Features — 21 June 2013 — by Janus

It’s a Humpty Dumpty world

In Lewis Carroll’s great classic, Alice in Wonderland, there was a conversation between Alice and Humpty Dumpty, which went like this :-

H.D: “When I say a thing it means exactly what I want it to mean.

Alice: The question is whether you can make a word mean what you want.

HD: The question is who is to be master, that is all.”

It seems that Lewis Carroll was a prophet as well as a philosopher, because that is exactly what is happening in the world today. Humpty Dumpty was right: what matters is who is the master. He who has the power, makes the rules.

History is written by the conquerors. It was a glorious victory, even if the victors were in full armor, on horseback, and armed with swords, made from the finest steel, while the vanquished were half-naked, on foot with wooden spears. When the battle is over, the victors dictate the peace terms and the vanquished, who are allowed to live, are happy to accept them.

In olden times, people were very foolish; they had to be convinced by force of arms who were the masters. Modern history is different. When Nazi Germany decided to annex Austria, Hitler sent his emissaries to convince the Austrian leaders that Anschluss was better than war, and they agreed.

Throughout the centuries, the social order of nations consisted of two divisions, the powerful and the powerless. The powerful was a ruling class with a Supreme Head from which all power emanated. Their commands were carried out by minions of the state and imposed on the powerless: servants and subjects. Technically, everyone was a subject except the Supreme Head: call him King, Consul, Czar, Emperor or Dictator.

Then, about three centuries ago, a superior form of social order was conceived. It is called Democracy – government of, for and by the people. What a wonderful idea. It must have been divinely inspired. The people would choose their rulers, for a fixed term of office. Naturally, they would choose those with the finest minds, the purest hearts, the highest integrity, selfless and committed to the service of the people.

One man, one vote to elect those to be given the people’s power and authority to govern. Nothing could be more egalitarian. The majority shareholder of Standard Oil and Lockheed and Bell to have the same one vote as the brick layer or shoeshine boy. Well, not exactly, because those rich individuals have the right to use their wealth to get the candidate of their choice elected through campaign financing. There is no limit to what they can spend. So says the United States Supreme Court. Is that fair? Yes, because other wealthy individuals have the right to choose other candidates to support financially. So that, the candidate who is elected may very well be the one who has the most financial support. Democracy is a very beautiful ideal but, in the end, it’s the same old story. He who has the power, makes the rules. He is the master.

The Old Masters

The world was ruled by countries, at a higher level of civilization in Europe, which conquered and colonized the peoples of America and Africa, exploited and Christianized them.

Over the years, the colonized countries developed and separated from their colonizers and became independent, but maintained links with their former masters to their mutual benefit.

The colonizers maintained their superiority in many areas, such as technology, industry, governance, etc. and, behaved like big brothers to their former colonies, who were striving to develop from their Third World country state. They did not interfere in these countries’ internal affairs. They respected their social mores, traditions and culture. They did not try to reform their penal system. They did not try to amend their laws and above all, they did not propose that they should amend their constitutions to suit any prevailing new moral order.

Now, there has been a change of policy. Now, they have assumed the role of masters once again.

The New Masters

I thought that the days when Belize had to heed the directions of foreign governments in matters which concern our national character were over. It appears that I am mistaken. It began with an attempt by two jurists of international renown to school us in modernist thinking in the case of Caleb Orosco vs the Attorney General. These learned gentlemen spoke for eleven hours altogether to convince the court that our law against sodomy was unconstitutional. It may not be an offence in England and America but, it is in Belize, and the constitution supports it, as every Belizean who can read and understand plain English has a right to believe.

Belize is still a nation which affirms the supremacy of God in its constitution, and our moral and spiritual principles are still rooted in our religious beliefs. For Belizeans, there are still only two sexes and genders. So. We cannot without amending our constitution subscribe to the United Nations’ new gender declarations. We are aware that the nations that have been our great friends and models, are convinced that the leadership roles they have adopted to persuade developing nations like Belize that we would be wise to follow their lead, is in those countries’ best interests. We also recognize that these countries are the New Masters of the world. They have already demonstrated that they are capable through their power to mold public opinion to change the very order of things. They have been able to make the unnatural, natural; the abnormal, normal; and the revolting, acceptable, in their countries and those which have been “persuaded.” Belize can be “persuaded” too, but there is a stumbling block. We have to change our constitution, that great legacy that our wise leaders bequeathed us.

Humpty Dumpty was right: The question is, who is to be master, that is all.


He who has the power makes the rules, if the rules are for servants or for subjects, but not if they are for independent countries which are democracies where governments are subject to the will of the governed. Not if, they are countries like Belize, with the kind of constitution that we have, because, for us, it is not a Humpty Dumpty world.

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