The 2002 Genesis of Catch-A-Fire
While this blog itself dates only from 2007, my own ideological positions and political involvement date back to 1997, in Canada, and 1998 in Bermuda. In 2002, while living in Toronto, and involved with a number of leftist organisations there, I set out to clarify my positions regarding Bermuda. I did this in the form of a ‘manifesto’, the intention of which was for it to become a document to rally the Bermudian left behind, from which a ‘party’ in both the narrow parliamentary form and in a wider civil society form could organise around.
While I never completed this manifesto, with the final chapters being composed of little more than bullet-points, I did succeed in passing the draft around to a number of individuals on the island who expressed leftist sentiments to me, including some I had come to know within the rank and file of the PLP. At the time (2003) it was decided that the balance of forces was not ready for a full party organisation, and the manifesto eventually was left to the cockroaches, despite intermittent meetings, especially in 2006-2007 to revisit the idea of a new party.
Despite the failure of the manifesto to organise a socialist force in Bermuda, it was important for my own development, in that it helped clarify my positions on various issues, as well as allowed me to identify issues that required further development. While my positions have substantially evolved since the writing of this document, it is still of interest, either for readers interested in the evolution of my positions, or even for those who may take inspiration from it in one way or another. Personally, I would be interested in revisiting the issues I touched on in 2002 and developing an updated version at some point. Ultimately though this blog itself can be seen as a legacy of this 2002 manifesto.
While I’ve been perhaps boring readers with an onslaught of what many may regard as outdated and irrelevant sections of the manifesto, this page will provide handy links to these sections that readers can review with greater ease over time. I will update the links as the sections themselves come online.
This document was written in the last two months of the year 2002 with the intention of clarifying the position of the Bermudian Left and, in doing so, produce a foundation for the Bermudian Left to organise around and work towards a democratic socialist world order. The paper outlines various goals, strategies and tactics for the DS, but should be considered to be primarily a discussion paper designed to ‘get the ball rolling.’ The bulk of the document (i-xii) was written in Toronto, Canada, the remaining portion produced in Bermuda. Within the document the Democratic Socialist Caucus/Party is referred to as the DS [Democratic Socialists].
vii) On Accountability
xi) Nationalisation & Internationalism
Part One – Outline of the Economic Situation
Part Two – Outline of Nationalisation/Socialisation
Part Three – Outlines of Housing/Employment/Internationalism
xvii) Drugs & Crime
xviii) Blurring the Blue/White Collar Dichotomy
xix) ‘Luxuries’ & ‘Haute Couture’
xx) Transitional Tactics & Strategy (Minimalist & Maximalist Programmes)
xxi) Democratic Socialist Bermuda – Utopian or Scientific?
xxii) Appendix – Explanation of Various Terminology – Essay on Conscious or Unconscious Actions (Do Bosses Actively Oppress the Workers?) – Connectionist Theory – Esperanto