“Self-Reliance & Sustainable Development” – Introduction, Part One

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.

Introduction

It has been mentioned above that independence is a central goal of the DS. By ‘independence’ however, the DS does not mean solely formal independence from the UK, it also means economic independence – and thus true political independence.

Formal imperialism, the form that Bermuda is in relation to the UK (albeit, thankfully, not in its harshest form by far) is one thing, but informal imperialism (or neo-imperialism), the form of imperialism that Bermuda is in relation to the USA, is – in the opinion of the DS – the ‘greater evil.’ [And in this, while Bermuda is hardly unique in this, we find the situation of a double imperialism in Bermuda – formally, politically, by the UK; economically, culturally and also politically – in as much as the economic and cultural constitutes a political force in it’s own right – by the USA.]

While the DS strives primarily for the development of international workers control, it recognises that Bermuda’s current economic system renders it particularly dependent on the USA, and seeks to diversify the economy in order to better achieve our national independence from both forms of imperialism.

Pragmatically, too, the DS advocates increased self-reliance, as it recognises that the seizure of state power by the workers internationally (particuarly in Europe and North America) will most likely be accompanied by temporary economic disruption, particularly concerning the availability of fuel, medicines and foodstuffs to Bermuda (along with general goods and technology as a whole).

Overview of our situation

It has been noted previously that Bermuda possesses very scarce natural resources.

We have basically only limestone and a thin layer of soil in the way of mineral resources (although volcanic rocks and manganese deposits do exist, these are more or less impossible to exploit at this point in time.

We possess no fossil fuels (and due to our geological formation, we are unlikely to discover any such stocks).

Some arable land is available (and more may be converted to it), but certainly not enough is currently available to sustain our current population. A similar situation exists for our available marine resources.

Some medicine may be produced from our various flora and fauna, both terrestrial and marine, but this is largely un-investigated, and we o not possess the capacity as yet to do so (to both investigate and develop such lines of medical research).

Nor do we possess the ability the ability to produce clothing – either the raw cloth or the finished product.

Due to our lack of resources virtually all technology must be imported, and no heavy industries exist in Bermuda as a result.

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