YESTERDAY, April 7, was Nominations Day for elections 2015, and the political parties used the occasion to display their numbers, both large and small. But General and Regional Elections are not about numbers, but of leadership of a nation, and here it is imperative that one reflects on the realities of what we need for our country to achieve its maximum potential for economic growth and social development.
It is incumbent upon all national leaders to pursue the primary objective of transforming the unity of Guyana’s national celebratory occasions to transcend these festive and/or commemorative occasions, and impregnate the continuous processes of endeavour and development as a priority, if this nation is to withstand natural and global forces that make our country’s survival, and the quality of our survival, vulnerable to natural and external forces.
Our freedom is subjective, dependent on the not-so-tender mercies of the international power-brokers, who use Third World countries as pawns on their chess-boards in their eternal quest for resource acquisition and domination.
The ostensible Conference of Freedom with the granting of the instruments of independence was a mere symbolic gesture, because constitutional delinquency then prevailed, and the seven-year development plan (See Dr. Jagan’s ‘West on Trial’ for details) depended heavily on support from Britain, which never quite relinquished its stranglehold on this nation’s economy, thus compromising its autonomy.
Kwame Nkrumah, defining neo-colonialism and the subjective independence granted to colonised countries in his book, ‘Neo-colonialism, the Last Stage of Colonialism’, states: “The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality, its economic system, and thus its political system, is directed from outside.”
In essence, liberty is relative. When we are not allowed by those who have orchestrated themselves into guardians of this country’s purse-strings to determine the processes of this country’s revenue management, then that subjectivity is comparable to national captivity, equating a government and its people to mere pawns on an internationally-scaled economic chessboard.
Economic domination by foreign powers and the resultant national subservience as the Guyanese workforce bends its knees before the inhuman conditionalities of external funding agencies — to which the human factor is an entirely negligible quotient in their fiscal programmes, ostensibly targeting human development — is irony indeed.
Factored into this equation are the forces fighting to divide this nation in primary pursuit of agendas configured towards self-aggrandisement and self-enrichment.
So, the Guyanese nation remains, in many ways, divided unto itself; blind to the reality that true freedom, economic and otherwise, does not fructify from the destruction of the production systems, the infrastructural networks, and the social construct, but rather from a unity of purpose to reach a common goal: the goal of a nation united in the struggle for a liberated economy, which is the primary factor that would eventuate in national prosperity and optimum social development.
It is only when this nation has broken the shackles of economic dependency can we realise our potential as a truly free people, with all the resultant implications, all resonating with upward-spiraling mobility and indicators.
Centuries after giving Socrates hemlock, that nation still carries the stigma, but the ideas that that great philosopher expounded soars over the centuries and into the minds and souls of the world’s greatest thinkers.
Enchaining our potential for true freedom – a liberated economy, freedom of expression – so courageously pursued by successive PPP/C leaders, especially Dr. Cheddi Jagan and Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo in their struggles on the various international fronts, even when some of their adversaries are internal aggressors who benefit directly from their contentions and interventions against adverse global imperatives, freedom of association; in effect all the freedoms that constitute democracy, would forever keep us a captive nation.
Slavery and domination are relative; and to be a truly free people we need to allow the concept of unity and peace inherent in the spirit of our national celebratory occasions to prevail over our prejudices and myopia so that we can break all frontiers in our development dimensions.
Yesterday’s Nominations Day heralded more than various political parties submitting their lists of candidates. Yesterday was the promise that, with maturity and the will to work towards the national good, our nation could achieve the best that it could for its people.