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AWAY WITH THE “BEST SONS AND DAUGHTERS” by Dr. Godfrey Vincent

posted 27 Feb 2014, 18:43 by Gerry Kangalee

 Some years ago during the internal struggle that took place within MOTION, Teddy Belgrave circulated a pamphlet that called for the creation of an inner circle within the party that would essentially be controlled by the “best sons and daughters.” 

His idea was defeated because he and his “controlling freaks” wanted to build a Bernard Coard style party where decisions would be made by a handful of people. Thanks to the struggle waged within the party, they were exposed and defeated, and this led to the demise of MOTION. 

In 2014, the discourse about the “best sons and daughters” has resurfaced. I have a problem with this notion because it is a fantasy that can’t be supported by historical evidence. In fact, the evidence has suggested otherwise. 
 
The “best sons and daughters” hijacked the American Revolution and bourgeoisified it. The “best sons and daughters” hijacked the French Revolution and Napoleonized it. The “best sons and daughters” hijacked the Russian Revolution and Stalinized it. The “best sons and daughters” hijacked the Chinese Revolution and Dengized it.   
 
The “best sons and daughters” hijacked the South African Revolution and neo-liberalized it. The “best sons and daughters” hijacked the Zimbabwe Revolution and Murgarbageized it. The “best sons and daughters”, in all these major revolutions, proved to be very incompetent, insecure, and manipulative and turned the guns and tanks on the workers and people.    
 
As for Trinidad and Tobago, “the best sons and daughters,” hijacked the Independence movement, hijacked the Black Power Movement, hijacked the ULF, hijacked MOTION, hijacked the OWTU and hijacked NATUC. As a result, the people and workers have been set back but not defeated. 
 
The historical evidence in every major global struggle has shown that it was the “rejects,” the “outcasts,” “the marginalized,” who the French called the sans-culottes who “turned the world upside down”. It was Peter the fisherman and his crew who “turned the Jewish World upside down.” In the Roman Empire, it was Jason and the certain brethren who turned the Roman world “upside down.” 
 
In the Haitian Revolution, it was the slaves from below who fought for total emancipation. In Trinidad, it was the “Jamette” movement that radically challenged British colonial rule. In the United States, it was ordinary people in Alabama, Mississippi, and other areas of the Jim Crow South that began the struggle against White Supremacy. 
 
In Nigeria, it was the ordinary “market women” who showed the way against British colonialism. In South Africa in the 1970s, it was the youths of Soweto who led the way against the Apartheid regime. In 2014, all over the globe it is ordinary men, women, and young people who are waging struggles against the neo-liberal onslaught of global capitalism. If anything else, history has taught us that the “best sons and daughters” are political opportunists who use these movements to serve their own agendas and derail the struggles. 
 
Therefore, let us rid our discourse of the phrase “best sons and daughters” and examine C.L.R. James’ thesis of “every cook can govern.” The discourse should not be on “the best sons and daughters” but on what type of society we envision that will best serve all the people of Trinidad and Tobago and what political vehicle we want to create to get us there. 

This is hard work and calls for great thought, dedication and commitment. It does not come by wishing that “best sons and daughters” have the solutions. It only comes when we begin the discourse on these issues in the homes, the churches/temples/mosques, the schools and institutions of higher learning, the panyards, on the “blocks,” in trade union halls, on the buses, in the gardens and on the farms, in restaurants and pubs/ rum shops, in the maxi taxis, on the streets, in the markets and even on the beaches.

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