Virodhaya is a space to theorise the State. Although the Left in Sri Lanka has often considered the State as the ultimate expression of political power, they have made little attempt to interpret various Marxist theories to suit the local situation. What is the nature of the Sri Lankan State? Does the capitalist class in Sri Lanka correlate with Marx’s understanding of the capitalist class? If not, how does one analyze the phenomenon of class in Sri Lanka? What is the role of ideology?
Instead of using Marxist writing as a starting point for inquiry, the traditional Left has often treated Marxist theories as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model. This practice has not only resulted in a narrow understanding of classic concepts but also made it impossible for us to think innovatively in politically complex situations. For example, the fact that senior members of the “Old Left” in Sri Lanka decided to support the authoritarian Rajapaksa regime even when the government was going against the very principles upheld by the Left is a clear example of the latter’s inability to problematise the State.
The primary objective of ‘Virodhaya’ is to overcome this limitation. Our content is derived through bi-weekly reading circles focusing on selected Marxist writings and other relevant socio-political approaches to the State. In addition to creating a basis for theorising, ‘Virodhaya’ also strives to function as a platform to build solidarity among like-minded individuals, and to disseminate knowledge.