The deadly consequences of fiddling with power

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It was quite regrettable to see the former Minister of Finance handcuffed and being treated as a common criminal. It was equally egregious to see Dr. Ashni Singh in the same circumstance a few years back. The two gentlemen ought to have been accorded some discretion due to their years of service to this nation. I readily accept that no one is above the law and where necessary, government officials must subject themselves to due process but there ought to be a better way. As a realist and someone who accepts the existence of realpolitik, I view these developments through the prism of the vicious nature of Guyanese politics, it is not Sunday school and it is certainly not the church. In doing so, one has no choice but to allude to the need to be extremely mindful when you control the state apparatus and seek to crackdown on your political enemies. Once you take that decision, you cannot half tackle it because once your adversary survives the attempts, you must get ready for the inevitable consequences which are invariably extremely deadly. Power is not to be trifled with, especially when it is being used to persecute the enemy.

The Weight of the State
On February 27th, 1933, the sirens blazed through the tense air of Germany, the parliament was burning. Within a short period, there appeared the new mustached Chancellor who grandiloquently declared: ‘This is a God-given signal! If this fire, as I believe, turns out to be the handiwork of Communists, then there is nothing that shall stop us now from crushing out this murderous pest with an iron fist’. Adolf Hitler proceeded to leave posterity with a negative example of the devastating ability of state power. Even though Marinus Van Der Lubbe confessed to the crime, the Fuhrer ordered the arrest of 100,000 Communists who were all thrown into concentration camps. It must be noted, when he ascended to the Chancellorship of Germany, he did not introduce any new significant mechanisms of the state to destroy his enemies, he used the same tools designed by the Social Democrats to bury him. They fiddled with the power and he survived to oversee their annihilation. Joseph Stalin once remarked: ‘Mere men cannot withstand the weight of the state’. He was diabolically correct, the state is powerful and if it is used for nefarious purposes, the consequences can be devastating. Hence, it is wholly necessary to understand that once it is under your control and it is being used in a manner that is detrimental to your rivals, ensure that you keep eternal possession. If you fail to do so, prepare for the deadly consequences.

Legal Arguments are Irrelevant
In the grand scheme of diabolical things in the context of the state apparatus being used as a conduit to crush your enemies, legal arguments are irrelevant. The main political objective is to humiliate, embarrass and bring the adversary into local, regional and international disrepute. For ease of reference, the story of Kamenev and Stalin as narrated by Simon Sebag Montefiore in his book, ‘Court of the Red Tsar, suffices:

‘You think Kamenev may not confess? Stalin asked Mironov.

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‘I don’t know’, replied Mironov.

‘You don’t know? said Stalin. ‘Do you know how much our state weighs with all the factories, machines, the army with all the armaments and the navy’? Mironov thought he was joking but Stalin was not smiling. ‘Think it over and tell me’? Stalin kept staring at him.

‘Nobody can know that , Joseph Vissarionovich; it is the realm of astronomical figures.’

‘Well,and can one man withstand the pressure of that astronomical weight’?

‘No,’ replied Minorov.

‘Well then…Don’t come to me until you have in this briefcase the confession of Kamanev.’



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