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Jagdeo commended for removing outdated Marxism-Leninism from PPP constitution

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Dear Editor,
The General Secretary (leader) of the PPP, Bharrat Jagdeo, wisely has led the charge to delete Marxism-Leninism from the Party’s constitution. It is a sensible act; That ‘ism’ has no relevance to Guyana. It should never have found its way in Guyana; it is the primary reason why democracy collapsed in Guyana and the country suffered for four decades from foreign interference leading to the rise of the authoritarian state. Guyana’s ideology must be liberalism and pro-Western. We need absolute democracy, openness, pragmatism and integrity in public life.
Removing the Marxist worn-out ideology from the PPP constitution is a very good move that will be welcomed in Washington, DC and other Western capitals. Marxism-Leninism is a useless tenet or position in the ruling party’s constitution although admittedly it has been harmless as no one in Guyana ever attempted to implement hard-core Marxism or Leninism since the passing of Forbes Burnham nearly four decades ago.
During the anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle, it was fashionable for young revolutionaries to embrace left-wing (socialist) ideology. Also, all over American campuses and around the globe, students at universities gravitated towards left-wing ideology. When I first arrived in USA in 1977 to study at City University, its 22 campuses were hot beds for radicalism – anti-imperialism movements. One could not help to become romanticize with the struggle against neo-colonialism and anti-imperialism. But once one understood the dominance of the West and geopolitics of the Caribbean and American region, one quickly realised that Marxism-Leninism had/has no place in the region and that Washington would not allow its successful advocacy. That is why the Guyanese and Indo-Caribbean groups I co-founded in 1977 to champion free and fair elections in Guyana, as advised by my senior, political scientist Rennie Ramracha, advocated a pro-Western democratic ideology. We knew that the USA and Western nations would not support our struggle for restoration of democracy if it meant the election of a leftwing, Marxist-Leninist party in Guyana. We urged our friends in the leftwing ACG, support group of PPP, to take a pro-Western, pro-capitalist position in its championing of free and fair elections and democratic governance in Guyana. We also urged Dr Jagan whenever we engaged that it would be helpful to the struggle for free and fair elections in Guyana if he were to soften his Marxist-Leninist ideology and anti-American position. But we were not successful. We were laughed and scoffed at and labelled as bourgeois agents of imperialist powers. It was ‘imperialist’ powers that foisted democracy in Guyana in 1992 and saved democracy in 2020. Democracy was not restored to Guyana until after the collapse of communism in Europe, allowing for the election of Dr Jagan as President. Several anti-Marxists, myself included, led that pioneering struggle from USA. By 1992, Dr Jagan had changed and had embraced pro-Western economic liberal ideology. Although he supported economic liberalism, he would have opposed the removal of Marxism-Leninism from the constitution of the party he founded.
But Bharrat Jagdeo is right. Marxism-Leninism does not belong in the PPP constitution. We live in a different era (from the 1950s thru 1980s) now from that of Dr Jagan and spouse Janet. Countries have moved away from Marxism. Every country that once embraced Marxism-Leninism or socialism has moved towards a market economy; third-world countries once under radical leadership are restructuring and privatising (de-nationalising) State industries. Guyana long ago sold several national assets and/or put industries under private management.
Also, although it’s in the Party’s constitution, the PPP has not functioned like a Marxist-Leninist party, not in Government anyway. Since it returned to Government in October 1992, the PPP has functioned according to the tenets of liberalism.
It was a sensible move by Bharrat Jagdeo to remove Marxism-Leninism from a bygone era from the PPP constitution. The action will be far reaching, and the VP should be commended for this act.

Yours faithfully,
Dr Vishnu Bisram

The post Jagdeo commended for removing outdated Marxism-Leninism from PPP constitution appeared first on Guyana Times.

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