Marxist theorist and professor of sociology at the New York University, Professor Vivek Chibber, on Tuesday said that future of Left parties in India was in question due to 30 years of “malaise” that had set in.
Responding to a question about future of Left parties at the Institute of Development and Communication, where he delivered a lecture on “Pathways Out of Neoliberalism – Can We Revive the Development State?”, Chibber said: “Future is in question. There is a very severe crisis….Main Left is not visible outside. The political base of the Left is shrinking. There has been 30 years of malaise.”
Chibber said if Left was to discover its dynamism it will have to show commitment, open itself to criticism and strike a chord with a large concentration of people. He added that Left-wing organisations still had the potential to mobilise the masses. Speaking during the first Randhir Singh Memorial lecture, Chibber said parameters like growth and industrialisation painted a dismal picture of neoliberalisation, which was the toast of several countries between 1930 and 1980.
Chibber said conflict between the capitalist, who wanted to have a greater say, and planners (the State), which ultimately controlled the policies in larger interests and acted as a discipline enforcing force, led to the conflict. “Countries had to discard the ‘developmental state’ model due to a fundamental disagreement between the capital class and the State over intervention in regulating capital flow and investment. In the end, the planning and policy had to adjust their investment priorities to accommodate the capital class. This led to liberalisation.
“Today, globally neoliberalism is in crisis. Growth has declined, income has stagnated, inequality has expanded and their continues to be a growing discontent among people that has led to multiple political convulsions all over the world in which the electorate has made it clear that it demands an alternative to the status quo.” Chibber further said there was “oceanic rise of miserable army (of working class) going from one job to the other”.
The only way out, he added, was “massive state-led investment in the public sector, regulation of private investment and prioritising planning and policies towards uplifting the deprived sections”. “Political organisations of the working people and research bodies must partner together to devise policies and frameworks for inclusive and sustainable development,” the New York University professor said in his concluding comments.