There were steps taken by Michael Manley’s Socialist regime of the 70’s which are directly impacting Jamaica over four decades later.
These steps have had tremendous consequence, and are still impacting the contemporary body-politic.
The People’s National Party mastered the art of mobilizing in the 70’s. One of Michael Manley’s strengths was his ability to bring people along with him on his ideas. Not just that, Manley was able to mobilize his party, from the highest placed functionary to the least educated grass-roots supporter to buy into what he was selling. Among the leftists leaders who dotted the landscape of the time, from Latin-America , the Caribbean, to the distant shores of Africa ,no Leader was more gifted in mobilizing the masses.
With soaring rhetoric and his deep baritone delivery Manley ignited the down-trodden masses of Jamaica the Caribbean and around the Globe. Today Jamaicans and parts of the Caribbean still think of Michael Manley as a Messiah who came with a message of Self-reliance and self-determination for the poorer class of people largely people of African Ancestry.
A detailed non-biased look at this perception however yields much more than that which meets the eyes. The results would have to be considered by an educated electorate capable of sifting through the propaganda with a view to harvesting potential nuggets of value. When the entirety of the pros and the cons are considered objectively, the rhetoric may not match the facts.
Hans Christian Andersen’s “Pied-Piper of Hamlin” did free the Town of rats but he also led the entire town’s children away. Those children were never seen again. Some Jamaicans did gain a degree of freedom from the shackles of mental Colonialism but the innocence, peace, and progress the country lost has not been seen since. You do the math.
The PNP understood that whoever controlled the message controlled the masses.
Michael Manley and the PNP went about politicizing existing Media-houses of the day and creating others for the purpose of mass indoctrination. Under Manley the Jamaica Daily News was created , a now defunct newspaper which was completely dedicated to indoctrinating the masses with the Governing PNP’s agenda.
The Jamaica Information Service(JIS), another Government Medium was politicized and used in the most vulgar ways to disseminate PNP propaganda.
Under Michael Manley Jamaicans who worked hard and acquired material possessions were maligned and made out to be greedy Capitalists who did not deserve to have the proceeds of their labour. Manley and the PNP actively taught poor Jamaicans that they were entitled to have half of whatever their neighbours owned as part of his Socialist philosophy. Jamaica was forever changed because of this, many Jamaicans who had inherited some material possessions and others who benefited through the sweat of their brows feared for their lives and they fled in droves. Manley’s brigands moved into their homes, a move which literally ghettoized once pristine neighborhoods.
This is a trend which Jamaica has not been able to reverse. Many Jamaicans were killed for no other reason than that they had material possessions. That rapacious mental depravity is pretty much par for the course in contemporary Jamaica, where people are summarily slaughtered, even when their assailants need not take their lives. Just recently an elderly couple who returned to the Island became victims of that depravity.
The ongoing debated about a house the leader of the Opposition Labour Party Andrew Holness has under construction is another example of the depraved envy which characterize the very core of the PNP. It is incomprehensible and shockingly cynical that the PNP would question anyone’s integrity. The PNP has been a cancerous cesspool of corruption which has sucked the life-blood from the once thriving Island, reducing it to a waste-land of beggars and murderous blood-thirsty demons.
I have no idea where Holness sourced the funding for the house he is building. Neither have intelligent Jamaicans above” curry goat and Red-stripe Beer” learned the whereabouts of billions of dollars which have disappeared in the litany of scandals under the current PNP administration.
Manley’s machismo on behalf of the down-trodden should not be consumed without a full understanding of captured homes and properties, their owners having fled out of fear for their lives. Let’s bring some perspective to this charade which has metastasized for too long. Let’s push back against the revisionist historians. Jamaica is enjoying the bitter fruits of Manley’s labour.
Whatever good was derived from Manley’s tenure must be measured against the negatives which emanated after.
Open your minds and think.
By Mike Beckles – Check out his blog HERE
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