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The most serious danger to the Republic lies not with its corrupt politicians nor its criminals nor its dictators. It lies with the BIG LIES that whip the people into a frenzy and wind them up for the slaughter. The BIG LIES are created in political labs and become key ingredients in the Kool-Aid and is given to unthinking people to drink. Once drunk off the concocted brew, they become imbued with passion and this energy is exploited to achieve political objectives.
There is a cogent reason why one of Adolf Hitler’s first Cabinet appointments was Minister of Propaganda when he came to power in 1933. He made Joseph Goebbels a key ally because he understood the importance of aligning a concocted reality with political objectives. In service of this interest, he put it this way, in his magnus opus, Mein Kampf:
‘never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it’.
BURNHAM BANNED FLOUR
In consideration of the aforementioned, it is opportune to examine some political sound bites that have crystalized as unquestionable truths as fixed as the northern star but yet, inconsistent with truth. As far back as I can recall my existence; I have heard about this evil man Forbes Burnham deliberately banning flour to punish one ethnic group. Is it true?
During the 1980s, Guyana’s economy was in the doldrums due to the crazy march to socialism. Thus, numerous products were banned, including; canned foods, split peas, fruits and more. It was argued that this was necessary to put Guyana on self-sufficiency, non-alignment and an independence path. A cursory glance at the facts would reveal that it was a monumental disaster but in all of this, flour was never banned. The facts suggest Guyana imported wheat through the USAID Food for Peace PL480 Program and due to ideological differences, the United States decided to make life difficult for the Forbes Burnham regime and wheat was the casualty of the war. Be that as it may, the point can be argued that there no urgency to correct the situation because it resulted in huge profits from a ‘black market’ that emerged which made smuggled flour extremely profitable for businessmen who were closely aligned to the regime. And so, there you have it, the big lie created to achieve pyrrhic victories while presenting much danger to the Republic.
400 AFRO-GUYANESE KILLED
Here is another sound bite that has gained traction and is well on its way to becoming permanently etched on the minds of the populace but is it true? While extrajudicial killings were rampant during the period 1992-2015 and severely impacted the Afro-Guyanese community, there has never been any factual information that I have seen to corroborate this number. It appears, the number was plucked out of thin air or carefully whipped up in a political lab and has grown many legs. It is evident, it is designed for a political spin but it teems with much danger for the Republic because it hints at some organized pogrom which can trigger a need for revenge and invite a Rwanda-type scenario. There could be slaughter based on a lie.
THE US ELECTIONS WERE RIGGED
Another gargantuan lie which was created in the mind of Donald J. Trump and moved from conception to the talking points, to the blogs, and the headlines and became almost sealed as the truth. Despite every single tribunal declaring that there was no merit to the contestation, many believed and were called to violence to overthrow the Republic based on a big lie. This provides another start example of how big lies pose a serious threat to any polity.
In this age of information and disinformation, it is a national duty to reject the big lie and become vanguards of the truth, the survival of your country may depend on it.