Working Towards the Unification of Guyana: Preface

 THIS PAPER is provocatively presented by its authors in the form of rough working notes which have only been cursorily checked for coherence and internal consistency and hardly at all for style. Where analysis is attempted the purpose is to hypothesize without excessive citation of empirical support; where suggestions are made, the aim is to encourage a fresh approach to concrete action starting from theory and principle rather than from dogma and recognizing the limits imposed by particular historical, social and cultural conditions. The intention is to follow-up in later issues of the magazine with a series of more disciplined studies of the problems raised in the working notes.

Thus, the paper can be regarded as the initial step in the execution of the group’s policy of encouraging open discussion since it publicly sets out a preliminary analysis and some tentative solutions, hoping to induce the community to follow through with more serious work.

Part I of the paper poses the problem of achieving working consensus in Guyana today and is followed by an attempt in Parts II, III and IV to put the problem in the perspective of certain broad developments in the Americas since the entry of Europe into the New World and in the context of the more complex political trends in Guyana itself since l 953/54. Out of this comes suggestions in Part V for a constitutional agreement designed to correct the existing power imbalance and to permit accession to Independence.

Next comes an attempt in Part VI to set out the elements of a social, economic and cultural programme to promote effective long-run integration of the society. This leads up to a consideration in Part VII of some of the possible steps towards bringing the Constitution into being and initiating the programme. Finally, in Part VIII, the ‘Prologue,’ an attempt is made to consider whether a coalition is the only solution to Guyana’s problems, in the light of current political trends.