic rights.
The incident also signified the way a country can face a situation with dignity, and the strength Latin American unity now holds.
Alleged suicide and death of singers in the West again raised the issue of the state of society that produces such incidents or pushes celebrities to the limit. The question comes: how celebrity “mind” is manipulated or pressed to desperation?
Gun culture in US, the gun trading, again became an issue of debate as the Newtown killing of students in the country shocked people around the world. But, the following debate exposed power of money involved with gun trading.
In the last days of 2012, violation of a human in Delhi overwhelmed all disgusted with an economy and culture of power.
Limitation & Expansion
A duality prevailed. Intervention in Syria, and expansion of military activities in a number of European and African countries and in Australia were part of imperialist expedition although Middle East peace process stumbled. Extension of NATO’s fold and area of operation was there. But, it was not possible to achieve a decisive victory by the military alliance.
Promises that Lurked
Promises in the areas of recovery, employment, peace, democracy and environment lurked in vain in 2012 although the Mars found mankind’s activities and inquisitive brains persisted with the dreamed particle. The world witnessed silent exit of Neil Armstrong, the cosmonaut who imprinted the first human step on moon on behalf of the world of human. Alive was the Occupiers’ initiatives among Sandy battered citizens, by the side of the debtors and the evicted from foreclosed homes in the US.
Shall peace wing in 2013? Shall the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions be democratized? Shall there be an end to interventions? Economy and the interests in command of the world economy shall bring woes of 2012 into 2013. With increased competition and crises dominants shall not beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks until a great subaltern rebellion dominates the dominants.