By Freddie Kissoon
Propaganda can only be successful if it is based on circumstances which carry fertile soil. There must be a certain amount of facts that can be easily and skillfully manipulated. Secondly, propagandists have to be talented or competent people. How they shape the material will depend on the level of penetration among the population.
After two years and three months, the propaganda used by African political organisations opposed to the Ali presidency has failed to retain its gloss. First, you do not utilise five months to rig an election. That is almost half a year and in that long period there are going to be huge mistakes, enormous blunders, comical strategies and glaring fictional inventions. After the five months, it is not a workable strategy to tell your supporters that you were denied victory. You can do that in the first two months, certainly not after two years, three months.
One of the most consistent PNC ideologues, Mr. Sherwood Lowe wrote following August last year: “The coalition must confront the reality that a majority of its supporters have accepted, at various stages since March 2020 that it lost the last election properly. Should the coalition leaders therefore admit electoral defeat, expect no great drama and trauma among party supporters. The claims of “cheated not defeated” have long worn thin. Most supporters now see it as only political posturing rather than a sincere assertion.”
By the time 2022 arrived, the game of deceit had caught up with the PNC and its surrogates. African Guyanese knew they were being fooled. They are now prepared to have dialogue with the Ali government on their future. Secondly, who are the propagandists that speak to African Guyanese? I refer to them as the lunatic fringe (TLF).
TLF are extremely wild people who appeal to a very tiny section of the population who like crass vocabulary. TLF is hurting the image of the PNC but wildness can still be accepted if it is not characterised by stupidity and self-aggrandisement. All the members of TLF come across as people who rant insanely.
One of them said the Guyana Government can’t touch him because he lives in the greatest country in the world. That is not how you shape propaganda to win converts. TLF has not made inroads into African Guyanese communities because they turn off hundreds of thousands of decent African Guyanese.
Buxtonians did not listen to the TLF last week and turned up in large numbers to dialogue with the ministers of the government while four members of TLF were in the protest that, contrary to what Demerara Waves noted about a hundred protestors, did not reach more than 20 persons. I saw the videos.
Thirdly, I saw a social media interview David Hinds did with Clive Thomas two months ago. Professor Thomas said that finally post-colonial Guyana will get some money to deal with poverty alleviation. He was referring to oil revenue. Then he said he has to live with the angst that the revenue will be controlled by “these people” (his words), meaning the PPP government.
African Guyanese know that Guyana is on the verge of something positively new. They don’t need Thomas to lecture them on the new horizon that oil revenue will create. Out of this sense of reality, African Guyanese youth will not recreate “mo fyaah, slo fyaah.” The African population wants to share in their country’s newly found wealth and they are prepared to dialogue with the government.
Buxton was the first step. The encounters will continue. This is one of the world’s most under-populated countries. Guyana has incredible land space for its citizens to get house lots and farming plots. Dr. Ali must take the innovative step that Burnham refused to make and no other president since Burnham contemplated – use state resources to birth an African kulak class and a petty bourgeoisie.
It is a myth that Burnham tried to embourgeoisify the African people. He took control of the resources of Guyana and imprisoned those resources in the state. Black people did not share in those resources. They were owned by the state. That explains why when Burnham’s administration collapsed Black people did not have land. State assets were sold off by President Hoyte and Black people did not have the money to buy them.
In my short meeting with Dr. Ali, I told him to nurture a legacy that would put him permanently into the minds of Guyanese the way Jagan, Rodney and Burnham have. The only president that had the national wealth to create an African petty bourgeoisie was Burnham. Dr. Ali has that opportunity now. Of course this must not be at the expense of elevating the poorer classes in general including the Indian masses
Frederick Kissoon is a Guyanese journalist who currently writes the daily “Freddie Kissoon Column” in Kaieteur News, a daily newspaper published in Guyana. Kissoon lectured at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Guyana, He also was the vice president for the University of Guyana Workers Union. Energiesnet.com does not necessarily share these views.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Kaieteur News, on July 10 , 2022. All comments posted and published on EnergiesNet.com, do not reflect either for or against the opinion expressed in the comment as an endorsement of EnergiesNet.com or Petroleumworld.
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