It is better to stand for something than for nothing

Dear Editor,

I have neither the power nor the authority to claim to know what was the mental process at work when Ian McDonald penned his recent piece, ‘Confronting power’ (November 20).

But as someone who has laboured in the political vineyard for years and has met with thousands of people during that period, I have discerned the message Ian is urging his readers to take note of.

He has left room in his article for the reader to bring out something from his own life.

Many, including myself, would have experienced a frisson of recognition in reading McDonald’s masterful interpretation of the depravity of human morality, manifestations of cowardice and man’s predisposition towards philistinism, as well as the vengeful side of human nature.

This fine irony which runs throughout  ‘Confronting power’ evokes a sense of gladness but at the same time, sadness. This particular oeuvre de plume clearly warns us of coming events that are now casting their shadows over our country. A slow but malignant process is currently unfolding before our very eyes, but only the discerning eye can spot it. McDonald has seen it and has chosen to write warning us about it and, by the way, it is no fantastical fiction.

Though we are all Guyanese and our fates may be divergent, we are at the same time engulfed in a sea of individualism, selfishness and narcissism. Vengeful politics seems to be the flavour of the day. Martin Carter referred to this as “all are involved all are consumed.”

McDonald has succeeded in laying bare human frailties, the foibles of man and above all, the disturbance and disintegration of the human personality, all of which are applicable in the present day Guyana context. The irresistible urge to commit evil acts, transgress constitutional rights and worse yet, the predisposition to accommodate and absolve ourselves of wrongdoing as if they are the standards by which we must live and survive.

The gloomy political landscape is populated with escalating signs of authoritarianism. And the efforts to establish a police state are fraught with horrendous consequences for the nation.

The only way out is struggle; to stand up and be counted.  It is better to stand for something than to stand for nothing. Too much is at stake.

Yours faithfully.

Clement Rohee

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