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Issue #1537      29 February 2012

Socialism is the future

Contribution of Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL)

Certainly the future is for socialism. The present day realties should be examined with this conviction in mind.

The world is passing through one of the most severe periodic recessions of the crisis-prone capitalist system. Although over three years have passed since its emergence the leading capitalist countries have so far failed to tame the crisis and are in the grip of further financial turmoil and continuing stagnation. The European Union which a few years ago was robust has been shaken to its very foundations with the near bankruptcy of several of its member states.

The burden of all these crises is forced on the working people whose incomes are decimated, pensions cut and their working and living conditions slashed. The working people however are not ready to accept the burdens cast on them lying down as was shown by the recent massive resistance by the heroic Greek people and the huge protests in Britain and elsewhere.

Capitalist exploitation which has brought pain and deprivation to the multitude have drawn militant protests against the system itself in some citadels of capitalism, notably in different parts of the United States. They are symbolic of the desperation of the people who suffer under capitalism. Yet the situation is not mature for the working people to rise to overthrow the rule of capital, more so because the subjective factor is too weak to take on the challenge. It is a challenge that confronts the international communist movement.

Capitalism is still growing. It has grown all along in spite of the periodic crises of varying degrees of severity. The “emergence of new global economic powers” is itself a reflection of this phenomena. According to a recent survey it has been projected that Socialist China with its strong private sector will be the world’s foremost economic power (GDP: US$44,453 billions) in 2050 followed by the United States (GDP: US$35,165 billions). Next comes India with a GDP of US$ 27,803 billions.

“Socialist China with its strong private sector will be the world’s foremost economic power.”

It is not necessary to elaborate that the economic growth now proceeding in the developing countries is capitalist oriented. Even the state sector is made use of to serve capitalist growth. The growth of the economies outside the traditional citadels of capitalism will certainly weaken their hold on world capitalism. Already the Group of Seven (G7) have begun to accommodate the emerging economies in the management of the crises-ridden world capitalist system. The rise in importance of the regular meetings of G20 which includes the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and such countries as Indonesia is indicative of this development.

What is noteworthy is that the economic dominance of the so-called Metropolitan Countries (Imperialist Countries) are on the wane. They are increasingly unable to dictate terms to their junior partners in economic affairs. Consequently their political clout has also been seriously affected. Their frustration over their inability to unilaterally interfere in the affairs of Syria is a case in point.

The fall of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries in Europe has spurred the development of capitalism in the world. The remaining socialist countries have been compelled to adopt reforms akin to the New Economic Policy proposed for the young Soviet state. Many Communist Parties in the developing world are faced with the problem of defining their road to socialism in the background of the absence of a developed capitalist system.

In Sri Lanka the Communist Party (CPSL) is part of the government. It has been in alliance led by the progressive Sri Lanka Freedom Party for nearly 20 years. The alliance grew in the efforts to avoid the return to power of the anti-people, pro-imperialist and reactionary United National Party. This alliance was forged on the basis of a common set of objectives covering such issues as broadening democracy, deepening social justice and the solution of the national problem. Now it encompasses several other political forces as well.

The 30-year separatist war which ravaged the country and brought untold misery to its people was ended in May, 2009. It has opened vistas for a period of peace, social progress and rapid economic development. It was anticipated that the solution of the national problem is given priority and steps will be taken to further deepen social justice and to put the country on course for accelerated economic development.

The Communist Party and its left allies in government have been exerting pressure on the government on the urgency of solving the national problem. The government is presently holding discussions with the main Tamil national party to reach an agreement on the content of a solution. At the same time the government is setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee comprising representatives of all parties represented in parliament to bring about a binding consensus on a solution.

The CPSL has underlined that the solution of the national problem should be based on a meaningful devolution of power to the region where the Tamil people constitute the majority.

The government has safeguarded the measures already in place for social security and welfare and expanded them in certain respects. It has launched massive projects for economic development and succeeded in reaching an annual growth rate of over eight percent. The per capita income is presently at US$2,800 (US$1,000 in 2005) and is expected to reach US$4,000 by the year 2014.

The CPSL nevertheless has reservations on certain policies of the government. Recently the party openly expressed its disagreement over devaluation of the Rupee. The party along with its left allies in government are continuing to press for the abolition of the executive presidential system in the country and to replace it with a system where the people’s sovereignty is exercised solely through parliament as the present system has tended to promote an authoritarian rule.

It remains in government (with certain reservations) in order that the larger interests of the working people are defended and a takeover by the pro-imperialist reaction is prevented. It believes that its present actions will create favourable conditions on the march towards socialism.

* Chairman, Communist Party of Sri Lanka
All contributions to the Meeting and documents are available from the Solidnet  

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