Yesterday, May 5th 2019, was the 181st anniversary of the arrival of Indians to Guyana. The day was widely commemorated across Guyana by, not surprisingly, Indian Guyanese, even though the PPP Government, back in 2004, had designated the day “Arrival Day”, supposedly to mark the arrival of ALL the “six peoples” of Guyana.
Not unexpectedly, it was ignored by the Indigenous Peoples – who’d been here since “time immemorial – and by the descendants of African ex-slaves, whose arrival hasn’t been pinpointed to the day. Emancipation Day was supposed to be “their day”.
The Portuguese (arrival May 3rd, 1835) and Chinese (arrival Jan 12th 1853) were also miffed over being lumped with the Indian arrival. What were they? Chopped liver?
Well, the historian-as-President, Granger, finally decoupled the several “arrival days” – about the only positive act of his regime! Now every race has their day!
But forgotten in all these commemoration activities has been the birthday of a man who had a most profound effect on the history of Guyana – Karl Marx! Yes, the man who gave the world “The Communist Manifesto”, “Das Capital” — and the “Marxist” Jagan, Burnham and Rodney, our three most prominent politicians — was born on May 5th, 201 years ago!! And yet, not even a letter to the editor mentioned his achievements!! Oi vey!!
But it’s a sign of the times, isn’t it? Marx’s ideas on socialism as an alternative to “capitalism” spawned the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution and the Vietnamese Revolution, etc. but they all failed miserably. While the Chinese may talk about their “Communist” party running their state, their heralded economic miracle is totally based on dyed-in-the-wool capitalist principles. But maybe folks who ignore Marx might’ve thrown out the baby with the bathwater.
Over in the US, a whole new generation is looking for an alternative to their system, which has produced a one per cent class owning 90 per cent of their wealth. They figure that something surely isn’t kosher with that state of affairs. But with Marx’s name being certainly NOT kosher in the land of McCarthy, folks who’re influenced by Marx — from the venerable Bernie Sanders to the upstart Congresswoman AOC — just say they’re “progressives”.
But what about the PNC, now led by David Granger. They keep extolling the “genius” of Forbes Burnham, and insist on “fulfilling his legacy”; so how come they’re ignoring Marx’s influence on their Founder Leader? Wasn’t it his membership in the Communist Party in England that got him a recommendation to Jagan as the “African” rep in the about-to-be-formed PPP?
Okay, so he insisted that his co-operative socialism was inspired by the “Ujaama” of Tanzania’s Nyerere, but the Mwalimu was also influenced by Marx, wasn’t he?
C’mon Granger, move a motion to honour Marx!
And while we’re on the subject of Marx, and the PNC’s studied attempts to distance themselves from him even as they insist on honouring the two-bit terrorist Kadir, why don’t they remove that abominable remnant of Burnham’s Marxist dogma from the very opening lines of our Constitution? Article 1 declares unambiguously: Guyana is an indivisible, secular, democratic sovereign state in the course of transition from capitalism to socialism and shall be known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.”
It’s either the PNC still hold on to their founder leader’s Marxist position or not on the latter’s insistence of the “inevitability” of the socialist nirvana based on the “objective” laws of development. Granger was Burnham’s “boy” who was responsible for transmitting the Marxist ideas of Burnham to the armed forces. Didn’t he berate recruits to stop calling him and other officers, “Sir”, and say, “Comrade”??
Surely Granger hasn’t forgotten all the purple prose about Marxism he spouted in the Armed Forces’ magazine, “Purple Beret”?
C’mon Granger, either change Art 1 or honour Marx!
The GGDMA’s fighting ‘tooth and nail’ to not have persons who harvest the profits of companies in gold and diamond mining be made known to the Guyana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GYEITI).
If we allow this, whither Exxon’s obligation?