On a Path of Destruction
We are on a path of national destruction. Most Barbadians will likely scoff at that analysis, because we have been brainwashed to accept failure as a celebratory achievement. Any attempt to explain to Barbadians that we can do so much better, is met by emotional pleas that the Ministers are doing their best. Tragically for us, that may be true.
Anyone questioning their failures is dismissed as being politically motivated. Barbadians are so politically abused, that they voluntarily submit to re-education strategies of political consultants.
A crack has developed in the re-education of Barbadians. Ironically, it has come from an independent comparative analysis of national educational systems. Our educational system was ranked near the bottom of 93 nations . Predictably, we ignore this evidence, to avoid facing the reality that we are being misled.
The purpose of the Ministry of Education is to prepare Barbadians to solve problems. Secondary school graduates should have a positive outlook that they, or their class, can solve any problem. Instead, we continue to graduate most persons with low levels of self-esteem, which is the root cause of most of our social problems.
Our graduates become our employers, managers, and politicians. Their low self-esteem leads them to stifle any innovation they encounter. We destroy ourselves when we no longer invest in ourselves. We do not invest in objects. Rather, we invest in people whom we think will bring us a return.
We no longer invest in our children. Instead, we politicised their schools, and converted them into daycare centres. We give them newer toys, to keep them distracted while their parents work. As expected, political consultants rushed to redefine that as investment.
The sargassum seaweed presented an opportunity for Barbadian innovators to design and build seaweed harvesters, and market them to other countries. The Government had our research and development funds to invest in us. However, their low self-esteem guided their investment decisions.
Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and Asians can build these simple machines, but never descendants of the enslaved. The Government gave away our research and innovation funds to another country. Barbadians marvelled at the crude imported machine, and cheered their own destruction.
Like the seaweed harvester, electric buses are new technology. All nations are at a similar starting line. We could have funded a local innovation competition, where winners would need to drive their electric bus around the island, and up Rendezvous, Farley, and Coggins hills. Each winner would be paid $1M, which is about what the Government invested in other countries for one imported bus.
Once again, low self-esteem guided Government policy. We accepted that no descendent of enslaved persons could ever be smart enough to design and build an electric bus. So, the Government simply walked away from the starting line.
We shamelessly and proudly gave away our research and development funds to other countries, and paid their citizens build our buses. Predictably, Barbadians cheered this failure as a major achievement.
The Government had an opportunity to allow Barbadians to design and build garbage compactor trucks. The technology is relatively simple. However, it is far too complex for descendants of enslaved people to figure out, regardless of how qualified we are.
Celebrating failure is now part of Barbadian culture. We invest our innovation funds in other countries, because we automatically believe that any investment in ourselves will be wasted. We lost the confidence to manage our insurance company and national bank. Now we have lost the confidence to manage our airport. These actions have damaged something within us.
Our enslaved fore-parents actively resisted the slavers most dangerous poison to their self-esteem. That was the belief that we were intrinsically inferior to other races. Investing in others over ourselves, demonstrates our surrender to this belief, and completes their re-education. We can be depended on to loudly react to racial injustice, but embrace our inferiority when it really counts.
It is not too late for us. All secondary school students can leave school with a profitable business. All public services can be managed to the international management standard, ISO 9001. Corruption can be meaningfully addressed by fining both bribe givers and takers, and rewarding whistle-blowers with the full value of the bribes.
Innovation funds can be invested in Barbados, where prototypes can be developed, patented, and licensed. But none of this is possible if we keep thinking of ourselves as inferior human beings, and that ISO 9001 is unattainable for only us. Currently, Solutions Barbados stands alone in trying to pull Barbados back from the brink.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and President of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com
Reference  – CEO World Magazine Ltd, 10 May 2020.