20 November, 2018

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Jayatilleka’s Alt-Left Project

By John Kane

Prof. John Kane

I applaud Dayan Jayatilleka’s plea for an international ‘Alt-Left’ project—a descriptor that seems immediately obvious but nevertheless brilliant. Since the end of the Soviet Union and the ideological triumph of neoliberal thought in the 1980s there has really been no Left left, at least not of any economic variety (though plenty of Leftist cultural warriors, as Jayatilleka notes). But re-establishing a viable economic Left is a hard ask, despite the failure of the neoliberal project whose collapse created the vacuum that various Alt-Right movements have proceeded to fill. To be sure, some Left-liberal fellow-travellers such as Krugman (2012), Stiglitz (2014), even Summers (2016) are now questioning the validity of the neoliberal model of globalization they once advocated. They generally focus on just one of the factors noted by Jayatilleka: the fact that national elites in their rush to globalize forgot to look after their own working classes with the eventual political backlash we are now experiencing. Their principal remedy is better redistributive measures to ensure that the benefits of increased trade are equitably shared.

Fine as far as it goes, but this hardly approaches what Jayatilleka seeks, namely a new ‘global public imagination.’ The latter intends much more, in Jayatilleka’s adumbration, than a Leftish corrective to the rightward shift of New Labor and New Democrats and their international followers during the post-stagflationary era. It implies a critique of traditional hard-Leftism as much as of a pusillanimous ‘third way’ that was in reality a capitulation to the blandishments of the Right. Any successful new Alt-Left movement must, according to Jayatilleka, establish itself on secure moral-political ground, the ‘moral’ element being crucial. It was in fact always crucial given that traditional Leftism meant a commitment to equality over arbitrary inequality, the dignity of labor over its exploitation, fairness over privilege, and so on. Such moral feelings were central to Leftist motivation but unfortunately difficult to admit within the structures of ‘scientific’ Marxism. According to the hard ‘realism’ of historicist Marxism, morality was suspect as being squeamishly or exploitatively ‘bourgeois’, the values of any period being inevitably the values of its ruling class. Not only that, but moral suasion was necessarily ineffectual against gigantic forces of History driven by crude class interest. ‘Justice’ (and Marx seldom used the term except in scare quotes) would be taken care of in the long run as class-conflictual History took its inexorable course.

This left individual Marxists in a psychological bind, driven by moral feelings their theory proclaimed inadmissible. And the resulting moral ambivalence allowed monstrosities to become, not just conceivable, but actual under the guise of historical necessity (and we should have learnt by now that any claim of ‘necessity’ in political discourse is fallacious). Coleridge (1938), writing of Robespierre, long ago warned that undisciplined benevolence could seduce us into malignity, leading us into “the dangerous and gigantic error of making certain evil the means to contingent good.” Jayatilleka’s long-term project has been to correct this fundamental error of the Left. He is an arch-realist, as anyone familiar with his writings will attest, but for him any realism that omits the moral factor is in fact unrealism. Any Left movement that forfeits the moral high ground—through lethal internecine conflict, through the suppression of thought and the promulgation of blatant lies, through resort even to mass murder—has already doomed itself to ultimate defeat whatever its short-term political successes. In Jayatilleka’s view, political realism inevitably requires hard, sometimes brutal choices, but if these are not adequately and believably justified within an authentically moral framework they will prove counterproductive in the long run.

His other corrective of traditional Leftism is an insistence on retrieving nationalism and patriotism from the grip of the xenophobic Right and from the denigration of liberal cosmopolitans. In this effort he enlists the more subtle and immanent dialecticism of Antonio Gramsci, for whom the ‘self-nationalization’ of the working class—by which he meant its creation of a collective national popular will—constituted a final moment in its ascent to a genuinely expansive and consensual hegemony. Jayatilleka thus assumes that Gramscian theory has continuing relevance even after the destructive attacks of modern Leftist critics, notably Althusser (2006) and Perry Anderson (1976). Stuart Hall (1988) tried to demonstrate this relevance in the age of Thatcher (as mentioned by Jayatilleka). He argued that Gramsci did not give the contemporary Left the tools to solve its puzzles but the means to ask the right kind of questions, which could be done only by directing attention unswervingly to what was specific and different about the present moment.

The world has moved on from the 1980s and ‘90s, never mind the 1930s when Gramsci was writing his prison notebooks. The ‘working class’ of Gramsci’s day, or even of Thatcher’s, is surely not what it was nor ever likely to be reconstituted as such given the fragmental impact of neoliberal policies and the trajectory of global economics. This makes the Gramscian hope of a proletarian moral-political-intellectual hegemony seem quite forlorn.

And yet recent events have shown that class consciousness, and class resentment, still exist. And nationalism, often of the most regressive kind, has once more shown its remarkable resilience. Nationalism was of course the bane of old-fashioned Leftists looking to develop an international class consciousness (if, as Jayatilleka notes, Mao, Ho, Fidel and Cabral fused nationalism securely into their revolutionary projects it must have been through an intuitive grasp of its effectual power rather than any theory they imbibed—I may be wrong, but I’m not aware any of them was familiar with Gramsci). What is less often noted is that nationalism is also a puzzle for liberal and democratic theorists, who seem to depend on it to contain the polity in which their principles may apply yet have no theoretical means of grasping it. Liberals fear cultural nationalism’s capacity for excess and would like to tame it if possible, but they flounder with weaker forms based on ‘liberal values’ (which are shared of course by many nations). I would go so far as to say there are no true, full-blooded modern theorists who defend the concept of nationalism, although there are many who theorize sociologically about nationalism. One has to go way back to Montesquieu, Rousseau, Herder and Fichte even to discern elements of a possible defense.

And yet there nationalism still is, in all its potency, promise and threat, from China to India to Russia to the United States (whose ideological heart, like France’s, has always been torn between theoretical universalism and de facto cultural nationalism). What has been most revealing and alarming about the economic and financial crisis in Europe is how swiftly the ideal of Europeanization collapsed as mutually antagonistic nationalities reasserted their relevance. Creating and maintaining a nation has always been a stern, extended, often violent political and cultural exercise; creating viable entities larger than a nation obviously presents even greater challenges. So, to take Jayatilleka’s Gramscian lesson to heart, we must start with the world as it is, one in which both class and nation remain important elements—along with many others, of course—that any plausible Alt-Left movement must grasp and inform.

There is some sense of back to the future in all this. The post-WWII Western order implied a social contract that was implicitly international and nationalistic: if the Depression that had led to war was to be avoided in the future, then the worst excesses of capital must be managed and regulated internationally. Regulation of trade and finance plus the Keynesian focus on full employment domestically meant that each nation’s working class was protected and assured its (growing) share of national wealth even as that wealth was increased by steadily expanding trade. This was really an historic compromise between capital and labor: the kind that Keynes thought was the only way to avoid the worst extremes of either side.

There remained, of course, difficult problems of East and West, and of North-South disparities, but my point is that if, as Jayatilleka notes, there is now a Third world within the First, that is because politicians revoked the historic compromise when, under stagflationary crisis, they shifted the emphasis on full employment toward the control of inflation through monetary measures. The neoliberal movement that seized this crisis moment was really a counter-revolution against the New Deal—trashing unions and liberalizing trade in a way that empowered international capital and withdrew protections from domestic workers, opening the regulatory door that enabled the destructive financialization of capitalism with all its obscene inequalities. And it extended its reach eventually even to the social market economies of Europe. If Left or Left-of-Center parties got on the bandwagon it was because globalization seemed to deliver materially to citizens, at least for as long as easy credit sustained consumption and thus masked the underlying reality of stagnant wages. The illusion was finally punctured by the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing economic crisis. Thus, all the bizarre political events that we are now witnessing must be understood within this long-view context.

Currently, the old model is held together by string and chewing gum (negative interest rates anyone?). Bold rethinking and urgent action seems required, which is what Jayatilleka is demanding from a renascent and re-energized Alt-Left that will of necessity be both international and national. But a genuine opportunity to reassemble the various pieces into new ‘global public imagination’ may take another, more severe crisis in order to be fully realized. One trembles at the prospect.

References

Althusser, Louis  2006, Philosophy of the Encounter. Later Writings 1978-1987. Trans.

G. M. Goshgarian. London: Verso, 2006, pp. 139-149.

Anderson, Perry 1976, “The Antimonies of Antonio Gramsci.” New Left Review 1/100,

pp. 3-78.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor 1938, Introductory Address, Addresses to the People. (8)

London: No Pub., p. 32.

Hall, Stuart 1988, The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left.

London: Verso.

Krugman, Paul 2012, End this Depression Now. New York, W.W. Norton.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. 2014, “On the Wrong Side of Globalization.” New York Times,

15 March: SR12.

Summers, Larry 2016, “The Global Economy has Entered Unexplored,

Dangerous Territory.” Washington Post, 9 October.

*John Kane attained his doctorate at the London School of Economics and works and teaches in the fields of political theory, political leadership and US foreign policy. Professor in the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, Australia, he has three times been Visiting Professor to Yale University. He was awarded (with Haig Patapan) the Mosher Award for the best 2006 article by an academician in the US journal Public Administration Review. He is the author of books The Politics of Moral Capital (Cambridge UP) and Between Virtue and Power: The Persistent Moral Dilemma of US Foreign Policy (Yale UP). This article appeared in Global-e, journal of the University of California Santa Barbara’s 21st Century Global Dynamics initiative, May 25, 2017|Volume10 |Issue35

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  • 20
    3

    Professor Kane must have been on another planet when Dayan Jayatilleke was playing lapdog to the Rajapaksa regime. If he wasn’t, how come he says “Any Left movement that forfeits the moral high ground—through lethal internecine conflict, through the suppression of thought and the promulgation of blatant lies, through resort even to mass murder—has already doomed itself to ultimate defeat whatever its short-term political successes. In Jayatilleka’s view, political realism inevitably requires hard, sometimes brutal choices, but if these are not adequately and believably justified within an authentically moral framework they will prove counterproductive in the long run..”
    How else could he possibly even suggest that a camp follower, an active one at that, of the MaRa gang could be one who sought to practice those principles?

    • 8
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      Emil,

      DJ does not regard MR was/is depraved in anyway! In DJ’s view, MR is a necessary phenomenon in order to safeguard the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. His natural antipathy towards anything that is perceived as Right is farcical; Premadasa was an exception to his convoluted mental makeup! He has had no convictions at any stage of his political disposition!

      • 10
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        Burning Issue:
        I tried to be kind to a man who, while invoking Fidel, didn’t hesitate in the matter of name dropping (Lakshman Kadirgamar and his own father Mervyn de Silva) for the usual reason – reflected glory!
        While we are about it, let’s be blunt: DJ is one of the most unprincipled people around who succeeds in having people regard him as some kind of “intellectual” for that very reason!

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 8
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      Down with Pooten’s gratuitous attack on Jayatilleke. Pooten is a member of the international Fifth Column who operate from the neocon playbook.The hatred of Jayatilleke arises from his hatred of all nationalistic forces including Mahinda Rajapakse that act against the global domination of the neocon Ashkenazi Jews . They defame anyone who support the Palestinians against their mythical belief system that is causing mayhem in the world by pursuing a fourth temple in Jerusalem. What is needed for a progressive world is rescuing the world from these devil worshiping Semites, Jews and Arabs, and the world will be a better place with or without a new Left movement.

      • 10
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        Oracle:
        For starters, why don’t you the defender of all things DJ have the intestinal fortitude to use your own name rather than a pompous pseudonym?
        As for your racist rant that goes “What is needed for a progressive world is rescuing the world from these devil worshiping Semites, Jews and Arabs” I am surprised that CT which has a clear policy about such writing hasn’t kicked you off its web page. Ah, but then, what would we do without the court jesters (to the Rajapaksas) and clowns of similar ilk?

      • 5
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        Oracle 2017 —————-Oh no not again. Go away. I am not sure you know what you are talking about. ————— Little islander go hide behind your women folks, Hindians are coming. ………………Rescuing the world can wait, go liberate Buddhists from Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhalese from Sinhala/Buddhists. Go away. ………………………………..

  • 0
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  • 10
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    Professor,
    ———–Such a lot of vebiage. –“Jayatilleka’s long-term project has been to correct this fundamental error of the Left. He is an arch-realist, as anyone familiar with his writings will attest, but for him any realism that omits the moral factor is in fact unrealism.”——————————————But do tell us how DJ can claim to be moral when he promotes Sinhala Buddhist racism at home and xenophobia agaist India abroad?

    • 3
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      old codger———–“when he promotes Sinhala Buddhist racism at home and xenophobia agaist India abroad?” ————————-He spent a few years in India. When I questioned him he replied he was doing clandestine work there in India. When probed further he refused to entertain my queries. …………….. Would you buy a second hand car from him?

      • 3
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        I wouldn’t be surprised if Dr DJ inserted this article himself.

        • 3
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          the dianne abbot of lanka done it. there must be somewhere out of this maze said the joker to the thief!

  • 10
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    I note that Kane does not list Jayatilleke in his references. He was not in another planet when the latter worked for Rajapakse. It appears that his only association with Jayatilleke is via his academic works and not his dabbling in power-politics. I suspect that Jayatilleke himself might have inserted the article which seemed to have appeared in Global-e of the UC (Santa Barbara) journal in CT for kudos value.

    • 7
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      Lasantha Pethiyagoda, surely Prof John Kane (of Griffith University} does not wish to say that DL was awarded PhD by Griffith University in 2007. This says it all!

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 9
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    More leftist rhetoric without any understanding of cultural nationalism or how Dayan J used it to distract the moda Sinhala masses of Lanka – to serve his corrupt and racist boss!

    DIVIDE, DISTRACT the masses with anti-minority racism, and RULE with maximum CORRUPTION and IMPUNITY was Dayan’s motto in the good old days when his boss, Mahinda Rajapaksa was king of Lanka and Goon Gota, military dictator !

  • 10
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    2 dead leftists, DJ and Kane, trying to stay relevant while playing the same old pseudo Marx-Gramscian rhetoric!

    • 6
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      Dodo, was DJ ever a leftist (in classical sense)? His foray into Tamil Liberation movements? His deafening silence on the uncontrolled arson? Taking part in protests in his youth does no make leftist

  • 2
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    I think all the political experts or the academics are just political analysts. Because, the politcians are mostly lawyers, movie stars, inthe case of sri lanka, they include uneducated and the colombo elite who think that they are the chosen ones to govern sri lanka ad politics is all about cheating voters, living flamboyant life styles for them and their immidiate families and building dynasties. Anyway, the ledt is a joke. they are also human. As Karlmarx they may write theories, as Lenin, they may take revenge from the king. but, educated and genuine leftists like che guvera are killed. I do not know about Stilin though. I have heard Sri lanka did not have any genuine lefitists who really cared about the poor. Some one who knew Peter Keneman very close told, that he was also playing games with the people. Sri lankan LSSP politicians should be hanged in a typical nationalist country. Even todate while they earn their living talking leftidt politics they engage in destroying the nation simply because of their ideology. Anyway, behind everything is the greed, manipulation, exploitation and foremost earning their living.. So called leftists do not want to understand. But, the buddhism is the best to govern a country. Because, it addresses the basic instincts of humans and it advise the greedy money earners the repurcussions of greed. that is why NEw yorkers change adter some time and do charity.

    • 1
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    • 3
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      Jimbo,
      ———————————“But, the buddhism is the best to govern a country. Because, it addresses the basic instincts of humans”
      —————What is the buddhist view on monks talking about labba and having girl-friends?

  • 5
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    Burning issue, Old Codger, Kalu Pahana, Emil,
    Excellent comments.
    By the any of you know when did DJ joined the EPRLF, ? why did he join ? When EPRLF leader ran to India where did DJ go ?
    What kind of relationship smart patriot DJ had with GoRa, Lasantha ( Sunday Leader ) & Taraki ( Tamilnet ) ?

    • 0
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      Check out the Daily News of 26/03/ 2007 (online archives) for the full lowdown.

  • 8
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    Prof John Kane,
    What is your definition of ” a smart patriot ” ? Can a smart patriot who believes in ethno-religious supremacy advocate for an International Alt-Left ?
    In SL you have JHU & Pivithuru HU ?
    Do you know the meaning of the Sanskirit/Sinhalese word ” Pivithuru ” & “Nava”?
    Why can’t the Alt-Left be called Pivithuru Left ?

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 5
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    This is probably the best article on CT. Unfortunately, the ideas are beyond many readers’ level of comprehension. The article (as well as DJ’s article) have nothing to do with either Sri Lanka or DJ’s political affiliations. It is more about globalization reaching a saturation point and the ensuing trouble for various leftist ideologies that have often used globalization to motivate their own agendas. Keynes put forth the idea that low interest rates and government intervention are short-term mechanisms for economic growth. Many Central Banks have taken this one step further and are now stuck in the mud of perpetually low rates, which induces problems of its own. Since manufacturing was killed off in the first wave of globalization (via outsourcing), domestic job creation is not a simple matter. Which suggests we are on the precipice of some kind of cataclysmic move, relative to global markets. What are the political ramifications of those shocks to the market? It is difficult to ascertain at this point. However, to get some idea, look at the Middle East and see how low oil prices are beginning to cause tremors.

    • 0
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 5
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      Lester,
      ——————–” Since manufacturing was killed off in the first wave of globalization (via outsourcing),”———————————-It was not killed off. It moved to places like Sri Lanka in the 80’s and China later. If our leaders had the brains of the (leftist) Chinese , we could have built on what we had.

      • 3
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        old codger —————–” If our leaders had the brains of the (leftist) Chinese , we could have built on what we had.” ———————— We refused to listen or open our eyes to what could be advice relevant and beneficial to the dimwits in this island, for example what Deng Xiaoping told the media in Germany in October 1978 ” For a certain period of time, learning advanced science and technology from the developed countries was criticized as “blindly worshiping foreign things”. We have come to understand how stupid this argument is. Therefore, we have sent many people abroad to familiarize themselves with the outside world. China cannot develop by closing its door, sticking to the beaten track and being self-complacent.” —————————- ————————————————————————————————————————————————–He also said “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice.”

    • 4
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      Lester, yours is the only sensible comment and you are the only worthy to take part in this discussion. All others are small men – I advise them to keep away.——Soma

      • 3
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        soma,

        You are a Small man in every sense of the word! It is funny that you judge others!

        • 3
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          Burning Issue ————–“”It is funny that you judge others!” —– It is because he is a Sinhala/Buddhist fascist with little islander attitude. He is also suffering from p***s envy.

      • 2
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        somass Ji————“All others are small men”—————What are you comparing with?

  • 2
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    Trouble is, when neo-liberalism took hold, they pretended it was democracy at work. This was the golden classical morality rule, so money could work for the liberal globalist agenda………… It was very much like the days of aristocracy and serfdom, when money ensured the divine version of morality………………Post WW2 and neo-liberalism merely created a 0.1-10% normalcy for the global population (each country varying in their normalcy quotas, with Sri Lanka in the 2% range; India, 0.1%)………10% is the furthest it can ever actually go (they thought it would be a higher number, but it never happened) ………However, when reality grips the globe yet again, REAL DEMOCRACY starts being called names like nationalism, patriotism, xenophobia and fascism. And Pol-pot and Hitler are jubilantly shown as archetypal examples……………..It’s not the morality factor that is the villain……It is the 0.1% holding the monetary strings with the other 9.99% managing by hook or crook to also hang on………..

  • 0
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    First they removed the paragraphs. Next they made the News the important one, and the Opinions and others the lesser ones. Last they put Opinions and the others on a small clickable section with lines so no one would be able to find it. Neo-Liberalism!

  • 0
    6

    Lester: YOur thinking is wrong. Globalization di dnot reach the saturation point except for the developed countries which are bankrupt. China still promotes globalization as it promotes their development. Even the for USA, it would have the strategy if MRs Clinton the presidency. Only for Trump it did not work. Even for that, He went to middle east to sell weapons. OF course, there should be something to promote. So, it is the same terrorists they created. ——————————– Politics is a joke. All these academics are political analysts. It is the lawyers, businessmen, uneducated, military men, thugs etc., who do politics or who are politicians and professional support them how to stay in power. All these ALT-Left are bull. Recently, Kumar David wrote an article about Chinese methd of Capitalism. But, he did not know that was the method that existed when kings were running Asia,. It is west that wanted to go to war and bring wealth. Asia did business and kings were the richest.

    • 0
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      Jimsofty:

      Do you know the reason why many corporations like Apple, Nike, and Walmart prefer to have their manufacturing operations overseas? Not only are they able to acquire cheap labour, but there is a massive savings in domestic taxes. Apple has 67.26 billion USD in cash. Most of this money is not in the USA. It is in overseas banks, away from the reach of auditors. Globalization in terms of manufacturing has hit the saturation point. Chinese GDP growth was 8.4% in 2000, 14.2% in 2007, and 7% in 2016. Globalization in terms of information flow and migration is still there. Globalization in terms of trade is a difficult one. Why is Britain leaving the EU and giving up many trade benefits? It is because these benefits did not help the working class to the extent that politicians promised.It has actually done the opposite: make the 1% richer and the 99% poorer. So bottom line: globalization promises a lot, how much it actually delivers is another question. The neoliberals thought globalization can fix everything, they turned out to be wrong.

      • 1
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        Lester,

        Yes. If Capitalism was successful within a country, they wouldn’t need to Globalize. Capitalism in a country becomes saturated after a while, and need to Globalize to maintain itself. US and the West, as the originators of the Capitalistic system, bore the initial brunt of its temporary high. China unfortunately went along that path, and has realized too late that they need to expand to maintain their Capitalistic system. US and the West were clever enough to know the demerits, and have changed accordingly. China will go along the outdated path, and soon fall in on itself, but after places like our fragile island have been destroyed.

        • 1
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          Ramona Fernando,

          Definition of capitalism: the State does not own the factors of production (land, labor, and capital). What happened with globalization is that some corporations found a way to exploit very cheap labor for massive profits, which created income inequality in the domestic country. Thatcher sold off manufacturing in Britain, and inside the US the biggest manufacturers are companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin that have huge contracts with the military. If a country does not have a strong manufacturing base, then it usually results in a trade deficit (imports greater than exports). That is why the US and UK have trade deficits, while China and Germany have trade surpluses. If there is a trade deficit, then the Government is probably borrowing to pay its bills. That is why the US national debt is $19 trillion USD and the Chinese national debt is around $10 trillion. Keeping in mind that the British economy was so bad that that country went for austerity (minimal government spending). After all this, why has the US not collapsed? Because the dollar is the reserve currency. That means the most important commodities like oil are still priced in USD. It is why China keeps buying US debt. Once the dollar loses its stature, the US will quickly decline in power. That is why the Middle Eastern policy of the US is so backwards; it needs those alliances to ensure the dollar is not displaced. This policy, as you know, has created chaos everywhere.

          • 0
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            Great analysis Lester. However, it boils down to the same monetry concept – whether its military manufacturing or other commodities manufacturing, it still requires the capitalistic monetary system which cannot contain for long within one country. By contrast, an agrarian and traditional economy system has a different mindset, and is sustainable within a nation. The trick is to make even the commercial manufacturing enterprise more socialized. A return to the gold standard with a strong nation like the US to oversee is a solution.

            • 0
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              Ramona:

              I agree: agrarian/traditional system is self-contained. Probably because social mobility is limited. The farmer remains a farmer for many generations, he does not become the King or in today’s world, a CEO. Capitalism begins with an assumption of the factors of production being scarce. From that point on, ownership and distribution of the factors of production is subject to competition. Some would argue that this competition can lead to extremes in wealth inequality, pollution, military intervention, etc. There is certainly some merit to those points. At the same time, one should not discount the human element here, particularly in the decision-making process. Many are not aware that Nazis were part of the “Green Movement.”. Hitler was himself a vegetarian. Unemployment in Nazi Germany was zero. Women were encouraged to have multiple children (and provided the necessary benefits). Hitler fixed the credit problem of Germany by no longer relying on gold. People were given certificates in exchange for their labor, which they could cash in for other goods. According to one economist, C.K Liu, ” “The Nazis came to power in 1933 when the German economy was in total collapse, with ruinous war-reparation obligations and zero prospects for foreign investment or credit.Through an independent monetary policy of sovereign credit and a full-employment public-works program, the Third Reich was able to turn a bankrupt Germany, stripped of overseas colonies, into the strongest economy in Europe within four years, even before armament spending began.” Clearly the Nazis did not embrace the extremes in capitalism we see today. At the same time, they were violent fascists whose greed for power caused a world war. So we can say, a nation’s destiny is in the hands of its policymakers, more so than a particular economic system.

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              Ramona:

              I can also give you the example of the Soviet Union. Stalin’s “Five-Year” plan turned the Soviet Union into a superpower. Russia would not be where it is today, had it not been for that particular phase of its history. Nevertheless, it was not a “humane” approach towards development. It was fueled by the uninhibited exploitation of human labor, as was the case with the “Industrial Revolution” in North America and England. Stalin, like Hitler, was another madman. They used completely different economic systems to meet certain goals. It is more proof that the particular economic system does not matter, the ultimate factor is policy and the efficiency with which the factors of production are utilized.

  • 4
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    After 1980s there has really been no Left left, at least not of any economic variety (though plenty of Leftist cultural warriors, as Jayatilleka notes). But re-establishing a viable economic Left is a hard ask,

    I am sure there are many things have risen there to our Cultural Warier, Smart Patriot Thero De Silva to reply. We can look for a long reply from him. But I would ask Dr.Siri Gamage if he will accept a genuine Left economy cannot be built with the current trends, whether globalization would go ahead or no. In political ruling structure and in the structure of the economy, in the past, two classes existed, Master and Servant. Though they are class divisions on the two different planes, the lefts have been successful in combining the both planes and marketing their ideology to them assuming as one. The East European Communist countries failed to deliver the economic growth. West which had already achieved a substantial growth provided a moderate growth in economy, but massive growth of individual right in democratic politics. Whether the Woodstock created a new culture or not, political awareness with women’s rights, Feminism, Geneva Convention, Universal Jurisdiction any many other liberal ideas were born and strengthened in that era. This had wiped out the Master- Servant class in the Western political structure, though the economic class still stays there. Though 150 years ago American workers started the May Day, the economic freedom was never achieved at the equal pace with political freedom (even with the pension, welfare, medical care…. )This might be by a controversial verdict of the God, the entrepreneurial skill is not universally spread out within the folks; the relentless wheeling and dealing is possible for certain individuals even after any legal protection for others. This has created a problem in the Western economy. The result is politically stronger working class is being subjected to be ruled in the workplace. Competition demands the new political rulers to bend and produce or be subject to hire and fire. Jobs go exported.

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    Working class wants to take the political decision, but does not have the control over the economy. This is why the new, strange new phenomenon, the workers are voting for the conservative parties and entrepreneurs are supporting the liberals who want globalization, is becoming trend. This is completely different from Thero’ De Silva’s opportunistic talk that workers should be voting for Theresa for Brexit. That is why I say the Globalization did not go anywhere. There is some lactic Acid build up in the legs by a sudden, quick start. Once it had stretched the legs, it will be back on the track. Protectionism was there when Japan was challenging the entire world. But more the Japanese population started to consume more, it became ok. Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea.. Like few countries grow up in this time. But India and China are new threat to globalization. India and China are with their massive capacity and low income per head remaining as the exporters with unlimited capacity but cannot import. The developed countries have to remain as importers only, but cannot export for few more years to come. By the political maturity their working class is looking for a political solution for their economic problem. This disoriented working class voting for the wrong party will continue for some more time in the West. When the Indian-Chinese import and export starts to balance, many new economies will be in the arena, like Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria….That time globalization will be the only way for these economies stay in their respective standings. The Trump experiment by American voters will be guiding light for the new path, irrelevant of president Trump would be success or failure in rebuilding American Economic leadership.

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    The analmen re both living in a dream world
    the left died with sacco and Vanzetti never to rise again

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    As lay man I understand one thing! Previous attempt at creating a universal left failed in 1991. Powerful associations like USSR, countries like China and smaller socialist countries struggled from 1917 onward to establish ‘real’ communism. The powerful withing that bloc, financially supported the weaker ones like Cuba etc; However , in 1991 Gorbachev realized that it doesn’t work. The main reason being, the human being is greedy , hence the top echelon of the communist parties in those countries indulged in luxury while the masses had to struggle. There was no real economic development despite the rosy outlook. China realized it even earlier and moved on to a quasi capitalist system, controlled by the communist party and became successful. Smaller socialist countries like Cuba, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Cambodia, Laos, Albania and the Soviet satellites, up to then depending on hand outs from the bigger brother, fell apart. They too adopted capitalism. The only one left , at least nominally communist ,is North Korea ,a true dictatorship with an iron rule. Even though the idea of communism is good it is now proved impractical and un-achievable. So what is the reason to re-establish something that did not work.

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      “”The only one left , at least nominally communist ,is North Korea ,a true dictatorship with an iron rule. Even though the idea of communism is good it is now proved impractical and un-achievable. “” You are like the rest of the apes unable to pronounce that Kim Jong Un would be greater if not for the western imposed sanctions. Its sanctions by the dignified pirates that bite the opposite force.

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    Van der Poorten, Burning issue, P Burampi, Leelavathi, Kalupahana etc., etc., are a clique of henchmen of a govt. that has amalgamated Foreign affairs and Lottery business together! Highways and Higher Education together! Its waste of time response to them.

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      Maxmoron,

      You have been licking theb alls of Raja even if he would kick you away. That is how you have been brought up.
      Current govt is not the best, but I find them better than Mafia king et al.
      Mafia king et al would have roasted the dead bodies floated in floods for their spice. To that level, MR et al are so cruel. We dont need to check it again, We perfectly know how it is.
      I thought you were lost in the extrements of Raja, not having heard from you over the few weeks. [Edited out]

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      max ————–“etc., etc., are a clique of henchmen of a govt.” ————-Don’t you think comparatively speaking it is better to be a henchmen to the government than b***s carriers to war criminals, crooks, murderers, saffron clad thugs, …………. and being Sinhala/Buddhist fascists? Do you still live inside Gnanasara’s amude? —————————————————–Does he wear designer underwear or specially made one by a Muslim Tailor?

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    There is a saying “Left is brain. Right is heart”. I wish to add – what is in between, the mouth, in other words Consumerism.—- How does Dr. DJ apply Alt-Left to consumerism and how does Prof. Kane see it? —- Both of their opinions are only based on boring theory which has nothing to do with today’s practical world.<<<< In the case of Sri Lanka, what is best for us is Buddhist Socialism.[Edited out]

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      In the case of Sri Lanka, what is best for us is Buddhist Socialism and Buddhist Economics which is based on “Middle Way” and “No-self”. What applies here is Lord Buddha’s teachings. The Three Vices Greed, Hatred and Ignorance are the reasons for suffering and unhappines. Greed or attachment is what makes the society a consumer society. People tend to hoarding more than what they need which makes scarcity. This is what leads to inequility. The Buddhist Economics is the answer to socio economic inequality. Buddhist Economic concept is not a system. It is a strategy. It is not a consumer based economy which is popular in the West, but a community based economy which is more suitable to a country like Sri Lanka. Compassion, Care, Reciprocity and Generosity (sharing) are the pillars of Buddhist Economics. The Western Economics is against Buddhism which encourages expanding greediness, competition, selfishness, market and profit whereas Buddhist Economics makes the life simple by reducing self-interest, impulses, material use and violence. It teaches people to lead their lives in line with the ecosystem.

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        Champs,
        ————————Here we go again!———————————
        ” Buddhist Socialism and Buddhist Economics which is based on “Middle Way””——————————Do you really think that Buddhism is what is practised in Sri Lanka? Please explain where the Buddha approved the following:———————————–
        1. Tree-worship…………………………………………………………………….
        2. Monks travelling in limos …………………………………………………..
        3. Monks selling holy water……………………………………………………
        4. Monks doing politics………………………………………………………….
        5. Violence and bad-mouthing other religions………………………..
        6. Monks shooting Prime Ministers…………………………………………

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        Champa,

        I agree. The West’s system looks intelligent, but it is nothing but madness dressing up itself and playing leader. They West might try, but they can never reach the evolution of the millennia of training of the Buddhist mind. Therefore, how much longer are we to watch our Lankan leaders ape the mad West? China is no better as they have copy-catted the West and are trying to overtake them. Sri Lanka has to liaison with the Buddhist countries of Burma and Indo-China and develop a more realistic system.

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          Ramona —-

          Yes. It is time we reject Western Political Ideologies which are forced upon us.—- We need to have our own Buddhist Ideology. —– Our prosperous, self-sustained ancient Sri Lanka was built on Agriculture and Buddhist Civilization. Our Ancestors lived in accordance with the Natural Socialism. —– We should stop depending on all outdated International/Regional Groups that we are party to at present and think afresh. All Buddhist countries in Asia should form a “New Movement where Buddhist Socialism and Buddhist Economics are cultivated”. Such a Movement will teach the world peaceful co-existence with other ethnicities, non-violence, non-competition and how to be self-sustained according to Buddhist Socialism.—– The Buddhist philosophy of sharing should be encouraged and hoarding wealth should be discouraged. Buddhists should have a heart to share the unused, if they have more than what they actually need and support fellow Buddhists who are struggling to meet ends.—– Our local expertise, wisdom and knowledge should be used to develop/maintain our harbours, airports, oil tanks, tourist destinations, trade related activities, transportation, highways, our businesses, etc., without always running after foreign countries for dependence. —- I hope our Buddhist Monks who support Buddhist Socialism come forward for looking for a New young Leftist Leader, a Patriot who is already loved by majority Sinhalese, “who could be trained, guided and advised” as to how the future Sri Lanka be led to prosperity, based on our own Buddhist Socialist Ideology. —– At the sametime, the Executive Presidency should be retained to defeat any threat to unitary state and solve problems without undue delays. We should “train” a righteous new leader to that position. “It will take years, but it is time we reform our thinking and place country before self”. Sri Lanka should be ruled by Democratic Buddhists who follow Buddhist Socialism and Buddhist Economics.

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            Well said Champa.

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        Chumps,
        —————What are you trying to say, dear girl? You ought not to lose your temper and use bad language, like Gandasara. Not done at all!

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          LAC3 <<<< Oh, no, it is because of the Citations and References. I think I have overdone it. It is all your fault.

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      What are these two? The quotes? But I checked, they are reference material. Never mind now. I normally don’t use references. I always post my own views. But the subject Buddhist Socialism and Buddhist Economics are something people are not used to, so I thought of giving some example of universal viewpoints rather than my own opinion.

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        Chumps,
        —————–Many people would say that that we have neither Buddhist Socialism or economics here. We definitely have Buddhist Fascism.

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    Prof John Kane please read CT of 13 June “Yahapālanaya Suppresses Investigation Of Rs 16 Billion Duty Free Vehicle Permit Scam Involving Govt Servants And BMW Importer. Do not ask the alt-left Dayan the meaning of Yahapālanaya. If you did he will say “Former Regime – May their tribe increase”. By the way Aus$ = SLR135/-. Dayan is at best a negative alt-left. Were you influenced by the fact Dayan has a PhD from the same university you are working – Griffith University?

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    Pennsylvania, Lancaster-Dutch country. Vast swaths of land that belong to the Amish. This simple religious group of white people live the traditional lifestyle of organic farming and traditional heritage. US government does not touch them. They do not pay taxes, do not join the military, and stop education at 6th grade. US gov. knows their value and potential in case all else fails. However, in Sri Lanka, our ancient race of Sinhala Buddhists are scorned and pushed aside.

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      “”However, in Sri Lanka, our ancient race of Sinhala Buddhists are scorned and pushed aside.”” Ha ha he he .. check that DNA immigrant, patchwork race, patchwork language, patchwork faith, patchwork constitution,….and above all self glorified pirates in an indian island like the many dotted around the sub – continent.

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        Dinesh Patel: You are a typical donkey. Just know how to bray.

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          Jimsofty,””You are a typical donkey. Just know how to bray.””…………..
          Gay Hegel Skinhead like Higannage thuwale wage (beggar’s wound) We don’t cultivate marijuana down under at tasmania for survival and more.

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        “This simple religious group of white people live the traditional lifestyle of organic farming and traditional heritage.US government does not touch them.””………………….
        Small minded Sinhala Buddhist pirate islanders have confiscated the vast stretches of Vedda land at Lanka Like oliver twist asking for more with the Sinhala Buddhist Begging Bowl. Conveniently unknown to Sinhala Buddhist and North India, Tamil Nadu/Pondicherry has a 30 mile radius city Auroville City exactly the same as the above (self containing) autonomous body run by highly qualified white people and their children.
        You still insult the people of Tamil Nadu but Brahmins give two hoots to sinhala buddhist.

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    Prof. John Kane—“”But a genuine opportunity to reassemble the various pieces into new ‘global public imagination’ may take another, more severe crisis in order to be fully realized. One trembles at the prospect.””………..What German Dialectic Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels forgot to calculate was the human factor in England and in the United States and the Englishman’s or American’s `way of doing things` and of solving problems…………………….There are 2 governing doors with all kinds of prefixes – Right wing and Left wing. One leads to death and the other also leads to death. What do you do? `I wait` maybe I die before, but we are getting there soon!! „Und minder ist oft mehr” meaning” And less is often more “wrote the German. ………………………………………………………………………….. The future undeniably would belong not to political scientist ending up writing from treatises to philosophy but to `Innovators and Pets of the System. –Less is more.

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