Tuesday, August 4th, 2015. By Charles Leslie Jr.: Post Independent Belize: The Belize political system, which has been ruled via bipartisanship of the People’s United Party (PUP – current opposition) and the United Democratic party (UDP – current party in power), have been successful in obscuring the vast wealth of Belize and also successfully conditioning you, the Belizean people, to acutely under-estimate your individual and collective value and the value of the wealth of your nation of Belize, and thus creating an innate Value System Disorder.
Peter Joseph, the creator of the famous 3-part Zeitgeist documentary series, explains Value System Disorder as – “like cancer is, in part, an immune system disorder, sociological traditions which persist with ever-increasing problem generation for society, could be called a value system disorder. This disorder has to do with a kind of structured psychology where certain assumptions have been given credence over time based merely on their cultural persistence, coupled with an inherent reinforcement of itself in operation. The larger the social context of the disorder, often the more difficult its resolution, not to mention the difficulty of its mere recognition itself.”
“On the scale of a social system, it becomes very difficult as the society as a whole is constantly being conditioned into the dynamics of its own framework, often creating powerful self-preservation reactions whenever its integrity is challenged. These, what could be called “closed intellectual feedback mechanisms”, are what comprise the vast majority of arguments in defense of our current socioeconomic system, just as they have in generations prior. In fact, it appears to be a general sociological trend since, again, people’s very identity is invariably associated with the dominant belief systems and institutions they are born into.”
This Value System Disorder has played a significant role in the erosion of the family unit in Belize, and thus affecting the most vulnerable and valuable resource we have – our young people. Due to the perpetual cycle of political victimization, corruption, cronyism, greed and lack of equitable distribution of our resources, we have lost a significant percentage of the most intelligent Belizeans whom have gone to other countries, such as the United States and have used their intellectual resources to build up those countries; and this system has also suppressed many Belizeans whom have stayed behind however do not support the established doctrine. How have this affected our young people? Due to the flight and suppression of intellect; this has created a socioeconomic externality which have created negative effects such as an increase in single parents, which the majority are single mothers, and young people whom are incapable of fulfilling their true potential (social justice). This have severely affected our young people’s happiness and ‘life satisfaction.’
With the importation of American capitalism and consumerism, which whetted the material appetite of the vast majority of Belizeans, coupled with banks being given free rein to regulate themselves, thus indulging in predatory lending and usury, many Belizeans began to accumulate material possessions and became debt slaves. These were significant contributing factors for further strain on the family unit. Single mothers had to find jobs to take care of their children, who demanded more and more “cool clothes” and other material possessions to “Keep up with the Joneses”. Grandparents and guardians became proxy parents, thus the care and attention needed by the children was significantly depreciated. Television and deportees became influential in penetrating the malleable mind of the young people, and gangs rapidly spread in Belize City, copy-catting the American crips and bloods. The gangs quickly realized that crime and violence pays, and getting in the drug business was even more lucrative, thus the advent of street brawls, knife fights, walk-bys, ride-bys, drive-bys, and now fully advanced organized crime.
While the Belizean people have been systematically divided via politics and class warfare, the few Belizean families that have been a part of creating the system of division, have become superlatively rich, via mechanisms such as, but not limited to, controlling the political system thus the government and gifting themselves massive amounts of valuable land and paid, if at all, paltry amounts; then inviting tourism investment and profited handsomely by selling these lands at real-market value. Now, ask yourself, why is it that Belize has a large amount of land compared to the size of the population, yet majority of the young people are not land owners, and only a few people own more land than the 99%?
In our current social order, thought has become indistinguishable from propaganda – Just listen to certain morning shows controlled by the incumbent political system. Only one doctrine is speakable, and the caste of its experts prescribes the necessities and obligations to all…Social consciousness is incarcerated within the role of a kind of ceremonial logic, operating entirely within the received framework of an exhaustively prescribed regulatory apparatus protecting the privileges of the privileged. Methodical censorship triumphs in the guise of scholarly rigor, and the only room left for searching thought becomes the game of competing rationalizations.
Such reactions – the self-preservation of the current system – are also common with respect to people who speak against the current system and point out workable and doable alternatives, such as the third parties have been doing, however they have been shunned, rejected and ridiculed. Phillip Goldson, whom was instrumental in pointing out that the PUP and UDP wanted to sell out our nation to Guatemala, informed the nation back then that “A third party is needed because the two major parties are corrupt.” Was he not right? Are we not witnessing the fruitions of the PUDPs doctrine over the past 33 years, with the most important, the potential of losing half of our country to Guatemala? Are we going to wait another 30 years to figure out that Phillip Goldson and the third parties are right? Unfortunately, we do not have that luxury of time anymore. This reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms, has only contributed to the socioeconomic decay we now see, which have spread to all corners of Belize.
Once a given set of ideas is entrusted by a large enough number of people, it becomes an “institution”- and once that institution is made dominant in some way, such as existing for a certain period of time, that institution could then be considered an “establishment”. The “Institutional establishments” of the PUDP are simply social traditions given the illusion of permanence and the longer they persist, often the stronger the defense of their right to exist by the majority of culture.
If we examine the political institutional establishment of the PUDP, we must remind ourselves that it is not actually real in the physical sense. These are temporal structures we have created to serve our purposes given conditions at certain points in time and no matter how much we emotionally attach to such issues; no matter how large an institution may become; no matter how many people may believe in such institutions – they are still impositions of thought and transient by nature.
We now see the utter socioeconomic decay, which is a direct result of the political doctrine of the past 33 years. We experience misery, pain, suffering, sorrow and human destruction, now, on a daily basis. Can we see in any media or even university press, a paragraph of clear unmasking of the regime that condemns almost 50% of Belizeans, majority children, to poverty, to malnutrition, to abuse, unable to get proper medical attention, while we have more than enough land to grow food to feed the nation, yet we import garbage that is killing us because of greed and corruption; our children are being raped, murdered and abused in unbelievable forms and they cannot be protected; we die in pain and suffering because our health system is insufficient and most of us cannot afford to go elsewhere? Why are our basic health, security and education social structures in such dilapidated state even though we are 4 billion dollars in debt…?
The context here of the value system disorder, the institutional establishment of the PUDP, while arguably being deeply decoupled from physical reality and a root source of the vast majority of the social woes in Belize today, keeps itself in place through a set of culturallyreinforced values and power establishments upon which the society is ultimately conditioned and generally inclined to defend. This is made increasingly powerful in its persuasion since the dominant value system disorder at hand today is born out of assumptions relating to critical human survival itself – Christmas Cheer, Mother’s Day Cheer, bus ride to Corozal with free food and drinks, will literally increase the quality of life on a very short-term basis, for the recipient Belizeans, whom, on a normal daily basis are just surviving.
In conclusion, we can no longer ill-afford to perpetuate this Value System Disorder. It has caused too much division and damage, and it is reaching critical mass. It is time to put fear, apathy and self-preservation aside, step forward and be a part of the change that is needed to grow a new paradigm and leave this obsolete one behind. Whether you are a stalwart supporter of the UDP or PUP, or no P, whether you are a member of these political parties, from the lowest position to the highest echelons, and you really want to see better for all Belizeans; now is the time that our collective effort is needed more than ever to grow this new paradigm. We cannot continue to grow generations of Belizeans whom will live in misery and consider it normal; this paradigm in such a small country is not beneficial for any Belizean, no matter your social status – how long will your burglar bar hold? Viva Belize. Remember Philip Goldson.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Belize Media Group.
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