Oct 21, 2020 Editorial
Kaieteur News – What we have is not working, no matter how generously viewed, how expansively intellectualized. Guyana, as it stands now, as a country in the regular meaning of what it takes to embody a nation, is not working. It does not bode well for a successful future, given the state of near war that is now a constant in daily living, in present and future visions of how things should be. There is no intention to be provocative or revolutionary on our part; it is revealing where things are, and where they usually lead in the affairs of men.
For starters, the oil has made barbarians of us. What should have been uplifting to all of us has dragged us down. Elections and democracy are not solutions, they merely serve to intensify and expose the fractures and how terribly those fragment us, how raw we are with our rank prejudices. As a society, we exist as part of a losing proposition that is celebrated by the winning half and condemned furiously by the defeated rest. What do we hold on to if not for a turn at the power wheel? What if not for a much dreamed-about and hoped-for opportunity to help ourselves at the expense of those who once oppressed? What, if not to continue the same sordid system of governance and existence that has been ours, without interruption?
When close personal relationships of the most intimate kind do not work out, furnish a record of clashing with what was once cherished, of brutalizing memories and daily hostilities in the closest confines, then a certain inevitability occurs. At its best, there is going to the courts for a ruling on degrees of undeniable incompatibilities that lead to irreconcilable differences. Some accept and go their separate ways to restart, to reengineer themselves, and to begin living again in a more uplifting fashion.
On the other hand, and in the worst-case scenario, when hard differences unleash the worst of passions, then the courts are not the sober choice made. Instead, it is of the coffin that stands as silent or screaming, resigned or repelling, testimony of what went wrong, what was not acted upon early, and what was held on to in the futile hope of the carving out something, when there was actually nothing on which to go. That is the sad and sick and sickening story of Guyana, isn’t it? And the worst-case scenario of the coffin – many of them – is what stares in the face, and dangles over the national head, as to what the future holds, given our wretched state of frail side-by-side existence. Denial and distancing from reality, ignoring and hoping for the best, possess all the elements of the self-destructive. This is how far we have gone.
It is the situation faced by companies that are unfettered by external relationships. IBM of a century’s vintage, an iconic global presence, made the hard decision recently to break into two. The leadership vision is not to be bogged down and be left behind by the legacies of enterprises that cripple the company. Side-by-side, but as independent entities, the old shell and the newly created offspring will have to exist for the benefit of the whole. As decisions go, it had to be a most wrenching one. But crucial and groundbreaking crossroads as these are not arrived at on the basis of sentiments and emotions, or of memories shackled to the past and perpetuating a present that lacks any probability of success.
For IBM, the time had come for a single decision: it had to be breakup to shape up and measure up in the furiously competitive global technology world. The alternative was staying put and hoping to get lucky. From every indication, lucky is what we gamble on to bring desired results, through some rare, unprecedented exercise of sanity from leaders and citizens. That looks as likely as the cow jumping over the moon.
Moral suasion has no foundation here. Democracy is best loved in its abstractions. Ethical and transformational leadership are deader than the Dead Sea. Yet these are what this nation bets to cure it and make it rise. If we continue this way, we could cannibalize each other.
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