The posts confuse two men by the name of John Hanson, however, and Hanson's position had no broad executive powers (here). Steve Hanson: Dave's a killer! Johnny Upton: Dave's a mess. Reggie Dunlop: But Dave's out. Who's gonna take his place? Ned Braden: Is the answer Jesus. Addressing multiculturalism more broadly, Hanson said Australians had My daughter calls it a Johnny Farnham-style comeback,” Hanson said. EASY ODDS HORSE RACING BETTING SITES
So given her history, it's no surprise that Center's Rice Village home - where a jungle gym and swing set greet guests in the front yard, where children's artwork lines the stairwell- ended up with its own wall of words. The quotes and quips that the writer holds dear can be found in a downstairs half-bath off the kitchen, aka the "bathroom o' wisdom. All sorts of speakers - writers, characters, celebrities, ordinary people - are represented. From Dumbledore … It's our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
My religion is kindness. I'll put a quote on the wall and hope that the kids absorb it into their cellular structure. Her 8-year-old son came home from school one day and said the bathroom had a quote by someone with the same name as a boy in his class. The boy's name was Henry, and the quote comes from Henry David Thoreau's "Walden": Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
Her daughter, 10, came up with a quote of her own, and Center taped it up on the wall with the rest: Love is an anchor for joy. It was in a way a class conflict in the Armed Forces. It represented a constellation of feelings of anger, resentment, fear, moral outrage and also of hope on the part of the men of the ranks and junior officers who supported them. This feeling also coincided with the feelings of the lower petty-bourgeoisie, the workers and the students.
It was a class action on the part of lower classes to assert themselves [Hansen , p. These new elements included the establishment of the Defence Committees, the support of radical academics, and the recognition by the PNDC that the contradiction of Ghanaian society could not be solved within the context of the neo-colony. In my view, the analytical opportunities opened up by this acute observation require to be more fully exploited as a key to unraveling the complicated character of December 31 and the subsequent regime.
First, the relationship of these contradictions to each other and its implication for the form and nature of political struggles remained to be specified. One should stress in particular, the precarious articulation between the concurrent military and social revolutions. Secondly, there was a certain arbitrariness in defining the terrain of struggle exclusively in terms of class, a procedure which both exaggerates and undertakes.
It exaggerates the extent to which groups involved in the struggle were involved consciously in political and ideological class struggle, most failing to transcend purely corporate interests. Secondly, it undertakes the significance of other, non-class forms of contradiction in staging the course of struggles in both military and society ethnic, regional and gender  contradictions, neglected by Hansen, had some saliency here.
If anything, what probably required to be emphasized was the fragmented and multi-class opposition to the old regime — the fact that there was no significant social or military sector left in support of that regime — as well as highly uneven policisation of the population the peasantry, in spite of its well-known grievances, was not touched at all and the failure of a revolutionary organization to emerge, in spite of the existence of several proto-revolutionary movements.
First, the fact that it was possible for the ensuing regime, the PNDC, to root its base in a variety of social forces, even though it chose initially — without compromising the autonomy of its military base — to ally itself with the left and popular forces. Thirdly, was the fundamental ambiguity that characterized the terms of struggle before and after 31st December .
It was by no means apparent that either the PNDC or Rawlings himself were wedded exclusively or even primarily to a class perception of the struggle, as were the various strands of the Ghanaian left. Defining the centre of gravity of this multi-faceted struggle, and the alliances appropriate to it, was thus to become the main issue of contention between the PNDC, the left and the defence committees from to In the notes that accompanying this manuscript, however, Hansen made a principled decision to avoid any reference to his personal experiences in government.
However, regrettable one may consider this decision to be, this is a silence which we must respect. Fortunately other accounts exist to give some indication of his thinking [see in particular Hansen ]. In his analysis of the PNDC elsewhere, Hansen asks why the revolution and he process of giving rise to a new state in Ghana were aborted so early [ibid, p. He blames, to various degrees, the PNDC itself, the left organizations, and the defence committees. What is missing, intriguingly, from the otherwise illuminating account is an explanation of the defeat or disappearance the military mass movement — indeed an analysis of this movement of ranks and non-commissioned and junior officers — whose actions had opened up the initial breach in the state and placed on the agenda, the possibility of a genuinely revolutionary transformation.
Some significance should be attached to the fact that the PNDC has not degenerated into the usual petty-bourgeois orgy of corruption, that Marxists and other patriots remain within the regime, and that — in spite of a certain bureaucratization of work-habits and even the persistence of instances of arbitrariness and repression — norms of operational rigour and integrity have been established which are unusual by Ghanaian and African standards.
And like the rest of us, his conditions were both excessively optimistic and pessimistic, much as the methodology itself was at once complicated and simplifying. The publication of this manuscript has enabled Emmanuel Hansen to rethink some of his earlier positions and reaffirm others.
Eboe Hutchful October, At the most obvious level, one may cite the anti-military feelings of the Ghanaian elite as a whole and the fact that it is precisely among such strata that political support for military regimes tends to deteriorate most rapidly where questions of legitimacy are most likely to be raised. First, the possibility of liberal democracy and its roles in development, and second, the role of the military in social development.
The Ethiopian revolution brought these issues to the fore where they were debated with heat and violence. The coup of Jerry Rawlings has brought the issue to the forefront of politics in Ghana. Here too the debate has been conducted with severe degree of violence.
A quarter of a century ago when most African countries gained their independence from colonial rule, social science writing hardly paid any attention to the military. If social scientists did not pay much attention to the military, it was a reflection of the state of affairs at the time. The armies were small detachments, lightly armed and equipped with only rudimentary weapons of warfare.
They seemed more suited to the containment of internal disorder than for fighting external wars. They appeared insignificant politically. Besides, there was the confidence that the constitutions which have been created by the departing colonialists would stand the test of time.
After all, it was the mark of civilization and development. In fact, what became known as the national armies were in origin, like everything else in the colony, external extensions of the metropolitan armies stationed in the colony. The role which the colonial rule assigned to them was in helping to maintain internal order of the colonial state. This reflected its training, composition, structure of command and weaponry. Not only did social scientists regard the emerging African armies as politically insignificant, they did not envisage any political role outside what colonial rule had worked out.
Thus, writers such as W. Gutteridge and P. Lloyd have remarked on the political insignificance of the Africa military. Even very perceptive observers of the African scene like Thomas Hodgkin, Ruth Schatcher Morgenthau, Martin Kilson, and James Coleman hardly paid any attention to the military in the early years of African independence. What attracted attention were political parties, political institutions, political ideologies, elites etc.
Both political commentators and political practitioners were confident that Africa would traverse not exactly but broadly along the contours of West European political development in its quest for modernization and development. It was left to Frantz Fanon who, with his uncanny foresight, wrote as far back as Care should be taken to avoid turning the army into an autonomous body which sooner or later, finding itself idle and without any definite mission, will go into politics and threaten the government.
Drawing room generals, by dint of haunting the corridors of government department, come to dream of manifestoes. The only way to avoid this menace is to educate the army politically, in other words nationalize it. In the same way another urgent task is to increase the militia. In the case of war it is the whole nation that fights and works.
It should not include any professional soldiers, and the number of permanent officers should be reduced to a minimum. This is the first place because the officers are very often chosen from university class, who could be much more useful elsewhere; an engineer is a thousand times more indispensable to his country than an officer; and secondly, because the crystallization of the caste spirit should be avoided.
Wretched of the Earth, p. Hardly had he ink dried on his pen and the menace which Fanon had feared began to occur. First, it began to appear in the French-speaking states of West Africa; then in others and now it has engulfed practically the whole continent. Direct military involvement in the political process has become so widespread that one is tempted to regard it as part and parcel of the social and political landscape of the post-colonial process. Indeed, now commentators and political observers show more interest in why military rule has not occurred than why it has occurred in a particular country.
The unusual is rapidly becoming usual. Military intervention has occurred in states of varying ideological, political and administrative experience and history. Thus, we have had military coups in countries like Benin noted for chronic instability and inability of civilian authorities to maintain a stable system. We have had coups in countries previously regarded as models of political stability.
This was the case with Ethiopia and Liberia whose autocratic regimes were knocked down by the military take-overs in large states like Nigeria and the Sudan where it is thought that the sheer size of the countries in question will present formidable problems of logistics and co-ordination, critical for success of any coup. There have been coups in monarchical regimes noted for religious fundamentalism and autocracy, such as pre-Nasserite Egypt and Libya under King Idris s well as in secular regimes.
There have been coups against leftist regimes as well as against rightist regimes. Thus, in , the Nigerian military or, better still, a faction of it see Robin Luckham overthrew the rightist regime of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Less than two months later, the Ghanaian military overthrew the leftist regime of Kwame Nkrumah. Six years later the same military was to overthrow the rightist regime of Dr Busia and his Progress Party.
There have been military coups in French-speaking as well as English-speaking or Portuguese-speaking states. There have been military coups against military regimes. There have been military coups against regimes where the military was part of the liberation movement. It would seem that military intervention in Africa defies any systematic pattern of categorization. Others have been less pretentious, while some have been described as house cleaning operations.
Even in states where the military does not directly control the apparatus of the state, there have been attempts or threats at such a possibility. Two things are clear from what we have been saying so far. One is the widespread nature of military intervention on the continent and the second is the varied nature of such intervention, along with the saliency of the military as a factor in the political process of African societies.
At the present moment almost half of the member-states of the Organization of African Unity OAU are ruled by military juntas of one sort or another. Many have experienced their second, third or even fourth military intervention. Political Science and the African Military Crisis in Economy, State and Society Coup occurred against the background of severe economic and political crisis in the country. Political parties were unable to articulate the interests of the broad masses of the people, nor act as channels of communication between the mass of the people and their rulers; neither were they able to socialize individuals into acceptance of the basic political legitimacy of the regime, either in terms of the normative attachment to basic political institutions and processes or rules of political practice or the satisfaction of the basic material needs of the mass of he people.
Parliament was not perceived as an important forum of political debate or decision-making affecting the lives of the mass of the people. To the contrary, it showed itself as a scene of unedifying and meaningless political squabbles which seemed to bear little relation, if any, to the problems of the country.
The judiciary was totally discredited; it was widely believed, wrongly or rightly, that judicial decisions were not based on merits of cases presented and tried in the courts but in secret societies to which an overwhelming number of the political establishment belonged. It was widely believed that the forces of law and order were in collusion with the criminals or helpless to deal with the deteriorating situation.
Attempts by the government to remedy the situation by recourse to the deployment of extra-legal vigilantes only provoked a strong middle class backlash. In June there were repeated clashes between two ethnic groups in the North, the Konkomba and the Nanumba in the Bimbilla district.
Estimates put the figure of the dead to over a thousand ass forces of law and order appeared helpless to deal with the situation. This brought widespread dismay. The government appeared ineffectual. To many people it was not governing. But in all this it was at the economic level that the effect of the crisis was most acutely felt.
By gold production had fallen from , fine ounces in to , ; diamond from the peak of 3 million carats in the s to under one million forecast for The figures for other industrial products showed similar decline. Inflation was in three digits and the cost of living showed that Accra and other urban areas were rapidly becoming some of the most expensive places to live in the whole world.
The whole country showed evidence of social neglect; public health, education, transportation and a network of roads which had been the pride of Ghana in the s now looked like shadows of their former selves. In the urban areas the streets showed potholes as big as bomb craters. The crisis of accumulation which characterized the regime affected its ability to provide the material base for the reproduction of the class which controlled the state.
Hence it was forced to act in a virtual predatory fashion in the use of the state for private accumulation. To the mass of the people the government appeared to be, not only unable but even more importantly, unwilling to do anything about the situation. The poor performance of the government tended to undermine its constitutional legitimacy.
In Ghana, as in many developing countries, the legitimacy of the political order is not a settled issue. Important as constitutional legitimacy is, it is not enough to sustain a government; it needs a material base to breathe life and meaning into it and it was in this that many people saw that the regime had failed.
Any government, constitutional or otherwise which appeared to give sufficient reason that it could undertake these functions effectively would secure support and legitimacy. Hence when Rawlings came to announce that what happened was something which would transform the social and economic order and consequently their lives, people were prepared to listen, and, more importantly, to give it their support. For the mass of the people in the urban areas, Rawlings had come to arouse some kind of messianic expectation which had been void in Ghana since the departure of Nkrumah in Character of the Coup.
In order to understand the nature of the unfolding of the transformation process, it is important to grasp the character of the intervention itself. It has been asserted that the elements which effected the coup came from outside the Armed Forces.
The elements which effected the coup came from a number of diverse quarters. Four such groups could be identified. The first was a group of soldiers who were closely associated with Rawlings during the time of the AFRC who, for one reason or the other, were either dismissed or retired from the armed forces with the coming of civilian rule. The support of this group was critical to the success of the coup. The support of this group was critical not only for the purpose of effecting the coup but also for the way in which the coup was perceived, thus determining the response to it.
The very visible positions of many northerners in the leadership of the immediate post-coup regime, particularly of Chris Atim and Sgt. Alolga Akata-Pore, did have a sobering and mollifying effect on northern elements in the armed forces and civil society in general. The third group insisted mostly of civilian activists of the June Fourth Movement and very close friends and associates of Rawlings, each with strong ties to critical social groups and interests which could be summoned in time of need to support the coup and thus provide the civilian backing for it.
Kojo Tsikata, P. Obeng and B. There are some who insist on the existence of a fourth group of mostly Ewes who were to assume a predominant position in critical areas of public life, both military and civilian, in the later course of events. Two things can be noted from this. First, the diverse elements who effected the coup, some from motives of personal loyalty to Rawlings, some from a sense of grievance and some from a vision of a better future, each group had its own exclusive conception of what to get from it and what society should look like after the coup.
This was to become one source of strength. The close relationship between the coup leaders and the leaders of critical social groups meant that Rawlings was provided with a network of key contacts with organizational links to critical social groups which could be relied upon to provide a civilian base for a future government in the event of the coup being successful, and this was precisely what happened. In this way the coup of was different from other coups in the country; it had the material base to transform itself into something more fundamental, and this was the initial expectation of the Left and the progressive groups which supported it.
But this strength in a way was also its weakness for the diverse elements which effected the coup plus the diverse elements in the leadership position although at the initial stages the progressives commanded a hegemonic position made it difficult for a coherent policy to emerge. Each group brought to the process a different ideological thrust, and in the initial period there was intense struggle for hegemony not only between the Left and the Right elements but also among different fractions of the Left.
The specific way in which the process developed depended on how this struggle was resolved and which group assumed control over the state. It is to this that we shall now turn our attention. CHAPTER 2 The Leftist Junta and the Ghanaian Revolution Military intervention can be justified only if it opens the way to a genuine revolution that brings real benefits to the people giving a new sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.
General Acheampong Character of the Coup It was in such situations of the severe expressions of the basic problematic of the post-colonial state that the coup occurred. The coup attracted considerable attention both in Ghana and outside, not the least of which is the insistence by Rawlings that it had heralded the coming of a revolution in Ghana. In order to analyse these features of politics in Ghana, it is important to understand the character of the coup itself.
In order to understand the nature of the unfolding of the political process and the structure of politics contingent on the coup, it is important to grasp the character of the intervention itself, particularly its social base relate to the story of coups; the position of Peter Calvert see political studies before ; revolutions are dangerous things to go near to; this same could be said of coups; coup stories are notoriously unreliable for the understanding of the true nature of the coups; there is always an attempt to rewrite the history in the period of consolidation, to re-emphasize the roles and de-emphasize the roles of certain particular individuals; to conceal certain facts or information.
Coup itself by its very nature is a secret activity; its success depends on its ability on its ability to keep secrecy and an element of surprise and this is one of the real problems of turning a coup into a revolution even if you were to accept the claim of the coup makers in that direction.
Revolution demands open politics; coup demands close politics; over a period of time the coup makers come to believe and trust the process of coup-making and confuse it with revolution making. Second, they tend to distrust those who advocate open politics; a coup is a conspiratorial activity; a revolution on the contrary is a public activity and this in itself is one of the main reasons for the problematic of the failed military revolutions read the essay in New African where Afari Djan gives an interview showing the chaos of the coup.
But once the coup is successful, the process of rewriting of the history begins. One needs to bear this in mind in the account which follows. This is not to reconstruct the history of the coup, but to indicate its social base or rather its varied social bases, and to account for the problematic which it faced right in the very beginning. However, if the coup itself showed a very varied social base, it managed to arouse solid support from a constellation of class forces which is generally regarded as radical in Ghanaian politics and it is not for nothing that imperialism was initially very hostile to it.
It has been asserted with some confidence that the elements which effected the coup came from outside he armed forces. The stories of coup origins are notoriously unreliable. There are several reasons for this. Coup operation is always a very secret operation, and even when successful the coup leaders, do not let others into the whole gamut of their secrets.
Second, there is a tendency once a coup is successful to rewrite the history of the coup, and in this process certain contributions from certain specific groups and individuals are either suppressed or exaggerated in line with their current standing. Third, as Peter Calvert argues see Political Studies , revolutions destroy pre-revolutionary sources and endanger the lives of people who venture too closely. It is even more so with coups. One should read the following account with this in mind.
The point of this section is neither to find out the causes of the coup which I regard as a futile quest nor to reconstruct the stories of the coup; we can never know the true causes of a coup. We can only designate the social conditions which predispose to coups. The attempt here is to underline the social base of the coup. The elements which effected the coup came from a number of diverse social backgrounds and ideological viewpoints and four such groups could be identified as earlier noted.
He first was a group of soldiers who as we observed, were closely associated with Rawlings during the time of the AFRC who for one reason or the other were either dismissed or retired from the Armed Forces with the coming of civilian rule in September Some were imprisoned and some claimed to have been tortured for what they saw as their part in the unsettling events of the AFRC period. They were mostly men of the ranks but senior officials who closely collaborated with the Rawlings regime also came in for some rough treatment.
After the hand over in order to restore discipline there were some prosecutions. This aside, there could be more subjective grounds for their support for the coup, namely personal security and safety as well as the sense of power which they felt they had lost consequent on the coming back into power of the civilians who were very concerned to put the military in its rightful place.
For such group of people therefore their motives for supporting the coup were a mixture of personal loyalty and support for a patron in what appeared to clearly like a patron-client relationship and search for personal security in context of what they regarded as anti-elitist egalitarian politics of the AFRC period — their class position within the military dictated their support for this position.
They were mostly people of northern extraction. It is more difficult to fathom the motives of this group. For this group, therefore, ideological motives were perhaps the highest and it is not surprising that the highest display of idealism was found among members of this group. It also became the first to be disenchanted with the revolution, and one of the main centres of conflict with the regime later. They were crucial to the success of the coup but also for the way in which the coup was perceived, thus determining the response to it.
It is important to stress this in order to correct the one-sided view of the social science literature which tends to downgrade the subjective elements in coup-making, as well as responses to it. One should also not fall into the error of Decalo and Gutteridge of attributing motives to personal opportunism and personal factors only.
As for the third group, it consisted mostly of civilian activists of the June Fourth Movement and very close friends and associates of Rawlings, it has to be stressed that it was not the political group which was recruited into the conspiracy but individuals.
These individuals were recruited for their closeness and their loyalty to Jerry Rawlings and their closeness to political groups which could be tapped later. Asamoah as earlier pointed out. Kojo Tsikata has always been associated with the fringes of the intelligence.
He is reported to have performed heroic roles in the Congo in the s but then Nkrumah became disenchanted with him for reasons which have not been clear. He had always also been on the fringes of left politics, but more in the shadows. He was appointed director of military intelligence only to be removed without explanation in less than 24 hours. He was during the AFRC period and served as some kind of unofficial adviser to Jerry Rawlings, only to suffer severe persecution under the Limann regime.
He tried unsuccessfully to use the courts to restrain the military intelligence from harassment. One is not arguing here that his actions were prompted by bitterness but one is only saying that they could be interpreted as a mixture of ideological leaning and self regarding.
It was clear that, like Rawlings, he saw his personal safety in the removal of the Limann regime. To say this is to underline the fact that to act in this way he was only being natural and human. Obeng had also been on the fringes of the left wing student politics during his student days at the University of Science and Technology. On graduating he took up a successful career as an engineer with a highly successful private Ghanaian fishing company, Mankoadze Fisheries at Tema.
Asamoah had been dismissed from the civil service for reasons which are not entirely clear. For all these persons there were reasons of personal grievance as well as association with Jerry Rawlings which might have impelled them into supporting the coup. Those who insist on the existence of a fourth group of mostly Ewes often mention names like Arnold Quainoo, Kofi Awoonor, Brigadier Katta etc.
I have no direct evidence of this but two of them have been connected in the past with coup attempts involving Kojo Tsikata. Each group brought to the process a different ideological thrust and a different definition of politics. There developed in the initial period intense struggle for hegemony, not only between the Left.
Notwithstanding these, one could say that the coup also brought a solid constellation of class forces on the Left, those who brought a solid constellation of class forces on the Left, those have been consistently left in power configurations in successive regimes in the country since the time of independence. It is the significance of the coup and the unfolding of the process that we shall now turn our attention to.
We shall now look at the significance of the coup and how the process developed. The Coup and its Significance. On 31 December , the following broadcast was made over radio and television: Fellow citizens of Ghana, as you would have noticed we are not playing the National Anthem.
In other words this is not a coup. I ask of nothing less than a revolution, something that would transform the social and economic order of this country. The military is not to take over. We simply want to be part of the decision-making process in this country. Fellow citizens, it is now left to you to decide how this country is going to go from today. I am not here to impose myself on this country, far from it. We are asking for nothing more than to organize this country in such a way that nothing will be done from the Council, whether by God or Devil, without the consent and the authority of the people.
There is no justice in this society and so long as there is no justice, I would dare say let there be no peace. Since every change of government effected by extra-unconstitutional means had been called revolution. Changes of government of this sort have been justified on two main grounds, either the restoration of an old order or the creation of a new one, although it is more to the point to argue that, more often than not, the preferred change had involved both the need to restore an old order and the imperative of creating a new one, or sometimes reinforce certain features of the old order which are advantageous to the coup makers.
The restoration of an old order as well as the creation of a new one has been called revolution and when Ghanaian political leaders talk of revolution it is important to go beneath this terminology to find out exactly what changes are proposed what changes are proposed. It could also be that there is a recognition on the part of the leadership that the kinds of changes conjured up by the revolution have a great deal of support and hence he need to hitch on that support by dubbing every extra-legal change of government a revolution.
The concept has been applied to the restoration of an old order, as well as to a radical change in socio-economic position with all the consequences it entails. It would seem though that almost every coup though that almost every coup seemed to have an element of both. Thus, when in the military took power from the government of Kwame Nkrumah and embarked on what was clearly a restoration of the old order, it described its action as a revolution.
It claimed to be preparing the ground for the restoration of democracy, the later seen in terms of an electoral competition between two or more parties in periodic election and the restoration of the economy. By which they meant the restoration of capitalism for the recruitment of the political elites in whom the task of running the affairs of the state would be entrusted for a period of four years till the next round of electoral contests.
In when the military overthrew the government of Dr Busia, the action was justified in the name of revolution, meaning creation of a new social order. Here, revolution was seen not as restoration of liberal democracy which it felt had failed under Dr. Busia to respond to the economic needs of the mass of the people and to restore democracy national unity and dignity but also create a new political and economic order which it was thought will meet such needs.
When in the military overthrew General Acheampong and his Supreme Military Council SMC , it was justified in the name of revolution of the old order of collegial rule, economic management and political probity. When in Rawlings overthrew the interim military government of General Akuffo, the action was justified in the name of moral revolution, a restoration of values of honesty, accountability, political integrity and probity which had held the state and society together in the period preceding the rule of the military in This second time round, Rawlings justified his intervention in the name of revolution.
In this particular instance, the capture of state power was seen as the beginning of a process which would lead to a fundamental change in structure of power, class relations, political institutions and processes, as well as the basic structure of the production process.
This means the capture of state power would initiate a process of change leading to the unfolding of a revolutionary transformation of Ghanaian society. Let us look at the specific character of this revolution and the principles by which it can be evaluated. In doing this we rely largely on the opening words of Jerry Rawlings soon after the coup. There are some who would be tempted to reject the statement as a piece of opportunistic declaration, having little or no significance to actual political behavior.
Going back to the quotation with which we started this section, five main ideas stand out. First, there was the stated need for revolution, defined in terms of the transformation of the social and economic order. What exactly this revolution was to entail has never been precisely articulated. There is, however, a consensus that it would involve the termination of the control of the local economy by foreign multinational companies, changes in the class structure of control of the state, creation of political forms which would make the interest of the broad mass of people predominant and realizable and a programme which would initiate a process of improving upon the material conditions of the mass of the people.
Those who broadly shared this position I would identify as belonging to the Left. I am conscious that in both groups it was possible to find some grey areas but putting it in such broad terms enables us to situate the argument within a framework which is more analytically meaningful. Within each group there were some disagreements as regards the specific policies to be pursued in order to realize the broad objectives. But between the two groups the differences were of a fundamental kind.
It is important to grasp this. Thus when Rawlings came out with the statement that what was needed was a social revolution necessary to transform socio-economic structure of Ghanaian society, in a statement which amounted to a political manifesto, he identified himself with the Left. Then in the early days of the AFRC, Rawlings had spoken of the oppressed in a way which brought him into instant empathy with the Left and radical groups generally.
When therefore he made this statement which amounted to a political manifesto for the Left and the progressive organizations generally, it signaled his renunciation of idealism and the embracing of a materialist perspective. This, in the eyes of leftists prepared the ground for a meaningful cooperation.
As events were to prove, their conclusions were rather premature. In Ghanaian conditions of the time, it was possible to argue that the mass of urban workers, the students, and he radical intelligentsia in varying degrees shared the Left platform, whereas the professionals, the middle classes, the officer corps of the military, the men of the liberal professions like law and medicine, the petty bourgeoisie located in the distributive sectors of the economy, in academia and in the upper layers of the state bureaucracy as well as the chiefly classes generally shared the Rightist outlook.
The peasantry, on the whole, usually onlookers in the political divide, unless they perceived their interests as directly threatened as in the case of the cocoa disputes of he fifties, inclined towards the position of the chiefly classes. So, when Rawlings made his announcement which put him firmly on the platform of the Left, the various organizations related according to their ideological predispositions.
The second important theme in the transformation process was its libertarian and anti-authoritarian nature and the central role it assigned to the mass of the people; nothing was to be imposed on the people from above, least of all from the junta, although it started with the capture of state power from above. It was to be a revolution from below and grassroots initiative was to provide the main dynamic.
The Armed Forces, conceptualized as a distinct group with corporate interests would only be part of the decision-making process, not the decision-making body. They were to employ the instruments of violence in a direct class manner to ensure that in the unfolding of the process, the interests of the mass of the people were not sacrificed and that the initiatives remained in the hands of the progressives. It is needless to say that this would only be possible if the Armed Forces shared the same class and ideological interests as the mass of the people.
This was one of the main problems because the armed forces shared both class and corporate interests. Stability was often maintained by using the corporate interests to overrule class interests and in the unstable conditions of the time class interest came to the fore but the issue was not clear-cut in any way.
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