Nation e-Edition

Independence not journey’s end

By Leonard St Hill

| Wed, November 21, 2012 - 12:00 AM

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At the Yalta Conference in 1945, Roosevelt and Stalin decided the decimation of the British Empire in spite of the Churchillian resolution “I was not appointed the King’s Chancellor to preside over the dissolution of the British Empire”. It had indeed already seen its finest hour in the last gasp of which so few withstood so many in the battle over Britain . . . but it could not last a thousand years!

The disintegration began with the separation of the jewel from the crown by independence for India in 1948 and continued until the miscarriage of the West Indian Federation in 1962 in the consequential fragmentation of which Independence was not so much achieved but thrust upon Barbados.

Independence is never an end in and of itself. It has consequences like rights derived from responsibilities. It is a test of the character or true nature of the liberated one. That character is shown by the choice exercised in the use to which liberty is put.

Dramatic changes are not the most prudent to be expected from the deliberate use of freedom from perceived oppression: “Revenge is a food that the gods love cold.”

Societies that have endured a benign tutelage in imperial adminstration have a legacy that is the bedrock of future development. Denial of that substantial asset is a psychosis reflected in the virtual distortion of the beneficiary’s character with a chip so large on its shoulder as to parody the Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

That deformity refuses to admit slavery as exploitation endemic in human history that was not invented by the English for the express purpose of tormenting Africans brought to settle Barbados with other debtors and prisoners of predatory tribesmen in Britain and Africa.

Moses relates in Genesis the fortune of Joseph as a slave sold by his brothers for nothing more than jealousy, and demonstrates in Exodus the social revolution of the wheel of fate that is inexorable.

Coming after Egyptian, Greek and Roman dynasties the British Empire has been succeeded by Pax Americans in a paradigm shift of imperialism practised as World government administered by United States Veto-regulated Security Council dominating the United Nations General Assembly . . . the tail that wags the dog!

Independence marks a crossroads of choices in direction to the next destination in the itinerary which is sovereignty as an expression of the heart’s desire. Since reaching Independence have we taken the road that leads to sovereignty?

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