By Shaun Ajamu Hutchinson
Tuesday, December 15, 2015.
Mighty Sparrow pointed out in his classic 1983 calypso that “Capitalism gone
mad”. Prophetic words from the Calypso King of the World. The validity of the
Birdie’s lyrics has been demonstrated here over the last few days as
controversy has grown over two related pronouncements. Firstly, that Trinidad
and Tobago (T & T) is officially in recession and, secondly, regarding
statements attributed to Jawala Rambarran the Governor of the Central Bank of
Trinidad and Tobago regarding consumption of Foreign Exchange - and by whom [mostly
corporations and financial elites]. Commentators, politicians and columnists
have all joined in the debate.
the views, opinions and domination of the media space is predominantly in the
hands of the financial elites [their press, their commentators, their
philosophers, their experts] promoting a capital centred  outlook I shall
not rehearse their ideas here. Instead let us ventilate an intriguing people
centred  viewpoint which has been published on the website of the National Workers Union under the by-line of Eugene A. Reynald.
issues alluded to in Reynald’s article are important to consider.
writer points out that the money/forex under discussion is derived from T &
T’s crucial energy sector. In that sense then it is only right that the Workers
of that sector should have their opinions discussed and shared throughout the
society, because it is those workers who actually create the wealth derived
from the energy industry. The monopolies Reynald alludes to also monopolise
opinion forming through their domination of the media and press. As a
counterbalance and in the interests of fairness the writer embodies the notion
that Workers’ views should be expressed widely and debated given that they and
their leaders and union representatives are in a perfect position to know and
understand and offer solutions to the problems of the economy.
as the NWU website points out, the reasons why and for what motive the
revelations of the Central Bank Governor were made are important, in the end
the result is to put the creators of wealth i.e the workers in a strictly
passive, or defensive position. Reynald’s article is crucial then because it
gives oxygen to the important principle that the Workers should lead society
and present their views on how the economy and society can and should move
forward in a pro-social  direction. The financial elites and the
commentators and press and media have come to expect that the Workers will wait
for someone to talk for them or to express an opinion on their behalf. The NWU
article demonstrates however, that the Workers should and must be included in
and also deciding and controlling the direction of the economy, instead of
being called upon to agree or disagree with whichever spokesperson of the elite
pontificates at a given time.
Workers organised in their unions, are an important cohort in the society and a
collective which is qualified and capable of formulating their own views and
agenda for a way forward. The Workers have the brains and experience in a socialized
economy to propose with a pro-social direction, and the strength, numbers and
motivation to bring it into being. The Workers can then inform the society of
their views, as the article published on the NWU website does, and can also
contribute to strengthening public opinion to coalesce around a new direction.
Such an endeavour would impel the political and financial elites to respond to
a pro-social agenda and not the other way around.
NWU article also refers to the public right to know. Although the writer omits
any reference to the current monopoly right [rather privilege] which is what
seems to exist and which usually trumps the public right to know, the NWU
article exemplifies such a demand for what is usually contextualised within
calls for transparency and good governance. Be that as it may - equally
important is the question of who decides the direction of the society and the
economy which fortifies it.
the article illustrates Workers are more than capable of analysing and
proposing pro-social solutions and presenting an agenda to be followed that can
create a workable solution to T&T’s economic problems.
gave a diagnosis, let us now discuss and provide an effective cure.
Shaun Ajamu Hutchinson is the New Black
Magazine’s Deputy [and Art’s] Editor.
Capital centred – the outlook and philosophy that the world inevitably revolves
around the domination of the exploitation of humans by humans and e
exploitation of the natural world and the environment by the economically most
powerful oligarchs and monopoly capitalists organised in economic and financial
cartels and trading blocs, with a military and political system to buttress it.
 People centred –
putting human beings at the centre of all social, cultural, economic and
political concerns based on the human factor/social consciousness – that humans
have inviolable and inalienable rights [and which are] based on our humanity -
to life, shelter, education, food, dignity etc. and which must be guaranteed at
the highest level possible according to the level of development and
technological advance attained in a given society] because we are humans born
to a society which human beings have established and have been perfecting over
millennia, and that it is incumbent on the society we have created to defend
these rights as we defend and perfect the society in which we live and