Downright mischievous to impute motives to others To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
October 15, 2001

Please permit me space in your letter column to reply to a letter by Mr. Vyfhuis which was also carried in the Chronicle.

In the autumn of 1997, I was engaged in a remarkable conversation with "the incomparable" Sir Garfield St. Auburn Sobers. During our exchange, he made a persuasive plea for inclusiveness which was, at the same time, a plea for participation in citizenship through discussion among autonomus "publics."

He was speaking on behalf of the "little people." At the time, I made an immediate connection between Sir Garfield's comments and the monumental work about democratic society done by the great American intellectual, Dr. C. Wright Mills. I wish to use the links I made between the Caribbean revolutionary and Dr. Mills, as a basis for responding to Mr. Vyfhuis, who has considered the possibility of my deportation to Afghanistan.

Let me begin by reiterating two things which have always been crucial to my case against glossing over simplifications in the name of democracy. I accept the position of Reinhold Neibuhr that democracy is "a proximate solution to insoluble problems." Secondly, I have been offering all of my comments as a citizen of the world, who is neither banal nor brazen enough to flaunt the validity of history, but respects its relevance to the socio-political cross-currents of contemporary conflict.

Mr.Vyfhuis, I shall regard you as both honourable and reasonable. In granting you such credit, the least I would expect you to do is examine the serious implications of my stances. You must, however, do much more, if you are to qualify for passage well beyond the pathetic. It is disingenuous, dangerous, and downright mischievous to impute motives to others, when there is no validity for such transpositions.

You ask: "Can Dr. Walcott say the same of the ideologies he is espousing-when last they have had fair and free elections??" Is he promoting an ideology-or rule by consensus?" Mr. Vyfhuis, I have been reading sociology since 1965, and I know what an ideology is. I do not support ideologies.

More importantly, it is irresponsible for you to conclude that my criticism of one world's view means support of another. What I have done, was to examine strident claims made on behalf of democracy, locate the damning contradictions within those claims, and expose the misappropriations of their purveyors. I have employed what is known as internal critique.

The validity of my approach has never been vitiated by any applications of necessary evidence criteria and defining criteria of adequacy. Further, Mr. Vyfhuis, it is utterly appalling for you, a champion of free and fair elections, to pose a question about this practice to someone who has been residing in Canada. This is a country that is much larger in size than the U.S.A, but in which national elections were held and concluded, without malice, within a twenty-four hour period.

More than three weeks elapsed before a controversial decision was made by an ideologically divided U.S. Supreme Court about the result of the last American national elections. Mr. Vyfhuis, I have just offered you a simple, yet cogent, instance of what is meant in the use of internal critique.

I do want you to know that my view of consesus is not derived from the West. It emerges from my understanding of the Great Law of Peace, the foundation of Confedaracy among the Iroquois people who were in North America long before those makers of democracy who came to that continent from Britain. I am extremely proud to inform you that I have been residing for more than a quarter of a century in Canada where the Iroquois people still live.

I want to write ecstatically about the benefits I have derived from my presence here. I have been very comfortable in a society where there is no "official culture," a society which the U.N. has designated "the best country" in the world for three consecutive years. Much of what contemporary Canada is, is owed to the father of Canadian multiculturalism, Pierre, Joseph, Phillipe, Eves, Elliot Trudeau, whom Dr. Kissinger assessed as an "enfant terrible" and President Richard Nixon deemed an "ass----."

It is precisely because of multiculturalism and Mr. Trudeau's incorrigible compassion in the face of economic inequity and social injustice plaguing the majority of the world's population that Canada enjoys such enormous respect. It is also useful to learn that Mr. Trudeau - not unlike another great Canadian, the Harvard economic genius, Dr. John Kenneth Galbraith - never believed the inequities and injustice were owed to "mistakes."

So, Mr. Vyfhuis, I am not "obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time." I do feel very secure in a society from which I have been the proud beneficiary of the Trudeau version of democracy that was concretised in 1982, in the Canadian Charter of Rights And Freedoms, a document whose meaning is consistent with Canadian independence.

As Mr.Trudeau strode gallantly across every productive pathway he created with such stellar significance, this extraordinary citizen of the world truly understood the transformative value of intellectual continuity. I have grave doubts that such comprehension can be attributed to you, for you do democracy a massive disservice, Mr. Vyfhuis.

When I was a standard five student at St. Mary's Anglican School in British Guiana, I read part of a story about the Declaration of American Independence in my Caribbean Reader, Book Five: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The ideas above were derived from the British philosopher, John Locke. Locke, you do not know, Mr. Vyfhuis, was a racist. He held investments in the slave trading Royal Africa Company and also assisted in drafting the slave constitution of North Carolina where the centuries old practice of institutional racism still continues. Institutional racism is not owed to "mistakes." It is because of "mistakes" that the late

Thurgood Marshall risked his life in the Brown vs. The Board of Education case. And it was he who said, at the time of his retirement, in the late nineteen eighties, from the U.S. Supreme Court on which he had served with such great distinction that U.S. Blacks were "not free." I do not know which society would have accepted the deportee, Thurgood Marshall.

My wonderment is also applicable to Drs. Chomsky, Ellsberg, West, Mills,Cornell, Rampersaud, Bhabba, Williams, Marable, novelist, Toni Morrison, Justice Leon Higganbotham and several other American thinkers who have been locating some of those damning contradictions within democracy. Dr. Mills wrote numerous papers and books, four of which I read, when I was still a high school student in British Guiana: "WHITE COLLAR," "THE


"LISTEN YANKEE," a brilliant intellectual defence of the Cuban

Revolution. No one - including Richard Bissell, Allen Dulles, Robert

McNamarra, Dean Rusk, Senator McCarthy - recommended his deportation to Cuba.

I must, therefore, assure you that although I have resided in four different societies, I am not in the business of packing my bags and emigrating for frivolous reasons or purposes. Deportation in the Canada Mr. Trudeau helped to shape substantially is not based on specious grounds. The legal basis to such an act must be very well founded. Mr. Trudeau and Dr. Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz expressed enduring admiration for each other.

No Canadian authorities fuelled fantasies in conditionals about Mr. Trudeau's deportation to Cuba. It would be preposterous for any Canadian authority to consider deportation of citizens for exposing damning contradictions of democracy. On the basis of the Vyfhuis monstrosity, academic freedom would be clearly jeopardised; intellectual and administrative heirs to Mr. Trudeau would not emerge. That prospect is rather chilling.

Dare I say that Afghanistan was never a consideration for me. I have no desire to reside in a location which is being pummelled by "bunker busting bombs," Nor, for that matter, am I eager to entertain the consideration of living among forces created in the name of democracy, for the purpose of defeating the Soviets. That creation took place in the present day world and it did not emerge from "mistakes."

Like the intellectuals noted above, I am using the reflective reality of investigative routes to identify inferiorisation which has been deliberately unleashed by the racists named in my earlier letter. I challenge you, Mr. Vyfhuis, to provide credible evidence which supports your claim that these tormentors had not acted with definitive purposes.

Mr. Vyfhuis, I have no strong feelings about Osama bin Laden. You should, however, be aware that his earlier presence in Afghanistan was hailed by Messers Milt Bearden, Robert Oakley, as well as Dr. Brzezinski. At the time, none of them saw his cause as "psychopathic." I presume that your use of this term is derived from literature on clinical psychology or psychiatry. What proof do you have of this type of behaviour?

I caution you, against imputations. If you are using these disciplines to advance your claim, you should be aware that the controversies among different therapeutic schools and diagnostic procedures have ruined the lives of patients. My pronouncement, here, is applicable to many more than those included in the spectrum extending from Sigmund Freud to Hans Eysenck.

I want to close by recording some verse I penned in 1990 while I travelled along a mighty river plied by the Iroquois. I wish to encapsulate the culture of resistance of a people who understood how they could apply their inventive genius in the face of cultural imperialism. I echo the sounds of those struggles as one way of locating



There is no bawl below the mace, no haul atop the pace, no knoll within the race, no Gaul beyond the face where ruddy moans attire the loss. We saw no pane without the fee, no reign above the sea, no height along the lane, no might between the mane, where cheated pawns recline with rites.

There is no light about the fear, no sight amid the seer, no heel astride the feat, no seal around the heat, whose parted weights forsake the blaze. We raid no lure inside the pride, no moor within the tribe, no caul before the mail, no wall below the sale, where brazen barons afford the din.

There is no berth around the rand, no firth behind the sand, no herd beneath the fore, no word beside the lore, where muted stands acclaim the shore. We hide no hasty hues among the tonal woes, no rented routes to tide the leaden floes, no silent sentries beneath the victor's veils, where headless haze annuls the howling hordes.

Dr. William H. Walcott. F.R.S.A.
Ontario, Canada.