H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse has pledged to develop Sri Lanka as the new miracle of Asia. Since this project concerns our collective destiny as a country, we should subject this project to a surgical analysis. Is this a wishful dream? A hypnotic self-delusion? Or, is it a deliberate illusion spun to deceive the people and perpetuate the power of the Rajapakse dynasty? Where will this path lead us?
Will this ambitious project guarantee dignity, security, autonomy and freedom to our people – to the various classes, nations, nationalities and communities that make up the People of Lanka? Will it deliver liberation to the oppressed and exploited masses?
Or will they all be subjugated, subordinated and suppressed as never before? Will this path lead to national unity and independence based on a strategically self-reliant, self sufficient, rational and equitable economy, relying on unleashing the infinite creative/ productive potential of the toiling masses?
Or, will it enslave us all in new and reinforced relations of neo-colonial bondage, under the dictatorship of a marauding chauvinist-militarist junta? These are core questions that any honest patriotic, democratic and progressive person would have to face.
The path to the Asian miracle is but an extended trajectory of the ideology and politics of the Mahinda Chintanaya. This path has already been characterized by arrogant abuse of power, extreme nepotism and corruption, brute repression, and barefaced deceit and deception. It has been epitomized by gross and systemic violations of human rights and democratic freedoms. Never before had there been such a foul, murderous culture of impunity. The military defeat of the LTTE has resulted in the hegemonic enthronement of Sinhala supremacy and the subjugation of the Tamil nation as never before.
The entire rehabilitation, resettlement, reconstruction process and the prosecution of political prisoners remains criminal. Instead of national reconciliation, we have a regime that is systematically dismantling Tamil nationhood, while consolidating its hegemonic power, politically, ideologically and economically in the North and East. Power has been preserved and perpetuated by the Rajapakse dynasty through massive rigging of elections, wholesale abuse of state resources and incessant violent intimidation.
As opposed to the path of devolution, democracy and development, this trajectory has resulted in even more centralization, politicization and militarization of the state, absolute concentration of power within the ruling junta, reinforced by constitutional changes that seek to perpetuate the Rajapakse regime by instituting a military-police state. Politically and ideologically, this trajectory will further impose archaic, fundamentalist, obscurantist, reactionary power structures and values upon the social order, nurtured by Neanderthal politicos, priests and journalists. Rather than a miracle of Asia, we are being driven into the era of baboons and barbarians. Politically and ideologically, the path to the miracle is a path of gloom, doom and destruction.
The economic path towards the miracle is equally deceptive and fatally illusory. Mega projects such as freeways and highways, airports and harbors, sports stadiums, hi-rise condos and luxury hotels, and mega cities will generate ‘growth’, but in the most tortuous and lop-sided way. This is not some ‘primitivist’ argument. These types of mega projects are necessary. They are gateways to the 21st Century. But, this type of modernization should not be on the backs of the toiling masses. Under the prevailing Comprador capitalist system, this path will only serve to further entrench a form of crony Capitalism, that is, the extreme form of parasitic Comprador Capitalism.
It will generate and reinforce a class of bloated, moronic, ‘commission’ Capitalists and further marginalize and impoverish the toiling masses. State bureaucratic Capitalism will be further entrenched, offering the train of corrupt ministers and loyal lackeys, relatives and bloated functionaries to share in the spoils of profit and plunder. It will prove to be a haven for multinational corporations to rake in super profits, a golden opportunity for international finance capital to further sink their fangs into the economic lifelines of the country, mortgaging the land and the people as never before to foreign expansionist predator states.
Those who brag about the Asian miracles such as South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia, miss the central point. These economies are fatally vulnerable to the volcanic explosions within the system of international finance capital. They are all dependent on the circuits of imperialist capital accumulation and expanded reproduction, and are irrevocably integrated with International Finance Capital. As a result, they have suffered – and are bound to suffer-the consequences of attendant catastrophic financial eruptions, manipulated by international financial racketeers.
As it is, the whole system of global Capitalism – Imperialism- has gone into a logic of intractable crisis and recession. Trillions of dollars are being invested in the very same structures of international finance capital to save the pirate ship from drowning. Concurrently, the world is being dragged into a spiral of intensifying rivalry and contention among the various imperialist powers and their respective blocs, even while there is growing collusion and cooperation between them to save the system.
The global war against terrorism led by the US is simply a strategy to crush any and all resistance to imperialist / neo-colonial domination and aggression. It has already plunged the world into a logic and spiral of unprecedented crisis, instability and anarchy. A permanent state of war! Furthermore, those who worship the Asian miracles forget to mention that all these countries have yet to solve the problem of increasing and intensifying poverty, misery and degradation of the vast majority of the toiling masses within their borders.
Whether it be India, China, Pakistan or Iran, or any other country or coalition that may bankroll this project, all these comprador states have enslaved their toiling masses in abject poverty, misery and degradation, besides unleashing state terror on the masses. All these states are locked into and driven by the logic of capital accumulation of world imperialism and domestically by parasitic, crony comprador capitalism. For the toiling exploited and oppressed masses, this miracle will prove to be nothing but an intensification of jack-boot Capitalism. It will be hell let loose with froth and fury.
As for the Tamil nation cohabiting in the North-East, and the Hill Country ( Malayaga) Tamil nationality and the Moslem and other nationalities and ethnic-religious communities, they will all have to remain subordinated to a theocratic-chauvinist-supremacist state and political order, commanded by a hegemonic dynastic oligarchy. The exploited and oppressed Sinhala masses will be duped into believing that the whole project is to save their Land, Religion and Language- their motherland.
Monarchic symbols, tribal-feudal legends and victory parades shall continue to provide the gist for the propaganda mills. Mind control will be sustained by projecting an insidious and perfidious demonic enemy as a way of exploiting the fields of subterranean fear and insecurity of terrorized masses. The Parliamentary Opposition will, in the meantime, continue to rot in stupefied submission to the hegemonic agenda. This is while retired General Sarath Fonseka shall live to regret the day that he tied his political fortunes with the likes of the UNP and the JVP, and the TNA shall continue to worship at the alter of the New Delhi Brahmins.
The path to freedom lies in mobilizing the workers, peasants, all exploited and oppressed classes, nations and communities to forge their revolutionary unity in rupturing with the whole structure and relations of imperialist/ neo-colonial domination that have subjugated and devastated the Land and the People of Lanka for over five centuries. Until and unless we find the path to restructure our agricultural base through an agrarian revolution uprooting all archaic, parasitic, feudal-comprador relations of production underlying conditions of bare subsistence, generating endless poverty and indebtedness, we shall forever remain a beggar neo-colony.
We have to wage a thoroughgoing democratic revolution, with the agrarian revolution at the core, to overthrow and uproot the structures and relations of imperialist domination and feudal oppression. Through these profound revolutionary transformations the infinite productive potential of the toiling masses shall be unleashed.
This will be based on an internally driven, self- generating logic and dynamic of surplus generation, capital accumulation and expanded reproduction, girded by an integrated program of industrialization, leading to strategic economic self-reliance and self-sufficiency. This will be the basis to achieve people’s democracy and national independence, in the form of the People’s Republic of Lanka. We will have to define a new developmental philosophy that has the liberation of the toiling masses and the independence of the country as the inspirational source and theoretical guide at the very center of the project, as was applied in the former Soviet Union and China led by their respective Communist Parties.
The most path-breaking, epoch-making revolutionary miracles in all fields of human endeavor- science, economy, technology, culture- were achieved under Socialism in the Soviet Union and China. And these glorious peaks of human endeavor were achieved with the goal of advancing the emancipation of humankind from the chains of universal ignorance and slavery, while being encircled by world imperialism. Capitalist restoration in these former Socialist states do not negate these miraculous achievements.
These are but temporary – though devastating- set-backs in the long journey towards uprooting and overthrowing the material and ideological conditions and relations of domination and achieving universal freedom. We too have to define and undertake the scientific revolutionary path of genuine national independence and people’s democracy, leading to Socialism, based on enthroning the state power of the exploited and oppressed masses, who alone have the political will and the historic potential for creating miracles.
It is time for us to unite and rise as the People of Lanka to perform our miracles on the path towards achieving universal human emancipation. The first step would be to organize and mobilize our combined resistance against the hegemonic-chauvinist-militarist agenda, led by a class of parasitic crony comprador capitalists, driving the slogan of the Miracle of Asia.
(Surendra: is Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party [ Maoist])