The “us/we” dichotomy emerged out a specific discourse/analysis of the cultural impact of imperialism and the way in which narrative was used as part of the colonizing process. There is now a growing tendency within the discourse taking place within the letter and column spaces of Guyana to relocate the us/we dichotomy from its imperialist moorings and to apply it to the treatment of ethic fissures and the solutions to the these figures in Guyana.
I hope that in this ongoing debate, that in the constant abuse of the “us/we dichotomy we do not lose sight of the cultural discourse in which the concept has its antecedents, even more so that the us/ we frame of reference is now being extended to the differences which are existing within the Peoples Progressive Party.
With the PPP there is now a division into the them/us, or to be more specific into the old guard and the new guard. These categorizations however have nothing to do with age. The them/us division has more to do with the resistance within the party from being overrun by the forces that presently control the government. The them/we division within the PPP thus centers around a battle for retaining the separation between the government and the party because there are forces at work seeking to ensure that the party capitulates to the wishes of those that pull the strings of the executive.
It is not an ideological struggle. Marxism died a long time ago within the PPP. There is no threat of its revival either because whatever institutional memory may have existed within the party about Marxism is now totally eradicated by the naked pursuit of ambition.
We can however expect during the “search” for a Presidential candidate for the ideological question to be raised. But it should not be taken seriously. The PPP has long become a party that has capitulated to the propertied class in Guyana and the only conflict that is raging within the PPP is which segment of this class will hold the trump card come 2012.
This capitulation of the PPP to the bourgeoisie class was perhaps best demonstrated by its marquee event held on Old Year’s Night to usher in the sixtieth anniversary of the party. This was not an event for the working class at all because the price tag was ten thousand dollars per person, something that was out of the reach of even the lower middle class much less the working poor.
Yet even at this event the divisions within the party were clearly delineated. For such an important anniversary, it demonstrates that the battle lines are clearly drawn and the bourgeoisie class is being asked to decide on its loyalties at this time.
This class is proceeding cautiously. There is a segment that have done fantastically well over the past few years and they are throwing their support behind a third term without totally alienating themselves from those who are not supportive of this idea. This is the maneuvering that is taking place within the party and within the bourgeoisie class that has captured the party.
But because there is a singular economic class, however segmented at this time, that is now wielding the greatest influence over both party and government, there is no likelihood, especially given the historic nature of this class, for the present divisions to become permanent.
As soon as it becomes clear who will be the party’s presidential candidate, the “them/we” dichotomy within this bourgeoisie class will disappear. The differences in camps will disappear. The vanquished will wake up to find that many of their supporters within this class would have jumped ship and gone over to the side of the victors. This is how the capitalist class has always operated in Guyana. It has been an opportunistic class.
The only difference now from in the past is that the capitalist class is one calling the shots but because we are a small society with a dwarfed economy, this class is highly dependent on the political elites for their fortunes, and thus will swing with the tide when the moment is right.
What is taking place within the PPP is an initial sparring between two groups of the same class. Whichever group prevails will not matter because when the tide swings, a new song will emerge. It goes like this, “all ah we ah one family.”
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