The Myth of Independence: Middle Class Politics and Non-Mobilization in Jamaica
Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) Working Paper No. 6
31 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2011
Date Written: 1975
This is a reprint of a seminal essay first written in the early 1970s and published in 1975 by the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, Jamaica. “Myth of Independence” is the first among a series of “Myth” essays which sought to address the mythological aspects of the foundation of the Jamaican political process and by extension, its version of Westminster democracy. Myth of independence gives a biting critique of the unfolding of independence of this former British colony by looking at its major political elites at that time, Norman Manley, Alexander Bustamante, among others. The article’s major concern is the nature of elite co-optation of the movement which in the end did not remove the psychological scars of colonialism, rather it further embedded notions of black inferior and white/imperial superiority into the value systems of the newly independent nation.
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