Let's start thinking forward
November 29, 2003
I have not read Dr. Gibson's book, which appears to have incensed so many that they feel compelled to assail us with every reason under the sun why it should perhaps be banished from existence. If as some contend, her ideas and purported 'facts' appear extreme, then intelligent people will construe likewise and relegate the book to its appropriate place. Extremism has not worked in the past and, with the support of the true arbiters of democracy, it will not succeed now or in the future.
At first the 'debate' was somewhat interesting but has now gone beyond comical with a tired rehash of the same points. The question that needs to be answered is, "Does the general readership care about what is contained in Dr. Gibson's book, so much so that life as Guyanese know it will be influenced radically?" In my opinion, no. In fact, I am quite sure that a larger section of the population was not only unaware of the contents of her book but also had no intention of placing it high on their list of required reading. The debate has however assigned it a deserved or undeserved status of 'bestseller'.
I believe it is now time to put the issue to rest. Dr. Gibson has a right to her views, however skewed they may appear to others. And so too do those who have challenged her methodologies, intent, and accuracy in detailing her ideas. Let the bashing end and move on to entertaining debates on ideas for development and instances of progress in the nation. In fact, I would urge the Gibsons, Kissoons, et al, to better use this medium as a forum for debate, initiated by them, on specific issues and challenges to development. Let's start thinking forward. Much too much time has and continues to be spent in the past. Isn't a mind a terrible thing to waste on things considered to be worthless?
"Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men, governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity? But is uniformity of opinion desirable? No more than of face and stature." -Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. ME 2:223 (Available: http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1500.htm)
Think about that and let your ideas flow.
Merrill Hyman Sr.