Was it populism retaining the plantation system after independence?
‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 18-24 September 2022
The US war on Europe and Russia, along with the threat of nuclear weapons, recalls WW2 Prime Minister of Canada William Lyon Mackenzie King’s expressed relief that the first atomic bomb used against humans was dropped on the Japanese rather than ‘whites’. This was recorded in his 1945 diary, made public after the 30-year publication prohibition on secret government material. He recorded: ‘It is fortunate that the use of the bomb should have been upon the Japanese rather than upon the white races of Europe.’ – ee Politics, Canadian Chief
• ‘The Handmaid’s Tale, a book made into a movie and tv series, appears to have no memory that large parts of the Americas (particularly but not only the US) saw whole states dedicated to ‘breeding’ people to enslave (see SB’s discussion in The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, p64-65). However, a slavish mentality that fails to strive beyond the limitations of imperialism, has been bred deep among our ruling oligarchy, far from those slavering Atlantic shores.
• Nonetheless, they wish to charge us with ‘economic crimes’ and even demand we pay ‘reparations’ for a 30-year war inspired, funded, promoted and trained by our very accusers. They demand another commission. There should be a commission to investigate those people calling for commissions. Especially, the high commissions!
As noted once again this week, ‘Sri Lanka has a strong case for demanding & obtaining reparations from all 3 European colonial powers, ie, the Portuguese, Dutch, and the English.’
This ee examines the demand of Caribbean nations for reparations for slavery (see ee Focus). The timing is auspicious. The previous Charles II inaugurated the largest English commerce of the 17-18th centuries – chattel slavery. The institution of chattel slavery saw its greatest flowering during Charles II’s reign. His brother’s Royal African Company over the centuries turned into the English multinational Unilever, which still controls Sri Lanka’s economy to this day.
Real reparations would however involve not just matters of money, but of capital, not about ‘fair prices’ but of replacing the mechanisms of underdevelopment.
• Welcome to ee’s 4th Anniversary. ‘How long can this keep going on?’, a daily refrain of SBD de Silva – to whom this blog is dedicated. SB was not just speaking of the orgy of luxury consumption by a ruling class (of whom politicians are the more-visible representatives!) but the continued destabilizing of even the feeblest attempts at a modern industrial economy.
SB was no purveyor of economists’ fairytales. Our media usually work overtime to ‘maintain the narrative’ of the great paradisiacal Lipton’s Tea Garden, the fair&lovely-minded English had bequeathed us in 1948. Evident in this week’s embarrassment of anglomania for an English-German monarch who more than any other oversaw the stunting if not sabotage of all our attempts at independence.
We recall SB’s response to the Sunday Times’ ‘eminent’ economist Nimal Sanderatne, who claimed, ‘Most of the country’s post-independent economic history has been dictated by pandering to populism rather than responding to economic imperatives.’
‘So was it populism retaining the plantation system and allowing English banks and companies to withdraw the capital they had stolen from the country for centuries?’ SB asked. ‘Is it populism that has prevented a modern industrial strategy?’
SBD’s monumental classic, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment identified the import-export plantation mafia as the main obstacle to such a transformation of the country. SB would not be surprised that, despite the upheavals of the last few years, little has actually changed. Truth be told, the oligarchy has no intention to change a decadent status quo.
It could easily have instituted rationing and prevented gouging as the English imposed during their World War 2. It could initiate discussions with China and Russia to help engage an industrial plan.
Yet, the oligarchy is too anchored to a sinking white world. Instead of going to Samarkand, Sri Lanka’s President went against the east wind again, back to London
• The Jive of Economic Crimes – The economy’s meltdown, long maintained – since 1948 at least by the rolling-over of debt like a impecunious merchant – saw a fast unravelling with Covid, the choking of chains, the loss of supplies, and tourists, a scenario exacerbated by the monopoly control of key industries and prices. It’s also becoming more evident every day that the US, EU and England have been behind the present economic and political turmoil, to maintain their waning hegemony. The US has blocked Sri Lanka’s relations with China, Russia and Iran, etc, muddling into the present imbroglio. The US has demanded that the Central Bank refuse to allow Sri Lanka to join the Russian payment system.
A Daily Mirror opinion piece, ‘Russia has suggested it could do business with Sri Lanka’: ‘Neighbouring India, already engages with Russian business houses using Russian currency and Indian rupee for payments and purchases. As such there could be no opposition to making similar arrangements with Russia to ease our financial crisis.’
The Daily Mirror is of course acting coy. They know full well that we are being obstructed. The English have always demanded their control over our foreign policy (ee Focus, Dominion Status).
The Wijeya Group media monopoly has been one of the main purveyors of relentless anti-China and anti-Russia invective. As such they have served their white masters well. In deed the Wijeya Group’s founders were directly involved in the English exiling of Anagarika Dharmapala, after their assassination of his brother. Of course the entire media, as a subset of the moneylender-merchant nexus, itself another subset of the Financial Advertising & Military Industrial Complex
Take the USA’s Bill HR 7311, called ‘a racist affront to African sovereignty designed to dictate what bilateral relations African states are permitted to have’. As the only African member of the G20, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently urged the US not to ‘punish’ the whole continent by forcing nations to demonize or sanction Russia. Washington’s introduction of legislation 7311, dubbed the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, he says, ‘will harm Africa and marginalize the continent’.
• As days tumble on, more and more evidence is unearthed of the role of the US & EU, particularly the English, in waging information and economic wars on Sri Lanka. Last month had big news about Elon Musk buying Twitter, but less coverage about his use of ‘fanbots’ – algorithms to drive up his own ‘social media’ popularity.
This week, the English media, who have a habit of being unable to keep secrets, letting it out in abstruse fictions, revealed how English foreign policy and media was driven by the needs of Shell & BP. This of course is but a small part of the truth. Check Random Notes for news on white NGOs setting up media ‘influencers’ to wage ‘narrative’ wars on enemy territory (but not much on their own). This ee also looks at the manipulation of voters using the latest technologies (i360) to disseminate disinformation. What else is new?
• Ukraine’s Killer Klown, who has turned ‘governance’ into a video production unit, transposing US State and Treasury Departments’ dictat as national policy, has to give us new news everyday. Zelensky was scheduled to deliver a headline speech at a major US national war industry (NDIA) conference on September 21 in Austin Texas. However, a week later, there is still no mention of his address. National Defense Industrial Association members include Raytheon Technologies Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp, which jointly produce Javelin antitank weapons (elevated into ‘sainthood’ in Ukraine). Other top war-makers, including Boeing Co, Northrop Grumman Corp, General Dynamics Corp and L3Harris Technologies Inc, also sell the Pentagon weapons to fight Russia. Washington has already provided more than $10billion in weapons since Feb 24.
And yet, lo and behold, Sri Lanka came up on Zelensky’s gunsights, when he announced, Ukraine had rescued ‘7 Sri Lankan Medical Students’ who had been ‘tortured‘, just in time for the UN in Geneva perhaps to examine the ‘economic crimes’ that drove these students of medicine to such laboratories of war. With typical clownish hyperbole, Zelensky announced they had had their fingernails torn out. But then the ‘students’ soon appeared all giving ‘thumbs up’ with smirks on their faces. In a parallel universe an investigation is being undertaken to examine the link between these labor traffickers and NATO governments, not to mention the ‘human rights’ gamers at the UN.
The disgraceful failure of the UN Secretary General and the UN’s IAEA to challenge the US and EU’s threats to attack nuclear plants shows that Sri Lanka cannot rely on such institutions as presently constituted.
• Instead of reinforcing the Sri Lankan state, this week noted the blatant interference by such UN agencies as the World Bank, UNF, WFP, FAO, UNDP, etc reinforcing their grip over education, finance, food, agriculture, etc. policy.
• The hullabaloo about a ‘global food crisis’ is ‘basically a cheap hoax perpetrated by the Biden Administration to get Russia to allow the sale of wheat held up in Ukrainian silos to the European market by US companies, who have apparently bought up Ukraine’s farm lands and control that country’s grain trade! Only a fraction of the grain shipments from Ukraine went to poor countries threatened by famine. Suffice to say, US & EU pressure on India’s purchase of Russian oil was nothing but bullying. (ee Sovereignty, India’s Gaffe)
Fertilizer (& food) is intimately linked to fuel. Fuel is controlled by a few multinationals led by Rockefeller’s Exxon. In Sri Lanka, last year saw the full power unleashed by their local ‘agricultural’ agents Hayleys, Lankem, CIC, Unipower, CropLife, Baurs, who on Sept 6 attended with top government officials, a SL Agripreneurs’ Forum (SLAF, agribusiness front made up of those agricultural ‘scholars’ who crawled out of the woodwork to oppose the supposed fertilizer ban led by a CIC Director & Peradeniya Professor). Their main demands are not surprising: the protection & promotion of plantation & export agriculture. While they oppose any bans on imports ‘of major agri inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, Agri machinery, and overall inputs’.
This ee Agriculture recalls the World Bank’s role in preventing local food production, promoting export agriculture instead. In the last years of his life, SBD steadied his focus on identifying the roots of underdevelopment in rural life, in the failure to fully inspire the labor power of the villages, and the need to harmonize the cycles of modern industrial production with the needs of rice growing in particular. The dominance of moneylender and merchant sees any surpluses drained to Colombo. Multinationals like Unilever dominate the crucial home market, which directs profits to London rather than invest in modern production here.
This week’s harangue over the electricity supply to temples may mask the larger loss of energy to Colombo.
A1. Reader Comments –
• Cricket Soul • Geneva Season • ee Excess • Faking Fakes • Why Multinationals Love Sri Lanka
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Born-Again NGOs • Three Denied Dead Queen • US Media Fail • 16 out of 240 Years of War • Oil Palm Multinationals • Bolivia Rejects IMF • Chile & Lithium • NGO-Thinktank-Media-Academic • 8 VIP US Banks • US to Split Russia • 3 Pillars of Inflation • Dollar Domino • PornHub Bubbles
A3. Random Notes –
• Indian Diplomatic Poetry • No to IMF • Port City Bonanza • Why China Wants FTA • China Nays Finance Gurus • Covert English Wars • Buying US Candidates Data
B. ee Focus
B1. Dominion Status vs Independence
B2. IMF Tells Bolivia to Drop Its Successful Economic Model, Sept 21
B3. Caribbean’s 10-Point Reparation Plan
C. News Index
continued on eesrilanka.wordpress.com