The Cold War for Guyana began in 1953 and ended in 1992

Mr. Editor,

In the six articles that appeared in SN on the issue of Burnham and the Cold War, three are of the opinion that there is such a thing called the Cold War with a significant influence on the events in Guyana between 1953 and 1991. All three other articles insist on demonizing Burnham and seeing him as the main culprit of the time. On the other hand, three authors prefer to emphasize the Cold War as a decisive moment in Guyanese politics, while two see Burnham as the conductor of his own creation. I would like to make one final point – if I may.

Our schooling in the 1960s taught us that one way to view differences in historical events or circumstances is through the use of models. The preferred model that has had significant resonance is the Keynesian model of an economy – what has been called Keynesian demand management or state-led growth that lasted from World War II to the mid-2000s. 1970. Another expression for the same was proposed by the French and became the “long term”, the French School of History of the Annals, popularized by Ferdinand Brudel. It just means that unique events, events, or moments in history can be best appreciated or understood over longer periods of time – their rise and fall, their complete eradication, or just their gradual demise. A popular form that is still with us appeared in the 1960s in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution. And as he borrowed and followed the tradition of those who had come before him, he demanded a stricter commitment to the parameters of his own practices and the need to follow strict formal rules.

Other communities, cultural groups and religious practices have adopted many of the same lineaments to build a unique sense of themselves and communities. Hindus, for example, have what are often called ages which pass under names such as Satyug, the age of truth and sincerity, or Kalyug, the age of Kali or darkness. Another point about this is that in its formal scholastic sense, models generally carry internal operational units sometimes referred to as determinant or indeterminate variables. These are most often deployed as a means of organizing operational units where the determinants take precedence over the indeterminants. In other words, and purely metaphorically, this is where the big boys tell the little boys what to do. In any research we undertake, special interest and concern is attached to how our variables are placed and the author’s authority they embody. Sorry for the excursion, but it is only meant to draw attention to the popularity of the practice and the sense of common understanding it brings to our awareness of events and circumstances.

It also serves to bring out, in a strict and precise sense, what we mean when we say that the Cold War for us began in 1953 when the British landed in British Guiana with gunboats and rifle Tommies. This same Cold War also ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, Arthur Schlesinger publicly apologized to Jagan for the wrongs committed by the United States in Guyana, and President Jimmy Carter stood up for himself. returned in 1992 to inform Mr. Hoyte that the Cold War was over.


Rishee Thakur

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