Our Readers' Opinions
November 12, 2004
Why no challenge from revolutionaries?

EDITOR: It is important that we examine the term “revolution”, especially since there is so much claim to revolutionary ideas as we begin our 26th year of independence. As an independent people, we must challenge those politicians who use labels to get votes at the next election, and as ego boosters. {{more}}

According to the various reference materials that I have examined, revolution can either mean a sudden and momentous change in a situation, or to bring about an uprising such as a riot. And so, to revolutionize would either mean to bring about a radical change in a situation or to cause unrest. Having laid the premise upon which we can discuss what could be the meaning of this notion in the context of SVG, let us look at some examples to which this term is deemed applicable.

The civil servants’ unrest of the late 1970s was brought about to denounce the corrupt practices and despotic attitude of the then Labour Party administration. This led to a landslide victory for the NDP – a government in waiting and with many promises to do better than their predecessors. For those of us who can attest to the unrests of the 1970s and that of 1999, has there been any difference between them? The only difference with the 1999 unrest is that the ULP government in waiting consisted of men, not so much women, who built their political reputation on the promises of radical political changes.

Since EDUCATION is where the notion of revolution is focused, it is worthy of comment and nothing hereafter is to deny the efforts of the Honourable Mike Browne in this area of our development.

Vincentians of age 45 and over can attest to the fact that our academic and political experience was about “what to think” and not so much about “how to think”. Why else were we conditioned to memorize those “stanzas” and “time tables” without questioning the underlying principles?

As for free political thinking, that was a no-no, unless one wanted one’s self and entire family to suffer the harshness of being denied access to education, jobs, housing and in some cases health care. Is today’s suppression of freedom of political and academic thought so radically different to the extent that the ULP can claim to be revolutionaries?

I must commend Yulimo and all the other black power movers and shakers of the1970s who tried to address the issues of political, economic and mental enslavement then.

However, the question now is, how many of those leaders have reverted to the same system that they once condemned? Chief among them is Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves, who can be excused for not fully understanding the black struggle except to explore his personal interests from among the downtrodden. And, to protect the fruit of his “30 years in the wilderness”, he now uses his BIBLICAL experiences to instil the fear of God and of HIMSELF should one dare ask a question let alone oppose him.

Why is there no challenge from within the ranks of the revolutionaries?

Luzette King