When the Federal Reserve cut interest rates on July 31stfor the first time in more than a decade, commentators were asking why. According to official data, the economy was rebounding, unemployment was below 4%, and GDP growth was above 3%. If anything, by the Fed’s own reasoning, it should have been raising rates.
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The main lesson of correísmo is that no project of transformation, if it wants to sustain and even deepen social change, can weaken the people who propel it forward.
The Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa (2007–2017) stirred hopeful expectations in the continental and global lefts. Although the young economist did not have a record of participation in social movements and had not played any direct role in resistance to neoliberalism, he had been part of a group of heterodox economists known as the Foro Ecuador Alternativo (Ecuador Alternative Forum), some of whom were critics of structural adjustment.
The culture of perfectionism and 'meritocracy' spawned by neoliberalism has pushed alienation to new heights. Has the US left allowed itself to be contaminated by the same mindset?
John Bellamy Foster informs us that Trump's political vision is not populism, but actually neofascism.
C.J. Polychroniou interviews Prabhat Patnaik on the continuing role imperialism plays in the capitalist world-system.
Miguel Urban argues that Europeans are being given a false choice between neoliberalism and nationalism.
On Wednesday, Dilma Rousseff was formally impeached by the Brazilian senate. It’s another tragic chapter in the history of the Brazilian Workers’ Party (PT). After thirteen years at the head of government, the party was wrenched from office in a reactionary judicial and parliamentary coup orchestrated by the right wing.
In place of PT president Dilma Rousseff, Vice President Michel Temer assumed office. Temer belongs to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which allied with the PT in 2014 to form a coalition government. The party broke their ties with the PT in March, ahead of the impeachment. Since then, Temer has earned the support of the PT’s rivals, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), and instituted massive cuts to public services.
When the “pink tide” of left-leaning governments first rose to power on the back of anti-neoliberal protests across Latin America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the initial reaction from the Left was euphoric. Striving to move beyond the “there is no alternative” mantra, many pinned their hopes on what seemed to be a new wave of actually existing alternatives to neoliberalism.
Amidst the revolutionary fervor of social forums, solidarity alliances, and peoples’ councils, it appeared an epochal shift was underway, which Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa optimistically dubbed “a genuine change in the times.”
But in retrospect, the 2005 political mobilizations that led to the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) may have been the high point of the pink tide project. Since then, the balance of power has slowly shifted back towards the Right, with the popularity and efficacy of left-wing governments rapidly diminishing.
The 2011 TIPNIS conflict exposed the contradiction between the MAS government’s proclaimed commitment to indigenous rights and the environment, and its aggressive pursuit of an extractivist development model. International media images of Evo Morales in indigenous garb were replaced by more familiar images of indigenous peoples mobilizing to defend their territories against the incursions of a capitalist state.