Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope."
�Stephen Ambrose, Author, "Nothing Like It in the World"
I've also been listening a lot to Cazuza recently - O tempo nao para. In this song, he says - Eu vejo o futuro repetindo o passado, eu vejo um futuro cheio de grandes novidades...
And also our Government's Vision 2020. Developed nation status by 2020.

Where on this spectrum should our future lie? In Trinidad & Tobago, we look forward - Forward ever, backward never. This way, we run the grave risk of never learning from the successes and mistakes of the past. We see it daily. The immediate pronouncements - were they already working on a plan? Or is this a knee-jerk hasty band-aid for the symptoms of the societal illness that are showing up now?

Where is the structural plan that shows that we have looked at ourselves, our culture and our history and thought, really thought, about the way that we want our society to be in the future, whether it is 2020 or 2040? I don't see it in the Vision 2020 plan. I don't see it in the Crime Plan, either the first one or the mysterious "Plan B". How can we put our country "back to the way it was" in one month? And the way it was when? 1600? 1900? 1952? 1970? 1990?

We have a history of great thinkers - where is the CLR James of our generation? And if s/he exists, then why isn't that input being solicited by the Govt? If we focus on economic growth by sucking more gas out of the ground, where will that leave the large and growing hopeless underclass? What will happen to children in a system where we have a school in which 90% fail the final exams juxtaposed with a school that gets 99% passes? Where do the failures go? What do they do when they can't read? How do they fit into the Vision 2020?

We can say that we will not have this in the future, but they already exist. How do we integrate them as useful members of the society? Banditry doesn't need O-levels!

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