The First Duty of a Man Is to Think for Himself

Martin Luther King (monument detail)

by Brian JM Joseph

‘One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors’… Plato.

I’m of the belief that there is no time like the present for Grenadians to do some serious soul searching in terms of what direction this country must take. Because after 43 years of political and economic independence what have we really achieved? What do we have to show as Progress? I will be frank and honest because all I see is infrastructure, but the key factor should be the holistic development of our people, and yet we are far from achieving it.

Our mindset still remains the same as under the dark colonial period. Why can’t we decolonise our minds and start thinking on our own. It’s my moral duty and obligation as a social advocate to stand up and speak out against social injustices here in Grenada. All those perfidious individuals who are seeking to create legacies here in this country. Politicians are continuing to fool Grenadians with skullduggery proclaiming how much they love this country when in reality, they don’t.

It’s always said that patriotism is last refuge for scoundrels. I rather embrace our Revolutionary leader Maurice Bishop, and Sir Eric Matthew Gairy as the ones who created legacies here in Grenada, because they had positive impact on all Grenadians. The onus lies on we the people to make those vital decisions at the polls on elections day. The big question is what will it be, what will be the outcome of the next general elections? Grenadians has embraced over the years a rhetoric style of politics. While our political leaders and politicians have introduced the Roman Republic tactics in governance. The Romans had a way of getting citizens to do their biddings by bringing everyone to the coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre. They were fed with food and wine while they were entertained by games and music. Regardless of status everyone lavishly feasted and enjoyed themselves.

These leaders have used the oldest tricks in the book to subdue, bewitch and mind condition the electorates through political extremism. Enlightened individuals like myself and others, who want to see change in this country are trying to send a strong statement to all those benevolent dictators and political party sympathisers. I will be frank and honest about this. I cannot tolerate traitorous individuals and to me I see them as nothing more than political piranhas feeding on the carcasses of the people whom they’ve betrayed. I will continue to call on those rogue individuals, who are dividing this country, labelling persons as NNP and NDC. ‘I detest those de facto segregationists.’ Shall we continue on that part of trajectory? We elect individuals to form a government, but often we forget who is the government and who are the ones with the power?

A new generation of young leaders are slowly emerging here in Grenada and therefore we will not follow those trajectories that unscrupulous political figureheads have created. It’s unethical to follow that trend and believe me, ‘Grenada needs young and innovative leadership in governance.’

Young people have visions of their own on how to transform this beautiful nation of ours into a thriving self-sufficient country, and we are not going to achieve it through political jingoism and mischaracterisation.

I believe it’s important to create our own brand of politics without blemishes — we are literally tired of business as usual. Therefore, it’s important to show others that a group of brazen young persons will be moving in a direction that will promotes unity, bipartisanship and not divisions among Grenadians. All those pollsters who are conducting opinion polls here in Grenada — why haven’t they mentioned the escalating tensions taking place between political rivals and loyal party supporters? There is a colour issue taking place, yet we behave like all is well within the land. Our people often fight for party and not country. We argue with each other and about each other over petty nonsense, instead of addressing social issues and finding solutions to our problems.

Many of our leaders today are displaying grandiose behaviours. I refer to those as politicians who are suffering from ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder.’ Here in Grenada we have political figureheads with Grandiose Narcissism, many of who think they are indomitable; to me that’s only wishful thinking. The I and I, likewise the me and me alone, attitude cannot work anymore because everyone deserves a fighting chance in this country. The demagogues need to understand ‘this is a democracy.’ If anyone thinks he/she can make a valuable contribution by challenging any ruling party in an upcoming election, they are entitled to do so without fear or favour. We all desire change of leadership because what those in office are lacking visionary spirit and innovations ‘we need to throw them under the bus.’

Grenada needs young persons at the helm of leadership, young intellectuals who would take this country forward with hope and optimism. MLK (Martin Luther King) said in one of his speeches and I quote “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

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2 thoughts on “The First Duty of a Man Is to Think for Himself

  1. Albert Matthew

    Hi Brian,I wanted to say thanks to your insight and visionary comments and outlook on Grenada. I just returned from a visit after 15 years of not visiting ,I was basically appalled by the conditions in which I have seen the country. I have decided that my next time would be a very long one,I totally agree with your comment regarding the uplifting of our people mentally ,socially and economically. As a young man that grew up in the Grandmal area i was totally surprised of all the deterioration and delappated buildings that exist, I find incomprehensible that the Government has not done more to make sure that the city looks more appealing to visitors. I have had multiple conversations with people that I have known and grew up with,regarding the nature of the country, everyone seems to have lost hope . I love my country with every fiber of my being ,and this is not the outlook that I have dreamed of. We need to put locals to work nor just in the construction industry, but we need to open factories and produce our local products,instead of sending it abroad to be manufactured and be resold to us at out ravenous prices. I can go on ,and on about how inefficient and ineffective our leaders have been, the same people who claim to be so educated but was not able to stop many financially scams

  2. Medina

    I am in total support of you Brian on your endeavours to enlighten our peoples.
    We indeed need young visionaries who refuse to follow the status quo, but are willing to stand apart.

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