Two days ago, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government in Kerala completed its first term in office. One of the highlights of its accomplishments has been the policy towards migrants workers. While there is a global attack on immigrants, in Kerala the Left has decided to push for more rights for mights - including health insurance. This is only one of many initiatives taken by the LDF to tackle the pressing needs of the people. By the way, the population of Kerala is about equal to that of Canada. Developments of a humane policy in such a large state should give pause to those who say that there is no alternative to social inequality, immiseration, authoritarianism and permanent war.
You can read my report on the LDF year here.
Meanwhile, in the world of war and destruction, US President Donald Trump went to NATO headquarters and threw down the gauntlet over NATO's Article 5 - namely the collective defense of the bloc. Over in Afghanistan, where Article 5 had been in effect, the situation is miserable. America's War there has effectively slipped into stasis. Strategy is absent and the will is near exhausted. It is a sign of the failure of the US in Afghanistan that the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has now been allowed into respectable political society.
In the current issue of Frontline, I have a story on America's Afghan War. You can read it here.
It ends, 'The Taliban, which had been delegitimised for its cruel rule 20 years ago, has now positioned itself once more as the only viable force to bring stability to the country. The reality of this is clear to many in U.S. intelligence. The return of the Taliban would be a major blow to U.S. prestige, the worst U.S. military defeat since Vietnam. Every contingency will be taken to prevent that outcome, even the destruction of Afghanistan.'
Finally, two new books from LeftWord.
(1) Cecilia Bobrovskaya's Rank and File Bolshevik: A Memoir. A charming and important book that offers a window into a working-class Bolshevik's view of the fight to overthrow the Tsar and inaugurate the Russian Revolution.
(2) Red October. The Russian Revolution and the Communist Horizon. Important essays on the Russian Revolution, its importance and its importance and relevance for today.
Have a look at them!