Williams is afraid of the destruction of authoritarianism
November 24, 2003
Ordinarily, I would have concluded that R. Williams' letter in SN, Nov. 20th. captioned "Mr. Ellis's arguments are flawed" [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ], is a nom de plume of a writer from Freedom House but on this occasion, I think that s/he is an elitist afraid of the destruction of the endemic authoritarianism that continues to destroy Guyanese society. As we once used to say, all that a radical idea requires is that the idea is made public. R. Williams is helping to make my ideas public. Thanks very much, R. Williams.
There are two major concerns of R. Williams. The most frightening is the possibility of hundreds of "mini-local government authorities at the village and town levels. "When these authorities get going, as they will (perhaps, not tomorrow, but sometime in the future), politicians will be forced to be catalysts of development instead of enforcers of top-down decisions. Being catalysts of development requires imaginativeness and understanding of people at the grass roots. There is no place for intellectual laziness when helping people to change the physical and the social relations of production.
The second concern of R. Williams is the breakdown of the caste system relationship between politicians and public servants. Reflect please, R. Williams on the outstanding example of Mr. Paul Slowe. Reflect please, and don't fulminate. The incidental consequence of the breakdown of that caste relationship will be the democratisation in the functioning of the political parties. That latter democratisation will bring about a sea of change in Guyanese society.
One last point. R. Williams does not understand what s/he reads. In my letter, I wrote the following: "Dr. Gibson says that GIFT has the 'double objective of looking after the interests of their own group and of ultimately destroying the Africans with whom they share the same space'. That is very strong stuff and possibly the passage to which East Indians take the most objection. But if they do, they should come out and say so and affirm that they are willing not only to share the same space with Black people but to do so on terms of equality. "The surprising fact is that not a single East Indian leader or leadership group has come out and said that they are willing to share the same space with Black people on terms of equality.
R.Williams's thinking is antediluvian (before the Flood) in being unable to grasp the concept of politicians' acting as catalysts and not as dictators in the local government arena. S/he has not grasped the implications of Mr. Paul Slowe in respect of the separation of powers. And s/he has not yet grasped the significance of a non response from the East Indian leadership in respect of the need to state categorically that there is a preparedness to share the same space with Black people and to do so on terms of racial equality. To some extent, R. Williams may have understood me better if Stabroek News had published all my letters.
Clarence F. Ellis