Faultlines & Defaults
‘“Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 06-12 November 2022
A ‘Chinese’ & an ‘African’ meet in ‘Europe’
‘Chinese’: Xi Hong is my name.
‘African’: Delighted, my name is Emmanuel Noël de Souza.
‘Chinese’: So you’re not African but Franco-Brazilian?
‘African’: Yes, I am African
‘Chinese’: And your name is Emmanuel Noël De Souza?
‘African’: Yes, I owe my parents this pretty name.
‘Chinese’: Even simple names that don’t require any technique, any technology,
you can’t produce them at home? Do you have to import them or have them donated to you?
We should start making them in China to come and sell them to you.
It is out of the question that we leave this vast and profitable name market ‘to Europeans alone.’
And you will prefer our names to those of Europeans for a well-known reason:
‘Made-in-China’ is always cheaper! Sidelelwa na nga ma China…
‘African’: You also make jokes at home, so that’s good! And what are you doing here?
‘Chinese’: I study neuroscience and I’m also very interested in robotics.
I also give courses on Chinese civilization at Sorbonne Université in Paris, and you?
‘African’: I am a doctoral student-researcher.
‘Chinese’: Researcher in what?
‘African’: I am a researcher in French literature and a specialist in Victor Hugo.
‘Chinese’: How so?
‘African’: I read and comment on the works of French authors and I analyze Victor Hugo a lot.
‘Chinese’: But you’re not a forensic doctor, why are you carrying out analyzes on a corpse?
‘African’: Ha ha, I read and research Victor Hugo’s writings, I don’t touch his corpse.
Besides, I don’t even know where he is buried.
‘Chinese’: So your job is to research what Victor Hugo wrote,
in other words you’re looking for what Victor Hugo has already found…
Do useful studies to save your brothers from starvation rather than looking
for what others have already found since the dawn of time.
‘African’: You really have a sense of humor…
In fact I approached you to invite you to our worship service.
‘Chinese’: That’s great! I’ve already attended out of curiosity
Christian, Muslim, Buddhist worship, … but never an African worship.
So this is an opportunity that I will not miss. Where will worship take place?
‘African’: At the ‘International Church of the Last Soldiers of Jesus’
in the Ninth Arrondissement or Bushiri… Go deeper Papa!!!
‘Chinese’: Wait, are you inviting me to church?
‘African’: Yes, at the church of the great USA prophet Weiss White,
the prophet of great miracles, the only man in the world…
‘Chinese’: Don’t you also have your own religion? Are your own prophets also strangers?
How terrible and miserable you Africans are!
I won’t have time for your worship anymore and I have to leave you now…
But how well dressed you are!!!
‘African’: Thank you, it’s the African loincloth!
The Chinese murmurs alone as he leaves:
‘Poor African, he doesn’t know that what they call African loincloth
and of which they are proud are
Dutch fabrics made in our factories in China’
(Found this amusing but very true – Phapano Phasha)
This ‘African’ could easily well be a ‘Sri Lankan’. Besides, it’s not that Asians & Africans do not ‘know’ about the vital indispensability of modern ‘machine-making’ industry. Ask Japan, China, India, Korea. Ask Zimbabwe. South Africa. Congo. It is just that such ideas and practices are murderously penalized, and creatively sabotaged. Besides, ‘our’ media and schools also simply will not tell! Then again, ‘our’ editors and professors themselves do not know what the culture of modern production entails.
Note the regular paeans to fake local manufacture or assembly parading as industry, announcing Made-in-Sri Lanka. Note the obtuse references, that pop out regularly, comparing Sri Lanka to an Africa, which serves as an imagined benchmark for ‘system failure’. And yet, such references end up being far more revealing about our own studied ignorance about the real world and history.
This week, it was ‘award-winning’ Professor Rohan Pethiyagoda addressing the 48th Convocation of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura at the BMICH in Colombo:
‘It is not going to be bad as people say,
that Sri Lanka is going to end up as Zimbabwe.
I do not think it will. We have people like you in Sri Lanka
but Zimbabwe does not…’
This biodiversity expert Pethiyagoda is another ‘award-winning’ fool. We do not know about his expertise in biodiversity. But he sure does not know about Zimbabwe’s education system. His economic panaceas also simplistically parrot for the ten-trillionth time the old hack squawking of house-trained media economists: blaming corruption and SoEs and ‘crooked, ignorant politicians’, blah blah blah. Corruption, we repeat, is a lazy diversion from the more deep-rooted dysfunctions that produce morbid symptoms.
Ironically, Pethiyagoda was also the keynote speaker at the recent Sri Lanka Chartered Accountants’ 43rd National Conference in October 2022, sponsored by Hayleys & John Keells, and other parasitical corporates! Now surely there is no more corrupt an institution than the (is it London-or Manhattan-accredited?) Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. These tax magicians have more skeletons in their safe-deposit boxes offshore than all the Kanattes have within their prime real-estate.
Pethiyagoda is blissfully ignorant of the deeper currents that have seen a steady exile, ostracism, assassination and destabilization of leaders who declare independent, especially industrial, economic programs, throughout Asia and Africa. Too many to repeat… Dharmapala, Mossadegh, Bandaranaike, Lumumba, Sukarno, Nasser, Nkrumah, Machel, Sankara, Cabral (Amilcar), etc.… Too, too, far too many…. The truth is they keep killing real leaders. So no point blaming people or politicians. Better look at our so-called intellectuals and the media. And, better, if we had given ‘free’ (organic) fertilizer to cultivators than ‘free’ education.
The oligarchy will now move to impose their ‘ethnic’ agenda on Sri Lanka to billow out smoke and mirrors while the IMF takes over:
‘Many business chambers have been vociferously asking
for higher Government revenue while some chamber leaders
had even specifically called for Sri Lanka’s forex debt to be defaulted.
Many also clamoured for an IMF programme
which generally leads to a depreciated currency, higher interest rates,
price increases in public utilities, sale of government assets, and the removal of subsidies.
Almost the entirety of this IMF “wish-list” has now been fulfilled
by the government, probably as preconditions ‘prior actions’ for the impending IMF programme,
and therefore, the business chamber leaders should be happy…’
– former CB Governor Nivard Cabral
• The Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times and the rest of the monopoly English media have been keeping up their faux pitbull snarling against the last administration of Gotabaya Rajapakse, and his top finance officials. The media keeps framing the causes of the present disarray within a narrow post-2018 window & blames certain individuals alone (Those who may have run foul of the empire for some reason or another?) So what was the need for Sri Lanka to default on the debt? And worse: almost immediately after worldwide US-led sanctions choked the supply of finance, fuel, fertilizer, food & pharma.
‘The World Bank is one of the agencies that is expected to provide co-financing when the International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board approves a 2.9 billion US dollar loan, after Sri Lanka re-structures its debt.’ This 2.9 Billion keeps being dangled like dead meat before an ageing vulture. The US who holds the IMF’s purse strings is clearly stalling –to gain more political control over Sri Lanka. Or has it run out of green ink to print such green pittance?
The World Bank now says it ‘cannot give loans after Sri Lanka defaulted and its debt was labelled unsustainable.’ (see ee Economists, Sri Lanka starts budget support loan talks with World Bank). Was the Central Bank aware of such when they drove their hot wheels on this wild ride?
‘There was absolutely no necessity for the hurried, inexplicable and highly suspicious ‘debt default’ of April 12, which was announced without any formal approval,’ parries the former CB governor, Nivard Cabral, who has published a new book, Economic Killers! Though Cabral does not mention that it is capitalists who demanded recent policies now blamed, some of his revelations are indeed illuminating…. (ee Focus). Economic Killers sounds like a Hollywood B-Movie. US Rappers may call it Ekonomic Killas! Would the USAID fund it?
Meanwhile, the Central Bank and the World Bank, and all their accountants, have decided that Sri Lankans are financially illiterate. They who have brought us to this pass, say we need to be ‘educated’. Ha! Accountants count thyself! (see Random Notes).
Despite all talk about ‘nonaligned’, ‘neutral’ etc, it is clear the whites will not allow any such balancing: After the German leader’s recent visit to China, the London Telegraph headlined: ‘Germany must choose whether it is with the West or with China: it cannot have it both ways!’
Meanwhile, the US is blatantly interfering in the Solomon Islands, demanding the government submit, while openly funding opposition parties in other provinces to cause chaos. Sound familiar? (see ee Sovereignty, US Aid Pledge to Pro-Taiwan Solomon Islands Province Raises Eyebrows)
The latest examples of the US & fellow-poodles evicting leaders are in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The attempted assassination of Imran Khan saw the even absurdist spectacle of Khan, cast in his cast, trying to ‘convince’ a rather over-coiffed CNN reporter, that it was top Pakistani political and military leaders behind the bullets. CNN is the US is the Capo is the CNN. It’s a burlesque of sorts. There’s some mashed-up echo here about engaging a thief’s mother to catch a thief. Then again, our supine media even remembered to add that Khan’s former spouse the heiress Jemima Goldsmith, expressed ‘relief.’
Even as a Canadian CBC reporter (of SL Tamil origin) sounded hesitant, ‘It’s not clear if it was an assassination attempt.’ Really! And CNN was even more blasé: downplaying with such verbs as: ‘struck in the leg’, and also acting coy: ‘An apparent assassination attempt.’ US Foreign Minister Blinken also equivocated: calling for ‘calm’ on all sides (see ee Comments)
• Last week, the US flew nuclear bombers over Korea, reminiscent of their mass-terror-bombing campaigns of the 1950s that saw the devastation of the entire North. The free Korean people yet drove the US, Japanese & Korean collaborators to the South, a war that never ended.
The continuing war justifies the US maintaining South Korea as a colony, with over 50,000 US troops, and a US Air Force base one air-hour from Beijing, plus more bases and troops in nearby Japan, Taiwan and other Pacific colonies.
On October 20, US Chief of Naval Operations Michael Gilday told the US Congress that the USA had to be prepared ‘for a 2022 window or potentially a 2023 window’ for war over Taiwan with China.
Also in mid-October, the NATO military exercise Steadfast Noon, an ‘annual nuclear arms drill’, involving 60 fighter planes from member countries, rattled the skies over Belgium, the North Sea and England.
ee views Sri Lanka’s recent history through the lens of preventing industrialization. Industrialization could provide a more stable independence to countries such as ours.
The US attack on China is of another order of the same strategy. It draws on hackneyed, well-saturated canards. Hollywood may call it ‘Yellow Peril meets Red Scare’. Academe may term it: ‘Asian despotism meets Scientific Separatism’ (ee was going to call it scientific racism, but…).
The present attack is to specifically prevent China’s advance into the next stage of machine-making industrialization. Hence the recent US CHIPS Act (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors & Science Act) and renewed hysteria. Of course all this has long been part of the ‘modernism’ enforced on China, by gunboat & opium, the imperialist reality behind the now ‘woke’ slogans of ‘Free Trade’ & ‘Equal Opportunity’.
So what about the ‘Chinese:’ in the satirical dialogue above? Well, this ‘character’ is also a stereotype of what a producer culture can create: someone who thinks about how things are made. Someone we should emulate. Rather than the consumer culture of ‘wine, women & song’, as exhibited by celebrity role models this week.
It is possible SL oligarchs may know how modern industry works, but they don’t care.
The usual ‘Sri Lankan’ economist proudly states we have a garment ‘industry’, a tourist ‘industry’. It shows we do not know the English of the real English: when we mislabel any ‘manufacture’ and ‘assembly’ – industry. Or call any ‘service’ – an industry.
This ee provides the last segment of the essay broken into 4 parts on Elena Veduta’s take on Planning for the 21st Century from the World’s First Socialist Economy.
• Speaking of Victor Hugo (see dialogue above), this week noted another ‘Commonwealth’ and Sri Lankan ‘English Professor’ publishing yet another exegesis on the Anglo-Polish novelist Joseph Conrad of Heart of Darkness fame. Colonialism. Blah. Blah. Blah. Another diversionary.
‘Goonetilleke’s edition reinforces the moral centrality of Conrad’s work
in light of the troublingly violent historical reality out of which it emerged.’
Really. Is there an un-troubling violence? The Congo, where almost 6 million people have been murdered in the last decade, is the heart not of ‘darkness’, and not just of ‘whiteness’. It’s the heart of Unilever. Congo more importantly marks the origin of one of the most powerful multinationals in the world. Unilever has had a malign power over Sri Lanka, let alone devastating the Congo and rest of the world.
An ee reader brought to our attention a dissembling New Yorker story on the ‘White Cube’ in Congo’s Lusanga – Leverville! It’s a story involving the multibillion dollar ‘art world’, with their Tates & MOMAs etc, which serve to obscure the horrors and perpetuate the mechanisms of modern imperialism. And why not! That is their job.
Even better, workers pay for both art & advertising, inadvertently & directly, through forfeiting our futures while providing the breath of our oohs and ahhs to fog the tax breaks. The art itself is made with technology that is not made or even discussed
A1. Reader Comments –
• Fake Dockyards • Dedication to Capital • Viral Spreads • Cricket & Rape • Imran Shoots Himself • Easy to Talk Industrial Policy • Buddhism & Marxism • India & China’s Debt to USSR
A2. Quotes of the Week
• US Ruining Economies • Merchants Hike Prices • Canada’s Unmarked Hypocrisy • Hameedia Won’t Make Local • IMF’s ‘Prior’ Demands • Japan’s War Drums • World Bank’s Ghana Trap • Lever’s First Bar of Soap • Canada Bribes UN Officials • ‘Indigenous’ Defined
A3. Random Notes –
• Monkeys & 100 Million Nuts • World Bank’s Financial Literacy • US Conmen & Sanctions • NATO’s Shifting Neighbors • Preparing Excuses for Next Meltdown • Social Media’s Spies • Sir James Not Sir Muthu • Sunak’s Wandering Roots • Indian Cowboy Kash • the Fair Price Business: Merchant Capital vs. Industrial
B. ee Focus
B1. Economic Killers! – Ajith Nivard Cabraal strongly objects to Daily FT Editorial
B2. Planning for the 21st Century from the World’s First Socialist Economy – Elena Veduta
C. News Index
continued on: eesrilanka.wordpress.com