I have long argued on this page that collective psychic destruction occurred in the Guyanese nationality decades ago. In another column, I attempted to trace this psychological decay back to the zero sum confrontation between Burnham and Rodney and the tragic consequences that had for Guyana.
Migration became massive in the seventies and eighties. People became eerily fearful. People were resigned to an unchanging Guyana. What happened then was that Guyanese accepted their fate. A generation has come after that and they embody that mental fatalism.
One of the most graphic examples of this collective psychic destruction is Guyana’s attitude to mistreatment by the regional air carrier, BWIA, which subsequently became Caribbean Airlines.
For over sixty years, this airline has mistreated travelers from Guyana, has shown a bizarre disinterest in the complaints of Guyanese passengers and single out Guyanese for harsher treatment than any other nationalities in the world.
An irony emerged that was sickening. Trinidad has a long trade surplus with Guyana and Guyana is perhaps the most profitable route for Caribbean Airlines and for a long time now.
Read the newspapers tomorrow and next month and next year, you will see how angry are the complaints of Guyanese about Caribbean Airlines.
Suffering from decades of a psychic vacuum, Guyanese have lost rationality and the will to reason and to separate and understand differing concepts.
The great English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, said that “in such a condition, there is no place for industry because the fruit thereof is uncertain and consequently no culture of the face of the earth … no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letter; no society and which is worst of all continual fear…and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” (Taken from Hobbes’ seminal work “Leviathan”).
Guyanese live in a Hobbesian vortex. Nothing is what it appears to be. Nothing is what it is. Nothing makes sense. I have seen countless displays of Hobbesian fatalisms over the decades, which I will date from the seventies.
People in this land just do not know what to make of life and have no understanding of the logical fulcrums on which existence rests.
In the week dedicated to safety and careful use of the roadways, more than a dozen people die in vehicular accidents. Since then, I have seen no changes in the way people drive.
I see absolutely no dilution in the ragged driving in the captains of the minibuses and hire-cars. Something is deeply wrong with the collective psyche of this nation.
Many foreigners have told me that of all the countries, they have visited they have not seen as yet, the type of destructive use of a vehicle as what they see in Guyana. With a population of under 800,000, this country has perhaps the world’s highest road fatality rate or it must be among the first five.
When you look at how people drive and the way they park, the signs of psychic breakdown are there. Very few drivers in this land know what dimming means thus drivers do not respond when you dim the headlights.
I see manifestations of an illogical country in every hour of the cycle of a day in Guyana. You put analysis to these aberrations and my conclusion is psychic breakdown.
I ask with a deep burden in my soul; why would concert organisers want to do their thing in the heart of residential communities where thousands of people live right on the car park of a shopping mall. I ask with all sincerity in the world, why a corporate company would give permission for their car park facilities to be used for such a purpose even if they are being paid a fee.
Why would a country arrest and jail young persons for three years for the mere possession of a smoking utensil? Why would institutions prevent women in the 21st century from entering the premises if they wear a sleeveless dress? Why in the 21st century, judges and magistrates write down everything that is said in the testimonies from the witness box?
Why would commercial banks refuse a police certificate of vehicular fitness as proof of address? That document is issued by one of the major, respected institutions in the land. Why is an electricity bill a more valid document than a police vehicular fitness certificate?
Why would a commercial bank refuse as proof of address the very notice it sent to a customary? This is indeed a sad country.
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