Viewpoint: Graduate Enlistment Into The Ghana Police Service

Through The Lenses of Karl Marx: A Theoretical Perspective.


“If you tremble with
Indignation at every
Injustice then you
are a comrade of
Ernesto Che Guevera

The Ghana Police Service(GPS) hinted last week through its Public Affairs Directorate the decision to recruit degree holders and some professionals to fill vacancies within the organization and indeed went ahead to publish an advertisement in the dailies to that effect. This action has generated controversy with the junior ranks accusing the high command of abusing the law.

But then, every social occurrence is situated in a social theory and I will seek to explain the theory in which the decision of the GPS is grounded.

Karl Marx(1818-1883) was a renowned philosopher and a polemical writer with the ambition to lay bare the forces that drive society from one stage to the other. He argued that economic questions were primary, and he shared his anger at the exploitation and oppression of the commons (proletariat) by the elites (bourgeoisie).

That throughout human history, revolution has been a sure way of changing the status quo. He coined the term “dialectical materialism” to explain the evolution from one stage to another. That at any given stage or status quo (called thesis) when the conditions became intolerable (exploitation and oppression become prevalent), the human tendency was to search out the opposite mode in organizing social affairs. He called the idea of challenging the status quo the antithesis. That an eventual compromise between the thesis and antithesis leads to the creation of a new social order (new thesis).

Furthermore, using Marx’s theory to explain the action of the Police high command shows the tendency of exploitation and oppression of the junior ranks. I will buttress this point by resorting to the C.I. 76 to argue that the decision of GPS is illegitimate, it is an abuse of law, abuse of due process and it constitutes arbitrariness. The oppressed ranks must point to this injustice to get the status quo reversed.

The Police Service Regulation, popularly referred to as the C.I. 76, Regulation 32 is clear on how the service can embarked on recruitment to fill a vacant post. Sub regulation (1)(a) states that a vacant post in the service may be filled by promotion, that is by appointing an officer of a lower rank or grade to the vacant grade or rank with an immediate increase in salary. This where the junior ranks with the requisite qualification ought to be promoted to fill the whatever vacancy that exists. Also, sub regulation (1)(b) was explicit and states that a vacant position can be filled by transfer of an officer from a different place within the service to fill that vacancy(paraphrased). The Police administration without exhausting the above sub regulations of the law has jumped to implement sub regulation (1)(c), which talks about recruitment of a person or persons who are not previously members of the service to the vacant post.

It had empirically been established that actions such as this are shown in many reports as contributing to high levels of stressful conditions of work and lack of job satisfaction especially among the subordinate ranks. “…even though there are so many reports on the problems associated with stressful conditions and improve the job satisfaction among personnel, not much has been considered to address the issues raised in the reports”( Aning, 2006).

Over the years these junior ranks have dedicated their lives to ensure law and order within the state and also by guarding some of our senior members and their families even at the peril of their lives and when the time comes for some lawful reward like this, they are denied.

Besides, what is happening is it as a result of class conflict as posited by Marx? Or should we agree with Marx again that it will be a waste of time trying to appeal to the conscience of the elites of the service?.If the latter question is right then I will conclude that fear should not be the Opium of the junior ranks.

Felix Dzasinsky

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