In a functioning bourgeois democracy, the system could to a certain extent auto-correct itself. In the past, before the Mahinda Rajapaksa government took office, Sri Lanka had that capacity. Now without a substantial intervention of the working masses, the local establishment has all but lost it.
In the absence of a functioning democracy and an informed and active citizenry, idiosyncrasies of individual leaders have become the national policy and determine the fate of the nation.
Like most governments that follow the path of the IMF- endorsed development thesis the present government too prefers big, tall and shiny structures as the landmark of development.
"It is inspiring to note that at several conferences held in recent months where trade unions, professional organisations, civil societies, media groups and political parties participated, there was agreement to build a movement to face the dangers created by the present system of capitalist autocracy"
The artificial ‘shopping’ island off the coast of Hambantota which is going to be built with Chinese ‘help’ will use the soil excavated in the process to expand the Mahinda Rajapaksa Port.
The government wants to expand this barely used port even further. The new Rajapaksa Airport is claimed to be the only international airport in the world which is not visited by a single international carrier. As Joseph Stigliz stated a decade ago, building superstructures befitting a highly developed country in an underdeveloped, debt-ridden country, will only lead to further economic chaos.
The Rajapaksa government is actively implementing a policy which seeks to maximise the power, wealth and glory of the ruling matrix, making the people to pay for it.
Obviously, the political matrix will gain from these completely chauvinist policies, but at the same time it is creating mass suffering among the oppressed including the Sinhala poor.
Mahinda followers preach that we should be proud about being the Commonwealth host-country. Even though the Summit is more than a month away, the waste and corruption scandals are already seeping out. Some are making money. Poor countries cannot develop by holding international political extravaganzas for the benefit of the rich.
Countries which are already developed with a large middle class and a position in the global capitalist system can use such extravaganzas to showcase their socio-economic achievements.
Despite so-called development, our youth unemployment rate is close to 20%. Lankan HDI ranking is well below the average for countries in the ‘High Human Development Group’. What can we show except poverty, disappearances, political harassment and violence against women and children? Societies and countries develop only when a majority of the people who form these societies are united and freely participate in the development programme.
The IMF and leaders of global capitalism, despite criticism by their own pundits such as Joseph Stiglitz, keep that model in place for those who prefer it. However even the global masters today promote the development model, which incorporates democracy, autonomy and human rights. They are aware of the acute crisis created by the falling rate of profit.
"The present government prefers big, tall and shiny superstructures as the landmark of development"
Greater democracy and more sharing of power while defending the demands for elimination of environmental hazards and repression of women and children are considered to be the conditions of containing economic crisis. Until revolutionary changes occur in the advanced world, we have to stand for national democracy.
It is an opening the working class has got, to go forward winning the sympathy of other plebian masses. In this respect trade unions and workers' organisations have to play a leading role.
It is inspiring to note that at several conferences held in recent months where trade unions, professional organisations, civil societies, media groups and political parties participated, there was agreement to build a movement to face the dangers created by the present system of capitalist autocracy.