Latest update March 27th, 2023 12:59 AM
Jan 30, 2023 Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon
Kaieteur News – The French philosopher, Jacques Derrida has made a huge contribution to epistemology with his invention of the deconstruction methodology. Deconstruction in simple term means that there are layers of meaning to a word or text.
I will not attempt to deconstruct the word “transformation” as used by AFC leader Khemraj Ramjattan in his contribution to the budget debate. A slight digression is in order. I have never seen before a situation in politics where a politician speaks in Parliament under one organisation, then outside of parliament delivers under the name of another entity. When in the House Ramjattan speaks as a parliamentarian under the APNU+AFC banner. Outside of the National Assembly, he ruminates as the leader of AFC. Is there a logic to this? I don’t know but it sound comical. Is Ramjattan saying that all the subjects and topics that come before the House, he is in sync with the PNC?
If the answer is yes, then what positions the AFC holds that does not synchronise with the PNC? Are there are issues that the AFC does not see eye to eye with the PNC, and by what logical acrobatics, there is no difference with matters that are before the House? Sounds confusing but let’s move on.
The word “transformation” is used in a linear, progressive way. Transformation is science has a totally different meaning. You can have a transformation that is negative and undermines the expected results. It could not be possible that Ramjattan was applying Derrida’s deconstruction methodology when during the budget debate he said the closure of the sugar estates was transformational. One cannot analyse what Ramjattan means unless Ramjattan offers his meaning.
Applying deconstruction to political debate, it is difficult to see how the retrenchment of 7000 sugar workers outside of Demerara which has far greater employment opportunities that any of the other 9 Regions could have been transformational.
The sudden removal of 7000 workers from employment by simple logic means that their relatives and families that depend on the income of those 7000 workers will be facing misery. I would like to offer a personal example of how the dissolution of an employee’s income has deleterious consequences. In the first year of my daughter’ studies at UG, I paid no fees because she was entitled to free tuition because of my years of service. After her first year at UG, the Ramotar Government terminated my contract at UG.
I had to find almost half a million dollars for the next three years. Since I was out of income, it was not easy. Imagine what happened to the relatives and family members of those dismissed workers. A rough estimate put the numbers at 42, 000. It boggles the mind to find out how that policy could have been transformational. What Ramjattan did not mention is that the workers had to take the government to court to receive their entitlements. But transformation could still have occurred if the workers were given the lands that the sugar factories rested on and the adjacent lands that would no longer be tilled.
Such an act would have been unique in the history of Guyana’s political economy and could have become the template for land use to poor people to transform their lives. Here is where the word transformation would have taken on phenomenal meaning.
What happened with the income removal of 7000 sugar workers is that a transformation did occur but in the context of the meaning of the word in science. As stated above in science the transformation could be unwanted and could have adverse chemical effect.
This is what happened in the political landscape of the Alliance For Change. The sacking of 7000 workers transformed the AFC from a winning card player to a pathetic loser. Those 42, 000 citizens that were terribly affected reverted to the PPP. It was disaffected Berbicians in 2011 and 2015 that expanded the political fortunes of the AFC. In a crazy act of political hara-kiri, the AFC participated in consigning 42, 000 citizens to the breadline in 2017. Yet this third party expected to win reelection.
Transformation is taking like crazy in Guyana. The AFC has now transformed itself into a separate entity. Aubrey Norton has transformed the PNC into a self-destructive force. The 2023 national budget will transform the economy. A bigger budget in 2024 will further transform the economy. But the biggest transformation will be in the area of politics. In the 2025 national election, the results will be transformation- the AFC from a half-dead organism into dead meat. Can someone really deconstruct the word, transformation? (The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of this newspaper and its affiliates.)
They are being paid while we are being played…your pain is their gain!
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