This is the first of two letters aimed at helping us to get a better insight into the ramifications of our decisions in our politics. We have for the most part developed a fair degree of apathy and cynicism where discussions on our national politics are concerned.
While much of these discussions are fervent, they very often end in futility and disgust for the choices and hardships our politicians have caused us to endure, and without much resolution. I would like to suggest that we become more proactive and interested, since indifference and cynicism now are probably the worst attitudes to adopt in contemplating our future.
A few observations are first made regarding America, the United Kingdom and Russia, and some distinction is drawn between capitalism and socialism/communism in respect of what they offer citizens. Finally, my proposals on the way forward for Guyana are presented for discussion and examination.
We look at the successes and advanced welfare enjoyed by the developed countries, yet very rarely contemplate the struggles of these countries as they endured much internal strife to refine their political systems and economic management to their current state.
Modern America for example started with the dispatch and displacement of the American Indians the early European immigrants met on arrival there. Slavery was once embraced as part of their system of development. The American Civil War, in which a minimum estimated six hundred and twenty thousand soldiers died, was about retaining slavery as part of America’s economic system.
It has been estimated that around the year 1901, one percent of Americans owned more wealth than the remaining ninety-nine percent, and America endured a large number of labour strikes to the present day as disputes continued over the distribution of the country’s wealth. Today America stands a successful nation, notwithstanding its internal issues.
In the United Kingdom, although Parliament’s formation can be traced to between the 8th and 11th centuries when, then kings summoned advisory councils comprised of persons of the kings’ choosing to discuss matters relating to the state, the organ managed to secure greater autonomy from the monarchy through revolt, war, invasion, and several dethronings through the centuries.
From the Magna Carta issued by King John in 1215, to the Declaration of Rights in 1689, which was later incorporated as the Bill of Rights the United Kingdom’s control of government was often characterised by much conflict. The issuance of the latter ultimately reaffirmed civil liberties declared in Magna Carta, and ensured that the Monarchy could not act without Parliament’s consent.
Russia for itself engaged in a series of conflicts through the centuries. It was governed by a series of dynasties which ended with the reign of Nicholas II in 1917 when Bolshevik revolutionaries led by Lenin assumed control.
The country was caught up in a Civil War from 1918 to 1922 between the country’s Red Army and the anti-communist White Russians. Under Lenin, an ideological Marxist, Russia and the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state.
Lenin sought to promote socialism across Europe, and advocated a world revolution through Communist International. Opponents were crushed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign administered by the state security services in which tens of thousands were killed or interned in concentration camps.
Lenin was however noted to have encouraged economic growth through market-oriented policies with the New Economic Policy. Throughout the modern history of Russia, and during the administration of the states within the Soviet Union, tens of millions of Russians were estimated to have become victims of political repression which ensued after the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
The class struggle envisaged between workers and bourgeoisie/capitalists under Marxist thought took the form of class conflicts which was deemed to assume many different forms: direct violence, such as wars fought for resources and cheap labour; indirect violence, such as deaths from poverty, starvation, illness or unsafe working conditions; coercion, such as the threat of losing a job or the pulling of an important investment; or ideologically, such as with books and articles. (https://www.coursehero.com/file/14221204/CLASS-CONFLICT/)
Evaluation of these countries has facilitated an introduction to the major forms of administration of economies: capitalism, which is practiced in many of the world’s economies, and socialism/communism, which are the mainstay of Russia and China.
Understanding these is essential to making reasonable choices regarding which system is most appropriate for practice in Guyana.
Capitalism, for its part, advocates private ownership and control of productive resources. It is committed to production being accomplished by individuals and/or firms, or the broader private sector. Workers are engaged in the production of goods and services required by society and are paid for their labour. The role of government in capitalist economies is typically dictated by the economic views of the governments and political parties of respective countries.
For example, Canada provides unemployment insurance for its unemployed and free health care benefits to its citizens. Some governments advocate more regulation of firms and markets to guard against abuses while other advocate for a freer hand by market participants.
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