George Wiggins of Citizens Movement For The Regeneration Of Jamaica provides us with commentary on why "Jamaica is in Deep Trouble".
Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Jamaica is in Deep Trouble

The 5th Columnist such as Seaga, Golding, Paterson, Davies, Knight, et al. are all too abundant amongst us, some being more prominent than others.

I noted the economic plans as set out by the great and good of this 5th Columnists brigade.

The amazing thing is that we are so desperate for a solution to our chronic socio–economic malaise that we jump at any and every proposed solution, without carefully analysing the implications of these postulations.

Because it is eloquently expressed does not mean it is of substance and has relevance. In other words because it sound good does not mean it is good. That is how the politicians have been conning us since independence.

Wake up Jamaicans, these blue prints for economic recovery will make us totally subservient to others.

If Jamaica becomes dependent on primarily tourism and exotic crops like Ackee, and imports all basic commodities, what happens when there is civil unrest and the tourist stay away or there is a hurricane that destroys the Ackee crop? Either of these likely events in isolation or in tandem would keep the tourist away and Jamaicans would starve or be dependent on the charity of other countries. Is Jamaica to become a floating hotel in the middle of the Caribbean where citizens only exist to serve tourist with such amenities as rent-a-dread, go-go dancers and other hedonistic practices?

What is the cause of tourist harassment? How will tourist harassment cease if the benefits of tourism only go to the few and not the many? Example: all exclusive resorts.

Jamaica should aim to improve the efficiency of agriculture and other productive sectors along with improvements in the quality of the products, thus encouraging more domestic consumption. This would be the best advertisement for Jamaican produce. If Jamaicans are not willing to consume Jamaican produce, why should others take the risk?

There is no rule of law in Jamaica: hence the holder of the post subverts the duties of the post to their personal whim, instead of the reverse. This has not encouraged stability since a change of personnel means a change of policies, priorities, procedures and practices. The result is lack of standards, lack of consistency and lack of continuity. This is very much in evidence in the civil service, security forces, local government and the commercial sector, resulting in rampant nepotism and corruption that has lead to, economic stagnation and the disintegration of the society.

No prudent financial investor is going to invest in Jamaica’s unstable socio-economic/political environment, when the returns on investments cannot be quantified in a deterministic manner, mainly due to the lack of financial probity. The current state of divestments is proof.

Jamaica should aim to consume as much of what it produces and import the rest of our requirements. Jamaicans should aim to produce a country, which is not dependent on tourism but would be a good vacation destination because of good governance and social justice.

However, the motive for writing this letter is not to berate or slander any of the participants in this debate, who think they possess the solution: more to ask Jamaican citizens to be more objective when reading all suggestions. There is always some egotistical person who will relish the opportunity to make profit from the suffering of Jamaican people. The current political oligarchy demonstrates this everyday. Even the so-called ghetto commentators (DJs) are making a good living.

The main reason why Jamaica is in a socio–economic mess is due to the legacy that the impact of slavery has had on the psychology of our people.

We Jamaicans have to face the fact that we suffer from an inferiority complex. This inferiority complex manifests itself in our over appreciation of foreign cultures (i.e. other peoples values and morals). Nothing is wrong with Jamaicans appreciating the values and morals from other cultures, but we must ensure that they have a positive impact on Jamaica before adopting them. The latter currently does not occur.

Currently Jamaica is in essence, a giant slave plantation, the economic/political oligarchs (Masters), the local dons / political enforcers (Overseers) and the ordinary citizen with no say (Slaves). Example: Masters reside in Plantation Heights and the Slaves reside in Cassava Piece.

This has created a two-tiered society in Jamaica. The uneducated aspire to be dons, (Overseer oligarchs) and the educated aspire to become members of the economic/political oligarchs (Masters oligarchs). This has the effect of perpetuating the current cycle of economic, political and moral decline.

Then there are the corrupt churches, which claim to occupy the moral high ground. Instead of articulating the case of the oppressed which Christian doctrine espouses, the churches postulates a false doctrine of compliance in the hope that Jesus will come tomorrow and clear up this mess. The churches themselves have become no more than businesses, which thrive from the offerings of the collection plate, hence their ubiquity in Jamaica.

It would appear that the bishops and deacons have forgotten that Christ gave instructions to prepare the church like a bride on her wedding day, for his return. This implies that Jamaicans need to take corrective actions to sort the mess out before Christ returns.

Journalist exists to perform the duty of informing the nation on what is happening and are expected to perform the role objectively. In Jamaica – like most other countries – this does not happen. There are those who postulate that they are the guardians of the citizen’s rights to free expression and the nation’s protectors against abusive government.

Well they too have failed the nation. The reporting is infrequently objective and more often blatantly bias towards the perpetrators of injustices against the ordinary citizens (slaves): in effect their reporting depicts the propaganda war between the different sects within the Master Oligarchy.

But if this chronic malaise is so far gone what has stopped rebellion? Well like most countries Jamaica has security forces that do the biddings of the Master oligarchs. They are given the task of maintaining the current socio-economic order (Plutocracy) by implementing policies that advocate extreme acts of barbarism and cruelty. Examples Breaton Massacre, Green Bay Killings, Beatings of Prison Inmates, Shoot first ask questions after (cause dead man tell no tales), etc, etc,

The members of the various governments (Master Oligarchy) along with the help of local dons (Overseer Oligarchy), rule Jamaica (Plantation) by fear and not by the consent of the people (Slaves). Progress in Jamaica is by patronage and very seldom by merit.

This socio-economic/political order has traumatised the nation (Plantation) and induced psychosis in the form of apathy, laziness, dependency and self-delusion. Jamaica has three institutions that offer therapy for this affliction namely, churches, rum bars and dancehalls, which respectively prescribe prayer, alcohol, music and marijuana as treatment.

Currently Jamaican people only work hard because they are forced to: hence the citizens (Slaves) work on behalf of the Master’s interest and to his agenda. Is it then surprising that the citizen never see the benefits of their labour?

Jamaicans are addicted to leaders (Masters) with great academic achievement. It is thought that this is the main prerequisite for leadership when in fact emphasis should be place on their altruistic nature. Looking at the qualifications of the most recent leaders and it is self-evident. Patterson is a Queens Counsel, yet he presides over an administration that demonstrates no understanding of the rule of Law. Seaga is reputed to be an economic wizard that has used these skills to defraud the nation’s finances.

Jamaica needs leaders with a reasonable level of academic training to enable them to be functional. However, the most important skills that none have demonstrated so far are team building, tolerance of different views, balancing the priorities of different sections of the population, financial probity, and above all putting the interest of Jamaica before self.

British imperialism with social accountability has been exchanged for economic imperialism by foreign powers without social accountability. Jamaica refers to this as INDEPENDENCE. Neither regime has worked on behalf of the Jamaican people.

Which developed nation is going to assist Jamaica when they benefit from the brain drain of our talented citizens, which they then use to power their economies?

Where there is no vision the people perish. Where there is injustice the people murmur. Where there is opportunity for the few and deprivation for the many, there is crime.

How can ordinary citizens in their fight for survival, be expected to respect the laws of the land, when these laws protect the entrenched interests of the perpetrators of injustices (the Master oligarchs)? Will the – past, present and future – ministers that preside over injustice and national insecurity answer this question?

CONCLUSION

This system cannot be reformed it has to be replaced because too few Jamaicans have a stake in the current corrupt order. WE HAVE UNFINISHED BUSINESS SINCE 1865. THE SPIRIT OF BOGLE AND GORDON MUST LIVE AGAIN. However, Jamaica’s problems cannot be solved quickly with bullets and machetes since that is currently part of the problem. It is time for the sword of reason to be exercised. It is time to equip the next generation of Jamaicans with a new sense of patriotism that puts the right of all Jamaicans above the rights of a few privileged individuals. A patriotism that extols the virtue, that the prosperity of each Jamaican is dependent on the good conduct of all Jamaicans. It will take a decade or two. SOLUTION

  • It is time for a new Order.
  • It is time for a new doctrine to be written.
  • It is time for a new economic system to be constructed base on social justice.
  • It is time for a new altruistic leadership to emerge.
  • It is time for it to start today.

On completion of the task, we can truly sing “Smile we are in Jamaica, cause we finally got it right, now.”

No single individual has all the answers to Jamaica’s woes.

If you want to help your nation, Jamaicans lets work together on this. It is going to take time, with the huge effort of all Jamaicans, home and abroad.

 

George Wiggins

Citizens Movement For The Regeneration Of Jamaica (CMRJ)

London, UK

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