Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 30th 2017 Contents "Doctor Politics"
, "maximum leader",
"East-West corridor", "validating
, "Afro-Saxon" are just a few,
which have since passed into pop-
ular use. These terms allowed us to
name and speak of local phenomena,
Best's core idea, Brereton said, was
that close, empirical study of the re-
alities of the Caribbean condition, ob-
served and analysed on its own terms,
had to be the foundation for worth-
while thought and action. Any useful
theories, policies or pre-
scriptions had to be built
on good local knowledge.
"We must start by
studying 500 years of
social and cultural crea-
tion in the region"
ed Brereton of Best. In his
classic exploration of this
core idea, the 1967 essay
and Caribbean Freedom,
Best wrote: "Our ig-
norance about our own
historical experience is
a most damaging thing."
Brereton commented that today, this
may well be still true.
She noted Best rejected all imported,
ready-made ideologies, as reflecting
someone else's experiences and not
our own: Marxism, European social-
ism, Western liberalism, revolutionary
populism, Black Power -- he rejected
them all. He rejected any Grand The-
ory which claimed to provide univer-
sal, one-size-fits-all explanation for
everything; theories were only useful
if they arose from our own reality, said
Brereton of Best.
Best believed that the long view of
change was the right one, she said.
She noted that Best always rejected
the victimhood discourse. And unlike
Vidia Naipaul, with whom he had a lot
in common, Brereton said, Best was an
optimist about the region.
She added: "Best wasn't a revolu-
tionary; he may not have even been
a political radical. But he was clearly
radical in his basic purpose, which was
to decolonise Caribbean thought."
Best became famous for some key
concepts here, Brereton said.
First, was the idea of a "party of par-
ties" -- a coalition political party of na-
tional unity, made up of valid interest
groups based mainly on ethnicity and
geographical origin; he famously said
T&T had nine tribes, Brereton re-
Second, Best had the idea of the
Macco Senate -- or the House of Par-
liament -- where civil society groups
would be elected as part of a House
of Parliament. This would overcome
authoritarian "Doctor Politics."
Third, on constitutional reform,
Best argued that amending the text of
the document was far less important
than transforming the po-
litical order and the polit-
ical culture, Brereton said.
"You could debate end-
lessly how much influence
Best had on the course
of Caribbean economic
development since the
1960s. You could debate
endlessly Best's influence
on T&T's political history
since the 1960s. But what
is not debatable is that
Best was a genuine public
intellectual. He dedicated
himself to the life of the mind -- the
critical and even speculative life of
the mind -- while at the same time,
fully engaging in the public sphere. He
was the least cloistered intellectual you
could imagine. Best had a genuinely
unfettered and unbridled mind; he
always fought against the prevailing
orthodoxy, and he was consistently
fertile in his insights and creative in
his life. We do miss Lloyd Best."
Prof Gordon Rohlehr perhaps cap-
tured Best's qualities most keenly in
his 2007 remembrances reproduced
in the magazine Caribbean Beat the
same year Best died:
"Best was bold, visionary, compel-
ling, and quixotic. He was also cou-
rageous, headstrong, tenacious, and
passionate, in his desire to pool the en-
ergies of the intellectual caste towards
public service. He set no limits on the
variety of forms such service might
assume. The poets, the playwrights,
the novelists, the economists, the doc-
tors, lawyers, taxi-drivers, pannists,
workers, and farmers, all had parts to
play in the making of the new world he
envisaged, and in contributing to the
dialogue upon which democracy and
a civil society were to be established."
Thursday, March 30, 2017 guardian.co.tt
NAVIGATIONAL WARNING 043/16
TRINIDAD -- GULF OF PARIA
CHART BA 475
Pipeline operations by MVs MICHAEL M, KATHY M,
KENNETH O and barge WINSTON B, towing pipelines of
up to 2000 feet in length in progress between the Guapo
Bay Area and the Main Soldado Oilfeld will continue until
31st December 2017.
A wide berth and caution is advised.
6th February 2016 Signed
Director of Maritime Services
Maritime Services Division Ministry
of Works and Transport
• From Page B2
defence of this: that he wrote for ordinary citizens
who were interested in it.
She praised Best's wonderful, inspired facility for
inventing phrases which summed up a whole world
of local concepts: "industrialisation by invitation",
Links Archive March 29th 2017 March 31st 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page