Almost all of significance who came from afar are now gone, returning to the relatively comforting civility of where they belong. Though this was going to happen at some time, they did not have to leave in the way that they did. And now we are all alone and on our own. It was inevitable that matters had to come to crystallize to where we are hopelessly mired.
And where we are is in an inestimably worse place, an unparalleled place, never really lived before, despite earlier harrowing disturbances and difficulties. It is staring across the sharper, more piercing, more segregating fence that leaves us shredded, makes us foolish, and damns us to helplessness.
Our electoral disappointments, our racial inflammations, our cleaving visions consume us. The situation is so taut and menacing today that the dividing, unapproachable razor-wired fence threatens to collapse upon us and set free the worst of the raging tides that surge within the great majority of Guyanese.
This is what Guyanese are left with, how citizens face each other angrily and maliciously, even hatefully. With the international community now mostly gone, we have to find a way to deal with each other through this, and to manage what is before one and all.
At the crux, it is to find a way to coexist with each other in some less dangerous manner, to find some smattering of the healthy, the inspiring, and the energizing.
At this time, one of our historic and major relief systems, our exit strategy and escape route, is all but sealed off, and at every familiar, official point. Migration, whether legal or otherwise, is not an option today.
Guyanese cannot hurry to anywhere, since self-protecting national barriers spring up all over, and with deterring finality. The walls have closed in around us and left us to our own devices, to contemplate our fate. There is nowhere to go or stay but here. Perhaps, it may be the best place for Guyanese, since it may compel us, against our reflexive impulses and wishes, to work out our differences between ourselves.
We say this much and unequivocally: elections and elections results (in whatever incarnation they assume) are not going to transform or eradicate the ugly, crippling deformities that are inside of us, or tame the palpably perilous beasts outside of us, which is what is now embodied and projected by more than 9 out of every 10 of us. Elections without conversation or any hint of progression is the surest sign of the way to perdition.
We are harming our prospects grievously, when we reject what offers a passageway through which to carve a collective destiny towards some other place than where we are now trapped, to some other vision than those harboured. When there is stubborn persistence for continuing by hook or crook, then there is no new summit of hope, only the usual feared spectres of domination, and where those have always led.
It is our view that this is deeply self-destructive, not only for the local political forces for and against, but for all Guyanese.
Those that are for would be unable to withstand the entirety of what comes, those who are against cannot overcome. To both sides of the divide, whatever the level of self-confidence, this much is said: the hodgepodge of peoples that make up this nation are heading towards a far more terrible place than when this all started.
We are not the sum of our pieces, which none could now put together. We are pieces of people, which only we can bring together and put together again, but only if we so desire, so prioritize. We could argue and malign each other endlessly, but when the bickering and squalling are over, there is no improving, little mending. For what has been achieved is a resetting of the national clock to the 1960s. Examine what has been the fate of this society since then.
Separately, there are calls for, and hope in, international sanctions. There is the peculiar belief that such would bring to the senses – to the knees, yes; to any degree of resolution and societal reconstruction, no. Both prospects are foregone conclusions, as seething rages coalesce, flare, and force to flat on faces.
This infallible truth must be faced: international sanctions possess irrefutable potency. But through the long dismal days of their applications, it is the ordinary man who pays the highest price, bears the heaviest burdens.
It is why we say this: rather than reach for strangers to force our hands, it is better to reach out for and hold our own hands. This could pave the way to moving hearts and lifting heads. There is widespread consensus that corporal punishment is counterproductive, and that patient rehabilitation is better than the force-feeding that originates with the draconian. Sanctions would punish ordinary citizens and make hard men dig in their heels harder and deeper.
Today, we face not one, but two national crises. Before both, we are in the worst state of unreadiness. Whatever we conceive for the electoral is sure to fail, what we hope for will not work, but simply make us weaker, more wretched, definitely mostly wrathful.
At present we exist not in a state of flux or suspension, but in one of hard denial of harder reality.
Urgent times demand the most extraordinary wisdoms, inclusive of political ones. The issue is: do we have that, to give that? And if we do, are we willing to so demonstrate? This is where we are now at this hour when we are all alone.
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