22 July, 2024

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Seize The Election To Secure It: ‘A Democratic Revolution By Force’ 

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

“…to recognize no means of carrying out these objects other than a democratic revolution by force.” ~ Friedrich Engels, Letter to the Communist Correspondence Committee in Brussels, Paris, 23rd October 1846

Classical Leninism called it ‘parliamentary cretinism’. My updated variant is ‘electoral narcissism’. That is the malady the various currents of the mainstream Opposition are suffering from. They gaze at themselves in the pond or the mirror and see a glorified image of the votes and seats they will get at the next election. 

In other words, they are fixated by their future electoral performance when they should be focusing instead in securing the elections that they are hoping to compete in. 

Why count your chickens before they are hatched, when a snake is slithering into the chicken-coop with every intention of swallowing the eggs? 

There is every piece of circumstantial evidence that the Government is hoping to delete or delay the national elections scheduled for exactly one year from now. Instead of banding together to ensure that elections will be held on schedule, starting with the earliest, the Opposition parties are building castles in the air about the power they will win and posts they will hold at an election they may never have. 

Political Jataka Story

The Opposition reminds me of the Jataka Tale about the lass who was walking to the bazaar to sell the fine pot of curd she was balancing upon her head. She was day dreaming about what she would do with the money, and thought of how she would proudly reject this or that suitor from among those who would doubtless besiege her when she was wealthy from the sale of the curd. 

She gave a contemptuous toss of her head to act out her rejection and as a result the pot of curd she was balancing, fell, broke and was utterly ruined. 

That could be the fate of the Opposition parties who do not adhere to the admonitory advice that our parents used to give us when we were kids: “First things first!”

The first thing is to smash the subterfuge of the Ranil regime to defer national elections as Ranil did to the Provincial Councils when he was PM in the Yahapalanaya government: snarl it up in so-called electoral reforms. 

The next thing is to shatter the other Ranilist plot of a ‘new Constitution’ which abolishes the executive Presidency.

All the Opposition has to do is to point out that the regime has no legitimacy whatsoever to do anything other than hold the national elections according to existing Constitution.

This government has no legitimacy for two reasons:

* The President was not elected by the people, and indeed was not elected even to the legislature. 

* The ruling party the SLPP was elected on a clear mandate which it has clearly abandoned while defecting to the Ranilist mandate it stood against at least since the Presidential election of 1999. 

* In short, the President never had a popular mandate and the ruling party did but forfeited it. Therefore, the administration as a whole, lacks a popular mandate and popular legitimacy. 

 Any ‘reform’ that emanates from this administration is therefore ‘poisoned fruit’.

AKD-JVP-NPP Formula

The front-running Opposition party, the JVP-NPP should not get itself caught in a cleft stick between its stand in favour of the abolition of the executive presidency and its imperative need to block any further delay in the holding of elections. 

All the JVP-NPP needs to say is that now, when there is a chance of a progressive, pro-people, left-oriented leader and government, the political establishment is trying to abolish the Presidency and thereby the presidential election. This should not be allowed. 

A new President and Parliament, indeed new Provincial Councils as well, should deliberate on a progressive new Constitution—and not allow this rotting, zombie President and SLPP Government to tamper with Constitutional and/or electoral reform.   

In the Marxist-Leninist lexicon that Anura Kumara Dissanayake and the JVP are familiar with, there is a transgression known as ‘skipping stages’. You are supposed to understand that you can’t do everything at one go and that each stage or phase (if you prefer) has its own ‘main task’. The relevant stage is complete if you complete for the most part, that main task. You can carry over the secondary tasks of that stage, to the next one. In the leftist lexicon this is known as uninterrupted revolution by stages. 

This means the process is uninterrupted, but has its different interconnected stages. 

Anura and the JVP-NPP are ‘skipping stages’. The current stage is one defined by the main task of ensuring, securing, obtaining a national election on schedule from an establishment which is determined not to transfer governmental and state power either to the Left (AKD-JVP-NPP) or to a Centrist-Populist dissident from within its ranks (Premadasa). Of course, Anura is not willing to admit the latter factor, but that’s irrelevant here. 

How does Anura hope to secure a Presidential election or a Parliamentary election at the same time as the presidential should have been in case it is abolished? 

He has an answer which puzzles me. He says the JVP-NPP will move an amendment that if the executive presidency is to be abolished, it cannot be for the purpose of postponing an election by abolition—and therefore the parliamentary election will have to be held on exactly the same day as the abolition. 

Now this seems even more of a maze than AKD’s bete noire Kumar Gunaratnam’s roadmap to participatory democracy!  

It will also be a contribution to Marxist political theory and strategy: since when was a dictatorial drive of a bourgeois ruler/regime thwarted by moving an amendment to the regime’s legislation? This is ‘parliamentary cretinism’ taken to an extreme. 

Seize the Election

If Anura or Sajith really wish to lead the country they will have to realize very quickly that not everything can be achieved by trying to out-talk or outwit Ranil Wickremesinghe. 

Ranil’s main ally of the moment isn’t Basil Rajapaksa as much as it is General Kamal Gunaratne and the Gotabaya militarists.

If a Presidential election is to obtained this time next year, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Kamal Gunaratne will have to be politically and socially OUTFOUGHT.

A Presidential election this time next year can be secured and a democratic transition ensured only by removing the option of cancellation/postponement from the Ranil regime. This can be done only by bringing such massive and irresistible pressure to bear on the regime, inexorably pinning its back to the wall, so that the sole option available to it is the holding of the earliest possible national election on schedule, i.e., Presidential election 2024. 

Ranil Wickremesinghe and his trigger-happy securocrats must be made to realize that the holding of the scheduled democratic election and peacefully transferring power is the sole guarantee of survival. That’s very different proposition from moving an amendment in the legislature. The election must be seized! That will require, in the words of Friedrich Engels, “a democratic revolution by force” (1846).      

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Latest comments

  • 12
    0

    “The ruling party the SLPP was elected on a clear mandate which it has clearly abandoned while defecting to the Ranilist mandate it stood against at least since the Presidential election of 1999.
    In short, the President never had a popular mandate and the ruling party did but forfeited it. Therefore, the administration as a whole, lacks a popular mandate and popular legitimacy. “
    Well then what was this mandate about? A mixture of retarded nativism, short-sighted economics, Sinhala Buddhist arrogance, agricultural naivety, all held together with advice from a cabal of self-serving idiots called Viyathmaga.
    Who still upholds this “mandate”? Just to name a few, Johnston, Godahewa, Weerawansa, Weerasekara, Ratana, Gunduvindu, Derana Dilith, and of course Gota himself.
    Is Dr. DJ suggesting that this lot should rightfully be governing the country?

    • 4
      7

      Gosh oc, what an upside-down twisted analysis of DJ’s article. Typical! No, DJ is not putting the Viyathmaga up. He is focusing solely on the mad mental desires of the Lankan elite over the suffering masses via Ranil. And that INCLUDEs this Viyathmaga (only they have Sinhala Buddhist arrogance). It is THAT obvious! Either you are not too bright, or in your greed to join the elite, you forgot that you can’t fool most of the people any of the time. Shame on you!

      • 4
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        And oc,……10 likes so far! Wow! That’s a potential 10 million US$$$ for you from your fellow stock-bond-club members over the suffering, dining, tortured, and killed bodies of the masses entrapped in hot concreted apartment blocks minus electricity (and yet paying for the starting fee to uphold you and yours), after their ancient lands were taken way for development fueled by your stocks and bonds.

        • 1
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          …..over the suffering, dying, tortured, and killed bodies of the masses*…you must be sitting smug oc.

    • 13
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      OC , could you please tell be briefly what is DJ ‘s thoughts are, if there are any??? I’m clueless. For me it sounds like DJ wants those suffering masses / comrades to resist, protest, fight, get killed or bodily harmed , go to prison , for his as well other politicians/ elites ( of his own kind) survival. But As Nimal said the lean and mean political profile ( picture) from old comrade seems the only change.. lMoreover Lankans are beyond redemption and have no such desire for any meaningful change ( since in dependence) .But Pseudo intellectual Lankans seem to be good at giving advise to others like them in dire situations elsewhere ( Palestine, Ukraine). For a change DJ after a gap decided to write about Lanka and not Gaza. When Palestinian elected Hamas to fight for their causes Lankans elected and re- elected Rajapaksas, Pissu Sira/ RW ( two decades)

      • 9
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        Seize the election??? Okay when is the election??? Any ideas about events between now and then ???? If so what are the options ??

        • 9
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          DEMOCRAZY revolution by force ?? Why sweat when you already have one in place

          • 3
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            Chiv,

            Once that wealth tax comes in and the masses are evicted from their homes for failure to pay, it will be exactly like the Israeli- Palastinian situation.

            All wealth will be concentrated in Port-City and Colombo (1,000 year plan of the British crown). Lankan masses will be droning in super-hot concreted apartment blocks in the outskirts…,their natural land and property taken for generation of industry for foreign corporates. Competing geo- political rivals will hand each side the weapons to bomb the other side to oblivion. Alas.

    • 1
      1

      My dear OC,
      U know how this SELF/PROCLAIMED punidit abused both his mouth and pen during the early days of good governance govt, because his personal vendetta stood against RW from that day on.
      /
      HIs writing is though enriched with famous citations, ironically, his performance is no different to that of THUNMULLE WIMALYA aka Weerawanse.
      /
      THIs clown was then known as number one “lap dog”of Mahendra Rajapakshe whose Mugabe style politics ruined this nation~s culture, education, sociaty, media and almost everything and his families became richer.
      /
      If LEARNED DJ was clever, he could have guided MEDAMULANA DOGS adequately, however, he had no such GENUINE intentions, because his performances are no difference to jOHNSTEN or the like rascals, that ruind our society. Simply saying guy was nothing but enjoyed his posts so as all other Rajapakshe/parasites.
      /
      ALso we cant forget how this guy became bitter silent once he was posted to RUSSIA as the ambassardor by prESIDENT sirisena. He is selfish so as Johnsten, Rohitha, WImal weerawanse or the like uneducated bastards even if this guy is wearing academic titles. In that way, his is similar to PRof. GLP who is by qualification a law professor. HOwever, both silly charctors have something in common, that mlechcha sinhala genes.

  • 4
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    “Seize the Election To Secure It”. How? ” Democratic Revolution By Force”. That’s what the writer says.

    That “Democratic Revolution” could be another “Aragalaya” perhaps backed with a “General Strike”. Would it happen? I doubt it very much with what we saw (1) “Aragalaya” and the results (2) The Luke Warm reception that the “Work Force” showed with the decision made in the process of the “EPF/ETF” – “Debt Restructuring”. Another way would be to “Boycott” the Parliament by the “Joint Force” of the Opposition forcing the President to “Dissolve” the Parliament and hold an election to give the people to elect a “New Government” with a “Public Mandate”. That is far from a “Dream”. So, that “Democratic Revolution By Force” is a Misnomar.

    The next “PLOY” – (to POSTPONE the elections) adopted by the Government is to pass Legislation that would change the “Electoral System”. It is already before the Parliament. The important question would be: If this Legislation is passed will it be applicable to any election that is scheduled to be held in the future – both the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections? How will the Opposition look at this? Remains to be seen.

  • 5
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    II: The writer says: “….JVP/NPP will move an amendment if the Presidency to abolish, the Parliament must be dissolved”. Taking this statement to be true, I am of the opinion that JVP/NPP cannot deviate from their “Policy” to ABOLISH the “Presidency”. So, in the event a proposal is to be brought before the Parliament, JVP/NPP will have to vote for it. In that scenario, this “Amendment” by the JVP/NPP would be a “Get a Way” tactic covered with a coating to get the Parliament dissolved. It must be in short, to kill two birds with one stone.

    As the abolition of the Presidency has to be by a “2/3rd” majority PLUS a Referendum, JVP/NPP plan must aim at both a “Win-Win” situation. It could be a “Strategy” thought out by JVP/NPP.

    In the article, it is also stated: “Anura Kumara/Sajith……..trying to out-talk or out-wit Ranil W…..”

    What else they could do at this moment? They know very well that the people are not ready for such a proposition of “Democratic Revolution By Force”. The environment (stage) has not yet been set up for such an “Uprising” and they too are fed up with the “OUTCOME” of the “Aragalaya” – the “Rudderless” boat that sank in the high seas. So what remains as “Ammunition” is “Out-Talk” and “Out-Wit” Ranil W and Rajapakses and, heat the pan until it is time to fry the meal – the Election.

    • 4
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      “…the people are not ready for such a proposition of “Democratic Revolution By Force”. The environment (stage) has not yet been set up for such an “Uprising” …”
      > Your thoughts on what will prompt the people of Sri Lanka to a democratic revolution (by force?), an uprising that does not fizzle out?
      > Do Lankans by far and wide have the wisdom, the resolve and the moral fibre to enact a genuine revolution?
      > Do Lankans by far and wide aspire to do the right thing for all its citizens?

      If financial deficit and economic hardships are the only triggers for a revolution, then I think it is bound to be short lived. Perhaps the reason for “…the “OUTCOME” of the “Aragalaya” – the “Rudderless” boat that sank in the high seas.”

      Who’s going to improve the moral deficit in this country? IMF can make recommendations to curtail corruption but there’s much much more that is deeply lacking in this country.

      Just picking your brain, Douglas

      • 3
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        Dear Sugndh: Thank you. For all three questions, my simple opinion and the answer is ” A Democratic Excecis and use of the Powerful Force called the VOTE”.

        My observation is that the PEOPLE are not ready for a “Struggle” ( a public showdown of a complete breakdown of the Government Machinery) BUT, they are patiently WAITING, enduring all the economic/social hardships, for the opportunity to walk up to a “Polling Booth” to make a CHANGE with that tiny mark “x” on a Ballot Paper. That would be the next “Showdown” of the People’s Sovereignty.

  • 5
    2

    Something that the opposition must do is to educate the public about Preference Voting. We must make sure that Ranil’s fascists will not get anywhere near the Presidency.
    .
    Looking at it from the NPP’s point of view, they must tell themselves that it is better to have Sajith as President, than have Dhammika Perera. Unfortunately, there will be those purists who will object to this. And there will be others who will claim that it’s better to have DP because the “Great Proletarian Revolution” will be easier to usher in when the class conflict has been well honed.
    .
    Has Antonio Gramsci said anything on strategies that ought to be launched in circumstances such as those now prevalent in this country?
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 4
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      Sinhala_Man,
      … educate the public about Preference Voting.
      Educating the public …?
      You can lead a horse to water but can you make it drink as well!!

      • 2
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        Dear Nathan,
        Don’t u think before going to educate the people, some self proclaimed pundits who shout loudly should be educated first?
        /
        . If one reads his recent comments, anyone with any sense will immediately question, what goes through his stupid mindset _
        /
        I WONDER WHY JVP DOES NOT SEEM TO TAKE THE LEAD IN EDCUATION OF THE VOTERS FIRST ? VOTERS should be trained for using their ballots properly. Their stage dramas would not bring the nation an inch forward, because whole lot of people are highly corrupted so as the politicians.
        .
        Holiding elecitons without educating the very same voters, would be like waiting to see PIGs might fly. Period.

  • 12
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    Like the hair-cut and the new look, Dr DJ! …….Looks less disheveled-Marxists and more professional-distinguished. ……….. Guess, Ranil is rubbing-off at least in clothes and appearance. ……… To hell with the economy, the suffering and the starving.

    Looking good is what matters. ……… the focus shifts …….. people tend to forget what you are doing/done ……

    That’s all I can say about Ranil and his governance and his antics: busy traveling.

    Native will say the rest …….. when women are not bothering him ……..

    • 5
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      nimal fernando

      “Native will say the rest …….. when women are not bothering him ……..”

      Did you watch Diana Gamage’s action packed video tiktok clip?
      Don’t miss it.

      Its a shame you are relying on VP for action instead of home grown Diana.

  • 13
    1

    The voters have always been fooled by being addicted to receiving personal favours rather than any collective benefits from eradicating rank corruption and a deceitful national culture. If the voters do not wake up and think collectively in the public interest, these parasitic monsters will destroy whatever is left of the country, thus creating a new class of extremely impoverished morons who will do anything to survive day by day. What is required is a clean sweep by a concerted effort where the scum and their acolytes are completely and irreversibly removed from the scene. That is the only way future generations can have any hope of living in a livable country. Otherwise, people will die a slow death from malnutrition, lack of basic medicines and intolerable levels of stress.

    • 4
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      We can add to the dire consequences, a further steady increase in crimes including murders and other violent offences.

      Is hitting the absolute rock bottom be the only turning point for this citizenry?

    • 4
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      We know very well that since Gota came to power, no special programs like imporovement of voter awareness were introduced to the gullible people. It was also not possible under the current caretaker government. When the reality is this, how can people have the audacity to think that our voters will use their brains the next time they vote?
      /
      They have proved not once but again and again that they fall into the same pit in broad daylight, and they fell once in the night.
      /
      So my guess is they will get caught by SLPP again. In next few months, lanken SANGA MUDALALIS will start their usual gimicks with Rajapakshes. CHurches, Mosques and Temples will be see demolished by hired men to collect the proofs to mislead the nation again, resounding about another EASTER SUNDAY DISASTER style attacks……
      /
      THere JVP or even GOds will have be marginalised as usual. SO long MEDIA Networks would be with them, nothing will change for the benefit of the improvement of the awareness of the people. THat is why i thoroughly believe without a real social revolution, nothing like the paradigam shift of mindset change of the masses would work.
      May our folks be blessed with brains. !!!!

    • 7
      1

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda

      “The voters have always been fooled by being addicted to receiving personal favours rather than any collective benefits from eradicating rank corruption and a deceitful national culture.”

      It is very much the flimsiest reason.
      The voters have been fooled almost in every elections by the call to arms against the minorities, since 1948.

      In 1948 it was the Citizenship Act
      In 1956 it was the racist and stupid appeal to the Pancha Maha Balavegaya’ (Five Great Forces), including Kelaniya to Kandy yathra.
      In 1972 it was the official recognition of Buddhism in the constitution.
      In 2005 and 2010 it was the war against North East.
      Since 1970s it was the arrogance of state power, abuse, misuse, blatant violation of human rights, at mind boggling level.

      In between the growth of unchecked nasty Sinhala/Buddhist nationalism.

      Please tell us why the 6.9 million voted for Gota, and repeatedly elected most corrupt members of parliament? One important reason is by invoking Sinhala/Buddhism corrupt, … and war criminals are being protected from their crimes (since 1971).

      • 5
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        Lasantha Pethiyagoda

        Gota said in his coronation speech “There is no challenge that we cannot surmount. We have the vision to build the nation. The plans in this regard have been included in the Vistas of Prosperity manifesto”.

        Are the people so stupid to believe all these nonsense? Over a period of time people have been motivated to accept “Manufactured Consent” that he was invincible, single handedly won the war, guardian of Sinhala/Buddhists, … and minorities are evil, enjoy more rights or demand more than the rights enjoyed by Sinhala/Buddhists …. and he was grateful to hordes of saffronistas who campaigned for him.

        “”The main message of the election is that it was the Sinhala majority vote that allowed me to win the presidency,” – Gota.

        Within a short period he had become nobody, sought exile, became a failed asylum seeker, … returned to the island where Ranil made sure his safety.

        People voted for every stupid and racist policies (except for Chandrika in November 1994) and those who were elected failed the people.

  • 4
    0

    ‘Ranil’s main ally of the moment isn’t Basil Rajapaksa as much as it is General Kamal Gunaratne and the Gotabaya militarists’.
    I never thought that a strategist like Dayan Jayatilleka would name Kamal Gunaratne with the same stroke of the pen as the rest in his group!

    • 6
      0

      Dayan is spoiling Native’s fun!

      • 3
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        Nathan

        “Dayan is spoiling Native’s fun!”

        I am wondering if there is any difference between Dayan and Diana Gamage.
        I am also wondering if there is any difference between Dayan and former Governor of Eastern Province Anuradha Yahampath? I mean in their behaviour.

        • 0
          0

          All these men and women are hypocrites.
          /
          Dayan is unique to him, because the clown s own overestimation keeps him ALWAYs above. To my eyes he is no different to our joker GURUWARAYA of CT. These men should be born sick.

  • 2
    1

    Can anyone in the country today trust anything Ranil says either in the UNP meetings or on the TV? He has not delivered anything to date what he has been promising us. This has been his practice for years. Remember how he appointed Sajith to be the Presidential Candidate at the UNP Executive Meeting and pulled the rug under him? Ranil is a person who should not be trusted, especially after he became the President.

    He has no right to be even the President of the country, unfortunately, there is a flaw in the constitution and he became the President to protect the Rajapaksa crooks.

    • 3
      0

      Buddhist1. “He…………..became the President to protect Rajapakse crooks”. That is what “Aragalaya” FAILED to fathom. We are paying for that “SIN”.

      Dear LM: I don’t think you are in agreement with that statement of “Buddhist1”? You might have a different point of view.

  • 4
    5

    Alas, what you say is only too true, DJ. Any other country, and there would have been a violent uprising by now. Anura and Sajith are bayagullas! Armed forces have been bought up by Ranil and Rajapaksas. Not a chance for the suffering masses of the Motherland.

    And they have increased electricity tariffs on the suffering country yet again. Let’s hope and pray hard, that the property taxes the IMF desires will target the wealthy. But no, it will only target the poor man with high mortgage payments, forcing them to sell at a loss. Those with property already paid off will also have to sell at a huge loss and move to rented property (most of this property was earned by their hard labour for many generations in places like the Middle East). It will be a vast displacement of people for Ranil and Rajapaksas to have super highways with fast cars, and robots to sell to the West.

    • 4
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      ramona therese fernando

      “And they have increased electricity tariffs on the suffering country yet again. “

      How would you suggest the Ceylon Electricity Board, the electricity supplier balance the books? Maybe ceasing free supply of electricity to Vihares? Taking the corrupt officials and ministers to courts and sue them for corruption, inapt management, nepotism, ….?

      According to one study by Public Finance Data and Analysis,
      ” During a period of 10 years from 2010 to 2019, the CEB had accumulated a total loss of over LKR 246 billion1. This is only likely to increase further in 2020 as there was an additional loss of over LKR 62 billion incurred during the year by CEB2.”

      The Puttalam Lakvijaya (Norocholai) Coal Fired Power Plant was commissioned in 2011. Now tell us since 2011 how many days the plant effectively produced electricity? What was the cost of repairs to this plant since (SJ’s glorified) Chinese engineers commissioned this power station? What was the cost of the entire project?

      This is a state owned supplier.
      And who is responsible for all these state owned enterprises?

  • 3
    0

    You said it NV : …Taking the corrupt officials and ministers to courts and sue them for corruption, inapt management, nepotism.

    The masses aren’t using any electricity at all. Guess they will be forced to to pay rates anyway, for having electricity lines to their house, failing of which Gosl will evict them from their homes. But you make no mention of the wealth tax which will also evict them from their homes.

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