Nowhere is it evident that Guyana falls into a category of dictatorship
I have followed with much interest, calls that this country has an elected dictatorship with several references to the American Theorist, Fareed Zakaria’s highly controversial writings on the state of democracy in many countries.
Far as I am aware Zakaria advocates authoritarian rule to democracy as he sees it in today’s society, with constitutional liberalism being an integral middle ground to achieving the latter.
What I cannot understand is why would anyone consider Guyana an elected dictatorship when, even according to Zakaria himself, who is frequently quoted, “… half of the “democratizing” countries in the world today are illiberal democracies” with no mention of dictatorship rule, which he considers to be the first building block to a democratic state.
While I agree with Zakaria’s position that “Constitutional liberalism has led to democracy, but democracy does not seem to bring constitutional liberalism”, nowhere is it evident that Guyana falls into a category of dictatorship. Some might claim that we have failed to successfully transcend from authoritarian rule to a fully liberal democratic state, but according to Zakaria himself this is one of the downfall of many Third World countries, but it is also seen as a path to a more liberal democracy over time.
But for someone to quote Zakaria so feverishly, they must have some admiration for his work and his theories, the main thrust of which is that many of these countries need to go back to authoritarian rule, which will in turn produce economic gains for the country, then go through a process of constitutional liberalism and then gradually democratize.
Zakaria is an advocate for authoritarian and aristocratic governmental structures in both form and content, and is only able to make this stand because he makes a clear distinction between ‘liberalism’ and ‘democracy’, asserting that too much democracy breeds infringement of people’s rights and freedoms.
Given this, it only leaves one to conclude that if in Guyana, there is encroachment of rights and freedoms, then Guyana must have “too much” democracy.
The American is clearly of the view that democracy is responsible for many countries’ present positions, “Democracy was not the necessary, appropriate, or even desirable form of government for many if not most countries around the world…”
If this position is being supported by some; shouldn’t Guyana be seen as going through this exact process, as promoted by Zakaria, and the calls for democracy and the end to dictatorship be effectively silenced?
I would think that the support being shown for the American Theorist’s work and the ongoing call for this country to end dictatorship is contradictory.
The Theorists further posits, “British rule meant not democracy – colonialism is by definition undemocratic – but constitutional liberalism.” Given this, should Guyana return to British rule or the days of authoritarianism seen under Burnham?
No one wants the latter I am quite certain, but to continue to represent Guyana as an elected dictatorship shows a certain lack of understanding. Under a dictatorship many who express their views quite openly without chastisement or censorship, would not be allowed to do so, and any easy perusal of the newspapers or televisions one would clearly see that freedom of expression is still very much evident in Guyanese society.