Doomed to seek sustenance in the sewers?

The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests dominate the news from the US.

Everywhere, the cry is the same: unprecedented unemployment figures; jobs disappearing, never to return; young people staying home longer and longer, with no idea what lies ahead. And crime, crime, crime. More than fifty countries are under occupation by their own protesting people. Even Jamaica is talking about mimicking the Occupy Wall Street protesters. There are all kinds of predictions, all of them miserable. With winter fast approaching, some experts say, millions of once law-abiding citizens will be clashing with their police and the police, as recently happened in Oakland, California, will be striking back. How many protesters can the world’s prisons hold? How many nothing-left-to-lose citizens will disappear, never again to be heard from?
The world’s a mess. So what do we do? Do we carry on as if there were no tomorrow? Come to that, for some there will be no tomorrow, with businesses crashing, children starving or becoming orphans as their parents get killed by more desperate people who want what they have, or think they have. Yes, again I ask: what are we doing to save ourselves? We’re doing what we’ve always done, turning on each other, more than ever tearing each other down in the name of politics. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be a member of government in the months ahead.
We find every reason to party: if it’s not carnival, then its jounen kweyol or some other boozy celebration of our culture. But then what exactly does that mean? What precisely are we celebrating? Do we manufacture the new tools of which we seem so proud? Do we make the clothes offered locally? Do we manufacture the flat TVs and the cars and the other must-have items that have replaced the tools of the past? How much of the eggs, the meat, the fish we consume is of local origin? Are we destined always be mass consumers of things foreign, never producers for foreign markets?
How far have we progressed since the days of gens longtemps? Are we more educated than they were? Certainly they were sufficiently educated to provide for and sustain us. Is Saint Lucia a better place today than it was longtemps? Our forbears fed themselves. They ate what they produced locally. Can we feed ourselves?
They killed each other, yes, but at the rate of one or two a year, sometimes less. When someone died of unnatural causes back in the day, gens longtemps could barely contain their shock and their grief. We, on the other hand, barely pay attention even when three and four of us have been shot down in the street like stray rabid dogs.
So again, I ask: are we really better off than were our gens longtemps? Are we a happier people? Are we better citizens? It may sound crazy, but it seems to me that we are all busy wiping out each other, one way or another, either physically or psychically. Right now some 40 ostensibly caring sons and daughters of Saint Lucia are busy promoting civil war in the guise of an election campaign. Lies and insults and false promises are their weapons of mass destruction.
Considering we have managed to produce two Nobel laureates, despite our size and scarce resources, you’d think we would by now also have discovered some way to stop ourselves from acting toward each other like hyenas and cannibals. Would it be so bad if King and the other guy suddenly recognized that Saint Lucia really is bigger than their combined girths, bigger than all of us who are determined to rip out
each other’s jugulars?
And if they could manage that, might the next step be to do something about this election that really is a bridge to nowhere? How about King and Kenny shaking hands and saying publicly, May the Best Man Win? Of course that would mean having to put an immediate stop to the maypwis and the baseless destructive rumors.
What if we decided to field, say 30 worthy candidates from around the country, none of them belonging to a party? And what if voters were required to elect the best 10 among them after, say, a month of independent campaigning? And what if we all agreed that anyone who allows himself to slip into maypwis mode will be immediately disfranchised? Do you suppose the idea might throw up a decent government? Alas, something tells me that even if King and Kenny should agree to shake hands and try for a new day in Saint Lucia their respective hacks would have none of it.  We might as well get used to the idea that whichever party wins the upcoming elections—if we remain as disconnected, dependent and self-hateful as  we are with our failed-state wages and first-world appetites—we all lose. Inevitably, a nation permanently divided against itself is doomed to crawl forever on its belly in search of sustenance in the sewers of the world.
You bin warned, Saint Lucia!

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