Remove these shackles

By Raffique Shah
March 08, 2021

Raffique ShahIf a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.

From an eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement to the far-right fascists who invoked the spirit of Adolf Hitler, no less, institutions and officials are being challenged. Ordinary people and organised interest groups everywhere, including here in T&T, are fighting to redefine their spaces, to revise or replace their social contracts.

The Covid-19 crisis exposed levels of poverty in wealthy countries that were unbelievable even to those who lived near to the squalor. Across the world, millions of people fought hunger daily. With television stations broadcasting graphic images of human suffering into living rooms and on mobile devices everywhere, people saw how, in almost every country, the wealthy and the poor coexisted.

Before Covid-19 struck, some seismic shifts in global equilibrium had already taken place, or were set to so do. China, which had made it a mission to eradicate poverty and expand its economy to become the biggest, most efficient in the world, was well on the way to achieving its targets, albeit under an autocratic system of government that brooked no dissent and demanded from all its 1.4 billion population full productivity and absolute loyalty.

We seem to forget that China was the first country that was hit by Covid-19 in its pandemic form, and it took drastic action to stem the spread of the deadly virus. It was also among the few countries that contained it, then set about resuming economic activities as if nothing had happened. It is set to enjoy growth this year even as its rivals wrestle to vaccinate acceptable levels of their populations that will allow them to resume economic activities.

Indeed, as post-Covid-19 changes go, a huge shift from the old order that is yet to be tested is Britain’s exit from the European Union. What that will mean for global trade and positioning among some of the biggest economies in the old order remains unknown. In Asia, India, which stands to strike it big from its huge manufacturing base that hosts many of the vaccine producers, is besieged by social and political unrest that could negatively impact its monetary gains.

But back to rewriting the social contract in so far as that process affects us in T&T. While one cannot measure the level of discontent among Tobagonians over what many of them see as domination by Trinidad, the noises generated by those who promote greater autonomy for the island is cause for concern.

I find it curious that the issue of redrawing the maritime borders, which many advocates for autonomy insist will make Tobago much bigger than Trinidad, hence wealthier—I don’t know if they are correct—disturbing to say the least. I should add that while I do not support fragmentation of two-by-two islands in the Caribbean Sea that have only sand, sea and serenity to sell, all of which could be reduced to rubble with one category five hurricane or a six-point-plus earthquake, I am a firm supporter of self-determination.

I suspect, though, that all this grandstanding by a vociferous few in Tobago about going it alone and doing much better than Trinidad is mere…well, grandstanding. They are no doubt looking to squeeze some more millions from Port of Spain, as if they aren’t aware that the sponge is almost dry.

But there is much more to be addressed by way of reviewing the social contract, revisiting the way we govern ourselves. Let’s face it: Britain gave us a generic, skewed system of government and economic order that, many might argue, has worked, has kept us fairly well off for generations. But is it really the best we can do? Surely we must have evolved from the colonial era, and from among our brighter sons and daughters, conceived changes that can better equip us to face the future.

Let me leave readers to ponder this aberration that has kept us “in chains”, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, author of the original Social Contract, posited in 1762: from the dawn of our history, we have relied on foreign countries to supply us with everything we consume —from food to fruits, motor vehicles, appliances, construction material— everything.

No government, not the colonials, not pre- or post-independence regimes, has made a half-decent effort to deliver us from this bondage. Can we not, in a new economic order, throw off these shackles that reek of slavery, indentureship and worse?

I shall continue this discourse.

2 thoughts on “Remove these shackles”

  1. The idea of the social contract seems to be in vogue these days… Cudjoe recently, and now Shah.

    It is an important subject, certainly an interesting one. From a scriptural perspective, the social contract is that which is ordained as part of the The Most High’s covenant with His chosen people. Put another way, as the saying goes, “Man proposes, ‘God’ disposes…”. My point: the social contract as put forward in our Constitution is valid only to the extent it does not collide with what Selwyn Ryan used to call the Mandate of Heaven. On occasion, it might be the Dictate of Heaven, and on other occasion it might be the Dispensation.

    My point is that TMH may indulge us with some or other version of a Constitution. But we would be mistaken in thinking that the Constitution is the final reference point for how we should order our affairs. Certainly He is not constrained by it.

    He does however require us to be good to our word, therefore to be bound by the Constitution to the extent one swears to uphold it. Scripture is clear on that. I think it was Gideon who swore to TMH that he would offer up the first thing that he saw on his safe return home, if TMH would grant him victory in the war on which he was about to embark. On his victory and return home, it was his beloved daughter that he first saw. He had nevertheless to keep his word — he had to offer her up…

    As a Nazarite servant of TMH, I was not permitted to vote in elections. To do so would be to become a party swearing allegiance to the Constitution. But, as drafted, the Constitution is in fact a violation of the Holy Covenant. For example, the preamble acknowledges the “supremacy of ‘God’.” This then nullifies the rest of the Constitution, because incompatible with the Holy Covenant, at the least in the following:

    “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

    This is obviously incompatible with the Constitutional provision that guarantees (?) “equality” before the law.

    This does not even address the question of the oath of allegiance that one who enters into the social contract represented by the Constitution is required to swear. As a citizen/subject(?) of the UK, one is required to swear allegiance to a person, thus:

    “I, [name], swear by Almighty God that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors according to law.”

    In T&T (also the US and other democratic republics) one is required to swear allegiance, not to a person, but to an idea, moreover a complex one, as embodied in a fairly technical legal document, moreover one that may be amended from time to time. How, really, does one swear “allegiance” to an idea, moreover one that learned jurists disagree upon whenever there is a constitutional motion brought to court.

    As a British soldier, the oath sworn is to ‘God’, king and country, in that order. This is an idea the simplest of soldiers may understand. When a US soldier (like the Chief of Staff recently) emphasizes that his path of allegiance is to the Constitution, not the person of the President, one may well wonder what ordinary soldier may really morally be held to such an oath to an idea, that he cannot really be expected to fully understand, since even the Supreme Court Justices may disagree on what it means. Same for T&T, and any other democratic republic. Which T&T office-holder knows what really he is swearing to when he swears allegiance to “the Constitution”.

    Be that as it may, the social contract, whatever it is, certainly is vitiated when sectarian groups use Constitutional privileges to advance a sectarian agenda, that would have the intended effect of creating a permanent over-class and correspondingly, a permanent under-class. In T&T, this was very much the agenda, and obviously so, under the slavery and colonial regimes. For example, the Cedula de Poblacion of 1793 gave free land to some certain people, but kept the enslaved Negro landless. Our Independence and Republican Constitutions have not grappled with that injustice under their terms, and made no provision to correct that historical injustice. In the meantime, the equality provisions of the Constitution are used as shield while Hindutva and other insurrectionist agendas are pursued in effect by metaphorical sword. (We certainly talk about the “cut and thrust” of politics, on the hustings and off it.)

    As to Tobago, it is certainly the case that local autonomy is what Heaven in general mandates. This is what goes along with tribal organization. Israel was divided into 12 tribes, each with its own territory and “princes” that ruled over them. The nation as a whole was super-intended by a council comprising 70 elders, wherein each tribe was represented. Tribal land was sacrosanct. It could not be alienated to someone of another tribe, even. Moreover, no permanent under-class, or permanent over-class could emerge, because every 50 years a Jubilee was proclaimed, and land reverted to whomever were the original owners. Our present social contract is far from making any such safeguard provisions to preserve the “common wealth”, and to preserve the peace, tranquility, and social order that must be the fundamental concern of the social contract.

    In addition, a rule of order was established by which the tribe of Judah was pre-eminent, the priests had to be from the tribe of Levi, and the kings of Judah had to come from the line of David. That rule of order eliminated contestation for office, often by the greedy and corrupt, as we see with Constitutional democracies.

    The so-called democracies with their so-called Constitutions guaranteeing the “rights of Man”, the UN-declared “human rights” and etc. have all failed miserably. Here in T&T, I give high marks to our PNM/DLP founders (special mention to Lionel Seukeran for insisting on the “‘God’ preamble”) for what they tried to do. In some ways, the Constitution they bequeathed to us has worked well, but it nevertheless has failed. The social contract it embodies is now at best a crumbling edifice that cannot guarantee the common wealth, nor the peace, tranquility and good order of the society at large.

    Heaven’s indulgence has run out. The existing World Order is crumbling before our eyes. As TMH did to Pharaoh, He is doing now again. Pharaoh must let His Chosen people go. It is as simple and as elemental as that.

    “For Esau is the end of the world, and Jacob is the beginning of it that followeth.” (2 Esdras 6:9)

    Esau-Edom’s is the world of white-supremacy (also brahminist Hindutva), while Jacob’s is the world of true Israel — notably and principally the world of the enslaved Negro now being awakened, and raised up from off his knees.

    It is no longer a time for fiddling with social contracts and Constitutions, rather a time, as prophesied, when reparations would be paid, and in kind:

    “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred yearsi; 14And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” (Genesis 15:13-14).

    So the 400 years affliction of true Israel is now at an end. The judgment on “that nation” has begun. Covid-19 is just a start. Pharaoh’s Egypt suffered 10 plagues. So will it be again. True Israel will come out “with great substance”. Moreover:

    “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.” (Revelation 13:10)

    Therefore, reparations shall be paid , and– at least in part,– in kind.

    We are now in the time when it is a question of what does Heaven dictate. Covid-19 is part of the judgment that has begun. Justice, long denied, will be served.


    “… let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24)

  2. A Further Thought

    The Social Contract — From Esau’s Dispensation to Jacob’s

    If the Moderator would permit, I would like to post this follow-up to my earlier response to Shah’s article on the social contract.

    My over-arching point is that whatever the “social contract”, it is ultimately by Heaven’s mandate, dispensation, or dictate, that it exists. This we know because prophecy is being fulfilled, regardless.

    Thus, the dispensation of “‘white’ supremacy” first came upon the post-Flood world with the 3rd Kingdom prophesied by Daniel. This was Greece, and Alexander. Later followed the 4th Kingdom, within which ‘white’ supremacy became entrenched. This came about with the Ptolemies and Seleucids — Greek successors of Alexander — fathering a light-skinned mulatto elite in the then ‘black’ world of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and extending further east to India. The hegemony of Rome, the third “king” or power or hegemon, to emerge within the 4th Kingdom, further entrenched the idea that “white” was now on top. White became the skin color valued, and “black” the skin color scorned. This reversed what had obtained previously.

    This white supremacy dispensation is what is now coming to an end.

    In accordance with prophecy, the white-supremacy dispensation spread to the Americas with the coming of Columbus. (The prophecy here quoted is by an Israelite prophet, Nephi, raised up by an Israelite/Ephraim branch earlier scattered to the Americas, as recorded in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a northern-kingdom testament, complementing the southern-kingdom testament of the so-called Bible):

    “1 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.

    2 And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou? And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms.

    3 And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.

    4 And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.

    5 And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.

    6 And it came to pass that I beheld this a great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.

    7 And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.

    8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.

    9 And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.

    10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.

    11 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren.

    12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man (COLUMBUS prophesied); and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the PROMISED LAND (THE AMERICAS.

    13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

    14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.

    15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.”

    (1 Nephi 13:1-15, Book of Mormon)

    From the Book of Mormon we learn that a branch of Israel was brought over to the Americas, a promised land, given to Israel forever. The Caribbean Sea in particular is an Israelite sea by gift and covenant. But… just as Israel/Judah was scattered out of Jerusalem for disobedience, so Israel/Ephraim brought to the Americas, long before Columbus, were made to have their land taken from them under white-supremacy dispensation, with the coming of Columbus. (The Arawak and Taino and Ciboney peoples, among others, that Columbus “discovered” over here were all Israelite of seed. The Carib or Kalinago were partially Israelite, partially Mongolian. The Mongols invaded the Americas in the 13th century, 200 years before Columbus, using Chinese “treasure vessels” far, far larger than those used by Columbus. This accounts for the negroid to mongloid range and mix of physiognomy observed among the native peoples “discovered” by Columbus.)

    The coming of Columbus and the white race of Gentiles is clearly prophesied at 1 Nephi 13 quoted above. Verse 12 is the prophecy that pertains to Columbus. He came in the name of a church/religion that is called “abominable” (verse 5). This is a fit to the Roman Catholic Church. Under the papal bull, “Dum Diversas” (= “until different”) issued 1452 by Pope Nicolas V, it gave authority to the white Catholic Kings of Spain and Portugal to enslave the natives and take from them their land and possessions. Per the prophecy, TMH allowed this to happen, and indeed brought it upon the Israelites scattered to the Americas. Columbus and the Gentiles that followed came as an instrument of the “wrath of God” (verse 11). For the Israelites scattered to the Americas also were disobedient, like their southern-kingdom brethren scattered out of Jerusalem. As in the East, there then followed the dispensation of white supremacy (verse 15), one tenet of which, –alluded to in the verse,– was that “white” is fair and lovely, and “black” the opposite. That tenet is overtly echoed in brahminist caste (= varna = color) oppression, and was clearly a feature of the slavery and colonial regimes. The color-based social hierarchy continued into the post-slavery and post-colonial periods, world-wise. The matter is plainly stated here in this Scripture. And white Gentile Christianity is outed as the “abominable” church, founded by the Devil (verse 6), that is given authority to kill and enslave the chosen of TMH. It is under that dispensation of white supremacy that we could have the Israelite, whether Arawak or Negro, locked into landlessness, as established here in T&T under the Cedula de Poblacion of 1793. It would be the same everywhere there was white-supremacy Gentile dispensation.

    It is this white-supremacy dispensation that is now at an end. The social contract as enshrined in our Independence and Republican constitutions, and elsewhere in the decolonized world, rather ineffectually sought to undo that dispensation. Now it is being undone at the hand of TMH. The BLM movement merely symbolizes the shift that is now upon the world. That shift is further symbolized by the match between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the “black” prince and princess produced by their union. White supremacy is not giving up without a fight it appears, as the race issue is front and center in the matter of Harry and Meghan opting to depart from the Palace and royal duties. (Never mind the abundant evidence that the original kings of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales, claiming descent from David, king of Judah, were of sable hue, as recently as Charles II, who was known as the “black boy” king of England.)

    With the punishment of the Chosen now at an end, our redemption requires a new Dictate. It is a matter of dictate by TMH, not a matter of social contract. At best such social contract would seek a (spurious) equality among men. As stated in my earlier essay on this topic, the Chosen of TMH are not allowed “equality”. Not only are we to be set “above” all other nations (Deuteronomy 7:6), the flip side of that was that, were we to be disobedient, we would be set far beneath:

    “43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.” (Deuteronomy 28:43)

    The Chosen seed would be distinguished from all others by either being high above (Deuteronomy 7:6, 28:1) or far beneath (Deuteronomy 28:43 just quoted). Equality is not an option. That certainly has been fulfilled here in T&T, as every late-comer people to this land have vaulted above the native and the Negro. This indeed is one of the signs (Deuteronomy 28:46) by which we would come to know in the latter day that we the Negro are indeed true Israel. It is for us to be the kings and priests (Exodus 19:5-6) through whom everyone else would come to knowledge of TMH and His laws. White supremacist religion have sought to usurp that role, knowing as they did so who the real Chosen were.

    White supremacist Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant, is certainly implicated. They have certainly pushed the lie of “white” Jesus, plainly contradicting Scripture; Revelation 1:14-15, Daniel 7:9, 10:6. Islam also is implicated, although they would disclaim being white supremacist. That disclaimer did not stop them from killing and enslaving the “kaffir”, while referring to them in derogatory fashion as “raisin-heads”. When such as Farrakhan profess that Islam is the “black man’s religion”, it is a deception, and provably so, both scripturally and historically. Judaism is also implicated. Just as so-called Christianity was early infiltrated by agents of the Devil “crept in unawares” (Jude 1:4), as also alluded to by Peter and Paul, Judaism had been infiltrated by the Edomites already during the reign of Herod — Idumean king of the “Jews”, — whose seedline went back to Esau-Edom rather than to Judah and Jacob. Scripture prophesies that there would be a people who would commit the blasphemy of calling themselves “Jews” (impliedly sons of Judah) when in fact they are not:

    “… I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” (Revelation 2:9)

    Thus, all of the so-called “Abrahamic” religions are implicated in the dispensation of white supremacy, and guilty of killing/enslaving the true children of TMH. We brought this punishment upon ourselves, but Christianity/Islam/Judaism, infiltrated by Esau-Edom, Ishmael and the Arabs, and sundry Hamitic tribes, were the instruments used by TMH to chastise His chosen for disobedience. Part of our punishment was that we would serve every other “god” but TMH:

    “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” (Deuteronomy 28:64)

    Our awakening from this state of affairs has been a long and slow process. Here in T&T, the so-called “Black Power” uprising marked a distinct shift in consciousness, the “falling away first”:

    “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…”
    (2 Thessaloniams 2:3)

    Unfortunately, that “falling away” led to many of our brighter brethren embracing yet further false doctrines set up by Satan exactly for that purpose. Some have left Catholicism to embrace one or other form of Protestantism. Same white-supremacy Jesus. Some have left Christianity (all forms) to embrace Islam. Same white-supremacy against “raisin-head” kaffirs, the Abu-Bakr claims to “equality” notwithstanding. Some few have embraced Judaism, not recognizing that Scripture outs the so-called Jews as the “synagogue of Satan”. Moreover, it one thinks that the fake-Jew on the land is Israel, then to that extent one would remain blinded to the fact that true-Judah is us, the Negro, and our native brethren such as were here in the Americas long before Columbus, and in places such as Fiji long before such as Captain Cook.

    But most insidious of all is the atheistic, socialist and/or Marxian creeds that speak of “social contract”, the “Rights of Man” promulgated during the French Revolution, the Communist Manifesto as adopted, say, by Fidel, the “Bill of Rights” as promulgated as part of American Revolution, the U.N. “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, etc. etc. This secular, humanist agenda is that to which all who reject the clear nonsense of white-supremacy Religion gravitate. Even those who are religious see wisdom in a secular ordering of the affairs of state, and under such ordering, to see wisdom in some or other from this list of rights-declaring forms of social contract. Certainly our best thinkers — Eric Willians, CLR James, George Padmore, Sylvester Williams, among others — went far down that road. The entire decolonization agenda, worldwide, embraced these secularist, humanist creeds. It is all a vanity, for TMH has other ideas, and that from the beginning:

    “19 O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

    20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?”

    (Jeremiah 16:19-20)

    To talk therefore of “social contract”, ultimately is a vanity, as was foreseen from the beginning. Our job, — we who are of the Chosen seed — is to awake from our slumber, and take our rightful place, ordained by TMH, as the kings and priests through whom the other nations will come to know Him. Thus it has been ordained. So shall it be.


    Still and all, our raising back up requires that we approach our salvation with fear and trembling, certainly with humility, lest we be consumed in the coming fire. A word to the wise:

    “22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;

    23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord.”

    (Jeremiah 29:22-23)

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