Jamaican society is a figment of our imagination and does not exist in reality, where only individual Jamaicans exist. Jamaica is made up of individual Jamaican citizens.
After listening to Andrew Holness’ address to ‘Labourites’ at the JLP annual conference in November 2012, at the Jamaica Conference Centre on YouTube recently (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM4QP3W01hU), I can direct readers to watch minute 58:00-59:00, which explains fundamentally why governance from either the JLP or the incumbent PNP will NOT meaningfully help the common man.
I was desperately hoping for an opposite view from the JLP leader to counter the PNP’s collectivist-socialist view of the country. But he appears intent to try and beat the PNP at their own game.
In my opinion, both parties want to see ‘Jamaica’ become economically independent first, not the ‘JAMAICAN citizen’. This is a subtle but very important difference. The economic growth that our two political parties seek must be doled out for the benefit of the common man, through them, for political gain. Jamaica must grow before they decide how they will dispense and apportion the benefits of that growth to us.
Both parties have nurtured a mindset among us, so consumed by ‘JAMAICA’, and what JAMAICA is. We are all about putting JAMAICA first, and how JAMAICA will succeed, JAMAICA the Brand, and JAMAICA on the world stage. This is a collectivist view of Jamaica which has taken a stranglehold (you see it in our politics as well); and we have veered so far off course that we have lost focus of the JAMAICAN, the individual citizen of the country. I hate to belabour the point, but it is terribly important for us to grasp this concept.
Now in our 51st year of independence, I think it must be dawning on our political leadership that they must act prudently and decisively to create legitimate, functional systems of law and order and governance, fiscal, economic and monetary policy so that each one of us can succeed, through our acquired tools of skills, natural or nurtured talent, education and other forms of training, for our ultimate benefit.
For national success, for Jamaica’s success, there must first be individual success. Each of our individual successes ensures prosperity for us and our families primarily. In pursuing these selfish interests for our individual success there are unintended benefits spilling over, which bring benefits to our communities and ultimately our nation.
We have seen much upheaval throughout the world, with the power of the individual. A simple Tunisian set himself ablaze and out of that began the Revolution, which we now refer to as the ‘Arab Spring’. Lest our political master class fail us at this critical juncture, a Jamaican could ignite our own “Reggae Spring” to wrestle the reins of power from their Orange and Green tribes.