Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Government by the party, for the party...

We live in an age where nuance suppression is an industry, which makes them all that more important.

Take Belize here. Up until 1862 it was effectively an independent territory under long range British protection, not a Crown colony.

This anomaly is poorly understood even in Belize itself today, where contemporary arguments for a republic feed off a narrative whereby the British monarchy was complicit with the condition of African slaves there (with fairly constant murmurings about reparations), yet by 1862 both the trade and institution itself had long been abolished.

An alternative, feel-good caricature would have the British monarchy as the first imperial power in history to have dispensed with slavery.

This means it would be hard to pin the blame for the presence of people of African descent around the Bay of Honduras on the Windsors, in particular because a very significant minority of this demographic — the Garifuna — were never in fact enslaved outside of Africa and turned up in the region originally as part of a mechanism for avoiding European rule.

Anyway, these nuances are no luxury right now, because it has become questionable whether republican government in the Americas can remain wholly commensurate with the preservation of the core values of democracy.

One can point to El Salvador, Mexico, the USA and lately Guatemala, where the lack of a properly independent arbiter (however symbolic) within the state, immune to corrupt, party political packing is posing a severe threat to the system of popular suffrage.

So, beware Belize. Change made largely for the sake of historical misconstructions can lead to all kinds of places one does not really want to go.

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