“Self-Reliance & Sustainable Development” – Medicine & Clothing

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.

Medicine

Following loosely from the principle of conservation first, and then self-reliance of resources, the DS emphasises the primacy of preventative healthcare, with ‘curative medicine’ being employed as a last resort safety net. The emphasis is then on a healthy diet and exercise will suffice, for now, on this matter.

For medicine itself however, we must strive to become increasingly self-reliant. There is some evidence that our islands own flora and fauna may possess various medicinal properties, and we must thus initiate research along this path, especially concerning traditional ‘folklore’ remedies.

Aside from this, a focus must be made on stockpiling an emergency supply of key medicines in order to manage any short-term disruption of such supplies.

Clothing

Of the various sources of cloth, hemp would appear to be one of – if not the best – the most efficient. Cloth so produced is quite durable and wearable, while the plant can be grown very efficiently, especially in our congenial climate. A location for a hemp plantation and processing facility may be found potentially on the former Baselands. Cotton, too, could grow in Bermuda. Other potential fiber crops that grow well in Bermuda and could be investigated for potential in this area are Pawpaw (the bark and stem may be used in rope production), Kapok (the large trees at the northwest of Pembroke Dump), various sisal plants (agaves) and bamboo.

While these are primarily for clothing purposes, the fibers produced may also be used for the production of ropes and paper.

It should be stressed here that the hemp advocated is industrial hemp, with marginal psycho-active properties. The potential for also producing soft-drugs will be discussed in a later section (Drugs & Crime).

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