Life After the Summit

Fifth Summit of the AmericasTHE EDITOR: Well, the summit has come and gone. The naked emperor has worshipped at the altar of his own egoism. But at what cost? The next circus is going to be the reckoning of what costs are to be attributed to the summit and what costs are not. It’s all downhill from here. The naked emperor has shot his bolt. There are no more cards up his sleeve. Our monocrop, jazzed up plantation economy is well and truly busted. Health, education, local government services, social welfare and mek wuk employment are being severely cut back. Jobs are disappearing by the thousands and will continue to do so over the near term. Trillion dollar bonds are being floated to make up the budget deficit.

We will not escape the fury of the ever-deepening crisis of capitalism: far from it being a financial crisis, it is the latest manifestation of a systemic crisis of capitalist civilisation. It is a crisis embedded in the capitalist mode of production itself which is proving to be not only patently incapable of dealing with the demands of twenty first century humanity but actually threatens the very survival of our species on planet earth.

The principles of concentration and accumulation of capital at the expense of everything else, including the destruction of the human ecosystem through externalisation of costs has rendered the capitalist system irrational and a danger to the continued existence of the human race.

The one true legacy we will inherit from the summit is the militarisation of the police force. We have grown accustomed to the police infringing upon rights supposedly guaranteed by our neo-colonial constitution. They perform illegal acts and justify it in the name of security.

Even the New York Times, a newspaper, which I am certain the emperor holds in high regard, in an article published on April 19 2009 written by ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG described “the island of Trinidad” as being “transformed into a virtual police state for three days”. The three days being referred to are the days of the summit.

This full body armour, paramilitary police force that is being unveiled before us has nothing to do with crime prevention or detection, but has much to do with the suppression of the already growing resistance by increasing numbers of citizens to the effects of the economic crisis. When the system is stripped to its bare essentials it goes back to basics: the heart of state power is the ability to enforce policy through armed force or in the famous dictum of Mao: power grows from the barrel of a gun!

If the masses are to survive the period of economic depression and political repression, they must free themselves of partisan political illusions; get together in their organisations of self defense (trade unions, community-based organisations, issues-based organisations, credit unions, occupational/professional associations) formulate their demands and seek to forge broad alliance with one another in an effort to put pressure upon the state and the capitalists, foreign and local, even if it means following in the footsteps of Guadeloupe.

22 April 2009
Gerry Kangalee
Balmain, Couva