Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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The Consensus Politics

by Ram Mohan, May 28, 2011

What is important to note is that while Politics was an unconscious development in the previous era, Politics now is a conscious process.  That process applies to both the oppressors and the oppressed. The oppressors have realized this and developed conscious Politics to resolve the conflicts among themselves while perpetuating the conflicts with the oppressed as well as the conflicts among the oppressed, thus undermining the unity of the oppressed peoples.

Marx considered history as a history of class struggles and politics as unconscious Politics determined by Economics or more precisely by mode of production which in turn is determined by the instruments of production. He went on to say that History is created independent of Man’s will. This is certainly true when Man had to rely on Nature for Survival just as a child has to rely on the Mother.

In childhood mother’s influence over the child is enormous but over time as the child matures, the child’s influence on mother dominates. So is the relationship between Man and Nature. While Marx’s ideas were correct when Nature’s influence on Man was dominant, there was a reversal as Man’s influence on Nature became dominant and as Mao said, Politics determined everything else including Economics. Mao also went on to say that “People and people alone create History”. The change over, took place sometime in the middle of the last century probably at the end of the World wars.

This can be confirmed by the fact that most of the countries won political independence from Imperialism but not economic independence. The political independence has to be used to develop Economic independence subsequently. Nations without State including Eelam need to win Political independence to achieve Economic independence. Thus National Liberation is a prerequisite for Socialist development.

What is important to note is that while Politics was an unconscious development in the previous era, it (Politics) now is a conscious process.  It applies to both the oppressors and the oppressed. The oppressors have realized this and developed conscious Politics to resolve the conflicts among themselves while perpetuating the conflicts with the oppressed as well as the conflicts among the oppressed, thus undermining the unity of the oppressed peoples.

The oppressors have developed the conscious Politics to a higher level of CONSENSUS POLITICS. The Politics of the UK governments (both Labour and Consevatives)between 1945 and 1979 has been commonly known as Consensus Politics. They had common understanding on the Welfare State, National Health Service and on State intervention in Economic affairs, particularly what was mistakenly called Nationalisation.

In reality, Consensus Politics is more widespread among oppressors Worldwide, as well as in time. Even after 1979 (after Thatcher and Regan), though the Strategy of oppression changed to more ruthless “Free Market”, the Consensus Politics between Labour and Conservatives has been growing and now they see eye to eye. Even after the current Economic Crisis or Depression, there is Consensus Politics between Labour and Conservatives in bailing out failing private enterprises including Multi National Corporations.

The same scenario is true for the Democrats and Republicans in the USA or wherever you have the “TWO PARTY DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM” including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, the Consensus Politics is made more transparent by the Free Flow of Politicians from the UNP to the UFPA and vice versa. The Consensus Politics is more obvious when it comes to the oppression of the Eelam Tamil Nation.

Since the transformation of Imperialism to Globalised Capital and the collapse of the Soviet Union or the  so called Socialist Camp, the ruling elite in the One Party States also has been gradually drawn into the Worldwide Consensus Politics. The Consensus Politics is now being embraced by the Establishments of the World, See how International coalitions are formed whether it is the Iraq war or whether it is the Afghanistan war or whether it is the war against Eelam Tamils. It is the Consensus Politics that makes it easy for the transformation of G7 to G8 or even to G20.

The Ultimate Theater of the Consensus Politics is the UN Security Council, particularly the VETO Powers. The Consensus Politics is so dominant that the VETO is rarely used.  The VETO had been used 252 times up to 2003 and only 10 times since then. In the back rooms of the world body, the major powers "make clear in private conversation what they can live with, what they can't," says Ruth Wedgwood, a professor of international law at Johns Hopkins University. As a result, some festering conflicts don't go before the Council: Russia won't tolerate resolutions on Chechnya, China of Tibet, or India - also a major UN player - of Kashmir.

Now it is clear why the Security Council went to the UN Basement to discuss Sri Lanka informally when the war against Eelam Tamils was reaching a climax. The Consensus Politics has become so obvious that Vidar Helgesan of Norway advised Eelam Tamils in the recent Remembrance Day Event to Press USA, UK and France to talk to China, Russia.  The advice is good but we should talk to everybody direct.

The question is whether these Powers will listen to us. Whether it is in the Security Council as Prof Wedgwood observed or whether it is to do with individual relationships, the World moves on the basis of deals which are called “give and take” in a civilized fashion. We have nothing to offer except slavery as was the case before LTTE. We have seen that slavery does not even bring recognition apart from help. We became friendless because the few on whom we depended, took us for granted and did nothing while pushing others in the hands of the GOSL.

The only way we can change that is to talk to everybody direct so that nobody will take us for granted. Whether the talks will be effective and bring results will depend on how strong we are. GOSL is a member of the club of World Establishments and we are not. Hence we have the Consensus Politics of the World Establishments against us. The only way to challenge this is to be part of the “Consensus Politics of the Oppressed”.

There are several steps possible. Consensus  Politics of Eelam Tamils, Consensus  Politics of the World Tamils, Consensus  Politics of the Nations without the State (often called the Fourth World) and finally Consensus Politics of the oppressed Peoples.  We need not be pessimistic thinking that it is a long long term approach. If we start moving in all directions or steps and if the number swells up to more than the population of the Sinhalese, the club of Establishments which depends ultimately on the Consumption Market will take note of us and by then we would have established our Bargaining Power.

What is the basis of Consensus Politics of the oppressed? If we look at the Consensus Politics of the Oppressors, they have established an order of Equitability among themselves as a basis for their deals and we need to do the same thing among the oppressed. Equitability within groups and Equitability between groups are essential.

Naturally the starting point is the Consensus Politics of the Eelam Tamil Diaspora, more specifically at the present the three Global Bodies (GTF, TGTE and Makkal Avais). We are sometimes petty minded to the extent of not recognizing others even among ourselves. This is because of the Illusion of Leadership among many in the Diaspora.  If the Eelam Diaspora understands that the Leadership of Eelam Liberation has to come from the Tamils in the Homeland in due course, then not only unity of Eelam Diaspora but also the unity of all Eelam Tamils will be very easy. The Diaspora has never led the Liberation of the Homeland anywhere anytime except in the case of Israel which is an accident of History, after 2000 years, facilitated by the need for a “secure air port” to the oil rich Middle East for the Industrial Powers. Even out of the 10 Vetos used after 2003, 6 were on behalf of Israel by USA. Surely we cannot expect such accidents to happen to us.

No doubt Consensus Politics should start with issues common to those who need to be united.  To start with, a coordinating committee of the three Global bodies of Eelam  Tamils can be established for the implementation of the UNSG Panel Report in the short term and for the campaign for the Recognition of the Right of Self-Determination of Eelam Tamils in the long term. Another step could be the Establishment of a coordinating committee of World Tamils for stopping the Genocide of Eelam Tamils by the GOSL.

The Main Lesson is when the Powerful Establishments of the World including the “once upon a time” superpowers need Consensus Politics to have their way, can we fight alone? We cannot even bargain alone.