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Monday, December 22, 2014

Labor Radicalism And Popular Emancipation (An Essay by Steven Maher From Microeconomics In Context By Dollars And Sense and Setu Prakashani)

I have just got a few new books on 20th December and one of them is 'Microeconomics In Context' edited by John Miller, Bryan Snyder, Alejandro Reuss,Chris Sturr  and the Dollars & Sense Collective by Dollars And Sense and a Bengali publication house,Setu Prakashani jointly.I generally buy my books from bookstore outlets instead of Amazon,for it feels very ironical to buy my resources through which I dream of changing the economic policies from the same organisations who represent absolute capitalist societies and are demolishing the economy in my own country.
Dollars And Sense is well known for their progressive and alternative approach towards Economics and the moment I had got the book,I knew I was on the right track. Most of the authors are Economics professors,most of them being from University of Massachusetts.Some of them are Dollars And Sense Associates and yet others are there,who are researching on certain issues on Economics and Political Science.This particular essay I am going to now talk about is titled 'Labor Radicalism And Popular Emancipation' written by Steven Maher, who is an MA candidate in U.S Foreign Policy and The Middle East at The School of International Service in Washington DC.He is currently writing his thesis on the Palestinian Authority's relationship with The United States And Israel. (As from the author profile given in the book.) 






A FEW EXTRACTS FROM THE CONTENT OF THE ESSAY

The essay starts with a line written by eminent Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek,"Unfortunately,the Egyptian summer of 2011 will be remembered as the end of revolution,a time when its emancipatory potential was suffocated."Gradually,the essay opens up by providing an insight to what happened after the fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and what was the role of Mubarak in the economic context of  Egypt.As many of you must be knowing,Mubarak believed more in the privatisation theory than in the socialisation of wealth and industries. Pressurised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank,the economic "reforms" consisted of liberalised capital flows,deregulation and privatisation of industries and the gutting of the national health care and education systems along with the retreat of the state from other areas of social provision.This shift,as argued by Marxist theorist David Harvey,this allowed reconstruction of power of the economic elites.Despite increased production and strong GDP growth (4% to 7% per year),the neoliberalism demolished the national solidarity.
During Mubarak's reign,the only labour organisation allowed to operate was the regime-dominated General Federation of Trade Unions.However,after his fall,130 new unions have come up.


The eminent problem is that International capital keeps Egypt on a short leash. Between 2000 and 2009,net transfers on Egypt's long term debt (the difference between received loans and debt payments) was $3.4 billion.Egypt's debt grew by 15%,despite the fact that it repaid $24.6 billion in loans.The society is not in a very stable state,either.Doctors are demanding better pay,striking teachers are demanding the restructuring of the educational system to include classes on democracy and human rights,pay increases and firing of the education minister who has forced the shutting down of 85% of schools in Egypt.As Abdel Aziz Bialy has put it : "This is a social revolution to complete the political revolution."

The essay has six sections : An untitled introduction,Rise to Rebellion,Reaction and Normalization,Dark Clouds,A New Explosion and The Road Ahead.

The last part,i.e The last lines of 'The Road Ahead' ends with a declaration that the revolution must seek a true social transformation : one that puts an end to the exploitation of the workers and the violent deprivation of the poor and brings about genuine democratic management of social and political life.Such a radical social transformation will not be looked upon kindly by global capitalism and those at its head but again in the words of Slavoj Žižek,"liberation hurts."

MY REVIEW OF THE ESSAY

Written in as simple English as possible to write on Economics and Political Science,the language still has boldness and imparts the required attributes,be it scientific or emotional to the reader's mind.The essay has a rich combination of statistical data to prove the author's words and the philosophical conclusions drawn are not overbearingly radical,nor capitalist at all but impart ideas on social democracy.The last line by Slavoj Žižek
 reminds me of Noam Chomsky's words : "There is nothing liberal about neoliberalism." 

It is very strange to see such an essay from someone working in the U.S Foreign Policy department but I must consider that if there is a stream,there must be intellectuals and a part of the state intelligentsia who are always bravely against the stream.The acknowledgement/bibilography section is too long and that proves how much hard work has been done to write this essay.

Content - 5/5
Language - 5/5
Data - 5/5
On Topic - 4.8/5

As An Essay - {(19.8/20) * 100%} = 99%

Overall,I am impressed with the content,language,philosophy,political analysis and basically everything else an essay on Labour Radicalism about Egypt is supposed to consist of. The book itself is a jewel and I will be reviewing quite a number of essays I am loving to read from the book.This is the nineteenth edition sold and is a must read for those who are interested in reading about Economics from a less conservative,scientific approach.

You can buy the book from the address provided on the website link I have provided below the photograph and its a personal request : Please do not buy it from Amazon.




Disclaimer - The excerpts of the essay are subject to copyright to the author and associated publishers.
The photograph used does not belong to me.


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