The Caribbean Is One Nation. Manley Revisited
“A conscious effort to fashion new attitudes towards the educational process, its purposes and possible benefits is a necessary and parallel exercise. This in turn implies the development of an attitude towards society itself, its needs and the relationship between the individual and the society. Hence, it is impossible to talk about economic transformation without accomplishing a transformation in attitudes. Political freedom without economic transformation is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, political freedom demands educational transformation aimed at both technical adaptation and new attitudinal patterns”.
Michael Manley, the Politics of Change.
In a region now almost totally devoid of serious public discourse, the words of the late prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. Michael Manley are instructive to those who, against unrelenting odds, press on for the wakening of a new Caribbean Nation.
With great honor The Mahogany Coconut Group unashamedly aligns itself with those, who avoid the wishy washy meandering of the various and disparate reactionaries, who are trying to destroy CARICOM and the fledging Caribbean Court of Justice. As relentless as they are in seeking to derail and undermine the region, we are equally steadfast that the dream of a unified Caribbean Nation must not die.
We have warned all the ministers of finance that there can be no real transformation, restructuring of the economy or any other significant undertaking, until we have a reformed and relevant educational system. Failure to heed to t this warning, has led them to: dismiss workers, abandon social services to the poor and allow the gap between the richer and poorer citizens to become dangerously wider.
The end result of this failure is: spiraling crime, unemployment, teenage pregnancies and a perilous rise in white collar crime and drug trafficking. The law enforcement agencies throughout the region, are finding great difficult in staying abreast of the new methods criminals are using.
Where there is no hope, the people perish and what we have flourishing is an adversarial brand of politics, which propels political parties into perpetual election mode. While the political managerial class is using all its resources to either remain in office (power) or get into office, the individual countries are drowning in a sea of impotent and corrupt governance.
It is a direct result of a serious breakdown of effective policy planning and a defeatist embrace of a crass craving for mendicancy. What Manley is saying is quite clear: When the individual determines that the society no longer serves his purpose, he or she becomes a stranger in their own land and his or her attitude toward the society becomes underlined by negativity and the abandonment of the nationalistic fervor required pushing the society forward. While our artists seek to broaden their global reach our political managerial class is hell bent on becoming exceedingly parochial. What we are experiencing is a calamitous disconnect of the citizen form the state apparatus. This scenario is fertile breeding ground for apathy and is directly responsible for the lack of the attitudinal shift that Manley advocates. We are therefore confronted by myriad social and economic challenges that can only be surmounted by paying close attention to his words as quoted above.