The end of history in Guyana: A theory
If you are not familiar with philosophy and do not keep abreast with the latest publications in the academic world, here is a brief introduction to a book published in 1992. It catapulted the publication and its author into international fame. Francis Fukuyama in the “The End of History,” using the philosophy of the 18th century German genius, Georg Hegel, argues that with the collapse of world communism in 1990, society’s ideological evolution has come to an end.
With the triumph of liberal democracy, history’s creation of ideologies has come to its climax. There is no more ideological idea about government and political forms beyond liberal democracy. We will still have theories about man and woman and society, but in the area of ideological offerings on how political economy must be shaped, that has come to an end.
The strength and weaknesses of Fukuyama’s book need not detain us here. I have used his title to describe what I believe will be the end of authoritarian rule in Guyana with the closure of PPP Government.
I advance the point that when the PPP goes, Guyana would have witnessed the end of dictatorial governance. It is premised on the concept that from colonial rule onwards, authoritarian government as a dialectical process has climaxed with the PPP. What lies beyond the PPP will take Guyana into the future of either greatness or a reclamation of its respected self, as was known throughout the world in the fifties.
My premise is that we are nearing the exhaustion of colonial dictatorship which logically transferred itself onto the post-colonial inheritors which found expression in the nationalist movement of the PNC and PPP. Perhaps the most graphic examples of this is the competition for power in the PNC, the rise of Nigel Hughes as a Rodneyite figure, a newer political culture in a third party, the AFC and the slow re-birth of the WPA under the leadership of another Rodneyite, David Hinds.
At the time of writing, the WPA will be having its first public meeting in 12 years. If the PNC should come back in power, it will not be as the inheritor of colonial oligarchy.
We will see a more humane and less autocratic PNC, especially under its new leaders. If the AFC should come to office, it is doubtful that Nigel Hughes and others like Gerhard Ramsaroop, David Patterson, Michael Carrington will shape a government that bears any resemblance to the post-colonial leaders of the PNC of the seventies and eighties, and even the Hoyte period and the PPP from 1992 onwards.
It is not possible to predict the specific shape post-PPP Guyana will take, but dialectically, with the increasing pressure on the PPP, we are coming to the end of cruel, inhumane, inhuman, uncaring, corrupt, incestuous, lawless, immoral, depraved, racist, and anti-working class governance as we saw and are currently seeing under the PPP Government. Two grey areas in my theory that I anticipate in my critiques is if Cheddi Jagan was alive would he have interrupted the authoritarian trend and didn’t Hoyte do just that?
The answer is no. Hoyte did not meet the test of the end of history. He may have been decent as a human being and not tyrannical at all like Forbes Burnham and Bharrat Jagdeo, but Hoyte was far from the Obama-type character that Guyana needed. He certainly walked away from democratic pathways that could have seen the end of history. Space does not help us here. Suffice it to say that his rejection of the WPA was his tragic undoing.
Cheddi Jagan would not have gone in a direction that was different from the unpleasant things his protégés are currently doing. It was the French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, who instructed us that the individual plays an equal, dialectical role as the broad social forces that propel him/her to act and one suspects that Cheddi Jagan would never have become a Bharrat Jagdeo.
Nevertheless, he would have submitted to the forces of authoritarianism, because he was part of a dialectical working out of colonial oligarchy.
There is sufficient evidence of this under a Jagan Government from 1957 to 1964. One thing is certain about Cheddi Jagan if he had lived longer; he would have been comfortable playing the race card. It is anyone’s guess when the rule of the PPP will disintegrate or if a weakened PPP will lead to a new general election, which if free and fair, will see the loss of power by the PPP. But I believe Guyana is on the verge of the end of colonial autocracy.