Freedom through humanism, not ugly ecstacy
There is a miniscule portion of this society with full access to media houses and some other joints, deriving personal ecstasy when other people’s expectations are not met; and, indeed, to the point, when this country’s expectations fail to become a reality; strange though, that this ugly ecstasy remains intact in the face of any governmental success!
This portion presented all possible unverified and ugly adjectival expressions on the Jagdeo initiative on climate change that had its genesis long, long time ago before the birth of the UN Copenhagen Summit last December.
In addition, Jagdeo secured the MOU with Norway prior to Copenhagen and the first tranche of funds of US$30 million is due here this year; and there is more to come.
And now UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on February 12, 2010 the creation of a high-level UN strategic group to mobilize financing that will facilitate developing countries’ fight against climate change; President Jagdeo is a member of this group.
Of course, the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia’s international recognition of President Jagdeo with an Honorary Doctorate over the last week is something noble for all Guyana and the Caribbean.
Undoubtedly, President Jagdeo is now internationally accepted and a force to reckon with in international relations, especially in areas as climate change and reforming the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), inter alia.
This Government recognises the strong correlation between sustainable and the consolidation of democracy; and the Government’s relentless international and regional strategies to secure sustainable collaboration have their foundation in securing a sustained democracy and freedom; international and regional resources already are complementing local resources.
No one wants to return to the vicissitudes of a bygone era where people like Distinguished Professor Clive Thomas, many moons ago, saw a declining Guyana with social crisis existent in all spheres of society.
But sometimes it is good to do some reflection of this long-gone age in light of current journalistic subversion; so that we as a people can understand the difficult path toward consolidating democracy in a strange land; where some people seem to be fast losing their grip on patriotism for what it is worth.
The decades of the 1970s and 1980s in Guyana presented tremendous shocks and trauma to a peace-loving nation since the darkest days of slavery and indentureship. What happened? A dictatorship set up shop in Guyana.
The unbelievable became a new reality; with the unfolding of an authoritarian, anti-modern, antirational, and antidemocratic movement that wiped out all semblance of decency and created the onset of degeneracy.
Under this new reality, the constant abuse of political power reduced the motivational and productive capacity of the Guyanese people. A lowered quality of life permeated all dimensions of the society, and ultimately created economic and social stagnation.
This invasive authoritarianism, industrial conflicts, limited production in all domains of economic activity, and the cultural persistence of alienation, brought to bear an alarmingly high level of poverty, never before experienced.
Economic poverty and alienation became so socially menacing that the individual Guyanese lost the notions of self-esteem and trust; and where such notions ultimately became a dying breed in the local vernacular.
Clearly, the dictatorship of that age cast a long and dark shadow on human welfare, freedom, and culture; people’s values faced enormous threats and modifications; nothing was sacred anymore; even truth became a scarce commodity; the resuscitation of which required a belief in reason and democracy, a belief that the dictatorship was not the only worldview; and that there were other points of view, too, on politics. But what kind of politics should replace the dictatorship? And, indeed, what created this problem in the first place?
Karl Mannheim, a German Sociologist and Philosopher, probably, would suggest that this problem stems from fundamental democratization and increasing interdependence.
Look, fundamental democratization meaning political participation may not produce increased freedom, if increased participation brings less rationalism to the table; less rationalism means the political debate really is demagoguery; and where the debate merely attracts appeal to emotions, not to reason; where the debate seeks simplistic solutions, instead of a rational sense of the problems at hand. Demagoguery, in this sense, can undermine this fragile democracy and freedom.
Indeed, the political parties’ recurring story of simplistic solutions, demagoguery, the story of their inexorable bellyaching, short on pragmatic policy alternatives, is now quite predictable; the PNCR’s weekly press conferences have become the medium for disseminating such demagoguery; and then in an unsanctified way enabling such demagoguery to reach the halls of Parliament; the AFC is now a member of this ‘fun parade’.
Under these conditions, however, the PNCR and others of its ilk play the role of a perpetually shortsighted and irrational party in conflict with a true humanistic and rational political party, on policy matters.
History provides numerous other examples of a conflict in Mannheimian terms between the humanistic and rational on the one hand, and the shortsighted and the irrational, on the other hand.
World War I shows the conflict between the German army, and German diplomats and political leaders. German diplomats and political leaders believed that Germany faced isolation and could not win; and so the only rational thing to do was to negotiate peace; the army wanted to continue the battle, and eventually became the loser.
And then in the U.S. war on Iraq, there was the irrational President George Bush and his merry band of war mongers on one side, and the Congress and the people carrying some rationality on their side.
President Bush, in order to restore some lost pride, dignity, and integrity to his Administration, continued to play for time in his losing war on Iraq; Bush’s hedging became more aggressive and sinister, especially with significant odds stacked against him.
Freedom will become a people’s way of life only if reason and democracy prevail. And a new praxis will make this happen; a politics that prominently features rationality and humanism in its plan.
This Government understands this path to democracy and freedom; and its trailblazing on these fronts, both regionally and internationally, commenced a few moons back, bringing forth enormous gains; only if subverters could cease indulging in their ugly ecstasy would they see light from day; only then, would they see societal gains for democracy and freedom.