NB – This continues the ongoing transcription of a 2002 ‘Manifesto for a Democratic Socialist Bermuda’, which I wrote for the purpose of initiating discussion about organising a democratic socialist (DS) Party in Bermuda. I am reproducing it here for it’s historical interest, it’s role in the genesis of this blog itself, and for the purpose of stimulating discussion in the future.
One of the ultimate goals of democratic socialism is to allow each individual to realise his or hers full potential. An all-round education is, in the opinion of the DS, one of the key factors in achieving this goal (with democratic socialist control of the economic and political being other key factors!). Additionally, education is one of the principle tools in achieving a democratic socialist society in the first place. [The DS actively works towards the establishment of global democratic socialism, but recognises that this is not achieved overnight solely through the control of the means of production and the State by the working class. A transitional period of at least several generations is envisioned within which the various ‘prejudices’ of the the existing capitalist socio-economic system can be ‘purged’, and also to allow the new culture and socio-economic system of democratic socialism to develop organically.]
Much of the DS policy on education may be deduced from the above [previous] sections; however, some aspects are more clearly outlined below.
One of these is the relationship between education and the Bermudian Defence Forces (BDF). Throughout primary and secondary education, in addition to the physical education currently taught (athletics, various team-sports and swimming), training in defensive martial arts are to be incorporated, providing a foundation for future, more intensive, BDF training. During post-secondary education this training is to be intensified and supplemented with conventional military training in weaponry and defensive tactics.
Language training is also to be a central component of education. Indeed, due to the large minority of ethnic Portuguese, and the importance of this language in the form of Brazil, this (preferably the Brazilian dialect) language is to become an official language. It is this language that will become mandatory throughout primary and secondary schools (with a form of language immersion as seen in Anglo-Canada concerning French – French immersion schools – perhaps being the best model).
During post-secondary education training in either French or Spanish (to be selected by the individual) is to be mandatory (these languages chosen for their regional importance in the Americas, Africa and parts of Arabia), along with training in Esperanto. [The idea and empirically proven benefits of Esperanto are discussed briefly in the appendices to this document.]
Field experience in the Caribbean, Azores, Latin America and Africa is to be a component of post-secondary training – this would aid in democratic socialist internationalism, gaining of practical experience in both linguistic and technical matters, and provide beneficial exposure to the world outside of Bermuda.
As will be dealt with in later sections, a central plank of the DS programme is the development of Bermudian self-reliance. An essential part of realising this goal will be the expansion of the current educational facilities on the island. The elevation of the Bermuda College from an essentially vocational school (while retaining and enhancing this component) to the level of a university, complete with scientific research stations, a powerful computer network and a university-class library, would be instrumental in achieving this goal. An international program would also aid with the internationalist perspective of Bermuda as a whole.