By Krishna Jha
“One of the most striking results of the path of capitalist development is the concentration of Capital with economic power in the hands of big monopolies who enrich themselves at the expense of people and even other broad sections of the Indian bourgeoisie… “
These are lines from the program adopted by 22nd Party Congress of the Communist Party of India (CPI) held at Puducherry on March 25-29, 2015. It becomes very clear that the path of finance capital moves through concentration of capital in few hands. The fact is that finance capital takes its shape only when there is merger, of various forces, which is called concentration and the system it operates in requires its centralization, that is exclusivity. No other player is allowed.
Since the devastation that came with pandemic, resources are getting accumulated as the process of monopolization gets sharper. In the process, the small and medium industries and agriculture, centers of production in rural and urban areas that provide livelihood are dying. Millions of small businesses are getting simply shutting down, industries closing down, employment rate diminishing, millions of workers and employees have been perishing. People at a massive scale are either walking miles to meet the two ends or doing jobs that leaves them almost starving. Even the middle class employees and entrepreneurs face the same crisis as the common workers. It is not only the workers and peasants exploited, it is the entire non-monopoly section that bears the burden of such atrocities.
The unemployment situation in India remains grim. Mass exit of labour force during last few years has distorted the labour force participation in the economy and caused it to shrink to an alarmingly low level.
India’s unemployment rate surged to a one-year high of 8.3 per cent in August as employment sequentially fell by 2 million to 394.6 million, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This is the highest unemployment rate since August 2021.During July, the unemployment rate was at 6.8 per cent and the employment was 397 million, the CMIE data added. Quite obviously, India urgently needs an economic revival with rejuvenation in job market with employment generation.
According to CMIE data, 70 percent of the share of wealth is today concentrated in the hands of only ten percent. In the days of lock down and in its aftermath, as there was no relief for the larger masses, hunger, deprivations and deaths were common sight. Covid 19 has polarized productive and finance capital as never before. While world economy slipped deeper into crisis, financial giants accumulated wealth as never before, mainly through speculation. The world was never witness to such accumulation of wealth, and that too so fast, and at the same time, so much deprivation and weakening of economy eating away the roots.
As per the latest data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), inflation in the food basket was 7.62 percent in August, up from 6.69percent in July and 3.11 percent in August 2021. On an annual basis, the rate of price rise was in excess of 10 percent in the case of vegetables, spices, footwear, and ‘fuel and light’. The BJP government’s very refusal to discuss the issue in Parliament amounts to admitting failure to control inflation, which can be attributed to government’s flawed policies. Food inflation has been particularly worrisome. Domestic budgets started feeling the pinch ever since demonetisation began to rob people of their livelihood, in the process sucking up all the demand in the economy.
The government at the centre has not just heaped mounting miseries on people, it has also comprehensively manipulated the data. This is often done to either hide the failures of the government or to show a growth that never happened.
With production process in turmoil while monopolies keep reaping the gains, and been evolving, the basic contradiction of monopoly capitalism as corporate sector gets strengthened. It has been the evolution of dialectics, reaching out to a stage that has both the old and new features that are getting ushered in. Development is always relative, and nothing is out of blue. Roots are there but relevant only till it spaces out for the new. As the monopolization goes further, there emerges a new socio- economic reality, which has no precedence. We are witness to each of its features.
The phenomenon is unprecedented and new. It has the new basics. The productive forces have been developing in a novel way moving towards scientific and technological revolution and democratizing the entire masses of non-monopoly sections. On the other hand, with concentration of capital, contradictions also get sharper as the capital keeps moving away from production and towards speculation and stock market.
When Lenin wrote about imperialism and finance capital, he also visualized the agony of the entire non-monopoly section of the masses and the rising need for assertion of their unity to face the challenge. His “Two Tactics of Social Democracy” was the script for the democratic revolution based on unity of all these sections.
It was on these lines that the Communist Party of India in its program adopted in 2015 carried forward the concept of democratic revolution, and said clearly, “…This… has to be anti-feudal, anti-imperialist and anti-monopolist.” The 24th congress of CPI at Vejawada from October 14 to 18 will discuss in details the present economic crisis and chart out programme of action to fight the anti-people measures of the Narendra Modi Government. (IPA Service)