JAMAICA DEVELOPMENT DELAY: OWNING RESTRUCTURING RATHER THAN BEING RESTRUCTURED – Part 3 by Prof. Kirk Atkinson

To put this aspect of restructuring in global comparative perspective, Singapore’s fiscal budget is replete with line item entries addressing long-term improvement in human capital and productivity through investment in education, life-long learning, cultural centers/assets, community development, and sport facilities. State subsidy is set aside to ease the financial burden of students in their quest for meaningful education. The state in Singapore is purposive and rational in recognizing its human capital particularly the young people as its most important economic resource. Singapore is recognized as one of the most developed countries in the world with a human capital resource base globally recognized for its productivity, work ethic and discipline. Both Jamaica and Singapore are highly indebted countries; Jamaica has a debt to GDP ratio of 135.7 percent as measured by the IMF, which ranks it in 2011 among the 7 most indebted states. Singapore ranks 9 with a debt to GDP ratio of 98.8 percent. This is where the similarity ends. Singapore has real achievements to show for its sovereign debt – a stable and progressive civilization. Since the end of colonialism Singapore has taken ownership of its restructuring process. It has restructured its society and has architected a process of development that is organic and adds up to total development. That is, in Singapore progress is not measured only in terms of GNP growth rate, stable money and physical infrastructure; but equally, progress is measured in terms of the collective improvement of the human potential of the society. No one is left behind. In Singapore restructuring starts with the basic assumption that improvement in human capital is what...

JAMAICA DEVELOPMENT DELAY: OWNING RESTRUCTURING RATHER THAN BEING RESTRUCTURED – Part 2 by Prof. Kirk Atkinson

The reggae artists for whom the late Bob Marley is the iconic brand were mostly victims of spatial dislocation, residents of Jamaica’s counterculture; the world of marijuana, rebellion, Rastafarianism, millenarianism, poverty, violence, love, soccer, collectivism and music. With musical instruments, personal and collective will to survive, raw untamed talent and a seemingly innate resistance, reggae artists triumphed, and in the process, elevated Jamaica to global recognition. Bob Marley is memorialized in Serbia, of all places, where his statue is displayed in the Serbian village of Banatski Sokolac. A similar narrative can be articulated about the famous athletes who have become global icons as a result of personal and collective restructuring rather than a restructuring process owned and managed by the state. That is to say that the state and the Jamaican political and economic elites have not been the driver behind the global success of the artists and athletes who have restructured themselves from the subaltern strata of Jamaican society to become iconic figures known the world over. What is clear is that the state and the elites have reaped the benefit of personal and collective restructuring without investing their capital, moving in to appropriate the rewards once the global recognition is a fait accompli. Contrast personal and collective restructuring with state and external restructuring; the latter two restructuring processes ignore cultural assets and talents that are rooted in subaltern culture that is the cultural context and talent of the majority of Jamaicans. This accounts for sixty percent or so of the Jamaican masses for whom the state and external restructuring do not touch their life world. The reality...
JAMAICA DEVELOPMENT DELAY: OWNING RESTRUCTURING RATHER THAN BEING RESTRUCTURED – Part I by Prof. Kirk Atkinson

JAMAICA DEVELOPMENT DELAY: OWNING RESTRUCTURING RATHER THAN BEING RESTRUCTURED – Part I by Prof. Kirk Atkinson

Jamaica is an enigma. On the one hand, as a small island state in the Caribbean Sea, it is the one hundred and sixty eighth smallest state in a world in which scale matters, yet it has global recognition on par with the leading dominant states in the world. When it comes to global recognition, countries, like corporations, are recognized by their logo or branding. The United States for example is branded by the stripes and stars, the Statue of Liberty, its military power, and its cultural and human capital. Great Britain is recognized for its imperial past and the monarchy; France for the romanticism of Paris and its cuisines. Italy is recognized for its architecture, its landscape and the Vatican, and Japan for its remarkable rebuilding after its devastation in the Second World War. Among Caribbean island states, Jamaica is equal in global recognition as the aforementioned countries. Like its Caribbean counterparts, Jamaica boasts pristine white sand beaches, luxurious tourist resorts and frequent visits from royalty, the rich and the famous. One distinction, however, is that Jamaica is the only developing country ranked in the top ten countries visited by Americans in 2007 ahead of China and Spain, according to a Pew survey on global travel. Jamaica’s global recognition is a result of the island’s ingenuity, a Janus quality that brings both positive and negative recognition. On the positive side of the recognition ledger, Jamaican reggae music and the legend behind Bob Marley’s music have given Jamaica a global brand the equivalent of Nike and Coke. Reggae, like jazz, is seen as an original musical art form. Then...
JAMAICA BEFORE AND NOW – Hermes Alan Leigh

JAMAICA BEFORE AND NOW – Hermes Alan Leigh

West of the Pillars of Hercules before 10,000 B.C. Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands region is where one of the Islands of Atlantis The Lost Continent was located. In the ancient past Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands being one of the Islands of Atlantis, was part of a highly advanced sophisticated civilization, with technology that would even surpass that which we have now. Before 10,000 B.C. Atlantis was an enchanted race of gifted and highly intelligent beings. Many cultures within their recorded history have references to the Great Island Continent of Atlantis where Jamaica and the Caribbean Islands now rest. Plato told the story of Atlantis from certain 200-year-old records of the Greek ruler Solon, who, in turn, heard the story of this Island from the Egyptian priest, in the Temples of Egypt. The Sleeping Prophet Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), stated that the partly drowned remnants of one of the islands that the Atlanteans emigrated to, after the main continent of Atlantis began to suffer, was Jamaica. Cayce made it clear that Atlantis was at once, both the center and the ruler of the ancient world. Sitting in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantis had easy access to both the eastern and the western hemispheres. Cayce believed that the Caribbean was once a major center of Atlantean habitation, including the controversial “Bimini Road”, that was found in 1968 near the island of Bimini, an area which Cayce identified as the place where many Atlanteans fled after the first destruction before 10,000 B.C. In Atlantis, crystal technology was used for energy transmitters that could change electricity into physical vibration. Atlanteans...

Revisiting Marcus Garvey 1887-1940 by Tarik Daley

The Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey is one of only seven Jamaican nationals to have earned the distinction of becoming a National Hero. He was also a hero in the hearts and mind of many people globally. Garvey exemplified selflessness in every sense of the word and conveyed through his relentless efforts, his fight to eradicate oppression of all forms toward his race. Garvey’s advocacy won over many admirers and followers who bought into his concept of being systematically liberated economically, politically and socially. This blog highlights Garvey’s quest to empower the Black race by his assemblage of the largest mass movement which ultimately propelled him to the status that he holds today, generations after his passing. Marcus Garvey was born on August 17th, 1887 in St. Ann’s Bay. Born to parents Marcus Garvey Sr. and Sara Jane Richards, Garvey was what we refer to in Jamaica as the last child or the wash belly of 11 children. His father had a career as a stone mason and his mother was a farmer and a domestic helper. Garvey Sr. can be accredited as the one who had the greatest impact on his personality and ambition. It’s the same indomitable spirit that they both shared that Garvey would use later on in his life as he was challenged often externally with his plans. Garvey’s love for reading had much to do with his father setting up a library as home where his curious mind led him to become an avid reader. Due to financial stress within his family, young Garvey was forced to drop out of school at the age...