Freddie Kissoon misleads readers that he is “Mr know all.” He once again errs (what else is new) — incorrectly attributed “the masses are asses” quote to the Portuguese dominated United Force (UF) founder leader, Peter D’Aguiar. Freddie is consistently erring and as such is advised to avoid name droppings to give credibility to his writings that are replete with inaccuracies.
It was the great (Bermudian) White American Alexander Hamilton, during the constitutional debate (1780s), who uttered the words that have been repeatedly quoted ad nauseam by so many intellectuals and politicians.
Hamilton made the case for the adoption of American “electoral college” in the constitution (still in existence) to choose the President because, as he argued, the (uneducated) masses (the masses are asses) would not select the best person to be the president of the United States. Hamilton’s position was supported by other founding fathers who felt the people electing the President should be “educated”.
Had Freddie studied (American) history (instead of philosophy for which he claims he obtained two degrees in Guyanese history – an unprecedented achievement), he would not have made this simple faux pas. To err is human but Freddie has a penchant for mocking people who make simple errors in writings. So he needs to be corrected, but the paper where his column appeared did not publish the correction.
The masses are asses quote was also linked to the great Enlightenment British thinker John Locke who influenced the thought of the American founding fathers. It is not clear if the original quote was Locke’s. There were also plays and books with title of same quote. Freddie claims he studied Philosophy – he should know about the natural rights theorist John Locke (a great political thinker, philosopher).
Suffice it to say D’Aguiar did not invent the quote if indeed he referred to Guyanese masses “as asses” for not voting for him and the UF. Freddie presented no evidence to support his claim that D’Aguiar uttered such words.
It is to be noted that Guyanese society has always been ethnically polarised. As a student of political sociology and a specialist on ethnicity, it is incomprehensible why Indians and Africans would vote for a Portuguese-based party or a Portuguese leader when there were the charismatic Forbes Burnham and Cheddi Jagan, not that the latter two were any better than D’Aguiar in terms of developmental policies.
Freddie needs to study history and stop fooling people that by studying Philosophy you can get two degrees in Guyanese History — impossible from any university even in Philosophy, he gets it wrong.
Yours truly, Vishnu Bisram