Friday, October 3, 2008

If Marx lived in Sri Lanka today he would be horrified

Marx and his socialist writings were more apt in Germany during the period he lived and in that context would have seemed a perfectly logical theory. In the context of Sri Lanka today, where the populace have been bred on a different diet of asking for the moon and expecting the government to provide, which has been the way the country has operated, has lead to a basic breakdown of productivity of human capital and not its exploitation.

Marx I believe would have concentrated on areas of the economy that could improve productivity without adversely affecting the living conditions of the people who give rise to the increase, but at the same time improve the overall living conditions of the populace at large, permitting free enterprise, where competition is not stifled. In the present bizarre mix, where the supposedly socialist administration is packed with oligopolists and those representing such, so competition from small enterprises are stifled, while at the same time providing social welfare, in the form of health education and free loading government jobs, none of which the country can afford.

Of course it is in the state sector that the productivity is at its lowest, and where in the absence of unemployment in this economy, the potential for the greatest reforms lie, by retraining the sector to be more productive and re assigning them in state jobs that are now in demand in areas of conservation, recycling, alternative energy, marketable skills, pollution control, and agricultural development. He will realize that there is no place for collective ownership in Sri Lanka, as the nuclear family is the greatest source of conflict in the inability to share.

While I don’t even presume to know or actually want to know what Marx was on about when he wrote his seminal work, all I can surmise is that as a rational human being with average intelligence he would have come up with a theory that would be practical and apt to suit the conditions of the day in Sri Lanka, and there would be few who would dispute it. There are many who would try and prevent its implementation, as it would still go against the self-interest of the governing and ruling classes who still form a minority in a country, which is still essentially a parochial country of sheep being lead to slaughter without their knowledge. In this context it is a precipice that is being faced with the leaders ready to step aside the moment they reach the edge so the flock will just get thrown into their doom!

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