Here is a quote from one of the Peeping Toms yesterday: “When Dev exposed…the dangers inherent in his (Frederick Kissoon) argument about an elected dictatorship, Freddie had no answer….” Ravi Dev has not explained why some of my writings are dangerous in the present context of politics in Guyana.
When asked four times to select the essays on this page and delineate the areas of danger, he has not. I repeat: I called upon Dev four times to just cite some passages in these columns.
Here is what Dev has done. He argues that there are gunmen who have attacked the state, and given this frightening turn of events, my classification of the Guyana Government as being worse than Burnham is too sensitive an adumbration to make (at this time, of course).
I replied to Dev clarifying my reasoning. I wrote that I did not conceptualize the Government as being of worse material than the PNC under Burnham.
My angle was that I discovered four forms of degenerate state behaviour that I did not see manifest themselves in the rule of Forbes Burnham.
I insisted in my dialogue, debate, exchange, discussion, polemic (choose one, because Dev is fussy about the term ‘debate’) that Guyana has an elected dictatorship.
Dev came back swinging. His take is that there isn’t a dictatorship in Guyana; but in going in that direction, Mr. Dev has attracted a political knot that he has not unravelled as yet. He advanced two positions. One was that my four forms of atrophied state behaviour can be found in the democracies all around the world. So, no big deal, Freddie!
Secondly, he falls back on the paradigmatic terrain of the theorist Carl Friedrich. He cites Friedrich’s criteria of dictatorship and concludes that Friedrich is relevant to Burnham, not the present PPP cabal.
I came out swinging, too. I put forward two insights. I insisted that even Burnham did not practice the contents of Friedrich. Then I refused to accept Friedrich as relevant to the post-colonial Third World. Then came the intellectual collapse of Dev. He argued that my four forms of dictatorial behaviour are accommodated by Friedrich.
After that, I heard nothing more from him about the application of dictatorship theory to the present regime in Guyana. That is how things unfolded. That particular Peeping Tom has to go back and cover the territory of our polemic and he/she will see the outline of Dev as I have offered it here.
In this discourse about the danger of some of my columns, Dev has stoutly refused to identify the deleterious viewpoints. But I went beyond that.
I pointedly requested Dev to give me an answer to the following query – if there are worrying contents of many essays of mine, in that they play into the hands of dangerous gunmen, as Dev has alleged, are there similar statements from the President, ministers and PPP officials that have the same spin-off? Mr. Dev had dropped his pursuit.
However, I remained at a loss as to why Ravi Dev thinks that a number of the Freddie Kissoon columns could cite violent attacks on the state and he chooses not to focus on egregious policies of the PPP Government that could bring severe backlash from groups that may want to do bad things.
Do you mean to tell me that I am so powerfully influential that when these gunmen read the Freddie Kissoon columns, anger is invoked in them and they rush to do harmful things? Don’t angry people who resent the state move to action based on hurtful policies and statements from the governing elites?
I would like to ask Ravi Dev this: if I disappear, would that stop the Government from pursuing partisan goals that will upset vast sections of the population? Who advised the PPP to take away funds from Critchlow Labour College? Who urged that some senior army officers be bypassed? Who demanded that CANU officials should be sent home if they fail their polygraphs?
Don’t these things get people frustrated with the PPP Government? I will leave this section of my perception of Dev by asserting most boldly that, in his accusation of the danger in my writings, Ravi Dev must have disappointed thousands who saw some political vision in him.
Finally, Mr. Dev’s African Ethnic Security Dilemma has ignominiously and humiliatingly collapsed.
Frenetically holding on to the theory that ethnic insecurity motivates Guyanese to vote for the PPP and PNC, Dev cannot, up to this day, explain why 1,115 members of the security forces did not vote in 2001. And why in 2006 did African voters give the AFC six seats?
Dev’s silence on this fact has not gone unnoticed by readers. That I am sure of! I composed this reply so readers can know the facts, and not the conveniences presented by Peeping Tom yesterday. Facts can be verified.
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