Memes are a unit of cultural transmission replicator or imitation. It was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. The gang culture in Belize has become a meme-like going into politics to get rich. Being a gang member has become “en vogue,” whether male or female.
This adopting of the gang culture needs to be addressed. It is telling that red and blue are the colors used to identify the two primary gangs, similar to the UDP and PUP political gangs.
Secondly, unemployment is increasing rapidly. Tropic Air firing 200 workers and tourism grinding to a halt are emblematic. You cannot fire people without a social cost. These people still have to survive. Some will get help from friends and family, some will become entrepreneurs, but some will turn to the informal economy better known as crime. What will be done to help people who are unemployed?
The number one imperative of humans is to survive and reproduce. If that becomes difficult, people will cheat. It is like monopoly — when people start to lose, some cheat. In extreme cases, they turn over the game like what happened in 1981 in Belize. History does not repeat, but rhymes, according to Mark Twain.
From 1981, Belize politicians have been exploiting the people from the lower socioeconomic level. They use them to gain political power, but give them crumbs after taking office. If Belize is to become a strong nation, it must better the life of the people at the bottom of the social hierarchy; a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
There is something radically wrong with Belize’s political and economic systems. Belize is an upper middle income country with 42 % of its population living on less than $10 a day.
The meme of this time is from Mutabaruka’s “by the ballot or the bullet, the Bible or the gun; a change must come.”
Brian Ellis Plummer