The editorial and the list of articles in the dissenting dialogues Issue No 2, February 2011 are posted below. The entire issue can be downloaded as a pdf file from the Sri Lanka Democracy Forum website.
As the second issue of dissenting dialogues goes to press, we join in worldwide celebrations of the ongoing democratic revolution in Egypt, itself sparked off by an uprising in Tunisia. The Egyptian uprising, which has tremendous regional and possibly global consequences, came against a background of simmering unrest directed at a dictator who presided over a brutal, authoritarian regime. This regime was distinguished by its incarceration and torture not only of its own dissidents but of prisoners “renditioned” to it by the CIA, the denial of basic democratic rights on the pretext of fighting Islamism, and rising youth unemployment and inflation.
Although the timing and form of Egypt’s popular revolt could not have been predicted, an examination of the recent history of Egypt contextualises the forces at work. For a start, we cannot avoid looking at the recent history of neoliberalism in Egypt, its relationship to the authoritarianism of President Hosni Mubarak’s government, and the regime’s relationship to imperialism. The post-war history of Egypt also charts and indeed defines the historical trajectory of Third World sovereignty. Egypt’s revolt has to be understood in the context of the progressive socialist, anti-colonial struggle for national self-determination of the Bandung era from the 1950s until the liberalisation of the economy in the 1970s, the International Monetary Fund’s “restructuring” in the early 1990s, and the recent capitulation to the accumulation strategy of global finance capital.
Continue reading “dissenting dialogues” on Egypt, Sri Lanka and other debates