Back to basics…

…across the board
This bout of heavy rainfall is really exposing a basic problem we have in our dear land of Guyana. We’ve papered it over for the longest while, but it’s now clear for all to see – and this is our refusal at all levels to do our bit to make our society work. Take the garbage that’s blocking up our drains. How did it get there? Someone had to have thrown it there, no? How difficult is it for us to place our garbage in bins? Your Eyewitness once stood at the corner of Jamaica Ave and Parsons, in Queens, and saw a Guyanese woman (he knew her by her accent) walk half a block to dump her Wendy’s triple cheeseburger wrapper in a bin. If she were in Guyana, she’d drop that wrapper right there in the street.
And we can extend that “doan-kay-damn” (don’t give a damn) attitude to everything we do: whether it’s our weeders leaving grass on the roadsides, or the garbagemen not picking up our garbage in the city; or our koker watchmen going to sleep on the job, or the supervisor who doesn’t check on the performance of his workers; or the Engineer not ensuring all the pumps are in working condition BEFORE the rainy season begins. And we’re only talking about how our drainage system gets clogged up!
Did you ever consider, say, the work ethic of the local Guyanese “superintendents” who replaced the “white” overseers in the sugar industry? Even though we all cussed out the white men for “driving” us in the fields, do these locals even GO into the fields today to ensure that tasks are performed? How come we used to build ferries at GNIC (then “Sprostons”), yet today we can’t even turn out a ballahoo?
But send these same folks to New York or Toronto, and they get the “best worker” award within a year! Why is this so? At some deep level, it has to be a kind of self-contempt that translates into a national collective contempt. We just don’t feel we’re worth the trouble to do the right thing – even when we’re paid to do so. But when we are in “foreign”, we knock ourselves out because they are higher beings and are worth the effort.
We, of course, were taught this self-contempt during the colonial period…but, 55 years after independence, you’d think we would’ve “freed ourselves from mental slavery” by now, wouldn’t you? But the PNC, who succeeded the Brits, just saw themselves taking the latter’s place. It was “substitution” in the old order, not “subversion” of that order.
Remember Burnham in his jodhpurs riding his horse at Hope Estate?

…in foreign policy
There’s no question that China’s convinced the US is in the position of Britain after WWII: exhausted, exhausted and ready to be replaced by the new superpower in the block – the USA. China, of course, thinks it’s their century unfolding. They’ve always called themselves the “Middle Kingdom” – which wasn’t a geographical notion, but a geopolitical one. They were the centre of a world that revolves around it like satellites.
Economically, China is supposed to surpass the US as the nation with the largest GDP. But it would know that economic clout doesn’t automatically translate into equivalent political clout. That takes military might! And secondly, it would also know that the #1 militarily- dominant US isn’t going to roll over and play dead. While China may now control the South China Seas, it can’t project that power across the Pacific, for example.
So, we’re going to see a confrontation between the economic and military behemoths on who’ll rule the roost.
Guyana should remember in whose backyard we exist.

…on chthonic forces of disorder
OK…OK, dear Reader. You don’t have to go to your dictionary. “Chthonic” – pronounced “thä-nik” – simply refers to “denizens of the underworld”.
In other words, it describes the PNC in its rigging, bullying mode!