ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Work of Theory

Tackling the question of how to recalibrate the relationship between history and theory in our favour without falling into the trap of either an unqualified universalism or a naïve historicism, this article proposes that we move from the position of being a critic of Western theory to that of being a composer and assembler of a new theory from different sources and different histories.

Bihar Elections 2015 and the Left

The left decided to go it alone in the elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly, ignoring the perils of such a stand-alone strategy. It ignored the fact that a fragmented secular vote had worked to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s advantage in the parliamentary elections in 2014. This article dissects the vote shares of parties and alliances in the parliamentary and Bihar elections and finds that though the left’s strategy resulted in an increase in its vote share, it also benefi ted the BJP.

Winds of Change

The results of the recent assembly elections are a boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party and its prime ministerial aspirant only in the psephological sense. The real political message of these polls is that space for a democratic alternative to the Congress and the BJP is not only available but also realisable. Will the days leading up to the general elections see a consolidation of this alternative?

Capitalism, Non-capital and Workers' Rights

Workers, Unions and Global Capitalism: Lessons from India by Rohini Hensman (New York: Columbia University Press; published in India by Tulika Books, New Delhi), 2011; pp xx + 416, Rs 825.

Anti-Corruption Movement and the Left

The anti-corruption movement is by no means without conflict; there is enormous potential both for democratisation as well as for a right-ward shift. Neither trend is inevitable; which one emerges triumphant depends to a large extent on how the various sections of the broad Left respond.

Capital Myths and the 'New Copernican Revolution'

In the prevalent world view, the ecology is perceived as a subset of the economy where intense state interventions and ideological scaffoldings are needed to sustain this rule of capital. However, this order of things seems to be changing where the economy is now, increasingly, being perceived as a subset of the ecology. This is akin to a "New Copernican Revolution" in the way we look at human relations with nature and with each other. Recent instances, like Vedanta's Niyamgiri rejection, indicate that entrenched ideas are changing in India too.

Talks Only With Broader Sections

In the light of the recent demands raised by sections of the intelligentsia urging the government to heed the CPI(Maoist) “offer of talks”, we insist that “civil society” should rather put pressure on the government to initiate talks with representatives of all struggling popular and adivasi orga

Democracy, State and Capital: The 'Unthought' of 20th Century Marxism

Is democracy in India a sham, as the Maoists and indeed many other leftists claim? If so, how do we understand the experience of many oppressed groups who have found this democracy enabling in many ways? A possible way out of this endless debate is to see democracy not as a fully-formed end product of liberalconstitutionalism but as its untamed other - the mass politics which escapes and exceeds the Law and the injustices of Order. It is from here that the greatest challenges to capitalism and the State arise. The Maoist strategy, by merely trying to mimic the State, is actually inimical to this democratic upsurge and therefore needs to be resisted.

A Great Leap Backwards

Aditya Nigam Jean Bricmont is a theoretical physicist who writes on politics with great facility, politics being a passion that he carries with him from his youthful past. Bricmont is a

Gandhi - The 'Angel of History': Reading Hind Swaraj Today

Gandhi's Hind Swaraj is more than a political text. It is an ontological drama staged by Gandhi, reflected in his treatises against "modern civilisation", and his critique of "modernity".

Empire, Nation and Minority Cultures: The Postnational Moment

A closer look at many contemporary movements and struggles will show that they operate without the luxury of the Manichean imaginary of a world divided into two camps. These struggles respond to a world that is messy; where the oppressor could be on any side of the Left/Right divide. In a manner of speaking, such contemporary struggles operate under the unstated assumption that there is no "outside" to power - either of the state or of Empire. If that be the case, as these movements appear to be telling us, then all struggle is about operating in the interstices of power.


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