NEW WORLD GROUP REPORTS

Such indeed, seems to have been partly the issue in Czechoslovakia, where the society and economy, by the established categories of international politics, are at opposite poles, but where the relationship of people to authority may be essentially the same. But in addition, here we had the issue of the freedom of an essentially colonial political regime to initiate domestic political innovation in defiance of its metropolitan patron. The brutality and heavy-handedness of the Metropolitan intervention does more than demonstrate the determination of the Great Powers to retain their spheres of influence: we are already familiar with this in the Caribbean, most recently in Georgetown in 1964 and Santo Domingo in 1965. Czechoslovakia also must be a sobering pointer to the political costs of a programme which relies on Soviet support to rescue any Caribbean parish from the dislocation which would follow the immediate and wholesale expropriation of United States interests.

Cuba, which to many represents the ideal for the rest of the Caribbean, is already bearing these costs; for Castro is reported to have supported the Soviet action in spite of the reported widespread pro-Czech feeling amongst the population.

The substitution of Tweedledum for Tweedledee, it appears, even within the context of a genuinely popular revolution, sets up mechanisms of political response which makes the Governmental apparatus more sensitive to the heeds of metropolitan policy, than to the opinions of the local population, at least in some areas.

This makes it all the more imperative for Caribbean people to discover the possibilities for social equality, economic welfare and cultural freedom for the region without metropolitan suffocation by the West or East In this discovery Caribbean people with training in whatever skill, whether in architecture or economics, physics or political science, have an indispensable part to play. For whereas only the population as a whole can make a revolution, the concrete and permanent forms of the new society are to a large extent devised by trained persons, in architecture, economics, engineering, education, drama and politic organisation. And if we do not do our own thinking in these fields, others will continue to do it for us, as they have done for three centuries.

The possibilities for development of the region, and the need for regional communication trough the New World Quarterly, were in fact accepted as the main guidelines for the activities of the Jamaica Group in September of 1967. But in addition, the year was opened in the heat of the controversy over whether New World should not engage in a more “active” political role; as well as a feeling that the Group had established little communication with the general population. The formula devised was that we would continue our meetings on the University campus, in which new material would be presented; while establishing a kind of a “lecture bank” of speakers and subjects upon which the public would draw.