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Letter: Dictatorship cloaked in democracy
Published on April 16, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

Many of you will remember that I told you that, if the ULP were re-elected in 2010, the European company with whom I was talking, advising on building an assembly plant in SVG at Georgetown, would not come. That I would advise them not to come, and I advised them not to come when the ULP was returned to government in 2010.

The plant meant to employ about 2,000 persons, assembling pre-manufactured parts into farm implements. Would have also required housing and accommodation for expatriate management, gardeners, and maids; in fact, would have put money in the tills and cash registers of businesses all over St Vincent and the Grenadines. Certainly would have fully revived Georgetown the country’s poorest area.

With the government’s communist connections to ALBA, Cuba, Venezuela, with their connections to crap states like Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, at the time I just could not honestly advise my client that SVG was a safe or the right place to invest many millions of Euros.

Well, this last week I had a meeting with the CEO of the company who had taken my advice, he shook my hand and thanked me for my advice. He said he had since followed every twist and every turn in the newspapers and on the internet of this government and its leadership, and had come to the conclusion that my advice was first-class and that he had done the correct thing in dropping the idea of building an assembly plant in SVG.

He told me that he had formed the view that SVG was being ruled under a dictatorship cloaked as a democracy, but was really an autocracy. Where one man made all the decisions, one man ruled all the ministries, nothing done was a collective decision by a democratic body. Whilst it was designed to appear so, it really was one man and only one man. One man talking for every ministry and every organisation from agriculture to aviation, from bread to breading, from culture to cancer, everything and every decision was his. No one else could have an opinion.

During our chat, as usual I made notes and some of the words used by this very successful entrepreneur and industrialist. Which I analysed afterwards and used my thesaurus to highlight some of the most prominent words he used.

dictatorship [despotism, autocracy, totalitarianism, authoritarianism,
                    tyranny, repression, absolute rule, one party rule]
n noun
1 government by a dictator.
2 a country governed by a dictator.

dictatorial [tyrannical, autocratic, despotic, authoritarian, overbearing, 
                 dogmatic, domineering, arrogant, bossy]
n adjective of or typical of a dictator. Øhaving or showing an autocratic manner.

dictator [ruler tyrant despot autocrat]
n noun
a ruler with total power over a country. Øan autocratic person.

autocrat [absolute-ruler despot]
n noun
1 a ruler who has absolute power.
2 a domineering person.

autocracy [dictatorship monocracy despotism tyranny]
n noun (plural autocracies) a system of government by one person with absolute power. Øa country, state, or society governed in this way.

domineer [oppress dictate bully intimidate terrorise torment browbeat 
n verb [usually as adjective domineering] behave in an arrogant and
overbearing way]

A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, omnipotence, and by inflated self- esteem.
Ref: I. B. Weiner/W. E. Craighead, The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology: Vol III (2010) p. 977

I also decided to look at Wikipedia, and again made some notes.

According to Wikipedia, a dictator is a ruler who does not rule through democratic means. When other states call the head of state of a particular state a dictator, that state is called a dictatorship. The word originated as the title of a magistrate in ancient Rome appointed by the Senate to rule the republic in times of emergency.

Like the term "tyrant" (which was originally a respectable Ancient Greek title), and to a lesser degree "autocrat", "dictator" came to be used almost exclusively as a non-titular term for oppressive, even abusive rule, yet had rare modern titular use.

In modern usage, the term "dictator" is generally used to describe a leader who holds and/or abuses an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly. Dictatorships are often characterised by some of the following traits: suspension of elections and of civil liberties; proclamation of a state of emergency: rule by decree: repression of political opponents without abiding by rule of law procedures; these include single-party state, and cult of personality.

I am sure that the full description of dictator cannot be applied to our leadership, but there are many that point to a hidden concealed and veiled dictatorship. Cult of personality sprang to mind among a few other traits. So again I went to Wikipedia and had a look there.

Wikipedia says, a cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and at times, worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of Authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as "charismic authority". A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda usually by the state, especially in totalitarian states.

Personality cults were first described in relation to totalitarian regimes that sought to alter or transform society according to radical ideas. Often, a single leader became associated with this revolutionary transformation, and came to be treated as a benevolent "guide" for the nation without whom the transformation to a better future couldn't occur. This has been generally the justification for personality cults that arose in totalitarian societies of the 20th century, such as those of Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin.

Not all personality cults are practised in dictatorships, some exist in a few nominally democratic countries.

Wikipedia led me to consider other things such as "charismic authority", but I finish here because I could go on and on and on.

Let’s just say that for the good of trade and industry in St Vincent and the Grenadines, we need to rid ourselves of this leadership and get things on the move, get people investing, get people working and being able to feed their families again.

My original investors I believe are lost forever, but there are more, I can find them and help, but not under the current regime. I cannot honestly advise clients to invest SVG at this moment in time. What has happened in Venezuela has been a big frightener and put off for all right minded investors, and warned them to give these Marxist type states a wide berth.

It’s time for a change.

Peter Binose
Reads: 3694

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