Today is my birthday. I am Capricorn but I really don’t give a damn about zodiacal signs. But many persons in all the countries I have made friends have said to me that I have a Capricorn character. People around the world really do believe in this zodiacal thing. You wonder if there is any truth to it.
I haven’t researched it but if history has produced tyrants that were Capricorn then the whole thing about Zodiacs is nonsense. This is one Capricorn that cannot hurt anyone. I have never hurt anyone and never will.
They say Capricorns tend to be aggressive people. That I can confirm. But they also say that Capricorns are disciplined, patient humans. That may not be true. I have never had a sustained period of discipline in my life. My wife said the only time she saw patience in me was when we had to wait a long time before our names were called for our American visas. She told me she couldn’t believe I could be disciplined and patient and sit still for hours.
I read what the qualities of Capricorn are and I am not sure I fit the description. In the realm of philosophy, I am anarchist and existentialist. Capricorns are not embracing of such conceptualization. A majority of the peoples of this world do not use anarchist in the philosophical sense, tending to use the word in its everyday banality, meaning people who like to create confusion and violence.
Anarchism is a philosophy that is very suspicious of power. Anarchism believes that power is essentially an opiate. Remember Karl Marx’s famous quote, “Religion is the opiate of the people?” Well anarchism substituted power for religion. This is one of the strong beliefs I hold about life. I honestly feel power has a controlling influence over people and that explains much of the destruction of life throughout history.
In fact, power has destroyed every conceivable revolution that promised so much from the French Revolution onwards, including all that followed since then – the US, Russia, China, Algeria, Yemen, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and the anti-colonial Third World struggles. I have my doubts that South Africa will remain intact after Mandela dies. I do not see a democratic Palestine after its creation but I do support its birth from Israeli domination.
Look what power has done to the PPP. So many of us struggled closely alongside Cheddi Jagan, his wife, Reepu Daman Persaud, Roger Luncheon, Donald Ramotar, Clement Rohee, and the rest of the lot. During the days of President Burnham, these were your Third World revolutionaries. Power has created evil in the PPP after 1992.
I honestly believe deep in the inner valleys of my mind that the Burnham Government was more caring and patriotic. Do you know the last public appearance Cheddi Jagan made before he became president in 1992 was at my class at UG? I almost lost my job for that. It was through the instrumentality of the PPP that my UG contract was terminated last January, five months before it expired.
I keep away from power. In my twenty-six years at UG I never showed any interest in becoming dean of my faculty or head of my department. I had the chance of a lifetime of rising far from being an ordinary lecturer at UG, but for me it wasn’t a chance of a lifetime. I wanted to remain a human rights activist. This opportunity arose shortly after the 1992 elections.
The UNDP Rep, Mr. Juan Larraburri was leaving and through the intervention of Mr. Yesu Persaud I was offered the second top post at the UNDP, second to the Resident Rep from abroad. I turned it down. I wanted to be the radical academic that I was. Interestingly, guess who I recommended for the job? One of the most enduring PPP members and a top stalwart of the PPP, Ms. Merlin Udho. At the time she was the wife of PPP big wig and later Trade Minister, Michael Shree Chand. The same party of Ms. Udho hounded my wife out of her job at Go-Invest. This is what I mean about evil being created by the possession of power.
So where do I go from here? I guess I was destined to do what I am doing. I will go on to do what is inside my chemistry. I have no regrets in the way my life turned out and I would do it all over again. Next year’s birthday (if I live) will find me doing the same thing.
Here is a song, “Dare to Live” that I dedicate to myself on my birthday today. Go to YouTube and watch Laura Pausini and Andrea Bocelli perform a truly amazing song. I love it because I believe in the lyrics. Here are some of the lyrics.
Try looking at tomorrow not yesterday
And all the things you left behind
And all those tender words you did not say
The gentle touch you couldn’t find
In these days of nameless faces
There is no one truth but only pieces
My life is all I have to give
Dare to live until the very last
Dare to live forget about the past
Dare to live giving something of yourself to others
Even when it seems there is nothing more left to give.
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