Murderous men on camels and snipers on rooftops
As the Egyptian protest intensified, Mubarak did a horrible thing. Mubarak sent men with swords on camels and they waded into the protestors with resulting deaths. From thereon, lines were crossed and one side had to win, one side had to lose.
Why did Mubarak do such a foolish act? The answer any first year student in politics can offer.
As the Libyan protest became widespread, Gaddafi sent snipers onto rooftops where they shot and killed innocent demonstrators. From thereon, the days of Gaddafi were numbered. Why did Gaddafi do that? Again, you can find the answer from anyone who studies politics.
Authoritarian governments are essentially insecure regimes. Concessions bring about the fear of the lessening of power. Thoughts of losing power spiral out of control for two reasons – prosecution and humiliation.
Where the PPP goes from here after the 2011 national elections is not something one can easily predict but it is not hard to imagine that like Mubarak and Gaddafi, there will be no negotiation, no compromise, no concession. For the PPP, one side has to win, one side has to lose.
Since the election of 2011, the pattern of unpopular rule has gone on unabated but if one were to point to any anomaly inside the PPP that largely indicates that the irrationality of power has sapped the soul of the PPP, it is the Ramkarran affair and the nature of the PPP reply to Ramkarran’s now famous Stabroek News commentary
It is not that Mr. Ramkarran was quietly engaged and asked to wait and be patient with his wish list. On the contrary his criticism was met with pomposity, arrogance and insults. For Ralph Ramkarran, it was time to part company with a government that not only lost its way but was perhaps irredeemable. Then came the stupid reply to his popular Stabroek News article.
When governing parties become morally and politically bankrupt, the capacity to intellectualize and philosophize die. Simple PR tasks are overtaken by aridity, inanity and asininity. No one in the regime can rise above the ordinary and invent an explanation that is elegant, penetrating and successful. One silly thing follows another. You know then that the regime has lost direction and time is closing in.
After losing the majority of votes in a general election; after seeing the rejection by that part of Guyana that came to be synonymous with the PPP – Berbice; after witnessing the support among Indians for Moses Nagamootoo, it was only logical to thread carefully with its second best personality after Nagamootoo, Ralph Ramkarran.
The PPP couldn’t do. It cannot do it. The authoritarian instinct destroys rationality. It replaces sense and sensibility with hubris and hauteur. But most of all the authoritarian instinct is driven by fear of losing power.
If Ramkarran’s wish list is accepted, then the domino effect comes into play. We give in to Ramkarran on corruption, then, he may want to go in other directions. Ramkarran succeeds then another party leader will come up with his demands. The government gets weaker and the door is open for the opposition. This is the thought that permeates the collective psyche of the PPP.
It explains the frenetic drive to confront the opposition
This writer does not share the popular view out there that the PPP is so psychologically traumatized by the 2011 election results that it cannot see and face the reality. My theory is that the PPP is overcome with the domino effect. If the opposition is allowed to get an input into NCN, then it will be the Chronicle next, then UG, then the public service then the NIS, then the Bank of Guyana. This is what has overran the psychology of the PPP. This is standard political theory.
This theory explains why dictatorship falls. It cannot save itself. It has no internal dynamic to propel it forward. The only logic that moves it is survival not negotiations. This explains the murderous men on the camels and the snipers on the rooftops.