The PPP has held power for a long time in Guyana. It is the ruling party and it has formed the government. This government exercises power on behalf of the ruling class and in Guyana there are many who will question whether the ruling class is the working class. A strong case can be made out that the ruling class in Guyana is really the powerful and influential business or propertied class.
There are some youngsters within our society who do not understand our appreciate the class- based nature of political power. And as such they need to be counseled by their political elders because they are attempting to urge a boycott of the business class in Guyana.
They may believe that they will get somewhere with this call but in the final analysis, the propertied class is too powerful and too influential for any boycott to have any meaningful impact. Those who believe that this call for a boycott of certain business which they claim, but have not proven conclusively, are aligned to the ruling party, are going to be disappointed.
For one, they are underestimating the power of this ruling economic class in Guyana. A few years ago, there was a financial crisis within a financial institution which led to a ruin of that body. Rurmors began to be pedaled that other banks were being affected, even though there was no evidence to this effect. Immediately the power of propertied class was unleashed and the police were called in to investigate the sources of the rumors. One web blog had to remove itself permanently such was the pressure and seriousness with which the powerful economic class dealt with this matter.
If a boycott is being called to cause these businesses to take certain actions that are against their will, then those calling for the boycott can expose themselves to the accusation that what is being promoted is economic blackmail.
Many years ago, there was a man who later came to Guyana and opened a controversial cult. While he was in the United States this man had organized a boycott of a major fast -food franchise in his area. He was later charged with economic blackmail and convicted.
It must be clarified of course that the mere call for a boycott of businesses does not automatically amount to economic blackmail. If however, the call is aimed at forcing businesses to act against these better interests or for other sinister purposes, then such a case may exist and as has been demonstrated in Guyana not so long ago, the powerful business class in Guyana is prepared to take action where they feel there is a major threat to their interests.
The second reason why the call for an economic boycott is misguided has to do with the relationship with democracy. Any grouping or party that claims to respect democracy must respect the right of individuals and persons to support whomever they feel to support. No grouping or party can claim to be democratic when because it has lost an election decides to punish those that it feels were supporting their political rivals. This is not democracy. This is fascism.
Every individual or business has a democratic right to support the party or his or her choice. No grouping which therefore respects democracy should find itself in a position where it is calling for persons and businesses to be punished for exercising such support. It raises serious questions about the commitment to democracy when there are going to be calls or a boycott of certain businesses simply because those entities are believed to be supportive of the ruling party.
The third reason why the call for a boycott is misguided is that when there is a boycott of a business, many innocent workers, many of whom may in fact be supporters of those calling for a boycott, may be affected. Those poor workers are going to be the ones that suffer the most since they need the income they earn from being employed far more than the business owners. In addition, if an economic boycott begins to bite, then it could mean the laying off of workers who would have had nothing at all to do with the political affiliation of the owners.
But what makes the call for a boycott of certain businesses even more ridiculous is that it is bound to fail. Guyanese people have their divisions but after the elections are over, people live well together. The Guyanese people have no time and place for nonsense and they are not going to support any economic boycott of businesses.
Thus this boycott call is going to fall flat on its face and the only losers are going to be the ones making the calls in the first place because the people will not forget where the call emanated from.
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