Assiduous readers of these columns have shown interests in specific topics. There are readers who react negatively to its contents, others that are in agreement. (Surely you remember the saying: “An objective person is he who has an opinion similar to mine.”)
This is a good time to comment about them. We could not have reflected on so many separate subjects without some common grounds. It is therefore a logical conclusion that they are bound together by a series of basic concept. So what are they? I will mention here some of the most obvious ones:
The individual – the human being is capable of developing constantly. This capacity is the fruit of an unborn desire to improve future conditions both for himself and for those whom he esteems or loves. The desire is a gift of nature which differentiates man from other living creatures. The human race organizes itself into societies to achieve this constant progress.
Society – the reason for one to belong to a society is precisely so that its individual members can develop more efficiently than by going at it alone. The development of a society depends on the performance of its members. A human conglomerate requires, in order to function adequately, rules for all its participants. If these rules do not benefit they society they make no sense and in the long run the individual will draw no benefit either, thus affecting its own development.
Human rights -- It is not true that we are all equal. We are not born with the same potential in every department. We came to this world with individual goals and a different degree of drive and desire to achieve them.
What is important is that, once born, we enjoy the same opportunities. Something practically unattainable at the moment. To satisfy our quest for global progress, however, we must try to come as close as possible to secure this type of equality. That is why I believe in democracy, because it can best protect individual freedom.
The democratic system also allows for it to perfect itself in tune with the development of its components. The improvement of the system gives way to greater freedom and individual development.
Freedom – This overly abused word creates a great deal of confusion. To lie in freedom, means that one has the duty of seeking a compromise between the obligations towards society and one’s personal interests, between personal liberty and that of others. Its delimitations are flexible and never clearly defined.
As it is well known, one’s freedom stops where someone else’s freedom begins. But who draws the line? The answer – all of us if it is possible. This is another reason why I believe in the democratic system.
Fraternity – One’s duty goes beyond a legal obligation. Fraternity will always be conditioned by something subtle and intangible such as moral obligation.
It is impossible to legislate fraternity. Changing human values modify the functioning of society because they are made up by the sum values of its citizens.
Underdevelopment – Countries are not underdeveloped, can be qualified as such. Underdevelopment multi- faceted and many are the reasons that lead to it. It is the cause of poverty and social injustice.
Underdevelopment as such is determined by a comparison with other societies, not with a country’s past. Grenada offers a good example of this definition.
Perspective – In order to be more objective, one must continuously compare a nation’s problem with those of other countries. Without perspective one cannot determine the importance of a problem.
If one questions the democratic society. It cannot be viewed merely as a current Grenadian problem. It is important to maintain a perspective to avoid a collective hysteria that blocks the way to finding adequate solutions and determining the size and the urgency of the problems.