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Monday, July 04, 2011
The assumption that democracy can work in Barbados
Froude, on the Caribbean, is not satisfied merely to report. He offers a What Is To Be Done in 362f. Froude wanted the Caribbean to be an extension of England; a new sea of tropical Irelands, in effect. He wanted it for English retirees and economic interests. His recommendations go toward that end.
Froude contrasts Jamaica and the Antilles against Cuba. He bemoans that the whites have been pushed to a minority in England's islands - which did not happen in Cuba. He calls it out as a betrayal which
Froude lost the argument and England lost the Caribbean. The geopolitical and economic realities differ now. The Caribbean has become an American lake, and Americans are a continental people with no desire to settle abroad.
From that perspective, one might argue it is not our place - even less than Froude's - to suggest a course of action for any region remote from us. But this argument doesn't completely work, for an island; given that tourists have a vote, at least with their dollars. So, the compromise: any outsider can suggest only such measures for which the interests of Bajans and tourists coincide.
That means Barbados would need: more care taken for its Caribbean-heritage sites, a better hospital system (preferably not tied to a pregnant-woman pr0n industry), less tolerance both for crackheads and for those tourists taking advantage of nicegirlniceboy. Outside nations should quit enabling corruption in Barbados, generally.
Most of us assume that Bajans might manage this by means of its democracy. By democratic theory: if corruption is brought to a democracy's attention, the people will vote out the crooks. The Barbados Free Press - currently, a blog, on WordPress - performs the service of bringing this to our attention. That means that the BFP, also, assumes that democracy will work in Barbados.
One hopes. Jamaica is much like Barbados - it's larger, and has more of a tradition of violence, but the people are similar. In Jamaica, the political parties have become gangs. This has happened because the Jamaican people have steadily chosen, to lead them, politicians which have promised more and more Free Stuff.
One can only wish the BFP the best.
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