As usual, we seem to be moving around in circles. I thought that we had abandoned all standards of public moral propriety. Now some people are invoking those same standards which they had trampled upon, when it was politically convenient to do so, to crucify another man. What hypocrisy!
What a shame! When shall we in this country promote moral standards and adhere to them even when it does not appear to be politically expedient? When shall we maintain standards that are to be adhered to by everyone no matter of what political party?
We have condoned corruption in this country. That is bad enough. But we make matters worse, far worse, by charging others with the same breaches and crimes in which we have indulged.
There are people who take advantage of the fact that Dominicans have "memoire poule". They forget quite easily. Man may forget. However, God does not forget! Without recognizing it, our sins continue to follow us like a necklace around our necks!
An independent press is the lifeblood of democracy. As one writer puts it, the press is "an alternative government". Particularly is it necessary in a situation where, by a combination of political skill, electioneering maneuvering and legal manipulation and craftsmanship, the opposition has been effectively neutralized. In such an unfortunate circumstance, the press is the only medium standing in the way of a country falling into an outright dictatorship.
Citizens must be alerted to the immense gravity of the situation. There are people who endeavour to use government for their own ends. The search for wealth and power are the order of the day.
In Dominica, we have a very frail democracy. The ease with which the system is being manipulated is ample proof of this. This is a cause of grave concern. Let us beware!
The present situation in Dominica is a reflection of the Caribbean dilemma. On the one hand, we cling to our independence and, on the other hand, we make ourselves subservient to foreigners. Thus we become our own enemies even as we endeavour to make friends.
In the 1970's and 1980's, we could have taken advantage of the world situation. We could have made political mileage of the antagonism between Russia and the West. However, lacking competent skill and having little knowledge of world diplomacy, we clung exclusively to the West and consequently were not able to acquire the resources that could have lifted us from our abject poverty.
The learned West Indian economist, William Demas, has made this relevant observation:
To be economically tied to one great power, or one large economic block, with only one major export or service would make us very dependent economically and politically. A diversification of our geographical links and our effective exploitation of them through exports of a diversified range of goods and services will make for interdependence, not dependence.
We claim to be independent. Our ancestors fought for political independence. Yet, after many years, we are a very far cry from the goals of our forbears. In fact, we are dependent and therefore less independent than we were thirty years ago. Are we then moving forward or backward? We have a very basic problem. It is an innate tendency from which we need to break loose. We tend to seek our inspiration, our strength, our salvation, from outside. This is a psychological dependence which we have inherited from colonialism. We find it hard to shed it.
We are forever looking at the outside world. The great countries are our measure of development, of human flourishing, of economic success. We would do much better to take stock of who we are, what are our gifts, what are our blessings, what we have to offer to the outside world.
Our tastes, our values, our living standards should not seek to imitate slavishly the rest of the world. We should dare to be ourselves. One of our main drawbacks, says William Demas, is that we have "a Cadillac mentality with a bicycle economy".
"Small Is Beautiful" should be our watchword. What is home- grown is our precious gift. It is our own. We should treasure it. But instead we complicate our lives and maximize our problems by reaching out for what is most dazzling and, in the event, we catch at straws. In the meantime, the press, our precious gift, is used by others to frustrate our burning desires. We look in vain for self-determination and self-progression. We hunger for inspiration. We search and search and find none!