THOSE who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to make silly mistakes. The present is all of the past even as it gives us a signal of what the future holds. And for societies like Guyana, the past is pregnant with teachable lessons. From the experiences of our First Peoples to the Middle Passage and the plantations to the Indentureship moment to the Post-Colonial iteration, our country has been shaped by the struggles of our people to affirm and assert their humanity. To forget that history is to engage in the highest form of self-denial.
Some would have us erase that history and construct something new and disconnected as if history is tantamount to presentism. The lure of imagining the present and the future without the past is understandable given the breakdown in our core education principles that were built on the need to be human and to be free. Just a few years ago, the University of Guyana was struggling to attract students to study history. That is more than a minor tragedy only slightly less grave than the advocacy of science without the humanities. The silencing of history amounts to a distortion of the Guyanese and Caribbean civilisation which has already led to a cultural and political emptiness that is manifested the current discourses around the coming election.
There are gathering narratives about who or what governs in the moment of First Oil—careless narratives. Old voices are appearing as new parties with old ideas and old parties are lurking in the background waiting to pounce on a society that is being urged to forget the sordid past. No election should be about bad the predecessor did with little about what good the current administration did and promises to do. Yet, to ignore the tragedies of the past, especially the immediate past, is to condemn the society to walk into a tragic future.
As we listen to the various formulations that emanate from the politicians, the media and the commentators, one gets the impression that the last four years have been filled with horrors and pain. Mistakes are presented as intentional wickedness. Reasonable people speak as if history began in 2015. The total destruction brought to Guyana by the PPP is swept out of plain sight. There is call for Regime Change after four years of the Coalition. Yes, not a change of administration, but a change of regime. They want to tear down the State as we know it now and return to the Ethnic-Criminal State of the PPP time.
That’s where the trouble is. Behind all the talk of restoration of democracy and PNC this and AFC that and WPA the other and who is not joining with whom, is a plot to return the country to the control of the PPP. The message that the Coalition is PNC is directed at two publics. The first one is what up to 2011 was considered the PPP’s domain – the so-called PPP base. The second one is what they think is the skeptical section of the so-called PNC base.
The diminishing of the AFC in the eyes of Guyanese and the dismissal of APNU parties like the WPA as irrelevant are meant to present the Coalition as the PNC and then appeal to racial and political anti-PNC feelings. This is the great con work that is being performed right before our very eyes. It is a concerted effort to bring back the PPP through the backdoor.
When some people say they will not join the two big parties, what the really mean is that they will not join with the Coalition. The PPP has already said it will not join with anyone. It is only the Coalition that is reaching out. So, they are saying the Coalition is poison. They are aiming to topple the Coalition by foul means.
But it is the PPP that must be stopped. The merging of the government with criminals. The rule by Death Squads and Phantom Squads. The use of Indo Guyanese as collateral damage. The open economic and political war on Afro Guyanese. The sharing out of Guyana to PPP leaders and sidekicks. The ripping up of the constitution and rule by decree. That is what they want to return Guyana to. They are counting on Guyanese to forget that history. They are nurturing a new gullibility among Guyanese. They are sowing racial discord. They are lying openly. They are distorting history. They are trying to turn th