In Guyana there is an unrecognized truth: campaigning is never over even when it is officially over. Promises are always being made; incitements continuously instilled and rekindled. Unless people get carried away, the words, intents, and energies are not as obvious nor as searing nor as public as during elections seasons. Yet they are no less potent, no less moving, no less consequential. Together such political actions and visions are fiercely dedicated to one thing and one thing only: hegemony.
The perpetuation of a certain kind of hegemony by any method and through every effort. It is of winning at all costs. That is the problem. It is, in fact, the root and branch of many other problems.
Because, at the core, hegemony and perpetuation signify the priority of a single objective: triumph of the party. Matters are as narrow and broad, and as immensely complex as that. And because of that superficial political depth, that absence of a national soul, in the cauldron of persons and objectives, there can be no transition.
There can be no transition. No transitions from emotions, thinking, and visions of the shallow partisan trenches of party congresses to that wider road, which remains unpopulated, unused, untried, and unlearned. The bridge-necessary and vital-from party politics to governance of a country, a minutely shredded country, is never contemplated deeply, never built sturdily, and never traveled inclusively. There is no transitioning from politicking to governing.
Not with any steadfast devotion, and certainly not with the unalterable determination to overcome all obstacles, that stand in stony obstructions designed to thwart, to weaken and, ultimately, to delay into the extended eternity of inaction and indifference.
There is nothing beyond deceptive words and anemic postures that are lacking in believability as to authenticity, and devoid of fire and strength. In the raw politicking that is ceaseless campaigning, there is never (never) honest commitment to the initiation and preservation of something that assumes the merest outlines of the diverse collective, the unity that bespeaks the national.
It is because the political tribe has to be employed. First. The political clan has to be housed. First. And the political neighbour and comrade must be taken care of before everyone else.
In one word: First. The debts, promises, and expectations, all heavy and overdue and overwhelming have to be remembered, respected, and honored. First. Loyal and believing men and women line up with fiery passions and forceful enthusiasms for their recognition, their reward and return on the racial identification, racial investment, and racial sacrifices they made.
Any other way and it is betrayal; some other way, and it is failure: abject, damning, unforgiveable. This is what was inspired at the party and stronghold levels. The bill is due; the pipers have to be paid in full (and as defined by the awardees and recipients, bosom brethren all). There is nothing left. There is nothing left but the refuse that even the dogs that licked Lazarus would be sure to raise a leg and shower with dismissal.
What chance governance? What probability selection and entry? What likelihood of acceptance and trust? Of the national? Of that one chimerical, elusive destiny? Political leaders and disciples can preach Paul, and Peter and Philip, too.
But all any reasonable thinking citizen has to do is to look hard and look long and this is the stormy, capsizing reality that first swamps and then drowns. One and all, including so-called winners trapped in their limited world. Thus, the governance of a nation is dunked and drowned without fail, without effort at salvaging, without something, anything, resembling a straw on which to hold.
It is about politics as delivered and experienced in real-life Guyana. To the nation’s continuing loss and regret, it is of governing the whole in the imagining, at best. And, that is, making the dangerous assumption that actions did rise to that noble ideal and level.
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